Perched near the summit of the Clent Hills, The Four Stones are one of the most mysterious places in the region. At sunset, particularly on a frosty winter’s evening, they radiate an aura of Neolithic mystery. Except they’re not stone age or for that matter they’re not even medieval. The megaliths were erected around 1763 by workers of the eccentric landowner – George, Lord Lyttleton of Hagley Hall – as something to see from his mansion.
The Four Stones were originally the idea of Sanderson Miller, the architect of Hagley Hall who was also responsible for many of the unusual buildings that dotted the Hagley Estate, including the Wychbury Obelisk and a temple of Theseus. His most spectacular folly was an entire sham castle built from stones reclaimed from the ruins Halesowen abbey in nearby Lapal. Hagley Castle is now private property but can still be seen from the Four Stones like some fairy tale fortress rising up from and enchanted bluebell wood.
The magic of the four stones is the remarkable views including ‘The Castle’, The Malvern Hills, Clee Hill, and the rolling countryside of west Worcestershire. A nearby toposcope outlines all the points of interest. The Clent Hills are just north of the town Bromsgrove and encompass an area of around 400 acres.
Researchers believe that Sanderson Miller may have decided on a Neolith style folly in recognition of a real Iron Age Hill Fort, now overgrown, at the summit of nearby Wychbury Hill. There is even some speculation that an earlier ancient monument may have existed where the Four Stones stand today. The site has certainly caught the attention of local neo-pagans. From time-to-time small offerings of fruit, flowers, feathers and coins are left next to the stones. The most easterly megalith has also been carefully engraved with a star or pentagram which has been etched with yellow. As a local historian pointed out: either they’re very deluded or they know something we don’t. It’s certainly true that there are many local tales from strange lights hovering over the stones to the unsolved 70 year old murder mystery known as ‘Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?” Perhaps the Four Stones are more mysterious than we think.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Fieldhouse Lane, Romsley, Halesowen
West Midlands, England, B62 0NH
+44 (0)1562 710 015
- Address: Adam's Hill (Road), Clent, Stourbridge, Worcestershire, England UK, DY9 9PS
- GPS: 52.420927132167385,-2.1011750766601835
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: DY9 9PS
- Entrance Fees: Free Access
- Disabled Access: None
- Visibility from Road: None
- Image Credits: Paul Vincent