Meeting – April 2018

March 22nd, 2018 by JCope

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.

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