A blog by an historian, Pagan and fanfiction writer, with left-wing leaning politics. In short, I could be waffling on about anything.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Hunt for the Landywood Great Stones Part Two

In part one, I examined old maps of Great Wyrley looking for the legendary Landywood Great Stones. They had apparently existed, but where were they now?

Landywood Great Stones: Asking the Council

By now convinced that the Landywood Great Stones had existed (albeit still unproved in their original position), I sought out Councillor Kath Williams. As Great Wyrley's current local government representative, she should have access to its historical records. She asked me to leave it with her.

Good to her word, Councillor Williams returned my call a few days later. Conferring with a colleague, Kath Perry, she had discovered that the Landywood Great Stones had indeed once existed. They had been moved because of coal-mining and they had been scattered at the side of Gorsey Lane right up until the middle of the 20th century.

But this was a time of building, when council estates were being constructed all over Great Wyrley. The great stones were in the way, when houses were built on the north side of Gorsey Lane. They were removed to the Old Colliery, on the other side of the railway track. Then the Streets Lane council estate was created there. The Landywood Great Stones were too large to simply cart away again, so they were buried. They are believed to be underneath Weston Drive, off Streets Lane.

"We're not talking small here," Cllr Williams told me. "These were big, massive things."

Short of persuading every resident of Weston Drive to allow us to demolish their homes, the Great Stones will remain hidden.

Landywood Great Stones: The Sole Survivor on the Surface

However, one stone had survived on the surface. Much smaller than the rest, this had been used as a feature at the gate of Landywood Enterprise Park, on Holly Lane.

Cllr Williams was keen to emphasise that the size of the Landywood Great Stones could not be judged by this sole survivor. This one was chosen simply because it was relatively tiny.

It sits on Holly Lane, directly opposite to that large loop in the road, which is the supposed original site of the stones. If they were still there, then its narrower side would be pointing right towards them.

Update: WyrleyWolves has commented that he was told by his father that this was a 'gypsy cooking stone'.

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Coming up in part three: did more of the Landywood Great Stones survive?


  1. I am Bleakly.
    Thanks for doubting me.
    If you would like to go to
    and look at the area on the older maps that are available, there is further evidence.

  2. When did I doubt you? Thank you for the heads up.

  3. It's no good being evasive: everybody doubts me.
    Thanks for going further than I did.
    I just wanted to get the place 'on the map'.
    If it was still here it would be designated an "Ancient Monument".
    It's sad that it's been destroyed by the old hunt for coal.
    Sadder that we (they) closed the mines and now import gas from Russia.
    That is a really sensible strategic decision.
    400 years worth of coal lie under our feet.
    Plus, that stone that remains is called the Devils stone by locals.

  4. Ah! I've just realised that you wrote the entry on Megalithic Portal which inspired this whole quest! Sorry, memory fading in my old age. ;)

    But I do have to thank you for that. It was never doubt, but fascination. What were the Landywood Great Stones? I had to find out! Thanks for putting me onto them.

    As for your comment, I agree with every word of it. It's a crying shame that more wasn't saved, both in ancient monuments and local mining jobs.

  5. What was Stonehenge?
    The Great stones of Landywood, surely, were a place of worship - or at least a place of veneration.
    One wonders if it was the stones themselves or the place that was important.
    I remember suddenly realising that the fact the road wound around that place and that it indicated how important the Stones once were.
    I have lived, give or take, all my life (and I'm a lot older than you, I think) near to that place and just accepted the course of the road.
    As a child, everything is as it is and has always been.

    The stones position on a south facing slope and near to a water source make it a complicated question and a complicated answer.
    "Landywood" translates as the 'lawn-in-the-wood', (clearing in the forest) so there was probably always an open space here.

  6. It is intriguing to try and deduce what was going on. You've raised some interesting points here.