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Four Ashes, Moat Manor and the Cock Pit

Original Drive to The Cock Pit

Four Ashes was the name given to the point on the Henley Road where the parish boundaries of Solihull, Packwood and Tanworth met. There stood at this point, distant from any concentration of cottages, four ash trees.

This landmark was recognised by the people of each parish, who came to it as part of their route when 'Beating the Bounds' each year at Rogationtide, ie walking the boundary of the parish.

Four Ashes was so important a landmark that the trees were marked on some early maps of the area. Today, the Henley Road is known as Four Ashes Road in the modern era, and the entrance to the Four Ashes Driving Range sits at the original landmark, one of the current trees throwing its shadow across the driveway.

Near Four Ashes, the original Widney Manor, a moated house, stood close to where we find Hogarths (formerly the Moat Manor) Hotel in the modern era, the remains of its moat can be seen today in in the grounds of the hotel.

This was superceded as Manor House by Bentley Hall, situated at the other end of the drive to Hogarths, on Four Ashes Road, where Manor Farm stands today. The remains of its Moat are also easily seen now, in the form of its overflow pond.This sits either side of Four Ashes Road approaching the Railway Bridge.

The present drive to the Riding School and Hogarths dates back several hundred years. But in those days it led to 'The Cock Pit', at a time when cock fighting was popular. This lane began not where the driveway starts today, but immediately adjacent to the railway bridge where a bridleway begins, as shown in our picture, above.

The site of the old Cock Pit eventually became the Riding School Car Park. So, its use has remained with a popular local pastime of the age!!