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.


If you want instructions on how to navigate around the website click on Website User Guide (0.5MB)


Latest News and Updates

Meeting – April 2018

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 3rd April 2018 when we will have a presentation by Tim Booth entitled ‘Following the Belne Brook‘. Belne Brook rises from the foot of the Clent Hills and flows through Belbroughton and eventually joins the river Stour.  Members will remember Tim’s previous visit 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.

Belne Brook (The Bigger Picture)

Belne Brook rises in the valley between Walton and Romsley Hills and flows westward for some nine miles to join the River Stour on the south side of Kidderminster, where it is known as Hoo Brook.

In the early 1990’s Hagley Research Group made a survey of the water mills on the Belne and Wannerton Brooks, which also joins the Stour. In 1993 a book entitled “Watermill sites in North Worcestershire” was published and recently it has been added to the Hagley Historical & Field Society web site.

Looking at the area drained by the River Stour, the Smestow starts near Seisdon before joining the Stour near Wallheath. Then there are a number of streams north of the Stour such as Coombes Brook. At the north end of the Clent Hills there are several streams claiming to be the source of the Stour. Probably the most popular is at St Kenelms Church as it is the easiest one to get to. The circuit is completed with the Belne and Wannerton Brooks.

Watercourses and ridges of hills are often used as manorial boundaries or for marking tribal areas. Iron Age tribes occupied large areas and the two that were nearest to us were the Dobunni and the Cornovii. The way that archaeologists identify a particular tribal area is from the distribution of coins, which were introduced in the century prior to the first Roman invasion. But before people started dropping their money it was the natural features that were difficult to change that marked their boundaries and your scribe is suggesting that the River Stour may have been part of such a boundary.

Newsletter – March 2018

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

The building of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich which started in 1696, was the result of the collaboration between Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor. These two were also responsible for the building of St. Paul’s Cathedral after the Great Fire of London. Apart from the beauty of its architecture, it claims to have Britain’s largest painted ceiling.

Unfortunately, over the years, while the Navy has trained some of our finest seamen there it has neglected the maintenance of the buildings to the point where serious restoration was required. Our speaker this month, Derek Clarke, described this restoration work which his architectural partnership undertook and his part in managing the project.

The original building was undertaken in a time of austerity and there is evidence of cost cutting. While the outward facing walls are faced with limestone the less obvious walls are faced with brick. At least the bricks were made in Birmingham which partly makes up for it.

Our next meeting at St Saviour’s Church Hall is on Tuesday 1st May 2018 at 8.00pm. It is our annual Social Evening. There will be the usual refreshments followed by a ‘gentle’ quiz. Visitors are most welcome at all our events but on this occasion tickets must be purchased in advance – see hhfs.org.uk for details and contacts.

Middlefield Lane, Hagley – A Short History

Monday, November 21st, 2016

The idea for this new publication was originally developed by the late Dr Peter Bloore, who lived in Middlefield Lane. He was a member of Hagley Historical and Field Society and also Hagley Parish Archivist. His widow offered the file to the Archive Group and they decided that they would continue his research and aim at publishing a summary of his work plus contributions from people, who lived or had lived in the Lane or had first hand knowledge of the residents. The results are now available as an illustrated book of fifty-two pages.

Middlefield Lane front

Middlefield Lane front

Middlefield Lane back

Middlefield Lane back

The book is priced at £4 and can be purchased from Happy Families or can be ordered online from Hagley History and Field Society.

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