Meeting – ‘Archaeological Survey in the Wyre Forest: an Ancient Landscape Revealed’ – Tuesday 1st December 2015
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 1st December when we will have a presentation by Adam Mindykowski, from the Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service entitled ‘Archaeological Survey in the Wyre Forest: an Ancient Landscape Revealed’. He will show how modern technology of LiDAR has revealed both Iron Age and Industrial Revolution sites which until recently have been invisible to the eye. Visitors are most welcome at all our events – see Home Page for details and contacts.
WYRE FOREST (Another Point of View)
“Wyre”, it is suggested comes from Weogoran the name of an Anglo-Saxon tribe. It is also linked to Worcester as a source for the name.
Forest indicates an area reserved for hunting by the King and therefore subject to Forest Law. Areas for hunting by lesser mortals were either a chase or a park.
The Mortimers were Marcher Lords governing the southern third of the Welsh border. The line came down through Anne Mortimer, who married the Earl of Cambridge. Their son was Richard Duke of York and earl of March and his son Edward took the throne in 1461 as Edward IV. After that it is reasonable to suggest that the name “Wyre Forest” was used in documents.
The early boundaries are unknown but some suggest that they ran on the west bank of the Severn from Worcester to Bridgnorth and west to Cleobury Mortimer. The modern Wyre Forest is only 6,509 acres or 10 square miles.
The use of the area changed from hunting to one of supplying charcoal to the iron industry of the west midlands. Later small-scale coal mining was developed.
Waterpower was harnessed initially to provide power for blast furnaces but later on the traditional use of water for corn grinding occurred.
HHFS Research Group
There are two very obvious landmarks on the skyline of Worcester. There is the solid, square tower of the Cathedral and in contrast the 245 foot slender spire of St. Andrew’s Church, known locally as the ‘Glover’s Needle’. The name being inspired by the industrial glove making for which Worcester was once renowned. In the 1920s the slum housing which crowded round the 15th century church was removed and sadly, along with it, the main congregation of the church. By 1948 the neglected church had fallen into decay and it was demolished to create a garden of remembrance and to allow for the widening of the Deansway to form a ring road. However, the tower and spire were left, freestanding.
Our speaker this month, David Simons, who is Chief Surveyor for Worcester City Council and now responsible for the ‘Needle’ recounted its history and its current maintenance. He explained how the future stability of the slender spire had been ensured by the installation of a lengthy, tensioned, stainless steel rod within the spire to secure the top directly to the tower below.
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 1st December when we will have a presentation by Adam Mindykowski, from the Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service entitled ‘Archaeological Survey in the Wyre Forest: an Ancient Landscape Revealed’. He will show how modern technology has revealed both Iron Age and Industrial Revolution sites which until recently have been invisible to the eye. Visitors are most welcome at all our events – see Home Page for details and contacts.
The book “Hagley Miscellanea” by John-Homery Folkes, the architect of St.Saviour’s Hall, was first published in 1974. It was for private circulation and only 25 copies were printed. Forty years later it is considered sufficiently interesting to merit this reprint. The author (born 1906) has gathered a wide range of reminiscences that together give a picture of Hagley’s inhabitants, houses, industries, celebrations and entertainments in the century and more before the explosion of house-building in the 1960s.
The book includes: the early days of the railway station; the building of St. Saviour’s church and planning the cemetery; houses large and small; an attempt at encroachment in Church Street; the Rifle Corps and the Range; the nursemaid question!; Hagley celebrities; the Sunday postal delivery and church attendance and an eyewitness account of the fire at Hagley Hall on Christmas Eve 1925. The “Illustrations” section includes the programme for the Coronation Celebration of June 1911.
The book is priced at £5 and can be purchased from Happy Families or can be ordered online from Hagley History and Field Society.
The Society has now launched a new book entitled ‘Hagley: A Village at War 1914 – 1918’, researched and written by local author and member, Pat Dunn. It is based on the ‘Hagley Parish Magazines’ of the period and describes how the people of Hagley dealt with the problems presented by the Great War on the Home Front. The people and places featured on the front cover of June’s issue of the Hagley Village News feature in the book along with many others.
The book is priced at £4 and can be purchased at the Hagley Library or ordered online. Click on the book cover below to view the first few pages.