National Recording Project

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Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Bentley Hall Standing Stone and Cairn

Summary

Type Marker , Readymade

     The standing stone is clearly visible but the rest of the cairn has virtually disappeared. The whole cairn is enclosed by a circular rusting iron fence. The cairn is said to be placed on the site of Bentley Hall.
     There has been press speculation about the site being haunted, and in the 1960s there was even television coverage. The ghost, named Charlie, was described by the press as a laughing cavalier with shades of Valentino, and he was subsequently exorcised by the local vicar.
     Bentley Hall's principle claim to fame is its having been the hiding place of King Charles II (1630-1685) after his defeat after the Battle of Worcester (1651). After fleeing the field of the battle the King went to the house of Richard Penderel at Boscobel, South Staffordshire, then on to Moseley Old Hall, near Wolverhampton, finally arriving at Bentley Hall. The Hall was the home of the Lane family, who had been prominent local landowners in the Middle Ages. At Bentley Hall they devised a plan to secure the King's escape by dressing him up as Jane Lane's servant. The story tells that they travelled to Bristol, from where the King fled abroad to France. The Hall also featured briefly in the eighteenth century when the Methodist reformer John Wesley (1703-1791) was establishing the Mother Society for Methodism in Staffordshire. In June 1843 a riotous mob had taken Wesley to be arraigned in front of Mr Lane, the local magistrate, living at the Hall. Lane, however, advised the mob to go home and refused to detain Wesley. The Hall was demolished at an unknown date, but a second hall built on the site was demolished in 1906. After which a third Hall was built and subsequently demolished in the 1930s.

Inscriptions

Information plaque missing

Related works : A fresco of King Charles II escape from the Parliamentary troops decorates the lobby of the House of Commons, in 1921 the Mayor of Walsall, Cllr. Joseph a. Leckie presented a replica fresco to the town which can be seen at Walsall Town Hall.

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Satnding stone Stone 100cm high x 50cm wide
Other stones Stone Circular Mound 650cm diameter approx
Fence Iron 200cm high

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
WMwaWAvh008 BM
General condition Poor
Surface condition
  • Biological growth
  • Biological growth
Structural condition
  • None
Vandalism
  • None
Road off Cairn Drive
Precise location At the rear of the Vicarage to St Emmanuel's Church
A-Z ref 32 1C
OS ref SO907990
Date of design None
Year of unveiling None
Unveiling details None
Commissioned by Walsall Council?
Duty of care Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council
Listing status Not listed
At risk? No known risk

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