Ashes, Moat Manor and the Cock Pit
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.
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.
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.
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.
was superceded as Manor House by Bentley Hall, situated at the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.
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.
site of the old Cock Pit eventually became the Riding School Car
Park. So, its use has remained with a popular local pastime of