The History of Hagley

The Parish.

The parish of Hagley has existed since medieval times based around its ancient core with a new settlement being formed from the end of the 19th century known as Lower Hagley or West Hagley in the area around the Railway Station.

The original village of Hagley developed in the area near Hagley Hall and St Johns Church. Mainly to the west of this was an area of fields, with scattered farms and in the extreme west of the parish an area of heath. There may have been another small village in the parish called Wassell, which is now a hamlet known as Wassell Grove. The parish extended south to incorporate another heath called Blakedown and a few farms at Harborough. Blakedown and Harborough were taken from the parish of Hagley in 1888 and combined with Churchill to form the parish of Churchill and Blakedown. Wassell (now Wassell Grove) has remained essentially a rural area. It is largely separated from the rest of the parish by Hagley Park. The boundaries of the parish of Hagley have hardly been altered otherwise.

West Hagley.

West Hagley was originally a distinct settlement from the original village of Hagley, but has coalesced with the original village as a result of infill development. The earliest settlement, before 1882, consisted of development at the southern end of Worcester Road (West Hagley) and of the adjacent Church Street and Chapel Street. This has become the commercial heart of Hagley, containing its main area of retail shopping and professional services.

This was followed by the building a little further north before the First World War of houses in Station Road, Sweetpool Lane, the northern part of Worcester Road (West Hagley); the western ends of Park Road and Middlefield Road; and Western Road (in Clent Parish). Many of these were larger houses occupied by professionals and businessmen working in Stourbridge and Birmingham, to which they could commute by train from Hagley Station.

Immediately after the First World War, more houses were built, beginning with a ribbon development along Worcester Road (of which one side is in Hagley and the other in Clent). Pinewoods Avenue was built on  art of Clent Lower Heath. In the same period, houses continued further up Middlefield Lane (in Hagley) and cul-de-sacs were built off Sweetpool Lane. This pre-World War II development had the effect of defining the built up area of Hagley. However, a considerable number of green spaces were left between and behind the houses. Most subsequent development has consisted of filling in these gaps.

Hagley Hall.

The manor of Hagley still belongs to the Lyttelton family, whose head is Viscount Cobham. The family still live at Hagley Hall, a listed building standing in grade one landscaped parkland. This was landscaped in the 1750s, when the head of the family was a leading politician. Features of the landscaping include the monument (or obelisk) on Wychbury Hill, which can be seen from many miles around, Hagley Castle (a folly) and the Temple of Theseus (beside A456). The Hall is at times open to visitors see The hall is in the Palladian style, designed by Sanderson Miller. It was rebuilt after suffering a disastrous fire in 1925.

Hagley Parish Council Plan

Hagley Parish council produced a parish plan in 2005 with the intention of Bromsgrove Dictrict Couuncil recognising it as a supplementary planning document designed to help in deciding planning applications, along with highlighting issues that are causing concern amongst the local residents and giving guidance on courses of action that are recommended to alleviate the problems. The Parish Plan had the potential to influence a wide range of organisations and processes that affect the lives of rural communities and everyone that lives in them. Unfortunately Bromsgove District Council  did not adopt the plan. Hagley Parish council still refer to the values set in the plan to this day and therefore still make it available to view here.