The Clent Hills lay to the west of the great city of Birmingham on the green fringes of the industrial heartland known as the 'Black Country.' The hills have served as a garden for many years for the urban city dwellers, a place of recreation and exercise, of bank holiday outings and trips to pick blackberries. Clent is a Danish word meaning head, a projecting, craggy rock; local lore suggests that if one faces east then the next highest ground are the Urals of Russia.
Upon the summit of Clent Hill stand The Four Stones, each at one time standing in a seperate county - Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Stafford and Shropshire. The stones stand around six-feet tall and are thick enough for a person to wrap their arms around, standing together they form a rough square with sides of about ten-feet. These are however drinking stones, wandering stones that upon Midsummers Eve uproot themselves from the hill top and quench their year long thirsts at nearby Walton Pool, before they return to their lofty perch. Witnesses to this magical annual migration are doomed, for they will die a horrible painful death within the year!
Bearers of a strange tale these stones may be but ancient druidical remains they are not. They were placed upon the summit as a decorative folly by George, the first Lord Lyttleton less than three hundred years ago.
Legends, folk tales and mysterious happenings abound in the area. From Clent can be seen Whychbury Hill and the iron-age fort upon it, having about it rings of ditches, ancient field ditches and mounds about it. A folk-memory of a battle between Roman Legionarries and wild naked Britons exists, perhaps a valient last stand against the invaders. An old story states that Harry-Ca-Nab, the devils huntsman, kept his pack of hounds at nearby Halesowen - ('hells-own;' perhaps in Dog Kennel Lane)? Riding on ghostly white bulls Harry-Ca-Nab and his pack hunt wild boar and lost souls over these hills. Those who climb the slopes at night in search of extraterrestrial encounters and UFO's witness only Old Scratch and his companions reel across the heavens. Nearby Saint Kenelm's Chapel marks the site of a childs martyrdom, a healing spring and the lost village of Kenelmstowe. During the second world war a woman was murdered and dismembered, her body disposed of in the hollow trunk of a Wych Elm. The murder is said to of had 'ritual' overtones and even today graffiti scrawled upon walls shout out "WHO PUT BELLA IN THE WYCH ELM".
The Four Stones, Clent Hill, Worcestershire
O.S. Landranger Map 139
Birmingham & Surrounding Area, 1:50,000 - ref:933804