The Four Matthews intro(a lesson in fictitious history)


* 20-26 July, 1-7 September, 6-12 October
* 7-11 miles a day + ascents of up to 650 metres (2,130 feet)

Roam into Anglo-Saxon England on this 40-mile trek across some of the Midlands’ most fascinating yet forgotten natural landmarks.The quartet of hills rise at virtually equidistant intervals across the one-time Earldom of Matthew Theodoric, the 11th century Earl of Rosterbury. The audacious Earl commissioned marble busts of himself to crown each hill – thus they became dubbed The Four Matthews.

The ‘Matthews’ at Sneydley in south Shropshire and Tunclough in the Peak District mark the perimeters of his former land, while the two in between grace the Staffordshire village skylines at Manderwood and Hisley.

The Earl’s powers were drastically curtailed during the reign of William the Conqueror, and the Earldom became obsolete.

The busts were torn down over 600 years later by rioting anti-Royalists who opposed his descendants’ support for the Cavaliers during the English Civil War.Only the fragmented and centuries-ravaged head of the Manderwood bust remains, preserved in Manderwood Manor near Wolverhampton, the Jacobean manor house later owned by the Theodorics then sold to a family of local entrepreneurs. Earl Matthew’s ghost is a reputedly frequent visitor.

BFF will be taking small groups on this idyllic yet testing hike throughout the summer and autumn. We will stay in homely guesthouses along the route, and our luxury mini coach will return all participants to Sneydley on day 7.

For full booking and costs information, see page…


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