Local History

Index to topics of local history

Click on the topic name to go to that topic or just browse the page

The 1950s Hagley Guide
Markets of Halfshire Hundred, Worcestershire
Hagley Societies and Organisations: A look at their history
Introduction to the History of Hagley
The Hagley War Memorial
The Magistrate The Bull and Great Western Railway
Water Mills around Hagley
Hagley in WWII
Queen Elizabeth II visits Hagley in 1957
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee 2002
Hollier’s Farm and Family, Hagley
1000 years of St.John, Baptist, Hagley
Follies of Hagley Park
Descriptions of Old Hagley Park
The Street Names of Hagley and their origins
An introduction to Hagley’s pictorial record
Domesday in North Worcestershire
Historic Hagley Projects
Hagley in the 16th to 19th century
Demographics of 19th Century Hagley

 

Hagley Guide

Hagley Guide

Hagley Guide from the 1950s

It is perhaps hard to imagine now that in the 1950s, even as post war prosperity improved the lot of many families, car ownership was still an aspiration for many. For the lucky few, a car outing on a Sunday afternoon was regarded as a pleasure. The journey from Birmingham to Hagley was still an adventure without the advantage of dual carriageways. It became popular for towns and villages of interest to publish guides to encourage those who were able to visit to come and benefit the rural economy. Hagley was no exception and this guide which was sponsored by local shops and businesses presents a brief snapshot of what delights the intrepid traveller would find on arrival. It is interesting that one business which advertised in the guide still advertises in the Hagley Village News today. To view the article, click on the Hagley Guide picture to the right.

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Local Market

Local Market

Markets of Halfshire Hundred, Worcestershire

Since medieval times, markets have been the lifeblood of the community. They have been the centres for trade, entertainment and gossip. Members of the Hagley Historical Society have researched six local markets: Bewdley, Bromsgrove, Dudley, Hales Owen, Kidderminster and Stourbridge which surround Hagley. To view the article, click on the local market picture to the left.

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Hagley Community Association

Community Association

Hagley Societies and Organisations: A look at their history

The start of the third millennium A.D. was celebrated internationally as an event called “The Millennium” on January 1st 2000 and the Village News edition for that month carried special reports from many of the societies which gave some details of their own history.

Those reports are reproduced here so that readers now have on-line access to the background of what many regard as an essential part of the infrastructure of Hagley. To view this article, click on the Community Association logo to the right.

In addition, the author Ray Porter, gives us a brief history of the formation of the Hagley Community Association and how the affiliated societies and organisations along with the monthly publication of the Village News have enriched the community of Hagley.

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

Hagley Hall built in 1754-60

Introduction to the History of Hagley

The author, Tom Pagett, built up the material for this work over some 15 years and recorded it in a variety of styles, ranging from cryptic messages on cards to reasonably clear notes. He realised that the material was of little use to anyone else in this form and was prompted to write this “Introduction to the History of Hagley”. He asserts that 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. To view this article, click on the picture of Hagley Hall to the left.

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Hagley War Memorial

The Hagley War Memorial

The Hagley War Memorial

Thousands of people pass Hagley’s War Memorial each day without much thought for the young people named for their sacrifice, unless they happen to be a relative. Before all memories disappear, it is the aim of Hagley Historical and Field Society and in particular the author, Don Freeth, to discover and publish details of the short lives and premature death of these Hagley residents. Here is a painstaking piece of research, continually enhanced and improved during its construction, as the author’s tireless efforts reached out to those who could contribute further. To view this article, click on the memorial to the right. Each name is linked to further details.

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Magistrate Bull GWR

The Magistrate The Bull GWR

The Magistrate The Bull and Great Western Railway

This account, the result of research by Irene Oliver in 2002, requires you draw a mental picture of a very rural Hagley in 1870. Where the three mile journey from the top of Hagley Hill to Churchill would be made via quiet country lanes and you would be more shocked at seeing a motorized vehicle (which had yet to be invented), than seeing two teenagers driving a prize bull along this route with just a stick . This story describes the circumstances surrounding an encounter between this bull and a Great Western Railway express train and the subsequent court case brought by the owner, a local magistrate, which was hotly contested by the company. To view this article, click on the sketch to the left (1.0MB).

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Churchill Forge

Churchill Forge

Water Mills around Hagley

In 1993, Tom Pagett led a small team of the Field group in a project, which set out to locate the site of water mills on two streams and to describe their present-day condition.

This resulted in a book being written which can be viewed by clicking on the water wheel picture (2.8MB)

It is possible to visit Churchill Forge

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Hagley Map WWII

Hagley Map WWII

Hagley in WWII

The 8th May 1995 was the day on which the nation officially remembered the fiftieth anniversary of the ending of the Second World War in May 1945.

The occasion was marked in Hagley by an exhibition sponsored by the Community Association and co-ordinated by Mrs Frances Pagett.

The guest of honour was Marty Sheeron , who had been billeted as a GI in Hagley for several months in the early summer of 1944. This article is based on a collection of articles published in the wartime issues of the Parish Magazine and can be viewed by clicking on the Hagley map (1.3MB).

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Queen Elizabeth II visits Hagley in 1957

Queen Elizabeth II visits Hagley in 1957

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip came to Hagley on St.George’s day, Tuesday April 23rd 1957. We speak of it as “The Queens Visit to Hagley”. It was in fact, the starting point of a Royal Tour of the West Midlands, which included Halesowen, Stourbridge and Kidderminster.

In June 2002, Don Freeth compiled this article based on a paper presented by Mrs. D. Nock to the Hagley Historical and Field Society on 26th October 1965. This article, which includes pictures of the occasion, can be viewed by clicking on the “ER” picture to the right. (0.67MB)

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Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee 2002

This special Jubilee edition of the Hagley Village News published in June 2002 shows how Hagley celebrated the occasion.It begins by describing how Hagley celebrated Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee of 1887 and then shows the 2002 programme of the celebrations, entertainments and Church service which many present residents of Hagley will still remember. This article can be viewed by clicking on the “Hagley Village News” picture to the left (2.73MB). How did Hagley celebrate the Diamond Jubilee in 2012?

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Hollier’s Farm

Hollier’s Farm and Family, Hagley

This article is the result of research undertaken in 2002 by Irene Oliver, Don Freeth, Bill Riley and Olwyn Coventry.

It traces the history of the Hollier family who are first mentioned in the Church registers in 1734 and the farm which may have already existed on the land for up to two centuries previously. There is local legend that two of the Gunpowder-plot conspirators hid in a barn here after their failed enterprise. The farm passed through various families, some of whose names are still remembered by present residents of Hagley, until its demolition in 2002 to make way for housing. This article can be viewed by clicking on the Hollier Farm picture to the right (2.9MB).

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St.John, Baptist, Hagley

1000 years of St.John, Baptist, Hagley

A Saxon church probably existed in Hagley before the Norman Conquest of 1066, and probably on the same site on which St.John’s now stands. The church would have been constructed of timber with wattle and daub and a thatched roof. In this article to mark the millennium in 2000, Jean Pritchard draws on material gathered from Hagley Parish Records and her own previously published work to document one thousand years of the history of St.John’s church. This article can be viewed by clicking on “St.John’s” picture to the left (1.79MB).

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Follies of Hagley Park

Follies of Hagley Park

The 18th Century in England was a time of increased stability and prosperity and we look back on this period as the age of elegance. Nowhere was this more evident than in the landscaping of park lands around large country houses. If ever an architectural feature expressed an aspect of national character, the English love of that peculiarity we call a “folly” does. Hagley park is no exception and in this article from 1994, Tom Pagett takes us on a tour of the park and introduces us to the follies, largely created by George Lyttelton, 5th baronet. The follies featured are Milton’s Seat, Castle, Rotunda, Palladian Bridge, Thomson’s Seat, Grotto, Jacob’s Well, Temple of Theseus, Obelisk, Prince’s Pillar and monuments to Alexander Pope and William Shenstone. To view this article, click on the “Follies of Hagley Park” to the right (0.26MB).

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Descriptions of Old Hagley Park

This article is a brief anthology compiled by Hilda Deeley and Alan Rankin which was originally published in the Hagley Historical Newsletter of May 1975. It is a brief collection of writings by notable people who have visited Hagley Park and have been moved to describe their visits and lavish praise on the park.To view this article, click on the “Deer picture” to the left (0.22MB).

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Hagley Street Names Cover

Junction of Hagley Hill and Stourbridge Road

The Street Names of Hagley and their origins

Is your road name the whim of a builder or does it reflect the old English name of a former field or natural feature near where the road was built? This article is the result of research undertaken by the Field Group in 2000. It attempts where possible to identify the origin of the road names and shows pictures of the buildings, some of which were demolished, to make way for them. To view this article, click on the sketch to the right (1.9MB).

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An introduction to Hagley’s pictorial record

It is a common assumption amongst those who know Hagley, only in its commuter-dormitory guise, that it has no history!

We now know from excavations in 2010 that there is evidence of settlement dating back to the Bronze Age in this area. In this article written in 1984 by Geoffrey Parkes entitled “An introduction to Hagley’s pictorial record”, he gives a brief history of the village and some of the families who featured in it. To view these articles, click on the picture to the left.

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Domesday in North Worcestershire

Domesday in North Worcestershire

Domesday in North Worcestershire

This article is an extract from two entries written in 1986 by Tom Pagett, on the 900th anniversary of the Domesday book – “Look & See” and “The local landscape in 1086″. They were originally published in the Hagley Historical and Field Society newsletters of May and September of that year.

In “Look & See”, we are told that the stone churches which we see today are the successors to the wooden churches which are likely to have existed at the time of Domesday. He encourages us to visit these churches and look carefully for the clues which indicate the different ages of the buildings.

In “The local landscape in 1086″, he explains the the differences you would see in the landscape if you could step back 900 years. To view this article, click on the picture to the right (1.0MB).

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Historic Hagley Projects

Historic Hagley Projects

This book is the result of a number of projects undertaken by members of Hagley Historical and Field Society. The group has been working together since 1990 and the work of the first two years was reported in “Watermill Sites in North Worcestershire”.

Some of the projects have involved fieldwork over the whole parish of Hagley; the Swinford boundaries project involved walking the present day Stourbridge boundary plus the alternatives proposed by other researchers in the past. The Defence of Britain project is nationwide and our contributions are channelled via Worcester to the national data base. Like the Memory Lane contributions the Defence of Britain results depend on the memories of people who were around at the time. A number of residents have helped by taking part in recorded interviews, which have been summarised and written up. To view this article, click on the sketch to the left.

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Hagley 16 19 FrontCover

Hagley – 16th to 19th Century

Hagley in the 16th to 19th century

This publication has grown out of a course of evening classes arranged by the Extramural Studies Department of the University of Birmingham. The idea of the course was derived from the concern of the Parochial Church Council of St.John, Baptist, Hagley, for the condition of the documents in its care and especially for the older material in the Parish Chest. Although the contents were in sound condition, it was necessary to consider either improved methods of housing them or disposing of them to the local record office. To view this article, click on the picture to the right.

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Tithe map of Hagley 1838

Tithe map of Hagley 1838

Demographics of 19th Century Hagley

Using original documents from the parish chest and census returns, Jean Pritchard published a series of articles covering the demographics of Hagley. These covered “Population and Housing”, “Employment” and “Domestic Service and Social Background”. To view these articles, click on the picture to the left.

 

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