Welcome Message

Welcome to Hagley Historical and Field Society website. On these pages you will discover something of the history of Hagley and details of our activities. You will find a warm welcome at our meetings which are generally held on the first Tuesday of each month. We enjoy a wide variety of speakers talking on a range of topics relating to the history of Worcestershire, the West Midlands and beyond. Visitors are also welcome to join the full programme of walks and visits. Whilst the majority of our members are happy to enjoy the meetings and other activities, a small group is engaged in active local research; some of their publications may be viewed on this site.


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Latest News and Updates

Meeting – ‘Archaeological Survey in the Wyre Forest: an Ancient Landscape Revealed’ – Tuesday 1st December 2015

Monday, November 9th, 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.

lidar1Commences 8pm at St Saviour’s Church Hall, DY9 0NS. Visitors £2, including refreshments. Annual membership £10

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

Newsletter – November 2015

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

When Henry V and his ‘band of brothers’ defeated the assembled might of French Chivalry on a rainy October day in 1415, it was a defining moment in English history. The Battle of Agincourt became part of the nation’s self-image. For six centuries it has been celebrated as the triumph of the underdog in the face of overwhelming odds, of discipline and determination over arrogance and egotism, of stout-hearted common men over dissolute aristocrats.

However, our speaker this month Max Keen, attempted to reveal some of the truths behind the battle upon which so many legends have been built. It is now thought that the English army was not as weakened during the siege of Harfleur as was previously believed. And, in the same way that David disabled Goliath from a distance before Goliath could use his overwhelming strength against him, so were the English and Welsh archers able to release 80,000 armour piercing arrows per minute against tightly packed French Knights attacking them on foot across a sodden field of cloying mud. So many French knights of aristocratic rank were killed that almost the whole nobility among the soldiery of France was removed in three hours.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 5th January 2016 when we will have a presentation by Tim Booth, entitled ‘Following the Belne Brook’ in Belbroughton. Members will remember Tim’s previous visit in December last year when he took us on a photographic and historical journey along Dowles Brook in the Wyre Forest. Visitors are most welcome at all our events – see home page for details and contacts.

Hagley Miscellanea written by John-Homery Folkes

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

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.

Click on book to view first few pages

The book is priced at £5 and can be purchased from Happy Families or can be ordered online from Hagley History and Field Society.

Hagley: A Village at War 1914 – 1918

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

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.

Click on book to view first few pages