Preservation of the Icknield Street Boulder

Professor Kay superintending the placing of the Boulder in its new position.

The Arenig boulder recently unearthed in Icknield Street, Hockley, has now been removed to the Hockley Hill Recreation Ground, where a suitable site has been found for it. When the boulder was discovered it was purchased by Mr. Norman Chamberlain, who presented it to the Social Institute’s Committee, the authority in charge of the Hockley Hill Recreation Ground.

This site was selected as a resting place for the boulder because it is within easy reach of Icknield Street, but the gift has been made with the proviso that should the Hockley Hill ground be closed permanently at any time, the boulder is to be transferred to one of the city parks for exhibition.

The task of removing the boulder which consists of very hard stone formed of altered volcanic ash, such as is found in the Arenig Mountains of Mid-Wales has been carried out under the direction of Mr H. Kay, F.G.S. of Handsworth, who has taken care that in its new surroundings it occupied relatively the same position as when discovered in the ground.

Measurements made by Mr. Kay show that the length on the south side is 6ft 3in, east 6ft 4in, north 6ft 2in and west 3ft 4in, while it is 3ft 9in high on the east side and 4ft high on each of the other sides, and the diagonals are 7ft 4in and 7ft 6in. An inscribed tablet detailing the circumstances under which it was discovered and placed in the recreation ground is shortly to be affixed to the boulder’.

Source: Birmingham Post – May 24 1913
Researched by Colin Giles

The Hoar Stone
We must assume that this Boulder Stone became what is now known as the War Stone which must have been moved from the Hockley Hill Recreation Ground to where it now rests outside the Cemetery Lodge in Warstone Lane, although there appears to be no record of this move – the Hockley Hill Recreation Ground appears to be still there but there has been no sign of activity for many years.

The War Stone (photo M. Haddleton YBA Publications)

The War Stone
Source: The Jewellery Quarter History & Guide (2nd edition 1987 (by YBA Publications).
‘The War Stone, deposited by a glacier in the Ice Age and at one time used as a parish boundary marker.’
The Inscription on the plate reads:
This felsite boulder was deposited near here by a glacier during the Ice Age, being at one time used as a parish boundary mark it was known as the Hoar Stone, of which the modern War Stone is a corruption’.



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