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

Monday, 31 October 2011

The Hunt for the Landywood Great Stones Part Four

In part three, we explored the relocation of the Landywood Great Stones to the Streets Lane estate area. Now a reader has supplied some extra evidence from their original location.

Landywood Great Stones in History of Bloxwich

In 1955, Ernest James Homeshaw published his The Story of Bloxwich. It since went out of print, but was republished by Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council Library and Museum Service. The 1988 Reprint of The Story of Bloxwichis difficult to find and expensive to buy, though there is a copy in Walsall Library.

However, thanks to Paul Ford of Walsall Local History Centre, we can see an original picture of the Landywood Great Stones from Homeshaw's book.

In case that caption is a little small, it reads: 'The Great Stones of Landywood. From the top of the hill where they lie, Barr Beacon, Druids' Heath, and the panorama of Cannock Chase may be viewed.'

Where Were the Great Stones in Homeshaw's Photograph?

Ernest Homeshaw wrote that the Great Stones of Landywood were on a hill. The place beside Holly Lane, where they reputedly originally stood, is flat. However, the area beside Gorsey Lane, where they were moved, was called Broom Hill.

This undoubtedly had the kind of view which Homeshaw described. In 1642, the Roundheads camped upon Broom Hill, during the English Civil War. They were there long enough to dig a well, which still remains, hidden under foliage, in Wharwell Lane (War + well). It can only be expected that an army would take the higher ground. However, the hill itself has now been flattened to make way for a council estate there.

Moreover, it has already been established from old maps that the stones had been moved to Gorsey Lane by 1888. This is probably where Homeshaw's photograph was taken, with the houses in the background belonging to either Gorsey Lane, Wharwell Lane or, at a push, the Walsall Road.

In part five, I will attempt to match the stones in the historical picture with those confirmed or suspected to be on view in Great Wyrley today.

With thanks again to Paul Ford for all of his assistance.

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