A BRIEF HISTORY

 
WYTHALL AND
ST MARY'S
Preface
Introduction
The Ancient Parish
Early Wythall
Pre-conquest Evidence
Medieval Wythworth
The Church Beginnings
Wythall in the Middle Ages
Warwickshire 1567
Wythall 1500 - 1800
The Early Nonconformists
Wythall Chapel 1826
Wythall Chapel 1848
The Growing Parish
St Marys Wythall, Exterior
St Marys Wythall, Interior
Church Description
Incumbents
Organ Specification
Wythall Baptist Church
St Aidan's RC
R A F Wythall
Historical Buildings
Acknowledgments
 
 

Buildings and sites of architectural or historical interest

Over twenty years ago John Burman first pointed out that “Wythall parish contains some interesting houses". 1.The inventory below lists twenty- one buildings of architectural interest and nine archaeological sites within the parish. With the exception of Berry Mound most of the archaeological sites belong to the medieval period, whilst the timber-framed standing buildings appear to be of post-medieval date and bear witness to the ‘Great Rebuilding” and improvement in living conditions which took place between c.1570-1640. Yet because so many of the timber-framed buildings in the parish were extended or altered with brick facing in the 18th. and 19th. centuries, it is very often impossible to detect the earlier evidence until demolition begins and thus earlier structures may await discovery.2 The splendid early 16th century timber-frame of Moundsley Hall was only ‘rediscovered’ in 1939 as the 4˝ inch 19th. century brick skin was removed.

Almost one third of the sites and buildings listed below have been destroyed since the last war, some without adequate record, the most notable losses being the cruck built mill at Peterbrook and the timber-framed house at Barn Hill Farm. Photographs of all the surviving buildings listed below and most of those recently demolished have been deposited in the County Record Office at Worcester. (ref. 5258/7).

Barn Hill Farm (Lea Green Lane SP09127631) ‘T-shaped timber- framed house of two storeys with some wattle and daub infilling. 16th. century and later. First floor was partly jettied over the ground floor wall framing along the south facing the yard. West front with brick nogging pierced by four buttresses to first floor level. East end partly rebuilt in 19th century. Owned by the Wakefield family of Water Orton for almost two hundred years and for a time a branch of the family lived there.3. Demolished 1963, but long timber-framed barn, much rebuilt in brick survives.

Berry Mound (SP095778). Univallate Iron-Age hill fort covering eleven acres.

Blackgreves Farm (Clewshaw Lane SP06587545). Early 17th century brick house now mostly roughcast with two storey porch dated 1827. From the 13th. century a seat of the Bell family whose memory is preserved in several local place and field names such as Bell Green, Grove, Brook and Farm. The house stands on a rectangular island 1201 ft by 1501 ft surrounded on all sides by a wet moat 40 - 50ft wide and crossed on the west by a stone bridge. Traces of an outer moat, still wet in 1840, are visible in the field between the Bell Brook and main moat.

Bleakhouse Farm (Station Road SPO8687549). Around the red brick double range house of the early 19th. century arch remains of a former sub- rectangular moat. It is clearly shown on the Tithe Map of 1840. The home of Richard Bleke in 1550 and possibly that of Peter Blike in 1275.4

Buckhouse (Houndsfield Lane SP08457622) Now only the fragmentary remains of a red brick structure 23’ 6” by 16’ formerly with half-hipped roof and pierced on two sides by brick buttresses. Largely rebuilt 1936 and again 1960. it was used for the storage and preparation of locally grown flax. According to the Tithe Apportionment of 1843 further buckhouses existed at Tanners Green. Crabtree. Malthouse and Chapel Green Farms.

Chapel Green Farm (Chapel Lane SP07327479) Late Ióth./early 17th. century timber-framed structure with brick flogging, some brick refacing and rebuilt east gable facing the road. Good triple fluted brick chimney stacks of star shape with ashlar base.

Cranmore Farm (Batemans Lane SP07267638) Tao bay timber-framed house of c.1600 with later south wing of two storeys. Brick noggin and externally mainly roughcast. Original deeds from the early 17th. century survive. From 1617-47 belonged to Thomas Greves son of Sir Richard Greves of Moseley Hall. In 1793 the farm was purchased by the Cranmore family, who had previously been tenants.

Goodrest Farm (Goodrest Lane SP05007700) Three bay timber-framed house encased in red brick. One hundred yards to the north are the fragmentary remains of a moated site. comprising the south arm and south-eastern angle.

HaIl Farm (Hill Lane SP06207414) A three bay, two storey house externally all red brick but encasing timber-framed structure, the original hall of Weatheroak and a seat of the Field family. Contains two wooden painted panels of 16th. century date and oak panelled priests hiding hole in gable roof accessible through trap door and ante room). 5.

Headley Farm Barn (Middle Lane SP06367665) Three bay timber-framed barn with brick nogging and projecting porch, probably early 17th. century. Recently converted to a private house.

Headley Heath Farm (Headley Heath Lane SP05757700) The farmhouse and barn adjoining the road were of timber-framed construction. again largely rebuilt in brick. From the fragmentary remains visible in 1966 the house was of close set framing to the ground floor with square panels above. Since then the remaining portion of a moat on the eastern side of the yard has been infilled.

HoIly Farm (Silver Street SP07187608) A three bay timber-framed building with brick nogging and partly plastered. According to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government List of 17th. century date.

HolIytree Farm (Dark Lane SP07437746) Four bay timber-framed farmhouse of the 17th. century largely rebuilt in brick. At the west end twin chimney shafts of brick set anglewise to base.

Houndsfield Farm (Houndsfield Lane SP08587631) The site of the Domesday berewick of Hundesfelde and from the 12th. until the 16th. century a grange of Bordesley Abbey. In the early 19th. century estate purchased by Thomas Burman of Lady Lane, Earlswood, for his second son. Richard. who thus became the first of three successive Richard Burmans of Houndsfield. The last died in 1914 and Houndsfield passed to his niece, the late Mrs. M. E. B. Hadley, whose descendants now own the house. It was mainly built in 1895. 6. although a number of earlier farm buildings survive including a long timber-framed barn, partly rebuilt in brick. Stone walls are said to have been found c.1920 to the north of the house “between the servants quarters and greenhouse”. Lower Houndsfleld Farm was a 16th. century building with fluted central chimney stack of brick. It was rebuilt early this century together with a timber-framed barn by the road.

Inkford Brook Farm (Barkers Lane SP07787397) The earliest of the three Inkford farms. L-shaped timber-framed building of the 16th. century with 18th. century additions at the west end. In the early 16th. century this was the home of Humphrey Filde, whose will refers to ‘all my farm that I do hold in Kyngs Norton and SoIly hull’, the river Cole, 250 yards to the south being the parish boundary.7

The Knob (Alcester Road SP07857506) An earthwork windmill mound 80’ in diameter and 5’ 6” high destroyed 1967.

Lonnin End formerly Tanners Green House (SP08577454) An attractive 18th. century two bay brick house of two and a half storeys with three light windows under segmental brick arches. A home of the Grevis family. Its barn and the “Tannery Bark Mill” of 1843 are now both private houses (Kynance and The Coven)

Manor Farm formerly Kidpile Ferns (Station Road SP08767538) Mainly brick and north side rebuilt last century, but with some timber- framing concealed beneath. Tall double flue brick chimney stack of star shape with ashlar foundations to base. Panelling in ground floor room with grape vine design is dated 1613 and bears the initials ‘IF.’, probably referring to a member of the Field family

Maypole Cottage (Crabmill Lane SP07647838) Small timber-framed cottage of the 17th century with brick nogging and formerly thatched.

Moat House (Mill Lane SP0876440) The modern house is surrounded on the south and east by a wet moat and on the north by its now dry earthworks. Probably associated with the manorial watermill of Wythworth.

Moated Site at Pool House (Clewshaw Lane SP06737605) A rectangular moated site has recently been partly infilled. No documentary evidence has been found yet for this site.

Moundsley Hall (Walkers Heath Road SP06037831) Timber-framed building 40’ long by 20’ wide of the early 16th. century only revealed when demolition work began in 1939 on the seemingly 19th. century hall. It appears to have been a house of considerable importance, owned in the 16th. century by the Field family. The Ordnance Survey mark an adjacent poo1 to the west as a moated site, although small-scale excavations in 1940 and 1946 found “no evidence to support this theory, and the existing pool was, in all probability, originally a fish pond.” 8.

Peterbrook Corn Mill (Peterbrook Road SP09837829) Having been derelict for more than thirty years this small corn mill was demolished c.1950. It was a cruck building. probably medieval, with a large chimney. 9.

Tanners’ Green Farm (SP08457457) Red brick conceals timber-frame, probably of the 17th. century and the home of Thomas Collins of ‘Withard Greene’ in 1679. A timber-framed barn with brick nogging lies to the north-east.

Trueman’s Heath Farm (Trueman’s Heath Lane SP09257730) Three bay timber-framed house of the early 17th. century; south front refaced in brick and now roughcast.

Weatheroak Hall (Brockhill Lane SP06197440) An 18th. Century house almost entirely rebuilt in 1884.10

S J Price

Ordnance Survey 2˝ inch map SP07

  1. J Burman In the Forest of Arden (1948), p12
  2. P. Eden Small Houses In England 1520-1820 (1969), p4
  3. Warwick County Record Office, Wakefield Records, CR 638
  4. Houndsfield Licence of Alienation, Worcester County Record Office, BA 2510.f.705; 320. Lay Subsidy Roll for the County of Worcester c.1280 edited J W Willis Bund & J. AmphIett (Worcestershire Historical Society Publications 1993) p67
  5. Squiers Secret Hiding Places (1933) pp. 70-71
  6. J. Burmao ‘lhe Burman Chronicle (1940) p. 95.
  7. H. M. Crant & E. A. B. Barnard The Parish and Church of King’s Norton’in TWAS ~‘o•l. (1 (New Series) 1924-5 p. 129.
  8. E. S Sapcote Moundesley HaU, King’s Norton’ in Transactions of the Birmingham Archaeological Society vol. LXIV (1941-42) pp I 16.19 with plate and plans.
  9. J. Morris Jones Watermills of the Cole and Blythe Valleys Typescript in BI4L 662663 p. 1(3
  10. VCH Worcestershire vol. III p. i6i