Introduction to the History of Hagley


Tom Pagett

Hagley Hall, built by Sanderson Miller for the first Lord Lyttelton in 1754-60

Hagley Hall, built by Sanderson Miller for the first Lord Lyttelton in 1754-60


To attempt to list individuals who have assisted me in some way would be invidious as I would certainly leave someone out. May I therefore say thank-you to all those who have allowed me onto their land or property, given access to documents and plans, helped record information on site and shared their knowledge and experience with me in many ways.

Tom Pagett

July 1997


Click on the chapter name to go to that chapter

Hagley District 8000BC – 50AD
Hagley District 50 – 1086AD
The De Hagleys 1130 – 1411
Absentee Landlords 1411 – 1564
The Lytteltons 1564 Onwards
The church in Hagley
Getting a living from the land
Industry and Transport
Housing in Hagley


  • Assarting – the extension of arable land into wooded areas, frequently done without official approval
  • Advowson – the right of appointing a priest. Usually held by the patron, who is often the lord of the manor
  • Decorated – architectural style with pointed arches c.1280-1380 with an abundance of carved work in stone and wood
  • English Bond – a pattern of bricks in a wall where alternate courses show the ends and sides of the bricks
  • Field walking – usually carried out by a team spaced at intervals across a freshly cultivated field, walking slowly and looking for any artefacts on the ground. The position of any finds is recorded
  • Glacis/dump ramparts – ramparts formed by tipping soil etc., on a hillside to create a slope which is difficult to ascend
  • King’s Thegn – Local lord
  • Perpendicular – an architectural style 1380-1550 with the accent on vertical lines and making use of large windows
  • Piscina – stone basin with a drain, used for washing the Communion vessels
  • Radio carbon dating – dating of organic objects from the ratio of isotopes which changes as Carbon-14 decays
  • Tenant in chief – a person holding land directly from the king
  • Tympanum – the area between the lintel and arch of a doorway


The information gathered together for use in this book has been built up over some 15 years and recorded in a variety of styles, ranging from cryptic messages on cards to reasonably clear notes. The realisation that this material was of little use to anyone else in that form has prompted me to write this “Introduction to the History of Hagley”. It is only an introduction and there is plenty of scope to develop on the material used or investigate other aspects of the local life in the past.

Geographically the parish and manor prior to 1933, when Blakedown was taken from Hagley and added on to Churchill, is the area considered from c. 960AD. Before 960 it is very probable that Hagley was part of a larger Clent, and the phrase “Hagley district” is used to cover Saxon, Roman and pre-historical periods.

I have attempted to be as objective as possible in dealing with the various topics. Stories such as the battle between the Romans and the Britons, or was it the Britons and the Saxons, have been ignored. Dr.T.Nash in his “History of Worcestershire” (which is generally reliable) mentions the battle and a succession of 19th century authors copied him. In my opinion there is absolutely no historical or archaeological evidence to support any such tales.

In choosing the chapter headings, consideration has been given to other work carried out in the recent past and duplication of effort has been avoided wherever possible.

The three chapters on the landlords tend to be biographical notes on individuals and it would have been satisfying to have described their contribution to the successes and failures on the local economy and so on. However, historical records tend to note only the upper echelons of society and their deeds or misdeeds.

Every settlement in the country has a history that can be written if enough factual information can be assembled. I hope the following pages will persuade others that they should have a go and enjoy the challenge of compiling their own local history.

Hagley Manor and Parish pre-1933

Hagley Manor and Parish pre-1933

This parish map shows the location of many features which are referred to in later sections. Clicking on this or subsequent images will show either an enlargement or additional information.


Copyright © Tom Pagett