Uncovering the history of the Clent Hills

Two men, one in a red NT top kneeling over an archaeology trench

The Clent Hills are a much loved landmark across the Black Country and Birmingham; but what lies beneath them? In Spring 2016, we will be working with Wolverhampton Archaeology Group to find out some answers.

Every Sunday from the 1st May until the 26th June 2016, a team of archaeologists will be on-site between 11am and 4pm investigating. They will begin by exploring some unusual landscape features to see if we can get a better understanding of when they were made. However, the main focus of the work will be on the ruins of Hill Cottage, sometimes referred to as the Ranger’s Cottage, which is in the valley behind the Four Stones. This cottage was once a destination in its own right, selling teas to the many day-trippers that flocked to the Hills during the first half of the twentieth century. We think that this cottage was built at some point in the late 1700s, but there is evidence to suggest that people lived on that site as far back as the Early Medieval Period. The archaeologists will be working to see if they can find out exactly how early people starting living there.

“We’re really excited about this project; so many people love the Clent Hills and have fond memories of visiting them. It will be great to involve our visitors in helping to uncover more about the history of the site.” Janine Young, National Trust Archaeologist.

Visitors on those Sundays will be able to visit the dig site, talk to the archaeologists, handle some finds and maybe even have a go at being an archaeologist for themselves. They will also be able to look at old photos of the hills and listen to some oral history interviews about the site.