Halesowen Conservation Management Plan

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Complete with Plan, Maps, Figures and Gazetteer. 2014

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  • Ian Greig MA MIfA with Michelle Eaton and Stuart C Palmer

    Halesowen Abbey CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN

    Report No 1315 April 2013

    understanding heritage matters

  • Project:

    Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan

    Commissioned by: Win Scutt @ English Heritage Project Report No. 1315 Site Code: DHA13 NGR:

    [5]

    Planning Reference: N/A Staff: Project Manager: Stuart C Palmer Author: Ian Greig (Alauna Heritage) Ecological Survey: WCC Ecological Services Ecology Report: Michelle Eaton Illustrations: Candy Stevens Report checked by:

    Stuart C Palmer

    Date: April 5th 2013 Report reference: Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013

    Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

    Archaeology Warwickshire The Butts Warwick CV34 4SS Tel: 01926 412278 Fax: 01926 412974 fieldarchaeology@warwickshire.gov.uk www.warwickshire.gov.uk/archaeology

  • CONTENTS SUMMARY 1 Introduction

    Background and objectives Site location and designations Ownership, management and current public access Consultations Organisation of this Conservation Management Plan

    PART 1 UNDERSTANDING THE SITE AND ITS SETTING 2 Archaeological and historical background Prehistoric Romano-British Anglo-Saxon, medieval and post-medieval 3 The medieval abbey and post-medieval estate Foundation and construction of the medieval abbey Economy and administration of the medieval abbey Dissolution Post-dissolution history and use of the site 4 Archaeological investigations to date Excavations and watching briefs Building recording and analysis Geophysics Earthwork and landscape survey Other investigations 5 Detailed description and gazetteer Methodology Monastic layout as understood from archaeological investigation and other evidence Existing standing structures and farmyard Surrounding fields and earthworks The setting of the monument 6 Ecological assessment Introduction Methodology Desk-based study Results and conclusions PART 2 HERITAGE VALUES AND SIGNIFICANCE 7 Heritage values Introduction and definition Evidential values

  • Historical value Aesthetic value Communal value 8 Significance

    Introduction and definition Statement of significance PART 3 ISSUES, POLICIES AND PROPOSALS 9 Issues, vulnerabilities and potential Imminent sale and proposed residential conversion Understanding and scheduling Management and public access Condition and threats Issues specifically related to the sale and approved development 10 Conservation principles, legislation and local policies Conservation principles National guidance and legislation Local policies 11 Policies and proposals Overall policies Understanding and scheduling Public access, presentation and management Condition and threats Sale and approved development Acknowledgements Bibliography Appendices A Scheduling description B Listed building description C Non-statutory criteria for assessing the national importance of Ancient Monuments D Statutory criteria for Listed Buildings E List of vertical aerial photographs in English Heritage archive F List of oblique aerial photographs in English Heritage archive G List of aerial photographs held by the Cambridge University Committee for Aerial Photography H Dudley Historic Environment Record data I List of early illustrations of the abbey J List of collections of material from Halesowen Abbey K List of documentary sources L Ecological assessment (full report)

  • List of Tables 1 HER data prehistoric or undated, possibly prehistoric 2 HER data Romano-British or undated, possibly Romano-British 3 HER data medieval or undated 4 Archaeological excavations and watching briefs 5 Building recording and analysis 6 Geophysical surveys 7 Earthwork and landscape survey 8 Other investigations 9 Levels of significance List of figures 1 Site location 2 Guardianship and leased areas 3 Historic Environment Record data 4 Engraving of Halesowen Abbey by S & N Buck, 1731 5 Detail of Halesowen (Lapal) tithe map, 1841 6 Detail of Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map, 1885 7 Detail of Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map, 1904 8 Detail of Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map, 1918 9 Detail of Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map, 1948 10 Detail of Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map, 1955/71 11 Detail of current Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map 12 Air photograph from 1948 showing sports stadium under construction and infilling of

    former ponds in the field between the stadium and the farm access 13 Air photograph, 1952, looking south-west 14 Monastic building layout and previous archaeological work 15 Undated, probably early 20th-century plan in English Heritage archive (ref 853/24) 16 Brakspear's plan of 1906, showing monastic buildings related to the existing farmyard

    buildings as known adn conjectured at that time 17 Halesowen Abbey, 1777, by Thomas Hearn 18 Existing farmhouse from approximately the same viewpoint 19 Interpretative plans by (top) Litherland & Moscrop (nd, fig 23), on English Heritage interpretation panel (centre), sketch plan on EH file ref AA/690734/1 Pt 2 (lower) 20 Interpretative plan by Brown (2005, fig 13) with Scheduled Monument boundary added 21 Buildings and areas described 22 Presbytery N wall, looking NW (photo: English Heritage) 23 Presbytery N wall, looking SW (photo: English Heritage) 24 South transept S (left) and W (right) walls, looking SW 25 South transept S wall looking NW 26 South transept wall adjoining barn, showing condition 27 South transept looking S, showing saplings close to masonry 28 Cloister S wall, looking SE 29 Cloister S wall, looking NW (photo: English Heritage) 30 Cloister W wall fragment in E wall of open-fronted shed, looking SW 31 Cloister W wall fragment in E wall of open-fronted shed, looking NE

  • 32 Open-fronted shed north wall, looking S 33 C17 barn, looking SW 34 C17 barn west wall, looking S 35 C17 barn NW corner, showing moulded string course 36 C17 barn N wall interior E end, showing arch of medieval door 37 C17 barn N wall interior W end, showing fragment of medieval door jamb 38 C17 barn N wall W end, looking W 39 Infirmary west and south elevations, looking NE 40 Infirmary north elevation (photo: English Heritage) 41 Infirmary interior, looking east (photo: English Heritage) 42 Infirmary interior, grave slab built into south wall 43 Infirmary SW corner ground level, cracking 44 Infirmary SW corner first floor level, cracking 45 Farmyard looking east, cloister south wall on right, infirmary right distance 46 Western range of farm buildings, looking NW 47 Western range of farm buildings, looking NE, south transept wall above roof 48 Eastern range of buildings looking NE 49 Eastern range of farm buildings, looking NE from the infirmary 50 Former farmyard north of existing barns, looking E 51 Remains of former open barn, looking E 52 Foundation of former silo 53 Farmhouse west side, looking east 54 Farmhouse south side looking E, showing gabion revetment and altered stream bank profile 55 Area 1a, looking SW from NE corner 56 Area 1a, looking S from NE corner 57 Area 1a, looking W from NE corner along line of low bank or garden walk 58 Area 1a, looking E from NW corner, showing erosion at gate to Area 4 59 Area 1b, looking E 60 Area 1b east side, S end of water-filled channel, looking N 61 Area 1b west side, looking N 62 Area 1b wall to farmyard, looking SE 63 Area 2 eastern side, looking N 64 Area 2 eastern side, looking N 65 Area 2 western side, looking S 66 Area 3, culvert below dam / access causeway, looking W 67 Area 3, looking E, Pond 6 to left 68 Area 3 north side of valley from footpath, looking W 69 Area 3 dam between Ponds 2 and 3, looking N from footpath 70 Area 3 Pond 1, looking W to dam 71 Area 3 Pond 5 erosion at bridge over stream, looking NW 72 Area 3 erosion of dam where crossed by footpath, looking NW 73 Area 3 dam of eastern pond, Halesowen Urban District Council inspection / vent cover 74 Area 3 metal pipe at eastern end, looking SE 75 Area 4, looking W showing its relationship with the house and garden 76 Area 4, looking SE, recent rainwater in the former smaller pond/ditch 77 Area 4 possible former foundation, looking NW 78 Area 5 north side of stream, looking east viewed from top of dam in Area 4, top of hedge between Areas 4 & 5 in foregruond

  • 79 Area 5 north side of stream, looking W from path at east side of field 80 Area 5 dam, looking S from footpath, breach for farm track on left 81 Area 5 south of stream at top of slope, looking NW 82 Area 6 (distance) from Area 5 (near) looking SW, showing boundary fence crossing earthworks (left to right) 83 Area 5, erosion of dam by horses 84 Area 5, erosion and collapse of stream bank, looking E 85 Area 6 double ditch linear earthwork, looking E 86 Area 6 precinct / field boundary bank, looking N 87 Looking from Area 6 NW to de-scheduled valley of Illey Brook 88 Area 6 north side looking NW, showing scheduled dam (foreground) and unscheduled valley floor beyond 89 Area 7, looking SW 90 Area 7, looking NE 91 Area 8 N side, looking SW from Area 2 92 Area 8 S side, looking NW from Area 6 93 Wider setting open country to S, looking S from Area 6 94 Wider setting open country to E, looking E across the southern valley and pond system (Area 5) from SE of the infirmary 95 The buildings in their setting, looking S from the footpath at Manor Way 96 The buildings in their setting, looking SE from the footpath crossing the northern valley and ponds (Area 3) 97 The buildings, looking S from the access near the inner precinct boundary 98 The buildings in their setting, looking NW from the footpath at the SE of the scheduled area 99 Ecological assessment, Phase 1 habitat survey 100 Sale Lots, 2012/3 101 Site layout for residential conversion as approved 102 Internal layout for residential conversion as approved 103 Elevations for residential conversion as approved 104 South transept, looking SW, 18th January 1966 showing farm storage and temporary buildings 105 Infirmary interior, 18th January 1966 showing farm equipment storage 106 Wooded stream at the southern end of site, with higher water level 107 Water-filled channel to east of buildings 108 Stream in northern valley and pond system, with low water level 109 Species richness increased around historic remains in grassland to north and south 110 Unmanaged hedgerow along northern boundary 110 Tree 2, mature oak with fissures and holes

  • Summary Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, lies quiescent on the doorstep of a large conurbation otherwise depleted in historic amenity. It consists of the partial remains of a 13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, mostly incorporated into 17th- and 19th-century barns, a complete medieval building known as the infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south of the former inner precinct. Until the mid-1980s it was part of a working farm, and more recently has been used for equestrian purposes. The barns are mostly redundant as farm buildings, and are in poor or very poor condition. The medieval masonry is in English Heritage guardianship and good condition, except for that which is built into the older barn. English Heritages objective for many years has been to improve the presentation of and public access to the Abbey. This Conservation Plan was commissioned to address these issues, in the light of the impending sale of the site and the granting of planning and listed building consent for conversion of the farmyard buildings to residential use, and concerns expressed by the Halesowen Abbey Trust, which have led to discussions in parliament. The proposed development consists of conversion of the barns into six residential units, with the creation of public rights of way over part of the site linking with the existing footpath network, a small public car park and marking the outline of the church on the ground. It is not certain that this will proceed, as it is understood prospective purchasers are considering an alternative proposal for an events venue with guest accommodation. The Conservation Plan has three main parts: Part 1 Understanding the Abbey site and its setting, which provides a historical overview and a detailed description and gazetteer of the monument as it exists today. Artefacts found during surface survey of the area around the monument suggest the potential for buried remains of prehistoric and Romano-British activity on the monument itself. A pre-monastic feature is initimated from the results of a geophysical survey which depicts a large structure north-east of, but on a different alignment to, the monastic church. The manor of Halesowen was granted by King John to Bishop des Roches who founded a house of Premonstratensian Canons, the first of whom took up residence in 1281. After being dissolved in 1538 the Lyttelton family ( later Lords Cobham) owned it from 1558 until its sale in 1993, for most of this time known as Manor Farm or Manor Abbey Farm. The Plan draws attention to differing interpretations of various features of the site, but does not attempt to resolve them (the 'infirmary', for example, has also been interpreted as the Abbot's lodging and as guest accommodation). The discrete sections of medieval masonry are described as elements following the divisions in the guardianship Asset Management Plan for the site. The surrounding earthworks are grouped as 'assets' for descriptive purposes. Part 1 concludes with an ecological assessment. Part 2 Heritage values and significance, which describes the evidential, historical, aesthetic and communal values of the site, and assesses its significance.

  • Principal heritage values include: evidential value in the standing masonry, earthworks and a high potential for buried remains; aesthetic value in, particularly, the spectacular northern dams and ponds, the infirmary and to a degree the fragmentary medieval structural remains; and historical value as illustrative of monasticism, an important aspect of medieval life, and in its association with des Roches who was an important political figure as well as a churchman. Proximity to a very large population gives the Abbey a considerable communal value as a cultural, educational and amenity resource, although this has been restricted by the limited public access that has been possible to date. As a Scheduled Monument, the site is by definition of national importance and exceptional significance, and each element or asset that is certainly or possibly a component of the abbey is considered to be of this significance (in the case of possible components as a default position unless proved to the contrary). Exceptions are discussed, many as intrusive features. Part 3 Issues, policies and proposals, which discusses issues and vulnerabilities affecting the site, and sets out a series of policies and proposals to guide its future management. Issues and policies/proposals are discussed in broad categories: understanding and scheduling it is suggested that a synthesis drawing together all previous work should be prepared; fieldwork should be carried out on the ditch marking the southern boundary of the Scheduled area (which has been interpreted as either a medieval boundary and water channel or a post-medieval coal quarry) and the scheduling reviewed if appropriate; and the scheduling of the 17th-century barn, the cloister west wall (not currently scheduled), and the area south of the sports stadium also reviewed. public access, presentation and management the objectives of increased public access and securing improved maintenance and presentation could be achieved by an extended guardianship or, possibly by a Section 17 management agreement; various potential issues with increased access are identified, principally traffic/parking, privacy (in relation to the residential conversion or a similar scheme), vandalism and unauthorised activities (to counter which a residential presence is considered essential); additional interpretative material is required; and disabled access should be addressed. condition and threats the poor condition of the farm buildings will be addressed by the proposed conversion, but if this does not proceed their condition and future will remain an issue and an appropriate alternative use will need to be found; there are a few condition issues with the grassed earthwork areas, related to the footpaths and the grazing regime; ecological enhancement of the habitats is desirable and could be achieved without compromising the maintenance of the monument; appropriate maintenance should be achievable through guardianship or a management agreement; a partnership with the local Wildlife Trust may be useful. issues specifically relating to the sale and approved development possible fragmentation of ownership may increase the difficulty of managing the monument; physical impact of development will require appropriate archaeological and historic building recording work. The Plan concludes with Appendices giving data not included in the main text, including lists and tables of archive material and a full ecological assessment.

  • 1 Introduction BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES Background to this Plan 1.1 Halesowen Abbey is a privately-owned Scheduled Ancient Monument, subject to a guardianship agreement. Until recently it was part of an active farm. The farmyard is no longer used for this purpose, although land outside the scheduled area remains cultivated and much of the and within it is used for horse grazing. Discussions about the management of the property involving English Heritage (EH) and its predecessors, the landowners, tenants and other interested parties have led to proposals for a management agreement, a pilot Heritage Protection Reform project, and the initiation of a draft (EH in-house) Conservation Statement, none of which have come to fruition. 1.2 This Conservation Management Plan (CMP) has been commissioned by English Heritage in response to: (i) planning and listed building consent for conversion of the farmyard buildings to

    residential use has been granted (Dudley MBC ref P09/1218 & 1219); (ii) the site is currently for sale; (iii) concerns expressed by the Halesowen Abbey Trust, a local charity, have led to the

    involvement of James Morris MP (Halesowen and Rowley Regis), and discussions in parliament.

    Objectives of the Plan 1.3 This plan has been prepared to inform discussions about the development and other issues, and to provide a framework to assist future policy and management decisions where these might impact on the cultural and heritage significance of the site. To achieve this, its specific objectives were to:

    (i) summarise the history and development of the site.

    (ii) assess and define its heritage, cultural and community significance.

    (iii) identify opportunities to enhance public enjoyment and understanding of the site.

    (iv) identify any issues and vulnerabilities affecting the site and its use.

    (v) propose policies and guidance for the management and use of the site.

  • SITE LOCATION AND DESIGNATIONS Location 1.4 Halesowen is c.8 miles (11km) south-west of Birmingham and c.5 miles (8.5km) south of Dudley, on the southern edge of the West Midlands conurbation and the Black Country, with a population of about 55,000. For local government purposes it is within the Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council area. The southern boundary of the town is marked by the dual-carriageway road known as Manor Way (the A456). The remains of Halesowen Abbey lie c.0.6 mile (1km) south-east of the town centre, south of Manor Way, and form part of Manor Abbey Farm (Fig 1). The monastic (and farm) buildings are situated between two streams running roughly east to west in shallow valleys, joining the Illey Brook which flows south-east to north-west to the west of the site. The geology is sandstone and clay with alluvium in the valleys, and there are thin seams of coal and limestone. Designations 1.5 Halesowen Abbey (Scheduled Ancient Monument No. 21568), scheduled originally in 1915 as Worcestershire Monument (No. 2), was revised in 1975 to include the fishponds and other earthworks within the precinct. It was again revised in 1995, when part of the site that had been destroyed by building the sports stadium, and other areas in which the presence of archaeological remains was not certain, were excluded. It excludes the farmhouse (which cannot be scheduled, because it is a dwelling house) and certain post-medieval and modern buildings, yard surfaces, fences and similar modern structures (Appendix A, Scheduling Description). The monument consists of a medieval building, variously interpreted as the infirmary, guest house or abbot's lodging (henceforth infirmary, as this is the term by which it is usually known), plus fragmentary remains of the church and claustral buildings, some of which are incorporated into post-medieval farm buildings. Surrounding the remains of the building complex are various earthworks including, in the valleys to the north and south of the monastic buildings, a number of fishponds and dams which are mostly in good condition and of striking appearance. 1.6 Since 1950 the surviving standing medieval masonry has also been a Grade I Listed Building (Appendix B, Listing Description). The Borough Council has sought external advice on the extent of the listing, in particular whether the Victorian farmhouse is included. It was concluded that the position regarding the farmhouse is arguable but that, on balance, it is probably included by virtue of being within the curtilage of the Listed Building. This conclusion was reached on the basis that the farmhouse is very close to one element of the listed standing medieval fabric (which forms part of its garden boundary), and that it was in situ prior to 1st July 1948. It was also concluded that all but one of the post-medieval barns were listed because they are physically attached to parts of the Listed Building, the possible exception being the stable to the north-east of the medieval infirmary buidling, which although close, is completely separate (Petchey 2004). This contradicts a previous view taken by the council in 1994 that the farmhouse was not listed, which was given in good faith but appears to have been based on a misunderstanding of the age of the farmhouse by English Heritage at the time.

  • 1.7 Land to the south of Manor Way is designated Green Belt, which includes the whole of the abbey site. Various elements of the Borough UDP have been replaced by the Black Country Core Strategy (adopted February 2011), but retaining the UDP mapping. The site is within a Landscape Heritage Area (Policy ENV 2, replacing UDP Policy HE2), and includes Sites of Importance for Local Nature Conservation (Policy ENV 1, replacing Policy NC5). All trees on that part of the site within Manor Farm are subject to the Manor Farm, Halesowen Tree Preservation Order 1993 (ref D389); in practice this includes the entire Scheduled Monument except for a small area south of the sports stadium, which is in separate ownership and is not covered by the TPO (1.3.1 below). OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CURRENT PUBLIC ACCESS 1.8 The site is in private ownership. It was the property of the Lyttelton family (latterly Lord Cobham) from the 16th to the 20th centuries. A small part of the Scheduled area immediately south of the sports track has been owned by the Halesowen Athletics & Cycling Club since it was sold by the Cobham Estate for the construction of the stadium in the 1940s. The majority of the Scheduled area forms part of Manor Abbey Farm, which was sold in 1993 to the present owners who live in the former farmhouse on the site. At the time of writing the farm (of 242 acres) is for sale by private treaty, divided into 8 Lots (FGJS 2012). It is understood that negotiations are proceeding with a prospective purchaser, but at the time of writing these are not yet complete. 1.9 Parts of the Scheduled area are covered by a lease and a guardianship agreement between the Secretary of State for the Environment and Lord Cobham, both dated 11th October 1976. The lease is for 99 years at a nominal rent (5p per annum), and gives the Secretary of State: (i) the site of, and right to construct, a small car park (light blue on Fig 2); (ii) the site of, and right to construct, toilets and a custodian's hut (light blue); (iii) vehicle and pedestrian access as far as the proposed car park, and pedestrian access

    from there to the infirmary building (brown and dark blue respectively). The right to construct the car park, toilets and hut has not been exercised. The pedestrian access should, under the agreement, be fenced but this is not presently the case (but see public access discussion below). 1.10 Under the guardianship agreement, the Secretary of State: (i) maintains those walls consisting of or containing standing medieval masonry (black

    on Fig 2); (ii) has rights to erect scaffolding and ladders immediately around such walls (light green

    and pink); (iii) has the right of vehicular and pedestrian access for works purposes, and the right to

    create a works compound (dark green);

  • (iv) has rights of access on foot, for inspection and maintenance purposes, to the walls being maintained.

    1.11 The agreement also provides for public access by vehicle and on foot as far as the proposed car park (brown on Fig 2), and on foot via the demarcated path (dark blue) to the infirmary building, as also described in the lease (1.3.2 above). It is understood that there is currently an informal arrangement with the site owners for them to store a limited amount of equipment in the infirmary building (William du Croz, English Heritage, pers comm). 1.12 The Halesowen Abbey Trust is a charitable trust set up in 1986. It has no formal role in the management of the site but aims to promote and help safeguard it, and liaises with English Heritage over matters of common interest. Its purposes, as registered with the Charity Commission, are:

    (i) to promote high standards of planning and architecture in or affecting the Area of

    Benefit [defined as within a c.2 mile radius of St Mary's Abbey, Halesowen]; (ii) to educate the public in the geography, history, natural history and architecture of the

    Area of Benefit; (iii) to secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of

    historic or public interest in the Area of Benefit. 1.13 A public footpath crosses the northern part of the site, adjacent to and crossing the northern fishponds. At its nearest it is c.100m from the building remains, of which it provides a reasonable, if distant, view of some but not all; it is not normally possible to get closer to the buildings. A public footpath also passes the eastern end of the southern group of ponds. Until stopped by the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak of 2001, public access to the monument beyond that provided by the footpaths had been by means of occasional Open Days organised by English Heritage and operated by EH staff and volunteers from the Halesowen Abbey Trust. It is understood these restarted in 2008 or 2009, but ceased again after the 2011 season. The English Heritage website advertises that until 31st March 2014 the site is open to view from the public footpath only (no admission charge). As mentioned above (1.3.2) the intention to provide the limited visitor facilities envisaged by the guardianship agreement has not been implemented. There is a nameboard at the entrance by Manor Way, and three interpretative panels inside the infirmary, but no other display material. CONSULTATIONS 1.14 The following bodies, groups and individuals were invited to comment during the preparation of first draft of this Plan, and on the various drafts. Their comments have been incorporated in part 3 of the Plan as appropriate. Site owners Mr & Mrs Tudor

  • Local civic and amenity organisations: Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (Mr P Boland, Principal Conservation Officer) Halesowen Abbey Trust (Mr M Freer, Hon Secretary) English Heritage Assistant Property Curator (Mr W Scutt) Estates Surveyor (Mr W du Croz) Inspector of Ancient Monuments (Mr I George) Education Manager (Mr D Sheldon) Events Manager (Mrs C Evans) Marketing Manager (Ms S. White) Health & Safety (Mr G Stone) Tony Fleming, Corey Lane and Nick Molyneux of English Heritage also provided information and assistance. 1.15 The following additional consultees commented on the first and second drafts of the Plan: [ADD when those stages reached if necessary] 1.16 In due course the Plan will be made available for wider consultation and public comment, following which the Plan reviewed and updated as necessary. ORGANISATION OF THIS CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN 1.7 The main body of the Plan is in three parts: Part 1 Understanding the site and its setting, establishes the history and development

    Halesowen Abbey and its setting, and provides a detailed description and gazetteer of the site as it exists today.

    Part 2 Significance, outlines the methodology used to assess heritage values and

    significance, describes the evidential, historical, aesthetic and communal values of the site, and asseses its significance.

  • Part 3 Issues, policies and proposals, which discusses various factors affecting the management and use of the site, suggests options to address the issues identified, and proposes a series of policies to guide its future management.

    1.5.2 The report concludes with an acknowledgements section, the bibliography and a series of Appendices giving full details of a number of subjects to which cross-reference is made in the main text, including a summary of archive material relevant to the site. PART 1 UNDERSTANDING THE SITE AND ITS SETTING 2 Archaeological and Historical Background 2.1 This section is based on data from the Dudley Historic Environment Record (HER), from a study area of 250m radius centred approximately on the south-east corner of the Scheduled Monument, supplemented by historical information from other sources as necessary. Undated sites are listed under the most likely period(s), except for a possible structure indicated by geophysics which is considered separately (section 2.5). The HER distribution is shown on Fig 3, and records relevant to each period are tabulated below to save lengthy lists of numbers in the text. A table of the full HER data is given in Appendix H. (Undated and post-medieval or modern records that do not assist interpretation are not discussed below, but are included in Appendix G.) The history of the abbey is covered separately in section 3. PREHISTORIC 2.2 No certain evidence for settlement or significant occupation is known within the study area, but prehistoric activity is shown by numerous finds made during fieldwalking, mainly by members of the Wychbury Field Walking Group (Table 1). Much of the worked flint can only be dated broadly as mesolithic to Bronze Age, with exceptions such as a Bronze Age barbed-and-tanged arrowhead (12390), and a hammer stone dated as palaeolithic to neolithic (12794). Several concentrations of burnt stones have been recorded. These are intrinsically undateable, but are often associated with prehistoric activity. On the HER they are frequently described as indicating 'burnt mounds', a feature consisting of a large quantity of heat-cracked stone usually interpreted as either a type of sauna or a communal cooking place, and dated to the Bronze Age (EH 2011a), but they are common finds on many of the Iron Age settlements in the region. The dating and identification should therefore be treated with caution. A number of cropmarks or possible cropmarks are known from aerial photographs. Most are undated and could be prehistoric or later, although some have more characteristically prehistoric attributes, such as the possible Bronze Age ring ditches (4136, 4137).

  • Table 1 HER data prehistoric or undated possibly prehistoric

    HER Number Date Site Name / description 1793 undated Ten Acres, Foxcote: ?Cropmark.

    1794 undated Manor Way;close to: ?Cropmark.

    1795 undated Ten Acres: ?Cropmark.

    4136 Bronze Age? Colt Leasow, Lapal; cropmark - ring ditch?

    4137 Bronze Age? Ten Acres: cropmark - possible ring ditch.

    4140 undated Ten Acres: Sub circular enclosure.

    4871 prehist/ BA? Colt Leasow; Heat Crazed Stones Found

    7406 mesolithic Abbey Fields flint scatter

    8539 undated Illeybrook Farm: Enclosure cropmark

    8542 undated Illey Hall Farm: Enclosure cropmark.

    12296 prehistoric Nine Acre Flat Piece; Flint scraper

    12360 mesolithic-BA Flat Piece; Flint Artefacts

    12363 mesolithic-BA Gig Pit Leasow; flint flake.

    12388 mesolithic-BA Flat Piece; Flint Artefacts

    12390 Bronze Age Flat Piece; Bronze Age Arrowhead

    12460 undated [prehist?] The Parks; Flint piece

    12641 undated/RO? Manor Way; Cropmarks

    12690 undated Illey Brook Farm; Holloway II

    12699 undated Holly Leasow; Circular Earthwork

    12718 Bronze Age Illey Brook East; Heat Crazed Stones

    12726 prehistoric Illey Brook - East; Broken pebbles

    12727 undated Upper Rushy Piece; lineal cropmark

    12736 Bronze Age Burnt Mound Material.

    12778 Iron Age Bog Quebb Field; Pot sherd

    12782 prehistoric Bog Quebb Field; Burnt Stones

    12783 Bronze Age Hilly Quebb Field; Burnt Stones.

    12784 Bronze Age Bog Quebb Field; Burnt Stones.

    12785 Bronze Age Colt Leasow Field; Burnt Stones

    12786 Bronze Age Colt Leasow; Burnt Stones

    12787 Bronze Age Lower Abbey Oaks Field; Burnt Stones

    12788 Bronze Age Lower Abbey Oaks Field; Burnt Stones

    12789 Bronze Age Lower Park; Burnt Stones

    12790 Bronze Age Nine Acre Flat Piece; Burnt Stones

    12791 Bronze Age Fout Acre Flat Piece; Burnt Stones

    12792 Iron Age - medieval Hilly Quebb Field; Clay Spindle Whorl

    12794 palaeolithic/neolithic Hilly Queb Field; Flint Hammer Stone

    12795 prehistoric Hilly Quebb Field; Piece of flint.

    12902 prehistoric Lower Leasow, Worked flint

    12905 mesolithic- BA Colt Leasow; Flint Artefacts

    12906 mesolithic Flint Artefacts

    12907 mesolithic- BA Flint Artefacts

    12908 mesolithic- BA Flint Artefacts

    12918 mesolithic- BA Long Quebb Field; Flint Flake

    12919 mesolithic- BA Hilly Quebb; Flint Artefacts

    12920 mesolithic- BA Hilly Quebb Field; Flint Artefact.

    12923 mesolithic- BA Colts Leasow: Flint Artefacts

    12924 mesolithic- BA Barn Close; Flint Artefacts

    12927 mesolithic- BA Four Acre Field; Flint Artefacts

  • ROMANO-BRITISH 2.3 As for the prehistoric period, much of the Roman evidence comes from finds made during fieldwalking, in this case of pottery and other artefacts (Table 2). It is also possible that some of the undated cropmarks visible in aerial photographs are of this date. One, in particular, has been suggested as representing a Romano-British villa, partly based on its morphology and partly due to finds of Roman material from the vicinity, although a magnetometer survey did not confirm the identification (12723). The evidence suggests occupation in the vicinity, possibly based on the postulated villa, but no major settlement. Table 2 HER data Romano-British or undated

    HER Number Date Site Name / description 1793 undated Ten Acres, Foxcote: ?Cropmark.

    1794 undated Manor Way;close to: ?Cropmark.

    1795 undated Ten Acres: ?Cropmark.

    4140 undated Ten Acres: Sub circular enclosure.

    8539 undated Illeybrook Farm: Enclosure cropmark

    8542 undated Illey Hall Farm: Enclosure cropmark.

    12297 Roman Field Barn Close; Roman Rim

    12364 Roman Gig Pit Leasow; Roman pot sherd.

    12368 Roman Chattery Wood; Roman pot sherd.

    12373 Roman Colts Leasow; Roman Pottery Sherd

    12387 Roman Flat Piece; Roman Pot Scatter.

    12443 Roman Plat Piece; Mortaria Rim.

    12458 Roman Ten Acres; Roman Pottery

    12641 undated/RO? Manor Way; Cropmarks

    12699 undated Holly Leasow; Circular Earthwork

    12722 Roman Manor Way; Roman Sherds.

    12723 undated/RO? Illey Lane; Cropmark - Roman Villa?

    12810 Roman Flat Piece Field; White Bead

    12811 Roman Flat Piece Field; Samian Ware

    12903 Roman Lower Leasow, Roman Sherds

    ANGLO-SAXON, MEDIEVAL AND POST-MEDIEVAL 2.4 There is no archaeological evidence for occupation in the study area in the Anglo-Saxon period, although the Domesday Survey of 1086 records that before the Norman Conquest the manor of Hales was owned by Olwine, and thereafter Roger, Earl of Shrewsbury. It was he who removed the manor from Worcestershire and made it a detached part of Shropshire, which it remained until the early 19th century when it was again incorporated into Worcestershire. In the 12th century it reverted to royal control for a period, becoming known as Hales Owen, in recognition of the marriage of Henry II's sister to David, son of Owen, Prince of Wales. In 1214 the manor was granted to Peter des Roches for the purposes of founding a religious house, and was thereafter controlled by the abbey as long as it existed. The borough of Halesowen was founded under the auspices of the abbey in 1270 (3.2 & 3.13 below; Hemingway 2001; VCH 1913, 136-146). 2.5 The Dudley HER has three entries directly relating to the abbey: 873 and 12801, referring to its status as Scheduled Ancient Monument and Listed Building respectively, and

  • 7246, the site of foundations and a cobbled surface found during road widening in 1938 and interpreted as remains of the medieval gatehouse and access road to the monastic outer precinct; the last were destroyed by further road widening in the later 20th century when the present dual carriageway was constructed (Table 3; section 3 below). Other entries within the study area refer to medieval landscape features such as the possible pillow mounds (4138, 4139), but the majority are fieldwalking finds of pottery and tile fragments. The floor tile and medieval pottery probably originated with the abbey, and would have been deposited with manuring of the surrounding fields. Some of the undated cropmark features may be medieval, but are perhaps more likely to be earlier. There are also several records of ridge and furrow cultivation; these are not included in Table 3. Ridge and furrow specifically relevant to the abbey site is discussed in section 5.2.20 below. Table 3 HER data medieval or undated possibly medieval

    HER Number Date Site Name / description 873 medieval St Mary's Abbey, Halesowen.

    1793 undated Ten Acres, Foxcote: ?Cropmark.

    1794 undated Manor Way;close to: ?Cropmark.

    1795 undated Ten Acres: ?Cropmark.

    1796 undated Middle Abbey Oaks; Pond Feature

    4138 medieval Ten Acres: Possible Pillow Mound.

    4139 medieval Ten Acres: Possible pillow mound.

    4140 undated Ten Acres: Sub circular enclosure.

    7246 medieval Halesowen Abbey Gatehouse Manor Way

    8539 undated Illeybrook Farm: Enclosure cropmark

    8542 undated Illey Hall Farm: Enclosure cropmark.

    10595 medieval? The Queb, Manor Abbey; Cropmarks.

    12295 medieval Nine Flat Acre Piece: Medieval Tile

    12342 medieval Lapal Township.

    12365 medieval Barn Close; Scatter of Med. sherds.

    12366 medieval Flat Piece; medieval pot sherds.

    12367 medieval Gig pit Leasow; Medieval pot scatter

    12369 medieval Chattery Wood; Medieval pot sherd

    12370 medieval Four Acre Flat Piece; Medieval pot

    12371 medieval Ten Acres; Medieval pot sherd.

    12372 medieval The Four Acres; Medieval potsherd

    12374 medieval Colts Leasow; Medieval Pottery

    12389 medieval Flat Piece; Medieval pot sherds.

    12391 medieval Flat Piece; Medieval Tile

    12440 medieval Bottoms Field; Holloway.

    12690 undated Illey Brook Farm; Holloway II

    12692 medieval Illey Brook Farm; R & F Furlong

    12699 undated Holly Leasow; Circular Earthwork

    12724 undated Frankley; Foredrove Holloway.

    12727 undated Upper Rushy Piece; lineal cropmark

    12779 medieval Bog Quebb Field; Med. Pot Handles

    12781 medieval Middle Abbey Oaks Field; Med. Tile

    12801 medieval St Mary's Abbey, Halesowen.

    12813 medieval Lower Abbey Oaks; medieval tile in Ditch/Pit Fill.

  • 2.6 The post-medieval history and use of the abbey site is discussed in section 3 below. The HER contains one post-medieval record directly relating to the 'moat' to the east of the monastic building complex (4329), discussed in more detail in sections 5.2.7-8 below, and two of relevance to the periphery of the Scheduled area: the site of Manor Lane Colliery (7245), between the Scheduled area and Manor Way (7245); and the route of the Dudley No 2 Canal (7371), now disused and filled-in, which borders the north-east of the Scheduled area. The colliery started operations in 1864 and is shown on the First Edition Ordnance Survey Map, but closed in 1887 because the coal deposit proved to be much thinner than anticipated. UNDATED 2.7 A geophysical survey in 2003 (Kincey 2003; not recorded on the HER) examined two areas: immediately north-east of the abbey church, and the double ditch linear feature at the southern boundary of the Scheduled area. The latter suggested the possible presence of a mill related to the monastic water system, and is discussed below (5.2.11). 2.8 The results adjacent to the abbey church suggested the presence of a large structure on a completely different alignment. This contrasts with previous geophysics in the field west of the present farm access where possible structures, although separate from the known church and claustral buildings, were on a similar alignment. It was interpreted as an 'earlier phase building'. Given the alignment it seems unlikely to be monastic, and there is no other evidence to suggest a large post-dissolution building in this position. If genuine, it is probably therefore pre-monastic, possibly earlier medieval although the plan in the survey report bears some resemblance to a Roman wing corridor villa (Fig 14; Kincey 2003, fig 19). PRE-MONASTIC ARCHAEOLOGICAL POTENTIAL 2.9 The quantity of material recovered during fieldwalking in the surrounding area suggests that the site may contain evidence of many other periods in addition to remains of the medieval abbey. It is not possible to carry out fieldwalking within the scheduled area; apart from the legal restrictions, it is entirely down to pasture apart from the buildings and hard standings of the farmyard. There are no records of pre-monastic finds from the excavations on the site, but most of these have been entirely focussed on the abbey. It is likely that the absence of records of such material from within the scheduled area reflects the lack of archaeological work rather than the true potential. 2.10 The only indication of pre-monastic evidence from the scheduled area to date is the differently-aligned building close to the abbey church, suggested by the 2003 geophysical survey. 3 The Medieval Abbey and Post-medieval Estate 3.1 This section is not intended to provide a fully-comprehensive study, but to summarise the history and development of the abbey in sufficient detail to provide a context for the monument as it exists today, and enable its evolution to be understood. It is based on existing reports by Hunt (1979), Marsden (1986), Litherland & Moscrop (nd), Brown (2005), and Brindle (nd) which themselves cite many earlier references, and generally no further

  • reference to these reports is given in the text below. Where they are contradictory, or significant statements have a specific source in one of these or elsewhere, a discussion and full referencing is given. FOUNDATION AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE MEDIEVAL ABBEY 3.2 In 1214 the manor of Halesowen was granted by King John to Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, for the purposes of founding a religious house of an order to his choice. He selected the Premonstratensian Canons, whose existing house at Welbeck, Nottinghamshire, provided the first canons at the new Abbey of St Mary, Halesowen, in 1218. Like the Cistercians, the Canons preferred a secluded location. It is thought that the first buildings of the new abbey were probably temporary timber structures which were progressively replaced by permanent buildings of stone, as payments and grants of materials by the king (John's son Henry III from 1216) to des Roches and his successor for building work at Halesowen are recorded until 1241-2. The creation of the abbot's park is recorded from 1290. 3.3 Further phases of building followed. The Court Rolls of 1293 note that the mason building a new hall had not yet completed it. Also in 1293, Edward I granted a licence to crenellate 'certain buildings which have been recently built'. This has frequently been taken as further evidence for building work at Halesowen Abbey, Hunt (1979, 8) going so far as to suggest it could have been necessitated by the known serious disputes between the abbey and its tenants in the manor, which on occasions led to violence (3.5 below). It should perhaps be taken with caution, as Brown (2005, 13) points out that Coulson (1982, 93) considers that the licence actually refers to Hailes Abbey in Gloucestershire rather than Halesowen Abbey. However, a note on a website states that 'Coulson recorded this as Hailes, Gloucesterbut he now accepts this identification is wrong' (Davis 2012); no reference or evidence for this statement is given, and it is not known whether it is correct. 3.4 Other buildings or rooms are mentioned in the records, but not in a context which can date their construction or identify their location. A prison was mentioned in 1293. An inventory on the death of the abbot in 1505 refers to the Abbot's Chamber, a new chamber, the treasure house, middle chamber and botulphos[?] chamber. ECONOMY AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE MEDIEVAL ABBEY 3.5 The manor of Halesowen remained the abbey's main endowment throughout its life, although other lands were obtained subsequently. At the foundation of the abbey, settlement in the manor consisted of scattered hamlets rather than larger nucleated villages, in addition to Halesowen itself. It has been suggested that this dispersion made it difficult for the abbey to exert its authority, and led to many years of intermittent litigation and occasional violence (Marsden 1986, 9-10). In the 13th century the abbey was granted the right to found a borough at Halesowen; Hunt (1979, 8) quotes the date of the charter as 1270. There were also disputes between the abbey and the borough. Much of the land in the manor was farmed as granges under the overall control of the abbey; Litherland & Moscrop (nd, 37) have a summary of identifications, as far as possible, of the thirteen recorded at the dissolution.

  • 3.6 There were no manorial mills at the time of the abbey's foundation, but one was built shortly afterwards and by the late 13th century the abbey had two. Marsden (1986, 7) points out that there is no documentary evidence to confirm whether these were within the abbey site or elsewhere, although Litherland & Moscrop (nd, 35) note a suggestion by Holliday (1871, 64) that one or more may have been adjacent to the southern boundary of the inner precinct, or associated with the double ditch of the southern outer precinct boundary. Brown (2005) identifies a number of possible mill sites. Possible mill locations on the site are discussed further in section 5.2 below. 3.7 Metalworking and other non-agricultural industries were carried out in the area, but there is no firm evidence for ironworking on the abbey site itself. Small quantities of blast-furnace slag were found in a stream bed during a landscape survey in 2005. These were probably post-medieval, but it was suggested that the possibility of medieval ironworking at the abbey should not be dismissed entirely; iron-working is known to have taken place at monasteries, and there is a potential local parallel at Bordesley Abbey, Redditch, where this has been demonstrated by excavation (Brown 2005, 33-4, citing Astill et al 2005, 153). 3.8 A major element of the abbey's expenditure was the provision of hospitality for travellers and visitors. The Order's statutes included a requirement to provide hospitality and alms for the poor, and to maintain a guest house. The position of Halesowen Abbey on a major route does seem to have imposed a heavy burden in this respect, and the records suggest that a substantial proportion went towards providing for the travelling nobility (as often the case) rather than the local or visiting poor (Marsden 1986, 16). 3.9 Although not one of the largest, Halesowen was a relatively wealthy house. It had seventeen canons in 1489, more than the average for Premonstratensian houses, four of whom were based at detached vicarages. Its annual income value was assessed at 280 in 1535, making it the fourth-richest Premonstratensian abbey in the country (Brown 2005, 15). Amongst its possessions were valuable plate, vestments and two silver reliquary busts, one being of St Kenelm, a local 9th-century martyr prince whose feast day (13th December) became the abbey's feast day in 1223. DISSOLUTION 3.10 Halesowen escaped the first round of dissolutions in 1536 because its annual income was above 200, the figure chosen to define the so-called lesser monasteries with a value below this, which were dissolved in that year. However, as with all the monastic houses the reprieve was only temporary, and Halesowen's last abbot, William Taylor, surrendered the abbey on 9th June 1538 (VCH 1971, 162-6). The date has often been quoted wrongly as 1536, for example by Marsden (1986, 8), Litherland & Moscrop (nd, 9) and even the current Scheduling description (Appendix A). Of the sources mentioned in 3.1 above, Hunt (1979), Brown (2005, 15) and Brindle (nd), are correct. 3.11 There are no detailed records of actual demolition work at Halesowen, but the Augmentation Accounts for 1539 record the sale of 'moveables, plate, lead, bells and buildings of the late monastery of Hales Owen'. The Halesowen churchwardens' accounts for the same year note payments for moving the rood screen from the abbey to the church, acquiring and setting up the organs, the table/picture of St Kenelm and carriage of other miscellaneous items from the abbey (Hunt 1979, 30-1; VCH 1971, 162-166).

  • 3.12 The full extent of the initial demolition is not known, but was obviously not total. The object of the King's Commissioners was to remove anything of value, such as the lead from the roof, and to ensure that the buildings could not be used for monastic purposes. The earliest known drawing is by S and N Buck, 1731 (Fig 4). It shows much more extensive remains than now survive, although most authors agree that it is not entirely accurate. The site continued in occupation (3.5 below), so residential accommodation must have remained, and probably buildings in agricultural use as well, though none can be seen in the Buck drawing. Later 18th-century illustrations do show such buildings, most now gone. POST-DISSOLUTION HISTORY AND USE OF THE SITE 3.13 On the dissolution of the abbey, the King granted the manor of Halesowen to Sir John Dudley (later made Duke of Northumberland). In 1549 he granted 'the mansion of the manor of Hales' to his steward, George Tuckey. It is assumed that Tuckey lived at the abbey, the accommodation it provided including a 'hall, buttery, kitchen and all the chambers', the mill and gardens, stables etc (Brown 2005, 15; Gregory nd, 155). However, it is not clear where the residential accommodation presumably the 'mansion' was at the time. Four possibilities have been suggested: the former abbot's lodging either in the surviving medieval building or in the building formerly on the site of the present farmhouse, or a conversion of part of the church. These are discussed further in sections 5.2.3-6 below. 3.14 In 1558 Sir John's successor, Sir Robert Dudley (later Earl of Leicester), sold the manor to Tuckey and Thomas Blount. Some authors describe Tuckey as a servant rather than a steward, but the conveyance, transcibed in Gregory (nd, 153) refers to both men as 'Esquire'. This a term for a gentleman, so the description as steward akin to an estate manager, a respected position often held by persons of some substance in their own right is probably more appropriate. A canon by the name of Thomas Blount is recorded as resident at the abbey on its dissolution, and may be the same person. Later in 1558 Tuckey and Blount sold the manor on to John (later Sir John) Lyttelton. The abbey remained in the ownership of his heirs until sold by Lord Cobham to the present owners in 1993. 3.15 Little seems to be known about the later history of the abbey site. 'Manor Park' was recorded in an indenture of 1653, but it is not known whether this is the same as the abbot's park mentioned in 1290. In the mid-18th century local poet and landscape gardener William Shenstone used stone from the Abbey to build a folly, 'Halesowen Priory', in his Leasowes Garden; the building no longer exists thought the gardens remain (Register of Parks & Gardens of National Importance, list No. 1001204). Since its acquisition by the Lyttelton family it has been let to tenant farmers. Hunt (1979, 34-5) gives a comprehensive list through to the late 20th century, although by the time the farm was purchased by the present owners in 1993 the farmhouse was unoccupied and boarded-up, and the farm managed directly by the Cobham estate. 3.16 The earliest detailed map showing the abbey and environs is the Halesowen (Lapal) Tithe map, surveyed in 1841 (Fig 5). The surrounding fields are shown only in outline. Within the building complex, it shows the predecessor to the existing farmhouse which appears to be similar, as far as can be seen, to that painted by Hearne in 1777 and is presumably the same building (Fig 17). The medieval infirmary is shown, as is the 17th-century barn although its outline is slightly different to present, probably due to early additions which were later removed. The existing eastern range of barns did not then exist;

  • the building that is shown to the south-east of the 17th-century barn may be that on the 1885 Ordnance Survey map, although as drawn it is not exactly the same (3.17 below). There is a pond in the enclosure between this building and the infirmary. Other outbuildings are shown, some of which can be related to early illustrations. None of these now exist. East of the buildings, the existing 'moat' is shown, to the north of which is a watercourse forming the northern boundary of enclosure No 270, where it terminates. Brown (2005, 29) describes this as a contour leat; this is discussed in more detail in section 5.2.8. 3.17 Ordnance Survey maps illustrate changes to the site from the late 19th century. The First Edition map of 1885 shows the colliery to the north, and the northern group of former fish ponds is clearly marked (Fig 6). To the west of the access drive from Manor Way there is a further large dry pond with a narrow southwards projection. Slightly further south, what appears to be a narrow embankment runs NE-SW along the north-west side of the stream as far as Illey Brook. Between the northern ponds and the farm/abbey building complex the present single field is divided into three (land parcels Nos 152-4), of which that at the east is planted with trees. The 'moat' forming the eastern boundary to the complex is much the same as today, but the contour leat shown on the tithe map has mostly disappeared, leaving only a short stretch heading west from the north end of the moat. Within the farm building complex, the existing western range of barns is present, with the southwards extensions added to the 17th-century barn. To the east of it is a range in the form of an inverted L, further west than the present buildings; this may be the building shown on the tithe map, but it is not drawn sufficiently accurately to be certain. South of the track between the farmhouse and the infirmary are two small outbuildings, and to the north of the infirmary is the existing small stable. South of the buildings, the ponds and remainder of the site are similar to today except that, interestingly, the double-ditch earthwork marking the southern boundary of the Scheduled Ancient Monument is not shown, although the fish pond dam adjoining it to the east does appear. 3.18 The 1904 map shows little change except that the colliery is shown as disused, and within the farmyard complex the eastern range of barns on the 1885 map has been replaced by the existing building, further to the east (Fig 7). The 1918 map is again similar, the only significant change being the construction of a large W-E orientated open-sided barn in field 154, north of the existing barns (Fig 8). 3.19 The 1948 map shows Manor Lane as first widened in 1938 (Fig 9). The farm complex is the same as on earlier 20th-century maps, but a major difference is the appearance of the sports stadium to the west, terraced into the slope and taking part of the field to the west of the farm access, obliterating much of the large pond and ditch; the map shows no boundary separating it the from rest of the field at this time. The terracing at the south of the track appears to extend up to, and possibly cut into, the NE-SW embankment on the north-west side of the stream shown on previous maps, and to have altered its shape adjacent to Illey Brook. A recent Halesowen Abbey Trust report, quoting a brochure produced for the opening of the ground in 1949, notes that land for the construction of the stadium was sold by Lord Cobham in 1945, with a further strip on the east in 1946. The former fishpond was filled with clinkers provided by Birmingham Corporation, and the excavations apparently encountered sandstone masonry just below the surface, presumably remains of the abbey buildings. The extent of the infilling, and the work on the bank at the south, can be seen clearly as lighter areas on a 1948 vertical aerial photograph (Fig 12). The profile of the bank on completion of the work is shown on an oblique aerial photograph from 1952 (Fig 13).

  • 3.20 The 1971 map shows Manor Lane as the existing dual carriageway (Fig 10). To the west of the farm buildings the sports track complex is much the same as it is today. Within the farmyard, the two ranges of barns are the same, but the previous sub-divisions in the field to the north have disappeared. There are two circular storage silos to the north of the western range of barns, set within an enclosed yard. Also within the yard there is an open-sided building slightly further north, which may the building shown on the 1918 and c1940 maps although it appears to be slightly smaller, and an open-fronted building orientated N-S on the east side of the yard. It is believed that when the E-W building was constructed, floor tiles and other items were recovered from the stanchion pits, but that these were removed from the site without recording; their present location is not known (Halesowen Abbey Trust, email 9/2/2013). North of the infirmary is an open-fronted shed, and there are two long narrow buildings in the enclosure to the west of the infirmary. The southern group of fishponds are as before, but for the first time the double-ditch earthwork marking the southern boundary of the scheduled area is shown. 3.21 Compared with the previous map, the current OS map shows Manor Lane widened to its present form as a dual carriageway now known as Manor Way (Fig 11). The open areas around the farm buildings are unaltered except for a large building in the field immediately to the east, outside but immediately adjacent to the Scheduled area; this is a large barn erected in 2008 (4.2.7 below). Within the farm complex, the enclosure to the north of the existing barns is still shown, but all the structures shown on the 1971 map within it are now gone. Around the infirmary, the small stables at the east are still present, but the other three buildings and enclosure sub-divisions have also disappeared. A major difference from earlier maps is the style of presentation, with earthworks now shown by their outlines rather than hachures, which is much harder to understand without the benefit of earlier maps for comparison (and of vastly less attractive appearance). 4 Archaeological investigations to date 4.1 This section attempts to list all known investigative work on the abbey site, and is based on summaries in Marsden (1986, 21-30) and Litherland and Moscrop (nd, 1 & 5) unless otherwise stated, with later information added as necessary. Brief details and original publication references (not all examined for this study) are tabulated, as far as possible chronologically, at the end of each sub-section, and a list of early archive material is in Appendix J. Fig 14 shows the location of the areas disturbed by early excavations, as estimated by Marsden (1986, fig 12), with later intrusive interventions added. Much of the work in the 1980s, 1990s and the 21st century was carried out by students at Birmingham University as academic projects, and by Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit (BUFAU, later renamed Birmingham Archaeology). The details of some of this are not known, but due to the closure of BUFAU and the imminent closure of the existing academic department, some reports that it would have been useful to examine were not available. EXCAVATIONS AND WATCHING BRIEFS 4.2 A number of antiquarian excavations have taken place on the site, but the records are limited. JR Holliday excavated in 1870 and recorded the basic ground plan and two areas of in situ tile floor. Most of his site records are lost, but a description of his work and finds is published. The plan was not published, but it does survive and was rediscovered on his death

  • in 1927. Brindle (nd, 6) suggests an undated, probably early 20th-century plan in the English Heritage archive may be a tracing of Holliday's plan (Fig 15; EH ref 853/2A). Excavations by Brakspear in 1906, described as 'minor' by Marsden (1986, 22), provided additional detail and were used to inform his plan published in both the Victoria County History and the Archaeological Journal (Fig 16; VCH 1906, opposite p136; Brakspear 1906). N.B. This plan is referred to in the current Scheduling Description see Appendix A. 4.3 A local amateur archaeologist, F Somers, excavated between 1928 and 1930, found more foundations and published the plan including more detail of the chapter house and some speculative detail of the west claustral range (Somers & Somers 1932, opp p8). The Duke of Rutland excavated in 1925-8 and 1934-40, including work in the chapter house in 1938, but his main interest was in recovering floor tiles; over 760 of these are now in the British Museum, with some held by the Worcestershire Archaeological Society and a few in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Somers also excavated and published the gatehouse and cobbled track when Manor Lane was widened in 1938. In 1939 he excavated part of the south side of the quire of the church. There is no known report on this work, but a column base, floor tiles and glass fragments were loaned to Halesowen Library for a display, after which they were put in store and are currently held by Dudley Archives and Local History Service (Dudley HER ref 873). 4.4 A watching brief by CJ Bond in 1970 over a cable trench in the field to the west of the access failed to find the anticipated foundations of the west wall of the claustral buildings, although it was noted that foundations of its east wall were still visible along the raised edge of the track. It did encounter an unexpected N-S wall assumed to be an earlier building, and recover a number of medieval and post-medieval finds. Only a brief summary of this work was published, and there does not appear to be a location plan. 4.5 As an adjunct to building recording taking place in 1990, Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit (BUFAU) carried out a small excavation inside the infirmary, but located only natural deposits. 4.6 No further below-ground investigations appear to have been carried out until 2003, when BUFAU carried out a watching brief over trenching for new drains around the farmhouse. Finds included several pieces of architectural masonry from the abbey, but the only significant feature located was a bank recorded either side of the farmhouse, interpreted as probably marking the southern boundary of the monastic inner precinct, but which may also have formed the edge of the adjacent mill pond. 4.7 In 2007, Birmingham Archaeology (formerly BUFAU) carried out a small-scale evaluation in connection with possible conversion of the barns to residential use. This consisted of eight test pits in and around the barns, plus one pit in the entrance to the west side of the farmhouse, between surviving medieval masonry of the frater south and west walls, and another in the north-west corner of the small field immediately to the east of the farmhouse. This located the south-eastern corner of the chapter house (directly below the existing barn floor), the south wall of the north cloister walk, possibly the east wall of the west cloister walk, and the south frater wall (a large section of this still stands). Other masonry could be monastic, and pebble surfaces in two of the pits within the cloister garth may have been its surface.

  • 4.8 In 2008, Dudley Borough Council's Archaeological Officer carried out a watching brief on the construction of a large new barn in the field to the east of the farm and monastic building complex, outside but immediately adjacent to the Scheduled area. Finds included a quantity of medieval pottery and tile fragments, doubtless from the abbey, and a number of cut features were recorded although detailed interpretation was not possible (Dudley HER 12813). Table 4 Archaeological excavations and watching briefs Date Person/organisation Brief details References (and section above) 1870 JR Holliday excavations: plan of buildings and

    finds inc. floor tiles Holliday 1871 (4.2.1)

    1906 H Brakspear minor excavations: additional plan details

    plan in VCH 1906, opp. p136; and in Arch J - Brakspear 1906 (4.2.1)

    1925-28 Duke of Rutland excavations: recovered floor tiles, most now in British Museum

    excavations unpub; tiles - Eames 1980, and on the Brit Mus website: www.britishmuseum.org (4.2.1)

    1928-30 F Somers excavations Somers & Somers 1932 (4.2.2) 1934-40 Duke of Rutland excavations: recovered floor tiles none? (4.2.2) 1938 F Somers excavation of gatehouse on Manor

    Lane Somers 1938 (4.2.2)

    1939 F Somers excavations in the quire unpub, Dudley HER ref 873 (4.2.2) 1970 C Bond watching brief west of access Wilson & Moorhouse 1971, 141

    (4.2.3) 1989/90 BUFAU small excavation in the infirmary Litherland & Moscrop nd, 1 (4.2.4) 2003 BUFAU watching brief over drain trenches Cherrington & Hislop 2003 (4.2.5) 2007 B'ham Arch evaluation (test pits) Colls & Duncan 2007 (4.2.6) 2008 Dudley MBC watching brief adjacent to SAM Dudley HER ref 12813 (4.2.7)

    BUILDING RECORDING AND ANALYSIS 4.9 Many early artists depicted the abbey ruins but, although these are useful for understanding some of the changes to the site, they are artistic interpretations, not accurate technical drawings. A full list of known images is given in Appendix H. Of the early excavators, Holliday, Brakspear and Somers recorded the extent of surviving medieval fabric in plan (above), but as far as is known did not produce detailed drawings of any wall elevations. 4.10 In 1984, N Molyneux undertook a detailed analysis of the roof of the infirmary, and concluded that the building was probably the abbot's lodging, or part of the lodging complex. In 1986, a full survey of the building was carried out by Engineering Surveys Ltd of behalf of the Department of the Environment (Job no 29249, drawings ref S371-6/86: copies held at the English Heritage Archive, Swindon, ref PF/HAA). A floor plan and full stone-by-stone external and internal elevations were produced. 4.11 A comprehensive analysis of the infirmary was carried out by BUFAU in 1987. This was a measured survey of the roof, detailed archaeological enhancement of a photogrammetric survey of the elevations, and interpretative text. Although no reference is given in the 1987 BUFAU report, and only a copy of the text (not the drawings) was

  • available for this study, the elevation drawings are included in Litherland & Moscrop (nd). They are clearly based on the Engineering Surveys Ltd drawings described in the previous paragraph. BUFAU carried out further recording on the building in 1989-90, in connection with consolidation and repair by English Heritage, particularly intended to capture detail not visible in 1987. This included a small internal archaeological excavation aimed at locating an internal partition, but it was found that all deposits at the point investigated had been truncated down to natural levels. 4.12 The 1989/90 BUFAU work also included recording and analysis to a similar level of the other farm buildings containing or built onto medieval masonry, and the surviving section of the south wall of the frater, built into the garden boundary of the farmhouse. The main details and conclusions are given in Litherland & Moscrop (nd), and there is additional information in the original report by Ferris (1990). The results of these studies are discussed as far as necessary in section 5 Detailed description and gazetteer, with particular reference to the extent of the medieval masonry built into later structures. 4.13 No comparable detailed recording appears to have been carried out on the surviving section of the presbytery north wall, which stands isolated. There may be archive drawings at Birmingham University, but no record of such work has been found and it has not been possible to check. 4.14 A written description and full photographic record of the 19th-century farmyard buildings were made by Birmingham University post-graduate students as part of the 1990 investigations, with further work in 1995. Recording of the cloister west wall was carried out by BUFAU in 2002. This is mentioned and referenced as 'Hislop and Litherland 2003' in Colls & Duncan (2007, 7), but does not appear in the bibliography; it was not possible to obtain a copy of the report for this study so the full title and results are not known. In 2006 English Heritage further investigated the barn containing part of the south wall of the church. Table 5 Building recording and analysis Date Person/organisation Brief details References (and section above) 1984 N Molyneux analysis of infirmary roof Molyneux 1984 (4.3.2) 1986 Dept of Environment survey of infirmary EH NMR ref PH/HAA (4.3.2) 1987 BUFAU recording and analysis of infirmary Ferris 1987 (4.3.3) 1989/90 BUFAU recording and analysis of all other

    medieval masonry and associated buildings, except N presbytery wall

    Ferris 1990 (4.3.3-5)

    1990, 95 B'ham Uni students recording of post-med farm buildings Learmonth & Heath 1995 (4.3.6)

    2002 BUFAU recording of cloister west wall Hislop & Litherland 2003 (4.3.6)

    2006 English Heritage surviving walls of church in C17 barn Jones 2006 (4.3.6)

    GEOPHYSICS 4.15 In 1986, resisitivity and magnetometry surveys were carried out by A Bartlett in the field to the west of the access in 1986 (Marsden 1986, 26-30 and figs 13-17). This revealed possible buildings, one reasonably certain and others less so, perhaps due to more extensive

  • robbing. The evidence was not conclusive, but coupled with the (unlocated) wall recorded in the 1970 watching brief (above) certainly seems to indicate the presence of some sort of building(s). It also located the edge of the moat or pond shown on the 1885 Ordnance Survey map, most of which has been destroyed by the adjacent sports track, and it was suggested that the southern end of this, coupled with the geophysics results, showed a possible second entrance to the inner precinct. A magnetometry survey over the double-ditch earthwork in the field to the south of the southern ponds carried out as part of the same programme was inconclusive. 4.16 A geophysics report is noted in Litherland & Moscrop's bibliography as Moscrop 1993b, but does not appear to be mentioned in the text. They also discuss two structures, interpreted as possibly associated with fish processing, found by geophysics on the south edge of the fishpond immediately east of the access, but with no reference (Litherland & Moscrop nd, 35). It has not been possible to obtain a copy of Moscrop's report, and it is not known whether these two represent the same work. 4.17 In 2002/3 Birmingham University students investigated an area to the north-east of the eastern range of barns, and also the double-ditch earthwork previously examined by Bartlett. North-east of the barns the results suggested a large structure on a different alignment to the main abbey buildings, and a possible earlier N-S ditch. The results on the earthwork were thought to support the previous theory of a mill adjacent to the ditch, but this is contrary to Brown's later interpretation which has the ditch as an open-cast quarry (5.2.12 below). Table 6 Geophysical surveys Date Person/organisation Brief details References (and section above) 1986 A Bartlett field west of track: possible buildings Bartlett 1986 (4.4.1) c1993 B'ham Uni students unknown Moscrop 1993 (4.4.2) unknown unknown S edge of pond to adjacent to east of

    access: two structures unknown, possibly same as previous - see 4.4.2

    2002/3 B'ham Uni students NE of farm buildings: poss structure and ditch; earthwork at S of SAM: poss mill-related features

    Kincey 2003 (4.4.3 and 2.5)

    EARTHWORK AND LANDSCAPE SURVEY 4.18 The earliest plan of the earthworks appears to be the Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map of 1885, which shows them by hachures in some detail. The information is repeated on subsequent OS maps until the late 20th century (Figs 6-9). 4.19 Archaeological earthwork surveys were carried out in 1974 by Aston and Bond, and by Birmingham University students in 1986, and the results plotted as hachure plans. In 1993 Moscrop undertook a landscape survey of the fields surrounding the abbey and the surrounding townships, again as a student project. It was not possible to obtain a copy of the report, but the results are summarised in Litherland & Moscrop (nd, 35). It appears to cover a wide area outside the Scheduled Monument and is thus not directly relevant to this study. Most recently, an extremely detailed hachure survey was carried out by English Heritage in 2005. All of these included interpretations of the earthworks.

  • Table 7: Earthwork and landscape survey Date Person/organisation Brief details References (and section above) various Ordnance Survey 1:2500 maps (4.5.1) 1974 M Aston & CJ Bond Earthwork survey and interpretation Bond 1978, 78 (4.5.2) 1986 B'ham Uni students Earthwork survey and interpretation Marsden 1986, 24-6 (4.5.2) 1993 B'ham Uni students Landscape survey, surrounding area Moscrop 1993 2005 English Heritage Earthwork survey and interpretation Brown 2005 (4.5.2)

    OTHER INVESTIGATIONS 4.20 'The Halesowen Survey Project' of 1994 is listed as a student paper in Litherland & Moscrop's (nd) bibliography. It was not possible to see the report for this study; it may not be directly relevant to the abbey. A report on survey work in 2002 is mentioned in Colls & Duncan (2007, 6-7), but again its extent is not clear. A number of other projects mentioned in the same sources have examined the surrounding area, the abbey's granges, etc. These do not appear to be directly relevant to this study, and are not considered further. Table 8 Other investigations Date Person/organisation Brief details References (and section above) 1994 B'ham Uni students unknown Millard & Smith 1994 (4.6.1) 2002 B'ham Uni students unknown Evans 2003 (4.6.1)

    5 Detailed description and gazetteer METHODOLOGY 5.1 The site was inspected on 6th February and 14th February 2013, to fit in with the requirements of the landowners. The weather on the first occasion was dull with only occasional sun, extremely cold, windy and intermittently wet, although recent snow had had mostly dispersed. On the second visit, the weather was generally dry, overcast and occasionally sunny with only intermittent moderate wind. 5.2 The layout of the monastic buildings and precinct as understood from previous archaeological investigations and other evidence is summarised below. The various components of the site are described either grouped or individually; in terms of the definitions in the English Heritage Asset Management Plan for the Maintenance of the Historic Estate (AMP), these correspond to 'assets' and 'elements' respectively, within the overall 'site' of Halesowen Abbey (EH 2011b, 5). 5.3 The surviving sections of medieval masonry are described individually as elements (along with the associated post-medieval building where they are built into a later structure). For identification purposes these are given the names and numbers used in the AMP Assets Register: the surviving elements of the church and claustral buildings the presbytery wall, the south transept south and west walls, the cloister south wall and the cloister west wall

  • are combined under Asset No 425-001, and the infirmary is Asset No 425-002. The modern nameboard at the entrance and fence round the field immediately north of the buildings are Asset Nos 425-003 & 4 respectively, but are not described in detail. Most of the buildings have been comprehensively surveyed, described and interpreted in a number of other reports. This detail is not repeated here. The descriptions are summaries, supplemented by references to the detailed survey reports and data from the site inspection as necessary. Full information is given only for aspects not covered elsewhere or if particularly relevant. Later farm buildings are grouped in the same manner as 'assets', and are not broken down into elements. 5.4 The fishpond systems and associated water management features are not broken down to the element level but are grouped and described as 'assets' according to their location within the monument. Other areas of earthworks are similarly described as assets containing a number of elements but, again, not broken down to that level. They are identified as Areas 1-8. This approach has been adopted because: (i) to a varying degree they all contain a number of earthworks reflecting different functions and periods; (ii) in many cases it is difficult to separate the features, and; (iii) there are differences of interpretation between the authors of different survey reports. It is not the remit of the Conservation Plan to attempt a definitive archaeological analysis of every element of the site. Although a few features, notably the main dams, are relatively easy to describe they are in a minority, and any attempt to produce descriptions at element level would be to some degree arbitrary. It was therefore considered better to group the non-building components of the site at asset level, referring to the original survey reports for detailed descriptions and discussion of individual earthworks. 5.5 Comments on condition are based on observation made during the site inspection and are for guidance only; this report does not provide specialist comment on such matters. MONASTIC LAYOUT, AS UNDERSTOOD FROM ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION AND OTHER EVIDENCE The main buildings 5.6 The layout of the main monastic buildings as currently understood from all sources is shown on Fig 14, which also shows the locations of structures of unknown date and function suggested by geophysical survey. Various plans, starting with Holliday's of 1871, show a few more standing remains than at present. Litherland & Moscrop (nd, Fig 3) and Marsden (1986, fig 8) have plans showing detail of remains recorded as standing at various times. They do, however, have inconsistencies, which are discussed fully by Jones (2006); Fig 14 follows Jones. 5.7 As far as can be ascertained, the main buildings at Halesowen seem to follow the typical Premonstratensian plan (although there are, of course, some variations in known plans). The claustral buildings are to the south of the church, with the dorter on the first floor of the east range and the refectory in the south range over an undercroft. The west range has never been excavated, and is assumed to lie partly below the present access track and partly within the field to the west. Typical Premonstratensian practice would be for it to contain the cellarer's facilities on the ground floor and the guest accommodation above. Masonry visible on the west side of the access in 1970 was interpreted as its east wall (4.2.3 above). This is

  • still visible here today, but what can be seen looks more like loose stones, and an alternative interpretation might be that it is re-used masonry forming a foundation for the track. 5.8 The locations of the abbot's lodging and the infirmary are not known, and both of these, as well as a guest house, have been suggested as the original function of the surviving medieval building. Whatever its location, it is usually assumed that the abbot's lodging continued to be occupied after the dissolution, by George Tuckey (see above). The options are outlined briefly below, but the arguments are complex and are not discussed in detail here. 5.9 Usual Premonstratensian practice would place the infirmary to the east or south-east of the claustral buildings, which is one reason why this building has been interpreted as the infirmary in the past (Marsden 1986, 19-20). The Scheduling description states that it 'may have been the abbot's lodging', an interpretation favoured for some time (VCH 1913, 136-146; Molyneux 1984). However, detailed building recording and analysis between 1987 and 1995 led Litherland & Moscrop (nd, 26) to reject the abbot's lodging and suggest again that the infirmary was a more likely interpretation, or possibly an addition to an original infirmary building adjoining it to the west (although in the draft version of that report it was thought to be part of the guest accommodation: Litherland 1996?, 13). They do state that it was probably converted to domestic use after the dissolution, but not as the principal house, before later falling into agricultural use. The interpretation panels inside the building describe it as the infirmary. 5.10 Hunt states that the abbot's lodging was the building that formerly stood on approximately the same site as the present Victorian farmhouse. According to Holliday, the architect of the house (Yeoville Thomason, a well-known Birmingham architect whose designs included Birmingham Council House), thought it was 'part of a mill', although Holliday himself thought he had 'somewhere read that some part of [it] showed signs of having been the [monastic] kitchen' (Hunt 1979, 31 & 36; Holliday 1871, 63). Litherland & Moscrop (nd, 27-8) agree that this is a better candidate for identification as the lodging, but point out that there is no unequivocal evidence to confirm it. A building in this position is shown on the tithe map of 1841 (Fig 5), and in late 18th-/early 19th-century drawings by Green, Parkes and Hearne (Figs 17-18). It has been suggested that Green only shows a 'relatively modest-looking farmhouse' in this position (Brindle nd, 5; referring to painting K.Top.36.14g in the British Library collection). However, the main focus of this painting is the cloister south wall, and it may only be depicting a part of the building shown by Parkes and Hearn. 5.11 Brown (2005, 31-2) whilst noting the possibility of the surviving medieval building being the abbot's lodging (but not discussing the predecessor to the farmhouse), suggests it is 'more plausible' that the main post-dissolution house could have been converted from parts of the claustral buildings, pointing to evidence of alterations in the south transept and drawing a parallel with Netley Abbey, Hampshire. He appears to be the only author favouring such an interpretation. He also discusses the earthworks in the field immediately north of the remaining building elements, many of which he interprets as post-medieval garden features, and suggests that the former cloister garth became an enclosed privy garden; the latter is now entirely covered by later farm buildings and a concrete surface, and there is no visible evidence to confirm the suggestion. The garden features could relate to a house in any of the postulated positions.

  • Inner precinct 5.12 There is general agreement on the approximate extent of the inner precinct, although not on the form of its boundaries. An interpretative plan by Litherland and Moscrop (nd, 36; Fig 19 top) shows an inner precinct between the two pond systems to the north and south of the building complex, and bounded on the east by an existing linear water feature. They show this linking into a series of leats which, based on interpretation of the earthwork surveys and the early Ordnance Survey maps, continues westwards to cross the access and then turn south to a butt end in the field to the west of the track. They thus consider the monastic inner precinct to have been demarcated by a moat on three sides and the southern ponds on the fourth, and this interpretation is used in the Scheduling description. 5.13 Brown (2005, 29 & fig 13; Fig 20), whilst agreeing that the linear water feature (which he describes as a 'canal') defines the line of the eastern boundary, notes that recent research suggests that features previously thought to be moats on monastic sites are more likely to have been post-dissolution garden features, or features re-designed as such. He confirms the existence of a northern ditch on the line of the northern arm of the postulated 'moat', but cannot clarify whether it was linked to the 'canal' or not. A now-dry contour leat approaches from the east, but he considers that it fed either the 'canal' or the pond to the north, but not the northern ditch. The raised linear earthwork along the northern boundary, which Litherland & Moscrop describe as the bank of the ditch (and implicitly the moat), is interpreted by Brown (2005, 16) as a garden walk. He refers to, but expresses no opinion on, the suggested western boundary, and comments that the southern boundary is not clear, but was probably along the edge of the ponds and the valley in which they are situated. His plan shows it following a low bank or scarp edge, probably that recorded in the 2003 BUFAU watching brief. 5.14 Within the inner precinct, the field to the west of the access is named as Lower Churchyard Field on the tithe map and apportionment, and the field immediately to the east is Upper Churchyard Field, suggesting the location of the monastic cemetery. A former field boundary runs due north from the 'infirmary', visible as a linear depression. The area between it and the linear water feature is called the Garden, which has been suggested may have been the abbey garden. Brown interprets many of the low earthworks in the former Upper Churchyard and Garden Fields (now one) as post-dissolution garden features, and some as possibly farm building platforms or excavation debris (see Brown 2005 17-18, 33 for full discussion). He also postulates an inner gatehouse just outside the inner precinct boundary, on the east side of the access; Litherland and Moscrop also suggest this as an alternative interpretation of one of the possible structures recorded by geophysics in this location. Others have suggested a second entrance to the inner precinct at its south-west, associated with the butt-end of the 'moat'; it was claimed in 1906 that the position of a gatehouse in this position was still discernible (Hope 1906; Marsden 1986, 27-8). Outer precinct 5.15 Whilst the extent of the inner precinct seems reasonably certain, there is no agreement over that of the outer precinct, except that its northern boundary was almost certainly Manor Lane; there does not appear much doubt that the foundations and cobbled surface recorded by Somers during the widening of the road in 1938 represent the gatehouse and surface of the access to the abbey. Litherland & Moscrop (nd, fig 23) show it positioned on the east of the

  • present access, in the area of the existing cottage, but an annotated plan and photographs held by English Heritage clearly show it on the west side (EH file ref AA/690734/1 Pt 1). It was destroyed by road-widening to create the dual carriageway. Three possible outer precinct boundaries are suggested by Marsden (1986, fig 19), Litherland & Moscrop (nd, fig 23) and Brown (2005 27-30, fig 13). These are shown on Fig 1 above; see the original reports for full discussion of the precinct extent and of the earthwork features within it. Only the most significant points of difference between the authors are discussed in detail below. 5.16 In relation to the southern boundary, the two earlier reports and the Scheduling description consider the double-ditch earthwork that defines the southern extent of the Scheduled area to be the southern boundary of the precinct. They suggest that it may also have functioned as a channel taking water from the eastern pond to the stream to the west, Marsden (1986, 26) noting that boundary ditches at Bordesley Abbey also functioned as overflow leats. He also describes tentative evidence for structures associated with the ditch but does not venture an interpretation, although Litherland & Moscrop (nd, 35), the Scheduling description and the 2003 geophysics report by Kincey suggest they could have been mills. (This seems an unlikely interpretation if the channel was only an overflow leat, as mills would require a reliable water supply.) 5.17 Brown disagrees with this interpretation, arguing that the feature is likely to be an open-cast coal quarry. As evidence, he points to: (i) a geology map that shows a coal outcrop extending eastwards from the east end of the ditch across the valley of the stream; (ii) thin coal lenses visible in the stream bank these were also noted in the inspection for this report (below); (iii) the east end of the ditch where quarry spoil overlies the medieval dam and must therefore be later; (iv) two other areas of probable quarrying on a similar alignment west of Illey Brook. He states that the upcast bank of the quarry overlies, and must therefore be later than, the adjacent ridge-and-furrow which he considers to be post-medieval; on this basis the ditch cannot be medieval, at least in its present form. He suggests a precinct boundary further to the south (Fig 20; Brown 2005 3, 22, 24-5). 5.18 The two earlier reports continue the southern boundary westwards from double-ditch earthwork, across Illey Brook before turning north to Manor Lane (taking it outside the Scheduled area). From his southern boundary, Brown (2005 24, 27, fig 13) favours a western boundary running in a straight line northwards, following a low bank aligned directly towards the present farmhouse and the monastic buildings which forms the boundary of the Scheduled area at this point. However, he accepts as 'curious' that this is aligned on the buildings rather than to one side of them, and elsewhere describes this bank as 'either the precinct boundary or a later park boundary (or both)'. The two earlier reports and the Scheduling description consider bank to be a field boundary, enclosing medieval ridge-and-furrow to the east. Brown suggests a possible alternative, that his southern boundary continues west to Illey Brook which it then follows northwards. Further north, he describes the boundary as unclear, but suggests that from Manor Lane southwards it may have followed the pond to the west of the access track shown on the 1885 OS map. He considers the ridge-and-furrow to be post-medieval. 5.19 To the north of the inner precinct, east of the present farm access, the scheduled area covers a series of fishponds, their retaining dams across the valley of the stream and the remains of leats and other water management arrangements. Geophysics has suggested the presence of two structures between the pond adjacent to the access and the inner precinct, which have been interpreted as possibly to do with fish processing, although, it is noticeable

  • that the location of one of these coincides with Brown's postulated inner gatehouse. At the north of the field, but extending beyond the scheduled area, are two low banks, probably field boundaries. The access itself makes use of a causeway formed by one of the dams. To the west of the access there appears to have been a further large pond, as shown on the early OS maps, although its extent cannot be confirmed as most of it has been destroyed by the construction of the sports track and infilling in the 1940s. There are no major differences between the various authors' accounts, although some interpretations of the smaller channels differ, particularly in how they relate to the ditches and channels associated with the inner precinct. 5.20 South of the inner precinct are further large ponds and dams, although there is disagreement and a certain degree of confusion over their number. They differ in character to the northern ponds, and it has been suggested that whereas the northern ponds were fish ponds, these had an industrial function, providing power for mills, and also drainage of waste water from the buildings. Interpretative plans have been produced in the reports by Marsden (1986 fig 9), Litherland & Moscrop (nd, fig 23), Brown (2005, fig 13), and also by English Heritage in the form of a sketch plan for the 1995 Scheduling review (file ref AA/690734/1 Pt 2) and an interpretation panel in the infirmary building (Fig 19). 5.21 There are two large ponds to the south-east of the inner precinct. All authors agree on this, although for some reason only one is shown on the interpretation panel in the infirmary, perhaps because only the dam and a 12m sample strip of the eastern pond is included in the Scheduled area. The gap used by the stream in the dam on the eastern edge of the scheduled area may be the site of a sluice or a mill wheel (Brown 2005, 22). 5.22 Immediately south-east of the present farmhouse is a feature described either as a small pool or a ditch. Litherland and Moscrop (nd 35) consider it to be the former, suggesting it may have had a function in connection with the abbey drainage which would have flowed north to south through the inner precinct. Brown (2005, 22) describes the feature as a ditch (noting there is a pond 'in the area of the ditch' on the tithe map) and suggesting that it indicates a mill on the northern bank, fed by water from the 'canal' along the east side of the inner precinct. Brown's interpretation would fit with the suggestion elsewhere that the previous building, or at least part of it, on the site of the present farmhouse was a mill, although there is no other evidence to confirm it. 5.23 The Scheduling description introduces a third, large pond to the south-west of the inner precinct described as a 'large body of water along the south boundary to the precinct'. The more detailed Monument Synopsis dated 17th April 1996 (EH file ref AA/690734/1 Pt 2) clarifies that this pond is 120m SW of the monastic church, and it is shown on the sketch plan on the file as retained by a dam across the Illey Brook (Fig 19 lower). The bank which is assumed to be the remains of this dam is visible on the 1885-1918 OS maps, although it appears to have been affected by the construction of the sports ground in the 1940s (Figs 6-9). Its remains are included in the Scheduled area, in the narrow projection aligned roughly NE-SW to the south of the sports ground. Part of the area of the postulated pond in the valley floor of the Illey Brook was scheduled from 1975 until the 1995 review. 5.24 None of the other surveys and reports acknowledge or identify this south-western pond and dam. Litherland & Moscrop (nd, 35, fig 23) described depressions and platforms on the low ground on the south bank of the stream immediately west of the central dam, which they suggest may be the sites of other mills and tail races. This is unlikely to be

  • compatible with a further pond immediately downstream. Brown (2005 19, figs 8, 13) merely describes the bank/dam as a 'spread bank marking the top of a steep scarp [which] on the southern side...falls steeply to the valley floor'. 5.25 Other earthwork features identified within the scheduled area south of the ponds include a windmill mound, possible building platforms, leats, field boundaries and ridge-and-furrow which covers most of the level area between the ponds and the double ditch earthwork, bounded by a low bank to the west. Marsden (1986, 26), dates the ridge-and-furrow as medieval. The Scheduling description does not explicitly date it, but the detailed Monument Synopsis notes that it respects the field's boundary earthworks, and that it seems likely to be medieval and provide evidence for the agricultural activities of the abbey (English Heritage file ref AA/690734/1 Pt2). However Brown (2005 24), basing his opinion on its morphology and dimensions, considers it to be the result of a temporary post-medieval phase of cultivation in the 17th or 18th century, possibly even as late as the Napoleonic wars (ended 1815). 5.26 An area immediately east of the inner precinct was de-scheduled in 1995. It was probably part of the post-medieval park (which may have been the same as the abbot's park, but the Monument Synopsis notes that it had been under the plough and there were no surface features to justify scheduling. Also de-scheduled at the same time was the area between Brown's favoured western boundary and Illey Brook. This contains a number of earthworks of uncertain origin. EXISTING STANDING STRUCTURES AND FARMYARD 5.27 The monastic buildings were built in local sandstone, and all those fragments surviving appear to be of 13th-century date. All except the north presbytery wall are now abutted by, or built into, later farm buildings, although in the case of the south refectory wall this is merely a garden boundary. Detailed descriptions are not given here, as the existing building recording surveys (listed above) are extremely comprehensive and should be consulted for full details. This section provides a brief description, with fuller discussion of any specific points requiring emphasis. The assets and elements described are shown on Fig 21. Asset No 425-001: Presbytery North Wall 5.28 This section of medieval masonry does not appear to have been subject to a full stone- by-stone drawing and analysis. (It is possible that there are archive drawings within Birmingham University, but it was not practical to attempt a search and none of the available reports feature this wall.) One bay of the wall survives almost to top of window height, standing isolated to the north-east of the farmyard buildings (Figs 22-3). On the south face are the corbels of the vaulting and decorative mouldings. The north face shows the remains of a buttress on the east side of the window and the north wall of a side chapel on the west side. CONDITION The site was the subject of a periodic condition survey in 2009 (AMP report ref 525/2009). The presbytery wall was report as being in good condition, and this appears to remain the case today.

  • Asset No 425-001: South transept south and west walls 5.29 This section of medieval masonry also does not appear to have been subject to a full stone-by-stone drawing and analysis, except where forming part of the adjoining barn. The south and west walls are listed separately in the AMP asset register (grouped under the same number as the other remains of the church and cloister), but form a single 'L'-shaped unit of masonry the junction between the two and are therefore considered together here (Figs 24-5). 5.30 The whole length of the west wall is present, which now forms the east wall of a later barn. From it extend a short projection southwards (the west wall of the vestry/chapter house), and elements of the south wall of the church, which now form parts of the north wall of the barn (below). The south transept wall survives for c.15m eastwards from the junction. The west wall retains a pair of tall lancet windows, corbelling for the former vaulting and decorative mouldings. The south wall has two entrances through it, one double-height, through which it is easy to appreciate that the present ground level to the north is at least 1m higher than to the south. CONDITION The structure was included in the periodic condition survey in 2009 (AMP report ref 525/2009). The transept south and west walls were reported as being in good condition. This appears to remain generally the case today, although the pointing at the base of the south end of the west wall is in poor condition (Fig 26), and there are saplings growing close to the masonry which it would be prudent to remove (Fig 27). Asset No 425-001: Cloister south wall 5.31 A substantial portion of the cloister south wall, sometimes described as the frater south wall, survives, and has been the subject of detailed recording and analysis (Figs 28-9). It currently forms part of the garden wall of the farmhouse. It survives almost to the full height of the second storey, where five lancet windows remain. Reference should be made to Ferris (1990 2-4, figs 3, 4) and Litherland & Moscrop (nd 28, fig 20) for detailed description and drawings. CONDITION The structure was covered by the periodic condition survey in 2009 (AMP report ref 525/2009). The cloister south wall was reported as being in good condition. This appears to remain generally the case today. Reference was made in that survey to building material being stored close to, but not touching the wall, which is a point of concern. This was also the case at the time of the inspection, except that a metal farm gate was leaning against the wall. The wall is adjacent to vehicle parking and access routes, and there is the potential for collision damage although no evidence of this was noted; there is a low kerb in front of it on the north (farmyard) side, but this provides no significant protection. (In contrast, the cloister west wall is protected by a barrier of old railway sleepers - see below.) Asset No 425-001: Cloister west wall 5.32 The east wall of a small, now mostly derelict, open-fronted shed to the south-west of the farmyard includes substantial masonry which was probably part of the west wall of the south cloister range; no modern author seems totally convinced that this is the case, but it is

  • generally accepted as likely (Figs 30-2). This building has also been recorded and analysed in detail. It has a complex history, and incorporates much re-used medieval stone: see Ferris (1990 4-6, figs 6-11) and Litherland & Moscrop (nd 28-32, fig 21) for full description and discussion. It may have developed out of a small free-standing building to the west of the cloister, possibly the medieval kitchen, extended post-dissolution to join the remains of the west cloister wall which then became its new east wall. 5.33 The east wall consists of substantial, well-laid masonry, below a post-medieval brick gable. The central part of the north wall, and what is now the eastern internal partition, may also be medieval. Other walls are a mixture of re-used stone and brick. It has lost its roof since the detailed recording. CONDITION The cloister west wall (the east wall of the shed) was included in the periodic condition survey in 2009, when it was reported as being in good condition (AMP report ref 525/2009). It has recently been consolidated by English Heritage under the guardianship arrangement. Like the nearby cloister south wall it is adjacent to vehicular access and potentially vulnerable to collision damage, but is given a degree of protection by a low barrier of old railway sleepers. The building is roofless and, apart from the east wall, derelict. The interior contains a considerable depth of rubble and rubbish. 5.34 Although the east wall is accepted as probably containing medieval masonry, and is included in the guardianship, the building as a whole is excluded from the scheduling with no mention of any exception of the east wall (Appendix A). This is discussed further in 9.4.8 below. C17 Barn containing parts of church south wall (not in guardianship; no Asset Number) 5.35 With its east end formed by the south transept west wall (above), and its west wall adjacent to the main access track, a large barn forms the north side of the western range of barns in the farmyard (Figs 33-8). It has seven bays and several phases of construction have been recognised. It has been extensively drawn and analysed by Birmingham University (Ferris 1990 6-9, figs 12-15; Litherland & Moscrop nd 32-33, fig 22), and English Heritage (Jones 2006); see these reports for full discussion and drawings. 5.36 The earliest phase of the barn has been dated on architectural grounds to the 17th century, and this has been confirmed by dendrochronological dating of the roof timbers which suggests construction in 1672 or shortly after, although re-using many timbers dating from 1507 (Arnold & Howard 2008). However, its north wall contains significant elements of the south wall of the abbey church. The scheduling description excludes most of the barn, but includes 'the in-situ sections of medieval standing masonry which are visible within the barn and identified on an excavation plan of 1906', i.e. Brakspear's plan of that year (Fig 16). 5.37 As well as the east wall, which is formed by the south transept wall, this plan shows roughly the eastern half of the north wall, and the west wall / NW corner as medieval. The building recording of the 1980s and 90s has identified the remains of a medieval door at each end of the north wall (interior side) connecting the church with the cloister, the eastern being more complete than that at the west (Figs 36-7; this corresponds to the 1906 plan. However, the west wall and NW corner are not shown in plan as surviving medieval masonry by

  • Marsden (1986 fig 8) or Litherland and Moscrop, although the latter's text and elevations (following Ferris 1990) actually describe more medieval masonry than shown in 1906. They suggest that those sections of the outer face of the wall that appear as rubble are the inner core of the church wall, straightened and pointed, the lower section of the wall west of the cart door, and the 'inner face of the west wall, at least at its lowest level' may also be medieval. There is certainly good quality masonry in these walls, including a moulded string course at the corner (Figs 34, 35). Jones agrees that the rubble wall is the medieval core, and identifies medieval work in the inner face of the wall to the west of the cart door, though not the outer face, which is re-used stone (Fig 38). CONDITION The condition of this building is extremely poor, partly derelict. Much of the roof has collapsed, and has temporary sheet roof covering at the east end. There is poor pointing and loose masonry in various places. However, the walls have been assessed by an engineer in connection with the proposed conversion and are basically sound (Derbyshire 2009). Asset No 425-002: The Infirmary 5.38 This survives as a detached stone building south east of the church and claustral buildings (Figs 39-44). Its original function is uncertain, and it is thought to have been an addition to an earlier building, now lost, on its western side. It appears to have been used for domestic purposes at some point after the dissolution, but for most of this time it has been used as a barn and farm equipment store (above). It has been recorded and analysed more than any other building on the site see Molyneux (1984), Ferris (1987) and Litherland & Moscrop (nd 10-28, figs 5-19) for full descriptions and discussion. Three medieval phases have been recognised: (1) original construction of the western part of the building; (2) eastern extension: (3) conversion of east end and insertion of first floor; plus various post-dissolution alterations including removal of the first floor and insertion of the opposing cart doors. 5.39 The walls are of sandstone with various architectural features including buttresses, mullioned windows and a fireplace corbelled out at first floor level on the south side, except for the west elevation of which the lower part is sandstone and the upper is post-medieval brick. The roof is wooden shingles, applied during repairs in 1987 in preference to tiles to minimise the weight (the existing roof covering at that time being corrugated iron). Internally, the medieval first floor has been removed and there are various post-medieval brick additions, including buttressing and a partition wall creating a small room at the western end; this has a half-floor providing a viewing platform into the rest of the building. (The western room was not examined for this report, as the door could not be opened.) A grave slab is built into the south wall (Fig 42); this had previously been built into the cloister south wall, where it and others are shown on early 19th-century engravings, and was still there in 1871 (Ferris 1987, 26, citing Holliday 1871, 63). CONDITION The periodic condition survey of 2009 (AMP report ref 525/2009) listed previous recent work on the infirmary: structural repairs, masonry repairs, re-covering of the roof with shingles (1987); and repairs of spalled door reveal (2000). It identified a number of problems at the time, of which the most serious related to the wall plates and roof, and structural movement and cracking at the NE, NW and SW corners, which appeared to be continuing despite previous measures taken to address it. Repairs, monitoring and annual inspection were recommended. Cracks are still noticeable (Figs 43-4). A modern metal

  • animal-feed holder beside the adjacent farm track intrudes on the south elevation, but can easily be removed. 19th-century and later farmyard and buildings 5.40 The remaining buildings in the farmyard complex are of 19th-century date or later. Photographic and written recording was carried out by Birmingham University students in 1990 and 1995 and a report prepared (Learmonth & Heath 1995); this is mentioned in Litherland & Moscrop (nd, 5) but not discussed further. Only a brief description is given here, to place them in context with the medieval remains constituting the monument see the 1995 survey report for detail. Their condition is generally poor, but is not discussed in detail. 5.41 All the later buildings are brick-built (Figs 45-50). The west and east wings of the western range of buildings abuts the south wall of the 17th-century barn which forms its northern side, and some of the space between them is covered by a modern roof. The north wing of the eastern range of buildings and the medieval south transept south wall are connected by a wall of re-used stone (which may have formed the north wall of the eastern range shown on the 1885 OS map, replaced by the present buildings some time before the 1904 OS map). 5.42 The yard surface around and south of the western building range is mostly concrete, with various drains and drainage channels visible. The surface is in fair condition, and there are many variations in its level, some probably associated with drainage. There is a general slope down to the western building range. Within the courtyard of the eastern range the surface is mostly overgrown soft ground and chippings, with brick paving immediately adjacent to the buildings. 5.43 To the north of the western range of barns is an area formerly occupied by two open-sided barns and silos, separated from the adjacent field by a post-and-wire fence. The farm buildings have now been removed, leaving the floor and low concrete perimeter wall of the larger barn, and the concrete silo foundations in situ (Figs 51-2). The barn floor is used for storage of building materials, and various other materials including vehicle trailers are dotted around the area. The surface is mostly uneven grass; an area of tarmac running eastwards from the farm access track has now almost entirely disappeared under short grass. To the east of this area, on the site of the smaller open-fronted barn and extending right up to the south and west transept walls, the ground surface is higher, more uneven and overgrown; the difference in levels between this and the courtyard to the south has already been noted above. There appears to have been some dumping of material in this area, although probably some time ago. 5.44 In addition to relatively modern building materials stored on the site, there is also a substantial quantity of dressed sandstone. Although some is apparently from the abbey buildings, most is from the Old Gaol House in Halesowen, and was stored on the site following its demolition in the 1960s (EH management report 29/10/1986, file ref AA/690734/1 Pt 1; Monument Synopsis 17/4/1996, ref AA/690734/1 Pt 2).

  • Farmhouse and garden (the house itself is excluded from the Scheduling) 5.45 The farmhouse is a 19th-century brick-built house, with a small outbuilding on the north side joined to the house by a recently-constructed covered link (Figs 16; 53-4). To the west is a small garden and vehicle turning area giving access to the main door of the house. To the north, between the house and farmyard is a narrow continuation of the garden; the surviving section of the south cloister wall forms part of the boundary wall between the two. To the east is a paved area providing stepped access to the rear door of the house, and a sloping area of grass, separated from the small field to the east only by a post-and-wire fence. To the south of the house is a lawn, bounded on the south by a recently-constructed revetment of gabions, which has masked the original profile of the stream bank; it is discussed further in section 9.6.1-2 below. There is no physical boundary to the garden/lawn at the west, where it merges into an area of long undergrowth adjacent to the track leading to the south-western part of the farm estate (Area 7, 5.4.27 below). SURROUNDING FIELDS AND EARTHWORKS 5.46 For the purposes of this description, the various components of the scheduled area have been grouped into 'assets' according to their location within the site, largely based on the existing field boundaries, using the methodology described above. In practice these divisions do to a large extent reflect coherent groups of archaeological features, so although this introduces an element of artificiality any potential disadvantage is small. It would not be feasible to define precise boundaries between groups of features, as these are not always well-defined, and in some cases the interpretation of certain features is uncertain or disputed. The divisions are shown on Fig 21 and identified there and below as Area 1, Area 2, etc. The most detailed survey is by Brown (2005), which should be referred to for a fuller description. Previous surveys are summarised by Litherland & Moscrop (nd 36-6, fig 23). None of these areas were covered by the 2009 AMP condition survey. Where no condition issues are noted it can be assumed that the asset appeared to be in reasonable condition. Area 1 inner precinct, east of farm access; (boundary fences are Asset No 425-004) 5.47 This lies to the north and east of the farmyard complex, and north of the 'infirmary', and for the purposes of this report combines two enclosures (Areas 1a and 1b) which have been separate in roughly the same form since at least the mid-19th century, when they were surveyed for the tithe map (Fig 5). They are combined together because: (i) they share a common feature along the eastern side the water-filled ditch, and in

    terms of their position within the monastic inner precinct there is no archaeological justification for a division;

    (ii) on the surface there is nothing to distinguish them apart from a post-and-wire fence

    with a gate; (iii) the medieval infirmary building is in Area 1b, and the proposed public car parking

    and access path to it which forms an integral part of the planning consent recently granted is in Area 1a;

  • (iv) the two fields are divided between two Lots in the current sale particulars (Fig 100;

    FGJS 2012). 5.48 In view of these it is felt essential to emphasise that the two enclosures must be considered together, even if the Lot division results in separate ownership. Area 1a 5.49 The north and east boundaries approximate to those of the monastic inner precinct. The field boundaries are marked by post-and-wire fencing, with hedge at the west adjacent to the access track, except where it directly abuts the eastern range of farm buildings. It includes the linear water-filled channel running N-S along its eastern edge, i.e. the boundary runs along the eastern side of the water which is also the boundary of the Scheduled Monument, although there is also a post-and-wire fence along the western side of the water. (The southern end of this feature is in Area 1b.) Mature trees line both sides of the channel. 5.50 The field is used as horse pasture, with short cropped grass (Fig 57). Its most noticeable feature is the standing masonry of the north presbytery wall. There are mature trees along both banks of the linear water feature. Numerous low earthworks are visible. A linear depression, corresponding to the boundary between enclosures 73 and 74 on the tithe map, was partly water-filled, probably due solely to the recent extreme wet weather. The short stretch of narrow ditch or channel running westwards from the north-east corner, shown as water-filled on surveys up to the 1990s, was dry when inspected for this report (apart from two small puddles), as recorded by Brown in 2005. There is a gate from the access track in the north-west corner, and a gate to Area 1b in the southern fence. CONDITION The ground surface around the gate to Area 4 is very soft and disturbed by animal movement, no doubt exacerbated by the recent wet weather (Fig 58). The boundary fences were included in the periodic condition survey in 2009 (AMP report ref 525/2009), which noted that the fencing against the water-filled ditch was in poor condition and haphazard, with barbed wire strands fixed to loose sections of old steel gates or trees. This remains the same. Area 1b 5.51 This is a small enclosure containing the standing medieval infirmary and a small 19th-century stable block in the south-east corner (Fig 59). The northern boundary is a post-and wire fence with a gate Area 1b, except where it abuts the south wall of the east range of farm buildings. The eastern boundary is a continuation from Area 1a, and again includes the water-filled channel (Fig 60). The southern boundary is formed by the farm track leading east from the farmyard to Area 5; there is no fence, although there are eight mature hawthorn trees along its northern side, towards the infirmary. There is also the remains of a stone wall foundation at the western end (Fig 61), apparently a continuation of the low stone wall which forms the western boundary between the field and the farmyard. The age of this wall is not certain. Brakspear's plan of 1906 records part of it as surviving medieval fabric, although it is not shown as such on modern plans. It does not seem to be described in the survey reports

  • from the 1980s and 1990s. Much of it is undoubtedly a rough post-medieval or modern structure of re-used stone (Fig 62). 5.52 The ground surface is short grass, in which a few low earthworks can be seen although it is difficult to discern a pattern on the ground. Brown's plan records them but he does not provide an interpretation, unless his comment that 'on the eastern side of the church and barns there are a number of low scarps which may represent later farm building platforms or possibly excavation debris' is intended to include this area as well. The tithe map shows a pond, and the Ordnance Survey maps fence-lines and (in 1971) two buildings, and some of the earthworks may represent these. There is, however, the postulated monastic range to the west of the infirmary, although no earthworks representing it have been suggested. The foundations and low concrete base walls of the former 20th-century shed are still visible to the north of the infirmary, immediately west of the small stable block. Area 2 inner precinct west of access and possible part northern pond system 5.53 Area 2 is to the west of the modern farm access track, from which it is separated by a post-and-wire fence and hedge (figs 63-5). It includes the western side of the monastic inner precinct. At the south-east corner is the open-fronted shed described above (5.3.9-12) and a gate to the track and farmyard. The farm access is noticeably raised from the level of the field, increasing in height northwards and forming a distinct causeway. The southern boundary is mostly a hedge reinforced with barbed wire. The western boundary is a wooden post-and-rail fence separating the field from the adjacent sports track. At the north the field slopes sharply down to a stream which forms the field boundary although the scheduled area ends c.20m to the south at the top of the slope; this is probably related to the 1940s landfill (Fig 12). An overhead telephone line enters the field near the SE gate and runs north along the eastern side, and then west towards the sports centre buildings. A high voltage overhead power line enters the field from the south-west and runs as far as a pole near the gate; it must continue underground, presumably in the trench recorded by Bond in 1970 (above). 5.54 The ground surface is short and medium-length grass, and shows many low earthworks, described by Brown as low spread scarps, banks and platforms, including a possible westward continuation of the low E-W bank in Area 1a which he interprets as a garden walk just south of the inner precinct boundary. A low scarp along the western edge is probably the east side of the ditch shown on the early OS maps, which Litherland & Moscrop consider to be the western arm of a moat defining the inner precinct, and a low scarp to the north corresponds to the large depression, assumed to be a former pond shown on the early maps, now mostly destroyed by the sports track and 1940s infilling (Fig 12). CONDITION The field is used for grazing, and is very soft in parts, notably towards the north of the field which appears to be the site of the 1940s landfill. There is considerable disturbance from animals and vehicles adjacent to the gate, where stone chippings and other material have been dumped to improve the surface. There is evidence of mole activity in places. Area 3 northern valley and pond system east of the present access 5.55 Area 3 corresponds to the valley of the stream which was dammed in several places to

  • form the northern system of ponds (Figs 66-74). It includes the whole of the north side of the field, between the Scheduled area and the boundary fence as well as the monument itself. Both Litherland and Moscrop (nd) and Brown (2005) number the ponds from east (1) to west, which is also adopted for this report. The former identify five large ponds plus a smaller one on the south side of the valley; the latter numbers only the main ponds. Brown's numbering is used in this report, thus 1 to 5 from east to west. 5.56 The field boundaries are a mixture of post-and-wire fence, wooden post-and-rail fence and hedges. The westernmost dam carries the farm access causeway over the culverted stream, and is assumed to have performed a similar function for the medieval access (Fig 66). The valley has a fairly steep slope on the south side. The northern slope is shallower in the west and centre where the field is widest; the strip along its north side, not included in the scheduled area, is more level. The valley narrows and steepens to the east, where its northern edge is marked by the wooded embankment of the disused and filled-in canal. The surface is short grass, grazed by horses, with a few trees along the stream bank and elsewhere. There are no sub-divisions within the field, which provides a panoramic view of the whole pond system, interrupted only by the few trees. The dams are particularly impressive from the point where the public footpath enters the field from the south, at the dam between Ponds 2 and 3 (Fig 69). 5.57 Apart from the western dam which carries the access, the four dams to the east survive as upstanding earthworks, along with the less-prominent earthworks of the system of the associated leats and channels. All except the west (causeway) dam are now breached by the stream. The public footpath enters from the south adjacent to the dam between Ponds 2 and 3, and splits into two routes. Westwards it follows the south edge of the valley for a short distance before descending to the stream which it crosses on a bridge, and continues past the north end of the dam between Ponds 4 and 5 before exiting into the arable field to the north. Eastwards, it follows the southern edge of the valley along the boundary of the field, until exiting at the easternmost point of the field and the scheduled area. There is a second bridge over the stream, not associated with a footpath, in Pond 5. CONDITION The condition of the earthworks is generally good, but a number of issues were noted:

    (i) Erosion by animals at the gate from Area 1a, mentioned above, and this continues for

    some way down the slope to the stream. (ii) Severe erosion is also present at the bridge carrying the footpath over the stream. This

    also appears to be due to animals, either using the location to drink from the stream or crossing it, perhaps being led by people crossing on the bridge (Fig 71).

    (iii) There are two points where the dam between Ponds 1 and 2 has been eroded by

    human agency rather than animal. One is at the extreme N end of the dam, where the line of the footpath actually crosses the end of the dam (Fig 72). Another is slightly further south; this is off the path, but probably has the same cause.

    (iv) Mole activity was noted in a few places. (v) There was little evidence of rabbit activity, but a single fresh animal burrow, probably

    rabbit, was noted at the south end of the dam between Ponds 4 and 5.

  • (vi) The dam between Ponds 1 and 2 is generally in good condition, but there is a Halesowen Urban District Council (existed from 1925 to 1974) cast-iron inspection or vent cover on its upper surface. Emerging from the ground to cross the stream to the west of its north end is a metal pipe running roughly E-W. It is not clear whether it is associated with the inspection /vent cover. Although the ground surface and dam appear undisturbed today, there has clearly been excavation to install this equipment in the past (Figs 73-4).

    (vii) The north slope of the valley at the extreme east is very steep and dangerous, and has

    been fenced with barbed wire in an attempt to prevent access. This has been damaged, apparently by trespassers.

    (viii) A substantial tree is growing out of the masonry on the south side of the culvert

    carrying the access over the dam at the west of the field (Fig 66). The masonry is distorted, and it will eventually cause more severe damage and possibly collapse.

    Area 4 West end of southern valley and pond system 5.58 This small field should ideally be considered as part of Area 5, which contains the rest of the southern pond system, but has been kept separate because there is a substantial boundary between the two, and it is much more closely associated with the farmhouse in the current land management arrangements. It is included in the same Lot as the house in the sale particulars, and this is likely to remain the case. In purely archaeological terms there is no distinction. 5.59 At the north the field adjoins the farm track from the farmyard to Area 5, and is unfenced. The eastern boundary, separating it from Area 5 is a post-and-wire fence with a hedge. The southern boundary is the stream, and it is separated from the house and its garden area only by a post-and-wire fence (Fig 75). From a level area at the north it slopes down to the stream, but the natural contours have been altered by the earthworks of a large dam in the shape of an inverted 'L' running N-S along the east side and W-E part way down the slope, formerly retaining the large pond to the east (Fig 76). A second, smaller pond and other channels have been identified. The ground surface is short grass. A few stones are visible in the NW of the field, at the top of the slope just south of the farm track, possibly the foundations of a small building visible on OS maps from 1885-1918 although, if this is the case, much displaced (Fig 77). CONDITION No major condition issues were apparent, although a circular metal animal-feed holder adjacent to the farm track is an unwelcome intrusion into the view of the infirmary building from south of the track. It could be moved easily. Area 5 - Southern valley and pond system 5.60 Area 5 comprises the majority of the southern valley and pond system that are within the Scheduled Monument, although the one pond does extend beyond this to the east (Figs 78-84). It is currently a single field with a stream running through it, and archaeologically it forms a single coherent unit (except that, as described in 5.4.15 above, it should ideally be considered as one unit along with Area 4). However, the sale particulars divide it between

  • two lots, separated by the stream, and it may therefore subsequently be in divided ownership. It contains the western of two large ponds in the southern valley, except for the dam which retained it (which is in Area 4), and a second dam at its east end. The pond retained by this second dam is excluded from the scheduling apart from a sample strip on the east side of the dam. 5.61 The western boundary is a substantial hedge and post-and-wire fence which cuts off the view of the dam when looking to the west (Fig 78). A farm track runs along the hedge at the north side of the field, and a public footpath enters the east side via a stile in the post-and-wire fence (Fig 79). This follows the farm track for a short distance before turning north to exit the field; it continues north to enter the northern valley and pond system (Area 3). There is no physical boundary to the scheduled area at the south-east, where it simply crosses the open field parallel to the dam; the field continues as a long, narrow enclosure defined by the top of the valley. (Brown's survey did examine the area outside the Scheduled Monument see original report for discussion.) The south-west boundary is a simple post-and-wire fence along the top edge of the valley. 5.62 The north side of the field is fairly level, further south sloping down to the stream. The surface was exceptionally wet and soft, even at the top of the slope, no doubt exacerbated by the recent wet weather. Grazing appears to be less intensive to the south of the stream, where the bank is generally steeper. In the flat area adjacent to the south-western fence there is ridge-and-furrow, continuing from the adjoining field (Area 6). 5.63 The dam at the east of the scheduled area is prominent. It has been breached by the farm track, but this is not recent; map evidence shows it in this position since at least 1885 (Figs 6, 80). The south-west boundary cuts across the east end of the double-ditch earthwork which is used to define the southern edge of the scheduled area, and also a corner of ridge-and-furrow, most of which is in Area 6 (Fig 82). CONDITION The most significant condition issue is probably erosion and disturbance caused by hoses grazing. The field appears to be particularly prone to waterlogging, and the soft ground exaggerates the problem, becoming very badly churned up in places. It is particularly bad adjacent to the gate at the NW and the stream at the SW. On the north side of the stream, the dam shows erosion in two places, which appears to have been caused by horses climbing it (Fig 83). Slightly to the south-east of the dam, the stream bank is eroding and a small area has collapsed. This is probably on the edge of the scheduled area or just outside it (Fig 84). Area 6 southern scheduled area 5.64 The scheduled area to the south-west of the southern valley and pond system, and south of the farm complex, is roughly triangular and entirely within one larger field except for a very small projection into the adjacent field at the extreme south-west. The north-eastern boundary of Area 6 is the post-and-wire fence approximately following the upper edge of the southern valley, which separates it from Area 5 and does not respect earthworks in either field. The southern and western boundaries of the scheduled area are not physically marked on the ground but are related to earthworks. The southern boundary is immediately to the south of the double ditch linear earthwork that has been interpreted as either the boundary ditch of the outer precinct and part of the monastic water system, or a post-

  • medieval quarry (Fig 85). The western boundary of the scheduled area turns north to cross the double ditch on a small modern causeway (grassed-over, but lumps of concrete can be seen protruding), and run in a straight line along a low bank which Litherland and Moscrop (nd 35) interpret as a field boundary, and Brown (2005 24, 27) as the outer precinct boundary, a later park boundary or both (Fig 86). This also continues southwards beyond the scheduled area. The short northern boundary follows the top of the steep valley side. 5.65 The ground surface is short grass, and almost the whole area shows ridge-and-furrow. On the western side are various low earthworks: enclosures, possible linear building platforms and a windmill mound. 5.66 No condition issues were noted. 5.67 Area 6 overlooks the valley of the Illey Brook between the western boundary of the scheduled area and the brook, which was included in the original scheduled area but was de-scheduled in 1995 (Fig 87). Also overlooked, and de-scheduled at the same time, was the valley immediately west of western dam of the southern pond system, which Litherland and Moscrop suggest as the possible location of watermills (Fig 88). This may have been the location of another pond (see above). Area 7 south-west of farm buildings 5.68 South-west of the farmyard is a small area bounded by Area 1 to its north, the sports stadium on the west, the stream to the south and the garden of the farmhouse to the east; there is no barrier to the garden. It slopes down to the stream, and is crossed by a farm track running south-west from the yard down to a gate and bridge over the stream, giving access to the fields to the south. The surface is very overgrown and uneven either side of the track, particularly on the north side, and it was not possible to identify the bank (possible dam) discussed above, which map evidence shows along its northern side (Figs 53, 89-90). There is a short, steep wooded slope up to the sports ground at the west. CONDITION Very overgrown, with dumping of waste material and equipment. Area 8 south of sports stadium 5.69 This area is not within the Manor Farm Estate ownership. It forms a narrow projection of the scheduled area, on the north side of the stream. The northern strip is within the stadium, and is grassed. There is a wide low spread bank between the sports track and the fence at the top of the slope down to the stream (Fig 96). The south-facing stream bank itself is very steep and thickly wooded (Fig 97). The boundaries of this part of the scheduled area are discussed further below. The low spread bank described by Brown can be seen within the sports stadium, presumably the continuation from Area 7. THE SETTING OF THE MONUMENT 5.70 The Premonstratensian objective of choosing a site in a relatively remote location can still be appreciated today when the monument is seen in its wider setting from the north,

  • when the view south is towards the undeveloped Green Belt (Fig 93). To the west the sports track impinges on the setting, but the wooded slopes help to mask development further to the west, and to the east is open countryside (Fig 94). The northwards setting is in complete contrast, being entirely urban north of Manor Way and bearing no resemblance to the original rural landscape. 5.71 Looking from the north at the structural remains in and around the farm buildings at the core of the scheduled area, the site can be seen in its rural context; this aspect is important because it is the view that is seen when approaching the site from Manor Way and the built-up area on the public footpath (Fig 95). The infirmary stands out at the west, and the presbytery wall and south transept make a striking contrast to the 19th-century farm buildings but are not overwhelmed by them. There are no harsh modern structures to dominate the scene. The sports stadium can be seen if the eye moves slightly eastwards, but it is at a lower level, does not have any large stands and is reasonably screened by trees and hedges. Entering the path from Manor Way the ponds are not immediately obvious; the dams are not prominent above the surrounding ground level, and part of the pond system is obscured by the raised ground of the former coal mine site. They come into view as the path enters the first field containing the scheduled area to cross the valley, and their spatial relationship to the monastic buildings is easily seen and understood (Fig 96). 5.72 Entry along the farm track offers a similar experience, and a superb view of the pond system from the causeway carrying the track over the westernmost surviving dam. As far as is understood, the track follows the original monastic access. The basic approach sequence, entering the outer precinct at Manor Lane/Way, through the outer precinct and crossing the pond system on a causeway to arrive at the buildings of the inner precinct, survives essentially unaltered, although the impact of the successive stages is less apparent because the physical barriers the outer gatehouse and a defined boundary around the inner precinct (perhaps with a second gatehouse) no longer survive. There are no significant modern intrusions to interrupt the progression, although the clutter of building materials, rubbish and old vehicle trailers immediately north of the barns is an unattractive, but easily-rectified, detraction from the appearance of the approach (Fig 97). 5.73 Viewing the core of the site from the footpath as it passes to the east, the view of the buildings has been obscured for many years by the mature trees lining the water-filled channel marking the boundary of the inner precinct (and the east boundary of the present scheduled area). The recently-constructed barn immediately east of the trees is very obvious. The ponds and dams are mostly below the general ground level, although the contrast between the grassed valleys with occasional trees and the cultivated fields is readily apparent. 5.74 An important medium-distance viewpoint is from the footpath at the eastern end of the southern pond system. Most of the abbey and farm buildings are screened by the trees lining the water-filled channel, but the infirmary can be seen framed by trees, and its relationship to the southern ponds appreciated (Fig 98). The recent barn undoubtedly intrudes on this aspect. Although its walls are a dark green colour to blend in with the trees (at which it is reasonably successful), its roof is white or very light grey, which is much more conspicuous. However, the barn is not the only intrusion into the setting, although it is much the closest. Looking a little further north, the large white Sandvik company building on Manor Way is clearly visible, whilst to the west, a block of flats can be seen in the far distance directly above the roof of the infirmary.

  • 5.75 Considering the setting viewed outwards from the core of the monument (around the buildings), the modern town development of Manor Way is very obvious. Looking east, the large modern barn is screened by trees; this is probably quite effective from late spring to autumn when the trees have leaves, but is less so in winter (Fig 59 above). To the south and west the setting is essentially as described above. 6 Ecological assessment INTRODUCTION 6.1 A Phase 1 Habitat Survey was carried out by Warwickshire County Council Ecological Services to inform the Conservation Management Plan. The scope of the survey was: (i) a desk-based study of existing habitats and protected/notable species records.

    (ii) a site visit to determine the habitats present within the site, and to assess their nature conservation value. assess the potential for protected species to use the habitats within the site and recommend the need for any subsequent protected species surveys.

    (iii) a report to highlight any potential ecological constraints or opportunities at the site in relation to future management, development and its impact on protected species. METHODOLOGY 6.2 A search of the protected species records held by the Birmingham and the Black Country Ecological Records Centre (EcoRecord) and Worcestershire Biological Records Centre was undertaken for the area up to 1km around the site. This included statutory and non-statutory nature conservation designations and records of protected and notable species. 6.3 A Phase 1 Habitat Survey of the site was undertaken on 7th March 2013 by Lois Browne and Michelle Eaton (Ecologists), Louise Sherwell (Assistant Ecologist), and Chris Hill (Ecological Assistant) in accordance with the standard methodology (NCC, 1990 updated JNCC, 2003) and IEEM (2012). This involved the classification of habitats according to the species present and target noting features worthy of further investigation. An assessment was also made of the potential of the habitats to support protected species. Any evidence of protected or notable species was recorded during the site visit. Other incidental observations of fauna were also noted. 6.4 Features of ecological significance are shown on Fig 99. The full ecological assessment report, including detailed site survey, species records, and detailed recommendations forms Appendix L.

  • DESK-BASED STUDY Statutory sites 6.5 There is one statutory site located within 1km of the site boundary, Tenterfields Local Nature Reserve (LNR). Non-Statutory sites 6.6 Parts of the site are designated as non-statutory Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs) (Refs: DY072, Illey Brook North (a tributary of Illey Brook) and DY071, Manor Abbey Woodland). These are sites of County-level importance. Illey Brook North is also partly selected as a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation (SLINC). It comprises a watercourse with a block of broad-leaved woodland further south of the site. Illey Brook North flows in a north-westerly direction through the farm and to the north. Water flow is moderate, with vegetation along its banks consisting of tall fringing trees and shrubs with a grazed or ungrazed understorey of herbs. Alder (Alnus glutinosa), crack willow (Salix fragilis) and pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) dominate the canopy, with the shrub layer dominated by hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), elder (Sambucus nigra), guelder rose (Viburnum opulus) and hazel (Corylus avellana). Herbaceous species recorded within the woodland include broad-buckler fern (Dryopteris dilatata), wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) and yellow archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon) and within the damp grassland habitat includes devils-bit scabious (Succisa pratensis). 6.7 Manor Abbey Woodland SINC is described as an area of mature semi-natural diverse woodland along the watercourse. The woodland comprises ash (Fagus sylvatica), oak, alder, crack willow and sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus). The ground flora is best at the south-western part of the site, and includes sanicle (Prunella vulgaris), bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), wild garlic (Allium ursinum), wood millet (Milium effusum), yellow archangel and greater stitchwort (Stellaria holostea). South of the woodland, the grassland has a reasonable to good species diversity including crested dogs tail (Cynosurus cristatus), sweet vernal grass (Anthoxanthum odorat), pignut (Conopodium majus), birds foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and common knapweed (Centaurea nigra). North of the woodland, the grassland is species-rich neutral grassland with further species including ladys mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris agg) and creeping cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans). The majority of Manor Abbey Woodland lies outside of the site boundary, with only part of the woodland located within the south-western part of the site. 6.8 There is good habitat connectivity between the site and the surrounding area via several important and diverse wildlife corridors, including the disused railway which lies adjacent to Manor Abbey Woodland (site ref SO98/08). This comprises a mosaic of overgrown sections with scrub woodlands and tall herb sections with occasional open grassland. Illey Brook is also an important linear wildlife corridor, which runs through the site and provides connectivity with woodland to the south and east. 6.9 Additional non-statutory sites that lie further afield within 1km of the site include SLINC Lapal Lodge approximately 500m to the east of the site; SINC Coopers Wood & Lyclose Meadow approximately 750m to the south-east of the site; SLINC River Stour

  • Corridor approximately 500m to the west of the site, and SINC/SLINC The Leasowes approximately 900m to the north of the site. 6.10 The site lies within the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area (NIA), one of 12 areas in the country selected by Natural England to deliver significant improvements to the natural environment. It has five key objectives: to increase the amount of wildlife habitat; to enhance the value of existing habitats; to increase the number of sites with wildlife value; to target action on corridors and stepping stones for biodiversity and to involve local communities for the above work. The site lies within the Grassland Focus Area of the NIA. Protected species 6.11 There are records of common pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus), soprano pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pygmaeus), Nathusius pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus nathusii), natterers bat (Myotis nattereri), brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus), Daubentons bat (Myotis duabentonii) and noctule (Nyctalus noctula) within 1km of the site boundary. All bats are European Protected Species (EPS), fully protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA) (as amended) and the Conservation Regulations 2010. 6.12 Other protected mammals from the surrounding area include water vole (Arvicola amphibius), which are fully protected under the WCA. The most recent record of water vole was recorded in 2002 in Manor Abbey Woodland, within approximately 100m of the site. There are a number of records of badgers (Meles meles), which are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. There are also records of brown hare (Lepus europeaus), which is a UK BAP species, from within the same 1km grid square as the site. 6.13 Recorded on the site boundary on the Illey Brook, there is a record of the partially protected species, common frog (Rana temporaria). There are also records of the partially protected species, common toad (Bufo bufo) and smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) within 1km of the site. These species are partially protected from sale only under the WCA. Common toad is additionally a UK BAP species. 6.14 Several notable bird species have been recorded within Manor Abbey Woodland near to the boundary of the site, including kestrel, grey wagtail, willow tit, yellowhammer, dunnock, bullfinch, starling, song thrush, redwing, mistle thrush, stock dove and mallard. Further afield within 1km, house sparrow, barn owl and lapwing have also been recorded. 6.15 Locally notable plant species recorded within the site boundary include bluebell, seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) (however 4 figure grid reference only) and a rare hawkweed (Hieracium acuminatum). Locally notable species recorded within 1km of the site include Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) in Halesowen Athletic Club adjacent to the site. Sea trout (Salmo trutta) has been recorded on site. Invasive species 6.16 Species which are invasive and are listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA) have been recorded within the site and within the surrounding area.

  • These include Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), recorded within Manor Abbey Woodland. Other invasive species recorded within 0.5km are Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera), Canadian waterweed (Elodea canadensis), Himalayan cotoneaster (Cotoneaster simonsii) and rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum). It is an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow in the wild invasive non-native plants listed on Schedule 9 due to their adverse impact on native wildlife. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS Habitats and species 6.17 The habitats with the highest ecological interest are the historic remains and the agricultural buildings for their use by barn owls and potential opportunities for bats, along with semi-improved grassland fields to the north and south of the site, the semi-natural wooded areas along the watercourses and water-body, particularly as they contribute to the overall habitat mosaic of the site. 6.18 There are no confirmed bat roosts within the site. However, the remains of the abbey, agricultural buildings and Manor Farm house are all considered to provide some potential for roosting bats. Furthermore, a number of trees on site provide potential bat roosting opportunities in the trees and six trees in particular were highlighted as having medium/high bat roosting potential (Fig 99, T1-6). The sites overall mosaic of habitats also provides good bat foraging conditions. All UK species of bat are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and are also European Protected Species, protected under the Conservation of Habitats Regs. 2010. Therefore if any of the buildings, historic structures or mature trees are likely to be impacted on as a result of works, we recommend that these are first surveyed for bats. 6.19 If bats are found to be present in any trees or buildings on site, then any development at the site may require a derogation licence from Natural England, depending on the scale of the disturbance, to include a scheme of mitigation designed to avoid adverse impacts on individuals and on the conservation status of the local population. 6.20 There is an area directly adjacent to the site which is actively used by badgers. Badgers are protected under their own legislation, The Protection of Badgers Act, 1992. It is therefore recommended that a further check for badgers is carried out immediately prior to potentially disturbing works that may be carried out, as badgers are a mobile species that can dig new setts literally overnight. 6.21 There are no confirmed records of otter or water vole on site, although the tree-lined watercourse to the south of the site is considered to offer some potential for these species. Otters and their holts (place of rest) are protected under the 1981 Wildlife & Countryside Act and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 so are therefore deemed a European Protected Species. Water voles and their burrows (place of rest) are protected under the 1981 Wildlife & Countryside Act. Water voles are also a UK and Local BAP species.

  • 6.22 Likewise there are no confirmed records of white-clawed crayfish on site. However a more detailed survey of the watercourse in relation to this species is recommended should any works be likely to impact on this species through loss of habitat, pollution or disease. Any works affecting the bank or that will disrupt the main channel of any watercourse should proceed only with caution. The species is scheduled under both the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and the EC Habitats Directive. The latter gives the species European Protected Species status. It is also a UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species. 6.23 There are no great crested newt or reptile records surrounding the site and the site is considered on the whole to offer a low potential for these species. However, some potential for terrestrial, hibernating or commuting habitat for amphibians and reptiles is present on site. Therefore, care should be taken during any disturbance works to suitable terrestrial habitat (including piles of rubble, stone walls, semi-improved grassland and commuting corridors through the site such as the wooded areas, hedgerows and dry ditch). If great crested newts or reptiles are found at any point then works must stop whilst Natural England is contacted. Reptiles and amphibians are protected to varying degrees under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and great crested newts are additionally deemed European Protected Species. 6.24 A number of birds were recorded using the site, including amber-listed and protected species: barn owl; amber-listed barn swallow; and the amber-listed house martin. The grassland, albeit not optimal, is also likely to provide some foraging habitat for barn owls. The trees, hedgerows, scrub and any areas of long grassland all provide potential nesting opportunities for birds. Any necessary removal of trees or shrubs should take place outside the bird nesting season where possible. If not possible, trees should be checked by a suitably qualified ecologist immediately prior to works being carried out. 6.25 The barn owl is listed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981, as amended). This means that the birds, their young, nests and eggs are fully protected at all times in the UK. A fine or custodial sentence may be applied to an offence against barn owls. It is also an offence to disturb barn owls on an active nest with eggs, young or before the eggs have hatched, or to disturb parent dependent young. 6.26 The site provides good habitat for a range of invertebrates. It is therefore recommended that a further, dedicated invertebrate survey is carried out by a suitably qualified ecologist in appropriate survey conditions. It is not considered likely that the site supports any other protected or notable species. Overall the site is considered to be of medium ecological value at the county level. Habitat management 6.27 The primary focus for the management of the site is the historical features. A compromise is therefore recommended, whereby management is carried out in an ecologically sensitive manner which integrates biodiversity enhancement measures where appropriate. The existing habitats should be brought into good ecological management, to improve them in the long-term. Such a compromise would represent a positive approach towards the site's continued ecological value in the future. Without this, the overgrazing would impact increasingly on the value of the grasslands and, if left unmanaged, natural

  • regeneration would eventually erode the grasslands, as scrub would inevitably encroach over the next twenty to thirty years. 6.28 It is recommended that enhancement measures are carried out on grassland areas to increase species richness of the semi-improved grasslands and provide additional foraging habitat for the barn owls on site. This would include measures such as a sensitive grazing and management regime, set-aside areas of rough grassland along field boundaries, potential seed harvesting of species-rich grassland and translocation of seed to less species-rich areas. Enhancements of other habitats within the site are also recommended as part of a Nature Improvement Area, in addition to further compensation for any loss of habitat, such as carrying out some woodland management on existing woodland to allow increasing light to penetrate the ground layer. 6.29 Provided that: (i) existing important ecological features are retained, (ii) the management of the site's historic interests are sensitive to its ecological value, and (iii) that retained habitats are managed long-term to enhance their ecological value, it is possible that the ecological value of the site can be conserved in the future. Where ecological features cannot be retained it is recommended the site is enhanced to compensate for any loss. 6.30 As the site lies within the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area (NIA), it is possible that funding may be available for project work, in particular work led by community groups. Further information on how to apply can be sought from the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust. PART 2 HERITAGE VALUES AND SIGNIFICANCE 7 Heritage values INTRODUCTION AND DEFINITION 7.1 An essential part of a Conservation Plan is an assessment of the heritage value and significance of the heritage asset as a whole and, where necessary, of the individual elements which comprise it. From this assessment, policies and guidelines can be formulated to ensure that it, and each of its components, receives the level of protection and sensitive management appropriate to its importance. 7.2 English Heritage guidance (2008) has identified four themes by which the values attached to a place may be grouped. The guidance uses the word place as a 'proxy for any part of the historic environment'. The term heritage asset was introduced for the same purpose in Planning Policy Statement No. 5, remains in its successor, the National Planning Policy Framework, and is used in this Plan. The four themes are:

    Evidential Value. Historical Value.

  • Aesthetic Value. Communal Value. 7.3 Evidential value derives from the potential of a heritage asset to yield evidence about past human activity. The value of the physical element of the asset (the fabric of a building, buried archaeological deposits, etc) increases in the absence of documentary evidence, where it becomes the main or only source of evidence. 7.4 Historical value relates to ways in which past people, events and aspects of life can be connected to the present through the heritage asset. This can be split between illustrative and associative values. Illustrative value relies on the visibility of a heritage asset to demonstrate such connections, for example, surviving machinery in an industrial site, or the layout of rooms in a building. Associative value derives from connections to notable people, events, activities or social movements, although this does depend on the adequate survival of relevant contemporary physical elements. 7.5 Aesthetic value is defined as deriving from 'the ways in which people draw sensory and intellectual stimulation' from the heritage asset, and can be either designed or fortuitous. Designed value is based on deliberate decisions; an obvious example is the architecture of a building, which may include considerations such as functional factors governing a design. Fortuitous values do not represent comprehensive overall planning, but rather a gradual accumulation of individual decisions, such as a streetscape with an irregular pattern of roads, and buildings of different ages and designs. 7.6 Communal value is more subjective and emotional. It is dependent on what a heritage asset means to the people and community who interact with it. Again, sub-divisions are recognised. Commemorative or symbolic value evokes memories or identification with some aspect of the past; the guidance observes that the most obvious examples are war and other memorials raised by community effort, but that some can symbolise wider values. Social value is more a reflection of community activity or identity, and can be less directly related to physical fabric. Spiritual value can be based on formal religion or a more personal perception of wonder or reverence inspired by a place. EVIDENTIAL VALUE 7.7 There is evidential value in the surviving standing fabric of the medieval monastic buildings, buried archaeological remains of those buildings and associated features, and the extensive earthworks which include the water management system, possible building platforms and features associated with the post-medieval use of the site. Collectively, the individual elements form a well-preserved medieval landscape. 7.8 The value of all categories of physical medieval evidence is enhanced because of the quality and extent of documentary evidence which survives for the abbey itself and the wider manor. There is no known cartulary, but other sources available include contemporary original documents, early transcriptions of documents, early historical accounts and illustrations from the 18th century onwards (Appendices I, K). This enables the abbey to be placed in its historic, economic and social context and, in relation to the material remains of

  • the abbey, it has the potential for providing dating for events identifiable archaeologically, and interpreting the nature and use of features on the site. 7.9 There is also the potential for evidential value in buried remains of other periods that may be present anywhere within the monument. The medieval landscape 7.10 The largely-complete survival of both pond complexes, and other features such as the (assumed) alignment of the access below the present farm access, means that the relationship between the major elements of the medieval monastic landscape can still be seen and understood, despite the loss of most of the buildings and the lack of agreement over the west, east and south boundaries of the outer precinct. Standing monastic buildings 7.11 The standing remains of the church and claustral ranges are fragmentary, but preserve architectural details and evidence which indicate the appearance and layout of the medieval site. Those elements that are built into later farm structures also preserve such evidence, but in addition demonstrate the post-dissolution changes that created the farm as it exists today. 7.12 The infirmary is a rare survival of a complete medieval building, albeit with later alterations (and probably originally attached to a building at the west, now lost). It has been studied in great detail, and although a firm conclusion as to its original purpose remains elusive, its structure is a palimpsest in which several phases of building can be identified from both the monastic and post-dissolution periods. It should not be forgotten that this extends to the modern conservation measures that have been taken to stabilise and conserve the building. Buried monastic remains 7.13 Previous archaeological (or perhaps more accurately for much of it, 'antiquarian') investigation of the buried remains, coupled with the evidence of the surviving standing remains, has enabled much of the plan of the church and claustral complex to be reconstructed with some confidence. The floor tiles recovered not only provide detail of its appearance, but study of them provides parallels and links with other sites. Unfortunately little of the previous work was to modern archaeological standards, and there is no doubt that some evidence would have been destroyed unrecorded. However, the unexcavated parts of the church and cloister, even allowing for later disturbance, will preserve further evidence, including more subtle remains such as traces of floor make-up layers that will have escaped previous attention. 7.14 There is considerable potential for buried remains away from the known buildings. The west cloister range probably extends into the field to the west of the present access (Area 2 in section 5 above), and geophysics has suggested the presence of buildings and other features within this field. There is assumed to be a range of buildings between the cloister and the infirmary, and there may be minor subsidiary buildings elsewhere in or immediately

  • adjacent to the inner precinct, such as the small structures between the inner precinct and the northern ponds indicated by geophysics. The present farmhouse was built on the site of an earlier building, the function of which is not known but may have been the abbot's lodging or a monastic mill. Remains of its foundations may survive around the present house. Possible building locations have been suggested by earthwork survey. Excavation will confirm whether these interpretations are correct and, if they are, the nature of the structures. Apart from buildings, the location of the abbey's cemetery is suggested by field names but has never been investigated, and will preserve important evidence of the age, health, diet etc. of the canons. Earthworks and ponds 7.15 The most prominent earthworks are the ponds and associated water management systems to the north and south of the site. The ponds survive in remarkably complete condition. Their spatial relationship to the rest of the abbey complex can be readily appreciated, and it is easy to see how they were created by damming the existing streams. Detailed earthwork survey has recorded the ponds and identified other details of the system such as the leats and possible sites of sluices, but much further information is still to be discovered. Various locations for mills other associated structures have been suggested, based on earthwork survey, but none have as yet been confirmed; geophysics has been inconclusive but below-ground evidence will survive to be found by excavation. 7.16 The ponds and other water management features will contain important buried evidence in the silts within them. This should provide environmental data from plant remains and pollen, indicating the natural and agricultural regime in and around the precinct, perhaps showing changes over time. Remains such as fish bones will show other aspects of the monastic economy and domestic arrangements. 7.17 There are less-prominent earthworks in other areas of the site, providing evidence for other activities in the medieval and post-dissolution periods. There is by no means agreement on the interpretation of many of these; none have as yet been investigated by excavation. Buried archaeological remains of other periods 7.18 A large pre-monastic building below the inner precinct is suggested by geophysics. Many prehistoric and Roman artefacts have been recovered from the fields around the monument, and a number of possible sites or features are known from aerial photographs. This suggests that similar evidence is likely to be present within the monument, the present lack of data almost certainly being the result of lack of investigation rather than a true reflection of the potential. HISTORICAL VALUE 7.19 The site has both illustrative and associative historical value, which is enhanced by the extensive documentary records.

  • Illustrative value 7.20 Monastic sites in general illustrate the importance of the religious houses in the medieval period, as

    'centres of worship, learning and charity, but also because of the vast landholdings of some orders, as centres of immense wealth and political influence...many monasteries acted as the foci of wide networks including parish churches, almshouses, hospitals, farming estates and tenant villages' (Scheduling Description Appendix A).

    Halesowen was a relatively wealthy house, illustrated by the quality of the surviving remains of the church and cloister, and also the documentary records which cover matters including the accounts for hospitality dispensed, its relationship with the town of Halesowen, and its extensive agricultural holdings within the manor and elsewhere, farmed through a system of granges. Associative value 7.21 It is stating the obvious, but the abbey remains are associated with, and a physical manifestation of, one of the most significant domestic events in British history, the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. 7.22 The abbey's founder, Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, was a major figure in contemporary politics as a close friend and advisor of King John, himself one of the best-known English monarchs because of his role as signatory of the Magna Carta. He acted as regent of England in the king's absence on an expedition to France in 1214, and commanded part of his army in 1216. He continued to be a powerful figure after John was succeeded by Henry III, and was also a significant patron of the arts (Brindle nd, 2-3). It is undoubtedly true to say that des Roches is much less well-known than King John, and that Halesowen's connection with a person of such importance in his time is not generally appreciated today. This is something that could be brought out in enhanced publicity and educational material for the site. 7.23 The abbey had close links with the town of Halesowen throughout its life. As lords of the manor, the abbots took a leading role in the development of the town and its market and borough charters. The relationship between abbey and town was therefore closer than would have been the case with a secular lord of the manor, and was not always straightforward (above). AESTHETIC VALUE The medieval buildings 7.24 The designed aesthetic values of the medieval church and claustral complex are not easy to appreciate because of the limited survival of the standing remains, although the presbytery wall, south transept and south cloister wall give an indication the size of the complex and the quality of its architecture. The standing infirmary building was always one of the peripheral buildings of the complex, and does not display the classic medieval ecclesiastical architecture of the church and cloisters. In its present multi-phase form, is more

  • a product of fortuitous development and change, and as such its aesthetics are interesting for its obvious great age and complexity, rather than any inherent design qualities. 7.25 The fortuitous aesthetic value of the building complex as a whole is quite striking. The surviving section of the north presbytery wall stands sentinel-like in the field to the north of the farm buildings. The juxtaposition of the remains of the south transept and south cloister with the later farm buildings and farmhouse provides a stark contrast between architectural styles and, at least until recently, between the ruined state of the medieval structures and the in-use farm buildings. The contrast in condition is currently less marked due to the increasingly poor condition of the farm buildings; indeed, from the north the 17th-century barn is hardly less of a ruin than the south transept wall which it abuts. The effect is most striking from the north, from a sufficient distance to view the whole complex including the infirmary. The earthworks 7.26 The earthworks cannot be said to have designed aesthetic value but, particularly when viewed eastwards from the causeway carrying the present farm access, the northern group in particular is undoubtedly spectacular. The series of dams can be seen into the distance, largely uninterrupted by obstructions apart from a few trees, and the sheer scale of the system can be appreciated. Viewed from close proximity, the size of the dams is impressive. The southern ponds are less easy to appreciate overall, as they are laid out on a sharper bend, and the view is obstructed by trees and hedges to a greater extent. COMMUNAL VALUE 7.27 The site potentially has a considerable communal social value, as an amenity and educational facility close to a very large centre of population. However, such uses have to date been seriously curtailed by the limitations on access imposed by the ownership and use of the site (section 9 below). It is an important component of the Green Belt bounding the built-up area to the north which, as well as providing an important visual contrast, provides access to open countryside for millions of urban dwellers. 7.28 Despite its association with the dissolution of the monasteries, the site cannot realistically be said to have any communal commemorative or symbolic value, as this event has no direct relevance to modern society. This is more appropriately considered as a historical association rather than of current commemorative value. Its role in the early history of the town is similarly remote in time (above). 7.29 The site no longer has an active spiritual role, but the remains of the church are certainly capable of evoking feelings of spirituality in the imagination of anyone who is so inclined today or has an empathy with the role religion played at the time the abbey flourished. The effect would be most pronounced when viewed at peaceful times in the right weather conditions, with the ruins rising out of an early-morning mist for example.

  • 8 Significance INTRODUCTION AND DEFINITION 8.1 There are a number of criteria against which significance can be assessed. They obviously inter-relate to the heritage values described above, but are more specifically defined and also have practical application in the designation of heritage assets. 8.2 Statutory criteria are used to determine whether a building is of a quality and interest that merits listing (DCMS 2010a). For ancient monuments there is a range of non-statutory criteria; these are not definitive, but are considered as indicators to be used in a wider professional judgment (DCMS 2010b). Full definitions are listed in Appendix C and D respectively, but are in summary: Ancient Monuments: Period Rarity Documentation Group value Survival / vulnerability Diversity Potential

    Listed Buildings: Architectural Interest Historic Interest 8.3 It is also necessary to assess the level of the significance that has been identified using the criteria above. There is no single definition of significance levels, and this Plan adopts the following: Table 9 Levels of significance

    Level of Significance Definition

    Exceptional Heritage assets or elements with values of major national or international importance. Will include sites designated as Scheduled Ancient Monuments or Listed Buildings of Grades I and II*, or demonstrably of equivalent importance, though not every element may be of similar significance.

    Considerable Heritage assets or elements with values important in their own right, or which make a major contribution to overall importance. Will include sites which are not of sufficient quality to be Scheduled but are rare or good examples of their type, or which can elucidate regional activity in a particular period, and buildings or structures Listed at Grade II or of equivalent standard, of importance to a wider community than their immediate local area.

    Moderate Heritage assets or elements with values that do not merit national designation, but which have some importance in their own right or which make a contribution to the character, importance or understanding of a wider site or building.

    Low Assets or elements which are of only little importance in their own right or as a contribution to the overall importance and understanding of a wider site or building.

    Neutral Assets or elements which make neither a positive nor a negative contribution to the overall importance and understanding of a wider site or building.

    Intrusive Things which detract from the significance or value of a site, building or element by being visually inappropriate, intrusive or obstructive, hindering its interpretation and understanding.

  • 8.4 Elements that are in themselves of lesser significance may still make an important or useful contribution to a site or building of overall higher significance. It cannot be assumed that such lesser elements do not play a part in the overall significance, and any proposal that would affect such an element must be subject to a proper impact assessment. 8.5 It is also the case that an asset value of relatively limited significance on a national scale may be perceived as having higher importance locally. For example, in a town with little distinguished architecture, a building Listed only at Grade II may be considered of exceptional local significance as a rare example of quality design, even though at a national level it is neither unusual nor outstanding. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE

    Overall significance of the monument 8.6 As noted in a previous document, the whole monument and setting must be treated together (Fleming, nd). As a Scheduled Ancient Monument it is by definition of national importance and exceptional significance. The scheduling description briefly discusses the importance of monasteries in general terms, and summarises factors specific to Halesowen (Appendix A). The overall significance of the monument is not therefore assessed further, but the various elements and areas (as defined in section 5 above) are considered below, and exceptions to this overall significance discussed, in particular the extent to which later elements of the site are intrusive. In general, the approach follows that of the Monument Synopsis prepared for the 1995 review, where some elements of the site have a lower importance in isolation, but are nevertheless in the highest category for group value as integral parts of the monument. In practice, the majority are therefore assessed here as exceptional, with additional comments as necessary. The modern fences can be assumed to be intrusive on the historic landscape, but will in general remain an integral component of the land management and are only discussed where there is a specific point in addition to this general assessment. Standing medieval masonry 8.7 That the significance of the standing medieval masonry is exceptional is manifest. The only doubt relates to the identification as medieval of the masonry in the east wall of the derelict open-fronted shed, which is currently excluded from the scheduling although included in the guardianship. However, it is generally accepted as medieval, and should be considered as such unless it is subsequently proved otherwise. There is also more surviving medieval masonry built into the north wall of the 17th-century barn than is included in the scheduling, and this should be considered of equal significance. 8.8 There are later elements in or associated with most of the medieval structures, including construction using re-used stone and brick patching, to the post-medieval west wall and internal buttressing of the infirmary. No attempt is made here to identify and assess every such element. As a general illustration, a small poor-quality area of relatively late patching in brick could be considered of intrusive significance, or perhaps merely neutral if it is not too prominent. At the other extreme, the early post-dissolution alterations to the

  • infirmary are directly relevant to the end of the monastic phase, and are of equal exceptional significance to the medieval masonry and the building as a whole for their evidential value and also their contribution to aesthetic value. It would be necessary carry out an appropriate specific assessment if any work affecting such building elements is planned. 19th-century and later farm buildings 8.9 In terms of the exceptionally significant heritage assets, and the display and understanding of the standing medieval remains, all the 19th-century and later farmyard buildings together with modern fencing, concrete surfacing and similar items are intrusive, although it can also be argued that the juxtaposition of the medieval remains with the later farm buildings gives the site some of its character, and they are illustrative of changes in the use of the site over time. Unconverted farm buildings of the 19th-century are increasingly less common, and arguably these do have some significance in their own right. However, they are in poor condition, and at best probably only of low significance. Although it has been suggested that these structures should ideally be removed this is probably unrealistic under the present circumstances. However, removal of redundant intrusions such as the concrete footings of the former open-sided barn to the north of the existing buildings, and of the former storage silos on the north side of the 17th-century barn is feasible. 8.10 The farmhouse is Listed Grade I, which would normally imply exceptional significance, but this is on the basis that it is in the curtilage of the Grade I listed monastic remains rather than in its own right (section 1 above). It is a nicely-proportioned Victorian house, but its main interest is probably its designer, Yeovill Thomason, a local architect of some renown. A detailed assessment of its significance as a building is beyond the scope of this report, but it may merit locally-listed status, which would give it a moderate significance. The recently-installed gabion revetment in the farmhouse garden is intrusive, particularly visually when viewed from the scheduled area to the south and to a degree from Areas 4 and 7 to the east and west. Areas 1a, 1b inner precinct east of access, excluding standing medieval structures 8.11 This area is of exceptional significance because it is known to contain the buried remains of the church and claustral buildings. It also has potential for other buried remains of similar significance. A monastic range to the west of the infirmary is postulated but seems certain, and it is likely that other buried remains relating to the inner precinct will be present. 8.12 It also contains various earthwork features (including the water-filled channel at the east), most of which cannot currently be interpreted with certainty. Some are clearly medieval, such as those which are part of the monastic water management system, but others may be medieval, post-dissolution garden features or related to later agricultural use. All and thus the whole area must be considered as potentially monastic and thus of exceptional significance unless proved otherwise. 8.13 The concrete footings of the former shed in Area 1b north of the infirmary are intrusive and no longer have any function. The 19th-century stable is intrusive on the setting

  • of the infirmary, but remains in use (and is the best-maintained of the 19th-century farm buildings). Area 2 inner precinct west of access; possible part northern pond

    system 8.14 The majority of this area is within the inner precinct, and is of exceptional significance for similar reasons to Area 1 essentially on the basis of unconfirmed potential for buried monastic remains, and the presence mostly shallow earthworks of unconfirmed origin. It is assumed that buried remains of the west cloister range extend into its south-east corner. Geophysics suggests other monastic structures may be present, as do reports of masonry being dug up when the sports track was built in the 1940s. The earthworks include the edge of what appears to have been a ditch marking the western edge of the inner precinct and, further north outside the inner precinct, the edge of what is probably a large former medieval pond at the west end of the pond system in the northern valley (though most of this is now excluded from the scheduling as it has been largely destroyed and infilled). Its aesthetic value is less than most other parts of the monument, being essentially an uneven field with little to catch the eye of the visitor. Areas 3-5 northern and southern valleys and pond systems 8.15 These areas, comprising the remains of the monastic fish pond and water management systems to the north and south of the inner precinct, have been described as 'probably the largest and most extensive visible extent of coherent archaeological remains' in the West Midlands conurbation (Fleming, nd). They are of exceptional significance as they are remarkably well-preserved, of strikingly impressive appearance, particularly the northern system, and the silt deposits within them will contain important environmental evidence. 8.16 There are few intrusive features in the northern valley. There are two modern footbridges over the stream, but they are so small as to be of neutral significance rather than intrusive. The most obtrusive features are probably the small number of trees within the former ponds, which slightly interrupt the open aspect of the valley and pond system from some angles but do not completely obscure it. The southern valley is much more wooded and does not provide a clear view along the whole length of the pond system. The modern boundary between Areas 4 and 5 is a fence and substantial hedge, which is intrusive in that it obscures the view of the dam from the east. Area 6 southern scheduled area (5.4.23-26) 8.17 This area, to the south of the southern valley, contains earthworks of boundary features, possible building platforms and the double ditch linear earthwork marking the southern edge of the scheduled area. There are differing interpretations of many of the earthworks. Based on the possibility that they are of monastic origins they must be considered of exceptional significance, until / unless proven to the contrary, but it is suggested that further investigation of the double ditch earthwork to confirm its nature and significance should be a priority (see below). Much of the area is covered by traces of ridge-and-furrow, for which both a medieval and a post-medieval date (possibly even as late as

  • 1815) have been proposed (section 5 above). Medieval ridge-and-furrow within the outer precinct would be of exceptional significance as an integral part of the scheduled monastic landscape even though its preservation is not especially good and it would otherwise be of lesser significance. If post-medieval in date it is of lesser, perhaps moderate significance, being not directly related to the abbey and not well-preserved. Area 7 south-west of farm buildings (5.4.27) 8.18 This area is adjacent to the south and west cloister ranges and could contain buried evidence of associated structures which would be of exceptional significance for their evidential value. Its northern boundary follows a bank shown on the early OS maps, which is assumed by the scheduling description to be the retaining dam for a pond although there is uncertainty over its interpretation (5.2.18-9 above). It was probably affected by the construction of the sports stadium, is difficult to see because of dense undergrowth and other material on the ground, and could not be assessed in detail. As part of the monastic complex a dam in a reasonable state of preservation would be of exceptional significance, and this must be assumed unless it is shown to have a different origin or be severely degraded. Area 8 south of sports stadium (5.4.28) 8.19 Although the south facing slope of this area appears to be simply the steep valley side, its top is marked by the position of the SW end of the bank continuing from Area 7. Uncertainties over this feature are discussed above, and it significance in Area 8 is the same.

    PART 3 ISSUES, POLICIES AND PROPOSALS 9 Issues, vulnerabilities and potential 9.1 The issues, vulnerabilities and potential identified can be grouped into three broad categories: understanding and scheduling; public access and general management; condition and preservation. There is a degree of overlap, particularly between the second and third. All of these have to be considered in the context of the imminent sale of the Manor Farm Estate, and the recent grant of planning consent for conversion of the barns to residential use. 9.2 The sale and proposed development is briefly described followed by a consideration of the three broad topics identified which is summarised in section 10 as a series of policies proposed to address the issues and guide the future management of the monument. IMMINENT SALE AND PROPOSED RESIDENTIAL CONVERSION Sale of Manor Abbey Farm

  • 9.3 The farmland, farm buildings and house are currently on the market through Fisher German John Sanders, Chartered Surveyors, and at the time of writing are sold subject to contract (March 2013). For sale purposes the property is divided into eight lots (Fig 100).

    Lot 1 includes: the infirmary building; all of the field in which the infirmary stands, except

    a narrow strip adjoining the east range of barns (Area 1b in section 5 above); the farmhouse and its garden; the small field to the east of the farmhouse (Area 4); the overgrown area to the west of the farmhouse (Area 7); and the field west of the access (Area 2).

    Lots 2-4 are outside the Scheduled Monument. Lot 5 is mostly outside the Scheduled Monument, but includes the northern valley and pond

    system (Area 3) and the southern valley and pond system but only on the north side of the stream (Area 5a). It also includes the large recently-built barn immediately to the east of the Scheduled area, the details noting that 'There is room for further expansion on the site of the building, subject to obtaining the appropriate planning consent from the local authority'

    Lot 6 is also mostly outside the Scheduled Monument, but includes the southern part of the

    Scheduled area except the extreme south-west corner. Lot 7 is mostly outside the Scheduled Monument, but includes the extreme south-west

    corner of the Scheduled area. 9.4 It is understood that although the vendors have obtained planning consent for residential conversion of the barns, a possible alternative proposal for a business involving storage in the large modern barn and accommodation for wedding guests in the converted barns is under consideration by a prospective purchaser. This would require a separate planning consent. Planning consent for residential conversion 9.5 Planning and Listed Building consent were granted for a conversion of the redundant farm buildings to residential units in 2012 (ref P09/1218 & 1219). Previous applications for major development on the site had been either refused or withdrawn:

    1981 81/50741 (Outline) warehouse development Refused 22/06/81

    1984 85/50152 Hotel development Refused 25/10/84

    1985 85/51860 Hotel and re-instatement of fish ponds Refused 02/01/86

    2002 P02/0136 Conversion of agricultural buildings to form offices and three residential units W'drawn 15/01/04

    2002 P02/0137 Listed Building Consent for the above W'drawn 15/01/04

  • 9.6 The present, approved, scheme is the result of lengthy discussions between the applicants (the current landowners), the local planning authority (Dudley MBC) and English Heritage following the withdrawal of the 2002 applications. It is considered to achieve a financially sustainable future for the farmhouse and the redundant farm buildings, whilst preserving the Scheduled Monument from unacceptable damage, enhancing its presentation and providing for enhanced public access; these benefits outweigh any disadvantages of development on a Scheduled Monument and as an exception to Green Belt policy. 9.7 The approved site layout is shown in Fig 101, the internal ground floor plans in Fig 102 and the elevations in Fig 103. The scheme provides for:

    (i) conversion of the barns into six residential units. (ii) all communal space for the residential units to be within the existing 'courtyard' areas

    bounded by the barns, to minimise visual impact on the wider monument. (iii) provision of a viewing area between the opposing cart doors in the 17th-century barn

    for visitors to the abbey. (iv) a small car park for visitors to the abbey, on the site of the former open barn north of

    the existing buildings. This will be surfaced with 'Grasscrete' or similar to minimise visual impact.

    (v) dedication of the existing farm access as a public right of way as far as the car park

    (with gate to prevent access to the residential units). (vi) surfacing the access, and provision of passing places and a cattle grid adjacent to

    Manor Way. (vii) provision of a footpath from the car park to link with the existing public footpath

    (arrowed on Fig 101). (viii) the outline of the abbey church to be marked out with gravel and timber edging. (ix) interpretation boards at suitable points within the site. (x) removal of permitted development rights to prevent inappropriate alterations. 9.8 All the private space and communal parking allocated to the units is within the former farmyard. No private space is permitted within the fields to the north and east of the barns, as this was deemed by the planning authority to represent unacceptable suburbanisation within the Green Belt. 9.9 Condition 2 on the consent requires the applicant to secure the implementation of a programme of archaeological investigation, recording, post-excavation analysis and reporting in accordance with a written scheme of investigation to be approved by the planning authority. The work will also require Scheduled Monument Consent. 9.10 The development will have a positive effect on the monument in that it will ensure the repair and continuing maintenance of the farm buildings, including the important 17th-

  • century barn whose walls include sections of medieval masonry. The immediate setting of the standing medieval building remains and the later buildings will be vastly improved by the removal of the unsightly clutter currently stored on the north side of the buildings. It will also maintain a permanent residential presence on the site, which is essential to minimise the possibility of vandalism. UNDERSTANDING AND SCHEDULING Understanding 9.11 For a monument to be managed successfully it is essential that it is understood as fully as possible, and that sufficient information is readily available. A considerable body of work on Halesowen Abbey exists, much of it carried out by Birmingham University students and the former Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit (BUFAU), but an up-to-date and comprehensive synthesis is lacking. An attempt to rectify this was made by Litherland and Moscrop of the University at some point between 1996 and 2003 with the preparation of a draft paper summarising research to date, intended for publication in the British Archaeological Reports (BAR) series (Litherland & Moscrop nd). Unfortunately this did not take place, and a discussion with the BAR publishers indicated that it is no longer under consideration (Win Scutt, pers comm). It proved extremely difficult to obtain copies of all the reports necessary for the preparation of this Conservation Plan, partly due to the closure of BUFAU and a major curtailment and reorganisation of the University's academic department; a few proved unobtainable, although it is not thought that these are critical. 9.12 This Plan attempts to list all the research that has taken place on the site, identify any issues and gaps in knowledge, and discuss the most relevant and important aspects. However, its purpose is not to produce a definitive archaeological study. The Litherland and Moscrop draft is an extremely useful piece of work, but has a few limitations. Additional work has taken place subsequently, notably the 2005 earthwork survey by English Heritage which has proposed alternative interpretations to some features (Brown 2005) and further investigation of medieval masonry in the 17th-century barn (Jones 2006). It also contains a few errors, such as giving the date of the dissolution of the Abbey as 1536 rather than the correct 1538, and the incorrect positioning of the gatehouse (section 5 above). There are internal inconsistencies, for example fig 3 omits the surviving medieval masonry at the west end of the 17th-century barn which is shown on the elevations and described in the text. The Conservation Plan has drawn attention to variations between different authors' accounts and interpretations where possible, but has not attempted to resolve them. (Legitimate academic debate may of course remain even if further study is carried out.) 9.13 An updated and enhanced synthesis would be extremely useful, both to help resolve the differences highlighted in this report and to guide future research. Ideally it would also consider evidence not studied in detail to date, such as a comprehensive analysis of all the available historic illustrations as suggested by Marsden (1986, 35). It should also include the results of any additional fieldwork carried out specifically to address questions relevant to the scheduling discussed below, which it is suggested should be a priority.

  • 9.14 Brindle (nd) has suggested a number of topics for further research: (i) A detailed reconstruction of the abbeys buildings, and consideration of their place

    among English Premonstratensian houses and in the development of English gothic architecture especially in the light of the patronage of Bishop Peter des Roches.

    (ii) The abbeys finances, management of its estates and household management, for

    which there is considerable documentary evidence. (iii) The cult of St Kenelm, its place in the life of the community, pilgrimage to the site,

    and its importance to the abbot and canons of Halesowen. (iv) The location of the monastic burial grounds, which have not yet been archaeologically

    investigated. (v) The use and development of the 'Abbot's Lodging' which is the subject of conflicting

    interpretations. [This appears to be the building referred to in this report as the infirmary, but which has also been suggested as the abbot's lodging or a guest house. It should be expanded to consider other postulated locations for the abbot's lodging.]

    (vi) Post-medieval history and use of the site.

    9.15 Some of these could be addressed, at least in part, by the updated comprehensive synthesis suggested above, for example the location of the abbot's lodging, but most are substantial pieces of research best treated as separate projects. All would, however, benefit from the existence of a published synthesis as a starting point. Extent of scheduling 9.16 One of the differences of interpretation mentioned above includes the double ditch linear earthwork, which until 2005 had been considered as a water channel, perhaps with associated water mills and probably forming the southern boundary of the outer precinct, and has been adopted to define the southern boundary of the Scheduled area. Similarly, the ridge-and-furrow over much of the field to the north of the ditch had been dated as medieval, and cited as evidence of cultivation within the precinct. However, the 2005 survey interpreted the ditch as post-medieval quarrying of a linear outcrop of coal, and the ridge-and-furrow as post-medieval, possibly even as late as the very early 19th century (section 5 above). Archaeological excavation on the ditch, perhaps targetting the area investigated by geophysics in 2003, may clarify the position and could have implications for the extent of the scheduling. It is therefore suggested that this should be a priority. Such work could usefully be incorporated in the updated synthesis suggested above. 9.17 The scheduling boundary south of the sports stadium was revised with minor changes in 1995. The earthwork bank at the top of the valley is described in the 2005 survey as a 'spread bank', and is presumably that shown on the early OS maps although it appears to have become degraded and/or been affected by the construction of the sports ground. A further review of the scheduling in this area may be appropriate, specifically considering the condition of the earthwork, whether it is of schedulable quality, and the evidence for its

  • interpretation as a dam forming part of the monastic water management system (section 5 above). 9.18 The 2006 English Heritage study of the 17th-century barn found more surviving medieval masonry within its north wall than previously known more, therefore, than is covered by the scheduling which specifically refers to that which is shown on Brakspear's plan of 1906 (Scheduling description, Appendix A). This will become irrelevant if the residential conversion goes ahead as planned, because the change to residential use will result in the de-scheduling of the masonry in the north, west and possibly east walls of this building as discussed below. However, if this (or a similar) scheme does not proceed in the near future it would be appropriate to review the scheduling to include this additional medieval masonry. 9.19 The cloister west wall, built into the derelict open-fronted shed to the south-west of the farmyard, is excluded from the scheduling along with the rest of this building, but is included in the guardianship. This seems illogical. Although there are very slight doubts over the authenticity of this wall, it has been accepted as monastic by all authors, and its exclusion from scheduling should be reviewed to see whether it is still appropriate. Ownership 9.20 The narrow projection of the Scheduled area between the sports track and the stream to the south is separately owned by the Halesowen Athletics and Cycle Club (Area 8 above). During correspondence relating to the 1995 revision (English Heritage ref AA/90734/1 Pt 2) the club confirmed ownership 'subject to further meeting to determine the boundaries'; it is not clear whether this meant the boundary of ownership, scheduling or both. An internal memo dated 28th August 1996 noted that 'It seems we can anticipate further discussions over determining the boundary on the ground but it does seem to be inching forwards.' There does not appear to be any record of a conclusion being reached. The extent of the club's ownership should be confirmed, and the boundary of the Scheduled Monument defined to them, as a matter of priority. MANAGEMENT AND PUBLIC ACCESS Present position and potential 9.21 It is fair to say that the present guardianship has been successful in ensuring the continuing conservation and maintenance of the surviving medieval walls covered by the agreement. The structures are regularly inspected under the Asset Management Programme (AMP) and long-running problems with cracking in the walls of the infirmary are monitored as necessary. The west wall of the south cloister range has recently been consolidated. However, it does not cover the earthworks forming the rest of the scheduled area. 9.22 Apart from the occasional Open Days mentioned previously, guardianship has failed to increase public awareness and access, one reason being that the current deed contains no explicit arrangements for the frequency of public access, probably because it was drawn up in the context of the monument being situated in a working farm (below). It is very limited in

  • its coverage of the monument. The clauses relating to public access refer only to the provision of parking, pedestrian access to the infirmary and associated facilities, without specifying the frequency of access. It does not provide for access to the earthworks on the rest of the scheduled area. The 1987 EH report suggested a management agreement covering the farm buildings and associated yards, the farmhouse and garden, and the adjacent field (Areas 1a and 1b as identified in this Plan), but this was not implemented. 9.23 As described above, there are public footpaths through the northern and southern valleys which provide access, although this is restricted to the view that can be seen from the path. The central part of the site, containing the infirmary and the remains of the church and cloisters, has only been accessible on occasional open days, operated in conjunction with the Halesowen Abbey Trust but currently suspended. No admission charge is made for the open days. Visitor figures were discussed in a parliamentary debate in November 2010, when it was stated that in a weekend in 1989 around 1,800 visitors were recorded, but this had dropped to over 500 over a three-day period in 2010. The Halesowen Times (31 Aug 2010) reported only 280 visitors on a weekend earlier that year, although the weather was poor. The untidy condition of some parts of the site were suggested as a reason for the drop in visitors. 9.24 It seems to be accepted that on its own the site is unlikely to generate sufficient visitor numbers and income to merit a custodian and permanent visitor facilities, and to be financially viable (certainly in the short to medium term), although it is a valuable asset close to a large catchment area which suggests considerable potential communal value (above). Strict regulation of entry and charging for admission would not be straightforward, as the presence of public footpaths makes it difficult to control access to the northern and southern valleys and ponds, which constitute a large part of the monument. Control of access to the building remains would be easier, but these may not of sufficient extent or state of preservation, even with the infirmary, to justify a viable level of admission charge, unless admission arrangements can be provided as an adjunct to a commercial operation on the site. (This is not the case with the approved barn conversion scheme, which is entirely residential.) 9.25 Under the existing management regime and use of the site (or something similar), increasing the availability of access much above the recent system of Open Days, and achieving a significant increase in visitor numbers, would be difficult or impossible. It was suggested during the initial consultation that there may be some potential for promoting English Heritage Members' events, perhaps making use of covered accommodation provided by the infirmary building. This could probably be done under the present arrangements, but lack of parking and other on-site facilities would still be limiting factors and the feasibility of such events would need careful investigation. 9.26 The development scheme recently granted planning consent will provide for the marking-out of the building plan, and public access to the central core of the monument with the surviving sections of the presbytery wall and the south transept wall, the area of the church with its plan marked out on the ground, and associated earthworks, plus car parking. It does not provide access to the earthworks of the rest of the monument, other than by providing a linking path to the existing public footpaths, nor does it provide an enhanced management role for English Heritage beyond the existing guardianship and legal framework. It does not include details of maintenance responsibilities of this area.

  • Objectives 9.27 It has long been the aim of English Heritage, the Halesowen Abbey Trust and Dudley MBC to increase public awareness of, and access to, the abbey. This was one of the purposes of the guardianship agreement and lease of 1976, with their proposals for a car park, custodian's hut and other facilities. The problem was that the monument formed part of a working farm, the infirmary remained in use for storing agricultural equipment for many years, and significantly increased public access was impractical. The current owners live on the site, and have used the farm buildings and adjacent fields for equestrian purposes. Although no longer used for agriculture a similar problem remains, because it is still a working environment in which machinery is used. 9.28 Notes of a meeting on 2nd December 1987 between English Heritage and the owner at the time, Lady Cobham, after the farmhouse and other buildings had become redundant, confirm that 'the guardianship agreement had been drawn up to co-exist with a working farm. Ideally the Commission would like better access to the ruins, with ownership, or control over a meaningful part of the earthworks, which were perhaps the most remarkable feature of the site' (EH file AA/90734/2 Pt 2). Serious consideration was given by English Heritage to the possibility of purchasing the site, and a short paper prepared for internal discussion purposes. 9.29 The situation regarding the ownership and potential uses of the buildings has changed since 1987, but many of its conclusions are still relevant. It assumed all the present farm buildings would be retained, although the Cobham Estate had considered removing the 19th-century brick ranges. The following main objectives were proposed:

    (i) Direct control over the area of the church and claustral buildings, and the archaeologically sensitive area around them. The building plan would be marked out and complete public access provided. The access track would have been re-aligned further west, to expose the assumed position of the west cloister range.

    (ii) Provision of public car parking away from this area; part of the field to the north of the northern valley and pond system (then as now in arable use) to be purchased or leased.

    (iii) Public access to the whole site [including the surrounding earthworks], with a waymarked trail to provide interpretative help.

    (iv) Strictly controlled grazing to protect the grassed areas, and also to ensure they remained properly visible and did not become overgrown.

    (v) Visitor facilities appropriate to the number of visitors.

    (vi) A suitable use for the farmhouse, which would include a permanent residential element to provide security.

    (vii) Suitable alternative uses for the farm buildings.

  • 9.30 Objectives (i) to (v) are still valid in whole or part. Objectives (vi) and (vii) are still potential issues but, in the context of the imminent sale of the Manor Abbey Farm estate and the recent grant of planning consent for the residential conversion of the barns, are likely to be resolved in the near future and thus no longer immediately relevant, assuming the scheme or something similar goes ahead; if it does not, they will return as major considerations, with the future of the farm buildings the most problematic. (The farmhouse has now been thoroughly modernised and there should be little difficulty in selling it as a dwelling, in contrast to the situation in 1987 when it was unmodernised, unoccupied and boarded-up.) 9.31 Due to the present economic climate and budget constraints, a purchase of any part of the site by English Heritage is assumed to be out of the question, and a lease of a substantial area is extremely unlikely. Purchase or lease of all or part of the monument by a third party such as the local authority or a suitable charitable trust, may be possible, although at present it seems equally doubtful. The local authority are unlikely to have funds available. The Halesowen Abbey Trust (HAT) have held discussions with the Heritage Lottery Fund to discuss possible funding of a purchase, but this would be a considerable undertaking for the HAT or any other such body, in respect of the initial acquisition, future maintenance and sustainability, and in any case appears to have been overtaken by the present (subject to contract) private sale. It is unlikely that acquisition by a heritage body or local authority will be a feasible objective in the foreseeable future, and it is not considered further. Guardianship 9.32 An appropriate degree of management, access and enhanced presentation could be achieved by means of an extended guardianship agreement, which would be far cheaper than a purchase or major lease, more feasible under the present circumstances, and probably the most effective option. Guardianship agreements constitute English Heritage (or its predecessors) as guardian, permit public access, and provide for inspection and maintenance but without affecting ownership rights. Pemberton (2007), points out that 'very fewcontain any greater detail' but that, although it has been rare to date, any relevant provisions can in fact be included. There is no reason in principle why a detailed guardianship agreement cannot be drawn up to cover appropriate areas of the site, perhaps coupled with a lease of any additional land needed for car parking or similar facilities. This would effectively be an updated and much more comprehensive version of the present arrangement; it could include, for example, detailed commitments to public access. 9.33 Under an extended guardianship, the maintenance of the standing medieval remains would remain as at present, covered by the Asset Management Plan for the site. Areas of earthworks included in guardianship would be added, enabling their maintenance to be integrated with that of the buildings. Any areas not included would continue to be managed by the landowner(s). 9.34 An enhanced and extended guardianship agreement could encompass one or more (ideally all) of:

    (i) Areas 1a and 1b and the yard north of the barns. Possibly the most

    important and useful areas to take into an extended guardianship, because together they contain and give access to most of the standing medieval remains already in guardianship, cover the majority of the monastic inner precinct, and contain important

  • buried remains of the church, a lost range to the west of the infirmary and, probably, the cemetery as well as various earthworks. Agreement to govern the relationship with the owner(s) of the residential properties for such purposes as maintenance of the rear walls of the former barns would be needed, and there may be privacy issues (discussed below).

    (ii) Area 3, the northern valley and pond system. This is a self-contained unit, a

    comfortable distance from the residential areas, close to the access from Manor Way and with its four dams is the most spectacular group of earthworks. It also gives a reasonable view of most of the monastic building remains. It probably satisfies the definition of a 'meaningful part of the earthworks' (above), and might be a good option alone or, preferably, together with the contiguous Areas 1a, b, and the present yard north of the barns, if agreement covering a larger area of the site is not feasible. Any agreement should cover the whole field, rather than just the scheduled area.

    (iii) Areas 4-5, the southern valley and pond system, also includes visually

    attractive and interesting earthworks, and is linked to the public footpath system and the car park to be provided under the present planning consent (or possible alternative parking nearer to Manor Way 9.5.11.1 below). Area 4 should ideally be kept together with Area 5, but this may not be feasible as it is in a separate Lot in the imminent sale, and in terms of public access may cause privacy issues because it is so close to the farmhouse. The consultation suggests that there is already a problem with walkers straying off the footpath in Area 5 and following the farm track to the farmyard; much of this may be accidental, because when heading northwards the path does initially follow the track and it is not immediately obvious that it diverges to turn north after a short distance.

    (iv) Area 6, the southern part of the Scheduled area, could easily be split from

    the rest of the fields in which it is situated. It would be of less interest and visual appeal to most visitors, but it would be logical to include it if the southern valley and pond system, Area 5, was to be placed in guardianship (subject to the results of any review of Scheduling carried out as discussed above).

    Section 17 Management Agreements and Heritage Partnership Agreements 9.35 Although it is suggested that extended guardianship is likely to be the most effective framework for enhanced heritage management, other options are available: 9.36 The previous suggestion for a management agreement over part of the site under s17 of the Ancient Monuments & Archaeological Areas Act 1979 was not implemented, but it remains an option and might be appropriate if agreement over guardianship was not possible. It could cover similar areas of the site, be effective in controlling grazing and ensuring the landowner(s) undertook appropriate maintenance, and also contain provision for public access. 9.37 It is understood that Halesowen Abbey was considered as a pilot project for a Heritage Protection Agreement, but rejected. These would be given statutory status under the draft Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which is expected to become law in 2013. They are more beneficial to large, complex sites or estates, but are inappropriate in situations of

  • imminent rapid change (Calladine 2006). Such an agreement is therefore less suited to Halesowen Abbey, which is relatively small and is likely to undergo significant changes in the near future, and is not recommended. Potential issues with increased access 9.38 A number of potential issues may arise from significantly increased public access: Vehicle traffic and parking. (i) Manor Way is an extremely busy dual carriageway road. The site entrance is an

    awkward turn, shortly before the entrance to the sports ground. The highway authority may not look favourably on a large increase in visitor traffic using the present access, particularly given that the residential conversion will itself generate increased traffic.

    (ii) The car park to be provided as part of the development is small, and would limit the

    number of visitors that could be accommodated. A suggestion made during the consultation was for a lay-by on Manor Way to provide additional visitor parking. It seems unlikely that the highway authority would support such a inherently dangerous scheme. It was noted that an Open Day in August 1989 attracted over 2,000 visitors, which overwhelmed the car parking resulting in cars being parked at locations outside the site (HAT 1989, 3).

    (iii) The 1987 internal EH report suggested the creation of a car park on the south-west

    corner of the field between the northern pond system and Manor Way, bought or leased for the purpose. This field is used for arable purposes (and is a separate Lot in the current sale). An alternative might be to create a car park on the site of the former coal mine (the eastern part of Lot 3 in the present sale), as suggested by the Halesowen Abbey Trust (HAT 1986, 1989). This land is useless for agriculture, and its development potential is limited because it is within the Green Belt and potentially difficult because of its former use. It could presumably be bought or leased cheaply, although construction costs could be higher than in the arable field. It has the advantage of being screened by trees, and would not impinge on the setting of the monument. It adjoins the northern pond system, although at a higher level which would not easily allow disabled access; this could, however, be provided in the car park proposed under the existing planning consent. Access directly off Manor Way may be awkward because of the relative levels (probably due to reclamation measures), but it might be possible, by agreement, either to create an access via the petrol filling station and public house adjoining it to the east, or by a road behind these premises, taking a strip of land from the arable field (Lot 4 in the present sale). A properly-designed access from Manor Way at this point might be preferable to the existing access.

    Privacy (iv) Unrestricted or significantly increased public access to the church and cloister area

    may raise issues of privacy and noise. This will be a factor if the existing residential

  • barn conversion planning consent is implemented, and may also apply to any comparable proposal which incorporates permanent or visitor residential accommodation in the barns.

    (v) In relation to the present scheme, it is understood that the viewing area in the 17th-

    century barn will only be opened for specific events. The barn conversions have been designed so that their primary aspect is to the enclosed communal areas in the former farmyard, with few windows facing outwards, and the dedication of the access as a public right of way will not extend as far as the entrance to these areas. This will reduce any problem but not necessarily eliminate it as visitors will still be able to approach the rear walls of the units, and the issue is likely to be exacerbated if the number of visitors is substantially increased.

    (vii) The existing farmhouse is likely to remain in residential use under any reasonably

    foreseeable proposal, but is further away from the public areas proposed under the present scheme. Privacy may be less of an issue unless public access was permitted to the small field immediately to its east (Area 4).

    Wear-and-tear and vandalism. (vii) Increased access risks causing erosion and cumulative minor damage to the site.

    Erosion to one of the dams has already taken place where it is crossed by the existing footpath, and this sort of problem could be exacerbated. However, in some cases it is possible that unrestricted access and/or simple minor works could actually reduce this type of damage by eliminating pinch points, and allowing walkers to deviate around sensitive areas such as the dams.

    (viii) Its position on the urban fringe renders the site vulnerable to vandalism and other

    unauthorised activities bike riding up and down the dams, for example which could become worse if its profile is raised and access made easier. Vandalism, including damage and the starting of fires, was a particular problem when the farmhouse was unoccupied and there was no permanent presence on the site (HAT 1989, 1). The 1980s English Heritage internal report on acquisition stressed that a permanent residential presence was essential to minimise the risk of vandalism, and this remains the case. The site is also vulnerable to illegal metal-detecting. Consultation with the present owners revealed that on several occasions they have had to eject people who were using metal-detectors on their land within the monument. They have also had instance of unauthorised camping in the scheduled area, although this does not usually cause damage, and find it necessary to keep the gate locked as an anti-theft measure.

    (ix) The problem of vandalism is likely to be worse with unrestricted public access, even

    with a permanent residential presence. Careful monitoring would be necessary if such access is provided to any part of the monument.

  • Presentation and facilities 9.39 The site has no visitor facilities apart from three interpretation panels in the infirmary. The 1980s EH internal report suggested positioning interpretation panels at various points along the proposed waymarked trail, but this was in the context of a possible purchase that did not proceed. If all or part of the monument were to be taken into English Heritage guardianship this could easily be implemented over the relevant parts of the site. In all cases careful design and position is necessary in order to avoid unsightly clutter affecting the appearance and setting of the monument. The same would apply to additional paths, fences, buildings or other visitor facilities that may be proposed. 9.40 There is some potential for improved presentation even under the present arrangements. With the landowner's consent and suitable arrangements for maintenance, panels could be positioned at strategic points on the existing public footpaths. Potential locations would include: (i) Where the path enters the north and/or south sides of the northern valley and pond

    system (Area 3), which gives a good panorama of the ponds and, from the north side, the best available view of the church and cloister area and building remains.

    (ii) By the stile at the Manor Way end of the path (although this location may be more

    prone to vandalism). (iii) In the southern valley, where the path changes direction from N-S to NW-SE, which

    is close to the dam and gives a view of the infirmary. This could also emphasise the route of the footpath, to reduce the possibility of error as described above.

    (iv) The existing development scheme gives the opportunity for additional interpretation

    panels in and around the monastic buildings. Disabled access 9.41 A disability access survey examined the site in 2003 (Topliss 2003). At present there are no facilities for disabled persons on the site, which is generally acceptable for the current low-level usage, i.e. occasional Open Days. In relation to the infrastructure of the site, it recommended that: (i) Temporary signage to demarcate a temporary disabled parking bay in the farmyard

    area close to the infirmary; this was in the use proposed for this area in the 2002 development scheme that was subsequently withdrawn in 2004.

    (ii) Temporary signage indicating access to the disabled parking bay. (iii) Installation of a firm surface from the disabled parking bay to the infirmary

    (presumably along the present farm track). (iv) Any temporary ticket kiosk should have a reduced height counter.

  • (v) Installation of a handrail on the stairs to the upper level of the west end of the infirmary.

    (vi) Reducing the height of the interpretation panels in the infirmary. It also recommended: (vii) Adding access information to any publicity or guidebook. (viii) Providing a large print leaflet or interpretation panel about the abbey, indicating the

    easiest route around the site. 9.42 Disabled parking in the farmyard would not be possible under the existing planning consent, because this area is allocated as private space for the residential units in the barn conversion. The present proposals include a car park to the north of the buildings, which could presumably contain a disabled bay if necessary (unless the whole car park were to be allocated for disabled parking as discussed above). Access from this car park to the infirmary would be across the grassed field, and provision of a firm surface may conflict with the need to avoid adverse visual and physical impacts on the monument. CONDITION AND THREATS Unauthorised works 9.43 There have been a few problems with unauthorised works on the site in recent years, specifically a small extension to the farmhouse (although this appears to have been the result of a misunderstanding leading to incorrect information being given to the landowner), dumping of materials, and the creation of a revetment consisting of stone-filled wire gabions on the valley side at the south edge of the farmhouse garden, intended to protect against flood damage. All have been resolved as far as reasonably possible, and the circumstances around them to date are not discussed in detail. 9.44 It is possible that further consideration may need to be given to the gabion revetment. Discussions took place about its possible removal shortly after its construction, but it was accepted that any damage had already been incurred and that removal might exacerbate the problem. It therefore remains in situ. However, it is not attractive, and it possible that a future purchaser of the farmhouse might wish to remove it, or at least carry out further work to mask it (such as the addition of a brick facing). It is essential that the position is thoroughly understood by any purchaser, and that any works are preceded by appropriate discussion to agree a suitable scheme of works, and by Scheduled Monument Consent (and planning and Listed Building Consent if necessary). Condition and appearance of the medieval masonry, farm buildings and yard 9.45 There are no current major problems with the condition and appearance of the Scheduled standing medieval masonry itself, with the exception of those elements built into the north and west walls of the poorly-maintained 17th-century barn which are Scheduled but

  • not within guardianship, and possible structural movement within the infirmary. Those elements in guardianship are regularly inspected under the English Heritage Asset Management Plan for the site, including the infirmary which is monitored. 9.46 The presentation and setting of the medieval masonry has been a problem for a long time. When the farmyard and buildings were in active agricultural use they tended to be obscured by agricultural materials and subsidiary structures open-sided barns, small sheds, silos and tanks etc (Figs 104-5). Since this ceased in the mid 1980s the appearance has been improved by the removal of the subsidiary structures which has opened out the setting of the medieval remains. Unfortunately, the beneficial effect of this has been negated by the increasing disrepair of the main ranges of barns which have been largely redundant since the end of the farming regime. Also, a certain amount of storage of equipment, materials and fodder for horses still takes place and clutters the setting. Some of this is inevitable in a working environment, but there has been some avoidable accumulation of rubbish, building materials, disused trailers and similar. 9.47 The English Heritage records from the 1980s indicate that serious consideration was being given by Lord Cobham, then the landowner, to the removal of the redundant 19th-century barns (EH files AA/90734/1 & 2). Considered purely in terms of the presentation and setting of the monastic remains this is probably the ideal solution. However, under the present circumstances it is not considered a sustainable solution; it would still leave the 17th-century barn in need of restoration and a viable use, and the recent planning consent for residential conversion has given the barns a value that they would not otherwise enjoy. The approved development (or something similar) will provide the best option to enhance the monument, by restoring the barns, ensuring their continued maintenance, and securing the removal of the stored materials and clutter from the site. 9.48 Clearance of the stored materials on the site will be advantageous, but must be controlled and its extent and methodology agreed with English Heritage in advance. In most cases this will be straightforward but, for example, it will be necessary to establish which dressed sandstone building materials are from the abbey and which are from the former Halesowen Gaol (section 5 above), and determine what to do with each. Some dumped materials may provide amphibian or reptile habitats, and appropriate care should be taken when removing them (section 6). 9.49 Minor issues relate more to the use of the site, and the potential for damage; to some degree this is always going to be more of a problem when a monument forms part of a working environment rather than a preserved heritage site. The south and west cloister walls are immediately adjacent to access routes, at points where vehicles have to change direction, increasing the potential for accidental damage. The barrier of old railway sleepers protecting the latter is probably effective but unattractive; the appearance of the kerb in front of the former is better, but it is less effective as a barrier. Condition of earthworks 9.50 Most of the Scheduled Monument (by area) has in the past been grazed by cattle, and more recently by horses. The present inspection reported a generally satisfactory condition, although a few areas of physical damage apparently due to animal grazing were noted and erosion at pinch points such as gates is noticeable. The ecological assessment suggests that

  • parts of the site are suffering from over-grazing (section 6 above). One of the dams in the southern valley is showing signs of damage, which appears to have been caused by horses attempting to climb it this may not be a problem in dry weather, but they probably struggle when it is wet. The stream bank close to the east dam in the southern valley is eroding. This may be just outside the scheduled area, but in time will probably progress into it. 9.51 The issue of vegetation control will need to be addressed, irrespective of whether the site is under guardianship, a management agreement, or controlled entirely by the landowner(s). Whilst the present arrangement has been generally successful in maintaining the grasslands and preventing the encroachment of scrub, there are a few condition issues and ecological opportunities for useful enhancement of the grassland habitat. The land could continue to be used for an appropriate level of grazing, but there may be problems with increased public access, particularly with the site's location on the urban fringe where, inevitably, it will be used for exercising dogs even if there are signs prohibiting this. Some people may be put off from visiting these areas by the presence of animals. 9.52 A possible approach to vegetation control may be a partnership or collaboration with the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country. Wildlife Trusts can assist with or manage local nature reserves, and can advise on possible community projects to undertake tasks such as meadow management. The relatively heavily wooded southern valley and pond system is already noted on the Dudley UDP map as a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation, which may increase the site's attractiveness for such an arrangement. Setting of the monument 9.53 No imminent threats to the setting of the monument are known. The approved development is discussed below, and its overall effect on the immediate setting of the standing remains will be beneficial. In accordance with normal procedures, the local planning authority should consult English Heritage if planning applications that may affect the setting are made, so that appropriate advice can be given and adverse impacts avoided. 9.54 There is a potential threat implicit in the current sale brochure, which refers to the potential (subject to planning consent) for additional development associated with the recently-erected barn to the east of the inner precinct and monastic / farm buildings. It is recognised that the monument is part of a living/working environment, and it is necessary to balance this with the requirements of conservation of the monument. However, the new barn has already had an impact on some aspects of the setting, although limited by the presence of trees. Any further substantial development in this area is potentially very damaging to the setting, and should be resisted. 9.55 In relation to this new barn, its dark green walls blend reasonably well with the surroundings and do reduce its visual impact. Its roof, however, is white or light grey, and is very noticeable. The reason for this colour is not known. Consideration should be given to reducing the visual impact of the roof by replacing it with a one of a darker colour. This could be a relevant factor if a planning application for a change of use or alterations to the building were to be submitted.

  • ISSUES SPECIFICALLY RELATED TO THE APPROVED DEVELOPMENT AND SALE 9.56 This section highlights some of the issues which might be raised specifically by the sale of the site, and the residential conversion of the barns under the approved planning applications (P09/2018 & 9). Most of the latter would be applicable to any similar scheme. Fragmentation of ownership 9.57 There is concern that ownership may become fragmented, making it difficult to manage and monitor the monument, and increasing the potential for undesirable and unauthorised works to be carried out. This would require negotiations for extended guardianship with multiple owners, and could make it more difficult to achieve a coherent management approach to the monument. It may be a particular concern in the immediate area of the barns / new residential units, where the infirmary building is included in a separate Lot (1) with the farmhouse, and the southern valley with the ponds and dams (Area 5 in this report), which is separated along the line of the stream between Lots 5 (north side) and 6 (south side). The extreme SW corner of the Scheduled area is in Lot 7; the rest is in Lot 6. 9.58 Under the present scheme there will be six residential units in the barns, plus the house. During the pre-application discussions, it was suggested that the barn conversions should be retained by a single freeholder and only let on short tenancies, and that this should be ensured by a Section 106 agreement or a condition attached to planning consent. However, this was ruled out as unacceptable under planning legislation. It remains open for a freeholder to manage the properties in this way, but it cannot be enforced. The site could be retained in single freehold ownership if individual units were sold leasehold, either as medium term leases or on long leases at a ground rent. However, this is presumably also unenforceable, may not be commercially acceptable, and in any case may not achieve the desired result in the longer term as there are rights under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 under which leaseholders can enfranchise the freehold. 9.59 Whether the units are sold freehold or leasehold to individual owners, it is likely that there will be a management company set up to manage the communal areas, probably consisting of the owners themselves. It will be essential for English Heritage to establish and maintain a good working relationship with the managing company, however it is constituted, to ensure that the company / residents fully understand their obligations in relation to the Scheduled Monument, and the possibility of unauthorised works is eliminated as far as possible. Physical impact 9.60 The development will have a physical impact on buried archaeological remains and the standing fabric, but has been designed to keep this to an acceptable minimum. Detailed requirements of the programme of archaeological work in connection with the development are not considered here. The planning authority's archaeological advisor and English Heritage have had extensive involvement, the scheme has received planning consent, and the necessary work will be implemented by the developers as usual under a planning condition and Scheduled Monument Consent. Similar arrangements would apply to any alternative

  • scheme that may be proposed. It will also require ecological measures which, again, will be implemented by the developers and are not considered in detail here; the ecological assessment considers possible requirements (section 6 above and Appendix L). 9.61 Vehicle traffic during development work has the potential for causing significant damage. Some of the standing masonry is already vulnerable to accidental damage, and this will be exacerbated during the development by the number and size of vehicles using the site and delivering to it. Contractor's plant (excavators, dumpers etc) will need to use areas outside the barns which are currently grassed (Areas 1a and 1b, and the former farmyard north of the barns), posing a danger from compaction and the creation of ruts; this will be more serious with wheeled vehicles. The Scheduled Monument Consent (and the Written Scheme of Investigation under the planning consent) should have conditions requiring appropriate protective measures to be implemented before development commences, to be agreed with English Heritage and the planning authority. These should include heavy-duty and highly visible temporary barriers around vulnerable standing masonry, and industrial strength temporary working surfaces over soft ground. Scheduling 9.62 It will be necessary to de-schedule those parts of the medieval masonry incorporated in the 17th-century barn, because properties in residential use cannot be Scheduled Ancient Monuments. The building should continue to be protected by Grade I Listing. There is a complication at the east end of the barn, where its east wall, and therefore the wall of the new residential unit, is formed by the south transept west wall, which is Scheduled and in guardianship. It forms a unit with the remaining section of the transept south wall, and extends beyond the barn. It will be necessary to determine how much of the south transept (if any) it is appropriate to de-schedule, and also to devise appropriate arrangements for the inspection and maintenance of those parts which remain scheduled. Management 9.63 Unrestricted public access to the church and cloister area may raise issues of privacy and nuisance; this is applicable to any comparable development. 9.64 It is not known how the prospective purchaser(s) of those parts of the monument currently used as horse pasture by the present owners will manage them; in practice this is all the monument except the buildings and farmyard, the small Area 7 to the south-west of the farmhouse and Area 8, the small area to the south of the sports ground which is owned by the athletics club. Appropriate grazing is necessary to ensure that the grassland does not become overgrown and turn to scrub, unless active vegetation management is to be undertaken. 10 Conservation principles, legislation and local policies CONSERVATION PRINCIPLES

  • 10.1 English Heritage list six conservation principles which provide a framework for the management of the historic environment (EH 2008, 7). These are: 1 The historic environment is a shared resource. 2 Everyone should be able to participate in sustaining the historic environment. 3 Understanding the significance of historic places [heritage assets] is vital. 4 Significant places should be managed to preserve their values. 5 Decisions about change must be reasonable, transparent and consistent. 6 Documenting and learning from decisions is vital. 10.2 The documents conclusion includes the following over-arching statements on the application of these principles: Every reasonable effort should be made to eliminate or minimise adverse impacts of significant places. Ultimately, however, it may be necessary to balance the public benefit of the proposed change against the harm to the place. If so, the weight given to heritage values should be proportionate to the significance of the place and the impact of change upon it. The historic environment is constantly changing, but each significant part of it represents a finite resource. If it is not sustained, not only are its heritage values eroded or lost, but so is its potential to give distinctiveness, meaning and quality to the places in which people live, and provide people with a sense of continuity and a source of identity. The historic environment is a social and economic asset and a cultural resource for learning and enjoyment (EH 2008, 67). NATIONAL GUIDANCE AND LEGISLATION Historic Environment 10.3 National legislation protecting designated archaeological sites of national importance (Scheduled Ancient Monuments) is contained in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. Any works which might affect a monument either above or below ground level require Scheduled Monument Consent from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, advised by English Heritage. Also relevant to the site is the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, under which the buildings are protected by Grade I Listing. Developments affecting Listed Buildings require Listed Building Consent from the local planning authority. English Heritage must be consulted in certain circumstances, including applications relating to Grade I or II* buildings as is the case at Halesowen Abbey. 10.4 Guidance on the historic environment in England in relation to the planning process is contained in Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), Conserving and enhancing the historic environment (DCLG 2012). The Framework defines the purpose of

  • the planning system as being to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, and its policies, taken as a whole, constitute the Governments view of sustainable development. There is a presumption in favour of such development. The NPPF superseded Planning Policy Statement No.5 (DCLG 2010), and follows the latter in adopting a single holistic approach to the historic environment rather than treating historic buildings and archaeology separately as did the earlier PPGs 15 and 16. 10.5 Paragraph 17 of the NPPF lists twelve Core Planning Principles, of which one is to:

    'conserve heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance, so that they can be enjoyed for their contribution to the quality of life of this and future generations.'

    This has two main effects: firstly that due consideration for the historic environment is an integral component of sustainable development, and secondly that it is essential to establish the significance of heritage assets (and their settings) that may be affected by proposed development, and the impact of the development on them, so that a properly-informed decision can be made on any planning application. The weight to be given to the conservation of an asset is balanced against, and proportionate to, the significance of that asset. Natural environment 10.6 The main legislation covering the natural environment is the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Its main provisions include protection for wild birds (including disturbance during the nesting season), endangered species of animal and certain wild plants, and improved protection for the most important wildlife habitats (Sites of Special Scientific Interest or National Nature Reserves). The position has been amended by subsequent legislation, regulations and EU Directives, notably the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, under which government departments and all other public authorities have a duty to conserve wider biodiversity in addition to preservation offered to specific species and sites under other legislation. LOCAL POLICIES Historic environment 10.7 The joint Black Country Core Strategy was adopted in February 2011 by Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton Councils, and replaced some of the Dudley MBC UDP policies relating to the historic and natural environment. Policy ENV2 replaced policies HE1, HE2 (Landscape Heritage Areas) and HE9 (Scheduled Monuments etc), although the UDP mapping remains in force. It includes a statement that: 'All development should aim to protect and promote the special qualities, historic

    local character and local distinctiveness of the Black Country in order to help maintain its cultural identity and strong sense of place. Development proposals will be required to preserve and, where appropriate, enhance local character and those

  • aspects of the historic environment together with their setting which are recognised as being of special historic, archaeological, landscape of townscape quality.'

    UDP policies HE8 and HE11 remain in force, and require the provision of adequate information to allow full consideration of the impact of proposed developments on archaeological remains, and seek to preserve remains in situ or ensure there adequate recording where this is not feasible. Policy HE6 covering Listed buildings also remains in force, and has as its overall objective to 'safeguard and encourage the appropriate enhancement of [Listed] buildings' Natural environment 10.8 Policy ENV1 in the Black Country Core Strategy covers the natural environment. It states that development will safeguard nature conservation by (in summary):

    not permitting development where it would harm internationally, nationally or regionally designated nature conservation sites. protecting locally designated sites, important habitats and geological sites from negative impacts. ensuring the movement of wildlife through linear habitats and the wider 'urban matrix' is protected. ensuring that legally protected species, and certain species which are rare in the Black Country, in decline or covered by national, regional or local Biodiversity Action Plans are not harmed by development.

    Where the benefit of development outweighs nature conservation requirements, damage must be minimised and mitigated, and, where appropriate, development should positively contribute to and enhance the natural environment. 11 Policies and proposals 11.1 A number of policies and proposals have been formulated to guide the future management of the Abbey, taking into account the understanding of its development and significance as discussed in Parts 1 and 2 of this Conservation Plan, and the consultation results, issues and vulnerabilities identified in section 9. The proposals themselves are short outline statements only, with explanatory notes which give cross-references to fuller discussion elsewhere in the Plan. OVERALL POLICY 11.2 These policies provide an overall objective and framework for the future management of the monument. They are essentially an explicit statement of existing aims and approaches, linked to this Conservation Plan.

  • Policy O1 This Conservation Plan will be used to inform the future management of the

    monument with a view to: preserving, and where possible enhancing, the heritage values which

    make the monument special, and enhancing, as far as possible, the accessibility and use of the monument

    as a community asset, taking into account all relevant factors in order to reach balanced, justifiable

    and sustainable decisions. Policy O2 In the implementation of Policy 1 and the detailed policies outlined below,

    English Heritage will work with, and where relevant seek to develop partnerships with, other stakeholders including the site owners, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, the Halesowen Abbey Trust and any other relevant bodies, to ensure that the monument is managed in a sympathetic and positive manner, and the potential for inappropriate or unauthorised work is eliminated as far as possible.

    Policy O3 The Plan will be reviewed quinquenially and in the event that significant, natural

    or premeditated, changes affecting the monument take place. 11.3 PROPOSALS FOR UNDERSTANDING AND SCHEDULING Proposal U1 A comprehensive and up-to-date synthesis should be prepared, covering all

    relevant research that has taken place to date, plus any fieldwork undertaken under Proposal U2 to clarify the nature of the double-ditch earthwork on the southern boundary of the Scheduled Area.

    Notes: If feasible it should be published conventionally, but if this is not possible it

    should be made available as a readily-accessible (at the minimum) the National Monument Record, Dudley Archive and Local History Service, Halesowen Library and Dudley Library, and possibly made available digitally via the Archaeological Data Service.

    Proposal U2 Further fieldwork should be carried out in an attempt to establish the nature of

    the double ditch earthwork currently demarcating the southern boundary of the Scheduled area, and resolve the differences of interpretation that have been

  • suggested for this feature. If it proves to be post-medieval rather than monastic, the scheduling could be reviewed and adjusted as appropriate.

    Notes: As this is a fundamental question relating to the boundaries of the area

    scheduled it is suggested that the work should be given priority. Proposal U3 The scheduling of the 17th-century barn should be reviewed and amended as

    necessary. Notes: If the residential conversion proceeds the Scheduling of this building will need

    to be reviewed and amended. There is a particular question in relation to the east wall of the barn, which is formed by the west wall of the south transept and which, with the contiguous south wall, extends beyond the barn itself. If the residential conversion does not proceed, the Scheduling should be reviewed to include the additional medieval masonry identified in its north wall.

    Proposal U4 The boundary of the scheduled area at the south of the sports stadium should be

    reviewed, with particular reference to the interpretation and condition of the earthwork bank between the stadium and the stream as it now exists.

    Notes: The Scheduling description describes this earthwork as a former dam retaining

    a large pond, but no other authority concurs with this interpretation. Its condition appears to have been significantly altered by the construction of the sports stadium in 1948. A detailed review should cover those parts of the site defined as Areas 7 and 8 in this Plan, and would indicate whether this area should remain scheduled as at present, or be excluded in whole or part.

    Proposal U5 In parallel with a review of the extent of scheduling under Proposal U4, the

    extent of the Scheduled area within the ownership of the Halesowen Athletics and Cycling Club should be confirmed.

    Notes: This will be necessary irrespective of whether the boundary of the Scheduled

    area in this part of the site is amended under Proposal U4. If land within the ownership of the club remains Scheduled following review, discussions and meetings should be held with the club so that all parties are clear as to their respective responsibilities.

    Proposal U6 The scheduling should be reviewed to determine whether the west cloister wall,

    which is currently within guardianship but not Scheduled, should be included.

  • 11.4 PROPOSALS FOR PUBLIC ACCESS, PRESENTATION AND MANAGEMENT

    Proposal P1 English Heritage will seek to increase and enhance public access to the

    monument, and secure appropriate maintenance over a larger area than at present, by means of an updated and enhanced guardianship deed, or a management agreement, to be negotiated with the new owner(s) of the site.

    Notes: The existing guardianship is effective in relation to the maintenance of those

    elements of standing masonry that it covers. However, it has not secured significant long-term public access to these although this was one of its original objects, and there is no provision for the surrounding earthworks. The proposed residential conversion will address this to a degree but only in respect of the buildings and immediately adjacent area. Policies specifically relating to the conversion are given below.

    Acquisition by the local authority or an independent body such as the Halesowen

    Abbey Trust is expected to be impractical under present circumstances, and the optimum feasible arrangement is likely to be a revised and enhanced guardianship agreement covering one or more additional areas. Alternatively a Section 17 management agreement may be an option if guardianship cannot be achieved.

    The site ownership may become fragmented under the present sale, in which case a common approach may need to be agreed with a number of owners.

    Issues of privacy, increased wear-and-tear and unauthorised activities will need to be

    taken into account when establishing the extent of public access. Proposal P1a Consideration should be given to possible alternative or supplementary

    car parking to that provided by the approved scheme. Notes: The proposed car park is very small, and may be inadequate at times of high

    demand. This may be an issue with any significant increase in visitor numbers, not just under the approved scheme.

    Proposal P2 Additional presentational material should be provided at suitable locations

    throughout the site. Notes: The greatest potential for improving presentation would be provided by the

    extension of English Heritage guardianship as described in Proposal P1, which would give the greatest flexibility to set out visitor routes around the monument and provide interpretation panels in suitable locations. Even if this cannot be achieved, there are

  • several locations adjacent to the existing public footpaths where interpretation panels could usefully be placed, subject to the landowners consent.

    Proposal P3 Provision for disabled access and facilities will be made, commensurate

    with the nature and usage of the site. Notes: This will depend on such factors as the nature of the conversion and

    development of the farm buildings that is eventually implemented, the extent of any extended guardianship, etc. The existing Disability Access Survey provides an appropriate base line.

    11.5 CONDITION AND THREATS Proposal C1 The poor condition of the Scheduled medieval masonry not currently in

    guardianship, and the later barns, will be addressed by the residential conversion for which planning consent has been granted. If, for any reason, this does not proceed, English Heritage and the local planning authority will work with the new owners to develop a suitable alternative proposal which satisfies the overall objectives of Policies O1-3 and takes into account the issues outlined in the Plan.

    Notes:. It is likely that some clearance and tidying of the site will take place once the

    sale to new owners is complete, before any development commences. It is essential that this is discussed with the new owners in advance, to establish any limitations and necessary methodology.

    Proposal C2 Management (grazing regime etc) of those areas and earthworks under grass

    should follow the guidelines in Managing Earthwork Monuments (Rimmington 2004).

    Notes: This should be secured by means of guardianship or a management agreement

    (Proposal P1). Proposal C3 The possibility of a partnership between English Heritage, the Birmingham and

    Black Country Wildlife Trust and the site owners should be explored, to manage the site in a manner compatible with archaeological/historical and ecological requirements, including enhancing habitats for flora and fauna where feasible.

  • Notes: Whilst the over-riding management interests are those of the Scheduled

    Monument (subject to ecological and any other relevant legislation), these are in many cases compatible with maintaining and enhancing the ecology of the site.

    Proposal C4 The possibility of reducing the visual impact of the barn erected adjacent to the

    Scheduled area in 2008 on the setting of the monument, by replacing its roof with one of a darker colour, should be explored, perhaps in connection with a planning application for change of use, should one be submitted. Any significant additional development in this area should be resisted.

    Notes: The need to balance conservation with the interests of a living/working

    environment, and an implied threat to the setting, are discussed in section 9. No specific threats to the setting are known.

    SALE AND APPROVED DEVELOPMENT 11.6 Issues relating to scheduling of the 17th-century barn are covered by Proposal U3. This is relevant to the scheme for which planning consent has been granted, and also comparable alternatives should this not go ahead in its present form. Proposal SD1 Following the sale of the site, English Heritage will engage with every new owner

    as soon as possible, to seek a common management approach to all parts of the monument and minimise problems that may arise from any fragmentation of ownership as a result of the division of the monument into several sale Lots.

    Proposal SD2 Any physical impact of development under the approved scheme will be

    mitigated by measures to protect the site during the work, and appropriate programmes of archaeological excavation and recording, and historic building recording.

    Notes: These will be agreed between English Heritage and the local planning

    authority under the existing archaeological planning condition, and conditions attached to Scheduled Monument Consent, if granted, and secured by the developer in accordance with standard practice.

    A decision on any alternative scheme that may be proposed should be preceded by

    further evaluation if necessary, and be subject to similar provisions if approved.

  • Acknowledgements Archaeology Warwickshire and Alauna Heritage would like to thank: English Heritage staff too numerous to mention individually at Bristol, Birmingham, Swindon and Portsmouth for help and supplying reports and other information; Jan Hitchens at Birmingham University for supplying copies of Birmingham University reports; Pete Boland at Dudley MBC for helpful comments and supplying copies of reports and HER data; Robert Howard of the Nottingham Tree-ring Dating Laboratory for a copy of the dendrochronological report on the 17th-century barn; Adrian Durkin of Dudley Museum and Art Gallery for supplying the image of Thomas Hearn's painting, and permission to reproduce it; Mick Freer of the Halesowen Abbey Trust for comments and information about the 1938 gatehouse excavations and the construction of the cycle track

  • Bibliography Arnold A & Howard R 2008 Halesowen Abbey, Dudley, West Midlands: tree-ring analysis of timbers, scientific dating report, English Heritage Research Department report ref 90-2008 Astill G, Hurst S & Wright S 2005 The Bordesley Abbey Project Reviewed, Arch J 161, 106-58 Bartlett ADH 1986 Halesowen Abbey Geophysical Survey 1986, unpublished report Brakspear 1906 Plan of Halesowen Abbey, Arch J 63, opp page 252 (the same plan is also in VCH 1906, opp page 136) Brindle S nd History and Research: Halesowen Abbey, draft text for the English Heritage 'Portico' website project Brown G 2005 Halesowen Abbey and its Environs, English Heritage Archaeological Investigation Report Series A1/19/2005 Calladine T 2006 Heritage Partnership Agreements: piloting a new approach, Conservation Bulletin 52, 20-21 Cherrington R & Hislop M 2003 An archaeological watching brief at Manor Farm, Halesowen Abbey, West Midlands, Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit report, project ref 887 Colls K & Duncan M 2007 Halesowen Abbey, Halesowen, Dudley. Archaeological Evaluation, Birmingham Archaeology report PN 1695 Coulson C 1982 Hierarchism in Conventual Crenellation, Med Arch 26, 69-100 Derbyshire S 2009 Structural Inspection of Masonry Walls at Manor Farm Barns, Halesowen Abbey, Stuart Derbyshire, Chartered Structural Engineer, report ref 69.02-R, revised 2009 ref 283.09-R DCLG 2010 Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment, Dept for Communities and Local Government DCMS 2010a Principles of Selection for Listing Buildings, Dept. for Culture. Media & Sport DCMS 2010b Scheduled Monuments: Identifying, protecting, conserving and investigating nationally important archaeological sites under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, Dept. for Culture. Media & Sport Dudley MBC 2011 Dudley Borough Unitary Development Plan (October 2005, revised February 2011) Eames M 1980 Catalogue of Medieval Lead-glazed Earthenware Tiles in the Department of Medieval and later Antiquities, Vols 1 & 2, British Museum

  • EH 2004 Easy Access to Historic Buildings, English Heritage EH 2006 Understanding Historic Buildings: a guide to good recording practice, English Heritage EH 2008 Conservation Principles, Policies and Guidance for the sustainable management of the historic environment, English Heritage EH 2010 PPS5: Planning for the Historic Environment: Historic Environment Planning Practice Guide, English Heritage; Dept for Communities & Local Government; Dept for Culture Media and Sport EH 2011a Introduction to Heritage Assets: Burnt Mounds, English Heritage EH 2011b English Heritage Asset Management Plan for the Maintenance of the Historic Estate, English Heritage, available http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/content/imported-docs/a-e/eh-amp-nov2011.pdf Fleming A nd Halesowen Abbey: A Conservation Statement, uncompleted draft English Heritage report FGJS 2012 Sale particulars of Manor Abbey Farm Estate (revised 2012), Fisher German John Sanders chartered surveyors Gregory K nd History of Halesowen. An Introduction to the Sources, unpublished MSS, Halesowen Library HAT 1986 St Mary's Abbey, site of ruins, farm buildings [etc], Halesowen Abbey Trust report dated 11th June 1986 HAT 1989 The Heritage and Future of St Mary's Abbey site [etc], Halesowen Abbey Trust report dated August 1989 Hemmingway J 2001 A Brief History of Halesowen, available on Dudley MBC website, http://www.dudley.gov.uk; accessed February 2013 Holliday JR 1871 Hales Owen Abbey, Trans Birm & Mid Inst 1, 49-72 Hope W St J 1906 Report of a visit to Halesowen Abbey, described to the visitors by Hope with the aid of Brakspear's plan, Arch J 63, 253 Hunt J 1979 A History of Halesowen Abbey, Dudley Teachers' Centre IEEM 2012 Guidelines for Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (GPEA), 2nd Ed, Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management JNCC 2003 Handbook for Phase 1 Habitat Survey: A technique for environmental audit (reprint), Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough

  • Jones BV 2006 Barn at Manor Farm, Halesowen Abbey, West Midlands. Investigation of the Remains of the South Aisle and Cloister of the Abbey Church, EH Research Dept Report No. 64/2006 Litherland S 1996? Halesowen Abbey: a report on building recording and fieldwork, 1987-95, unpublished draft Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit report. Copy provided by Dudley MBC. The report is undated, but has a Dudley MBC 'received' date stamp of 14/10/1996, and is therefore assumed to date from that year Litherland S & Moscrop D nd Halesowen Abbey: a report on building recording and fieldwork, 1987-95, unpublished draft Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit report. This was produced as a draft for publication in the British Archaeological Reports series, but this did not take place. A hard copy and a scan are held by Birmingham University. It is based closely on Litherland 1996? (above), and must have been prepared between that date and 2003, when it is described in Cherrington & Hislop (above) as 'the most up to date statement concerning research [at the abbey]' Marsden AP 1986 Halesowen Abbey: An Historical and Archaeological Assessment, Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit report for Dudley MBC Molyneux NAD 1984 A Late Medieval Building at Halesowen Abbey, Trans Worcs Arch Soc 9, 45-53 Moscrop D 1993 Geophysical survey: a follow-up to field survey at St Mary's Abbey, Halesowen, Birmingham University unpublished paper Pemberton C 2007 Legal Developments: understanding guardianship, Conservation Bulletin 54, 46 Petchey P 2004 Counsel's advice in respect of St Mary's Abbey, Halesowen (information provided by Dudley MBC) Rimmington JN 2004 Managing Earthwork Monuments: a guidance manual for the care of archaeological earthworks under grassland management, English Heritage Semple-Kerr J 2000 The Conservation Plan: a guide to the preparation of conservation plans for places of European cultural significance (3rd ed), National Trust of Australia (NSW) Somers F & Somers KM 1932 Halas, Hales, Halesowen, Halesowen Sweet R 2004 Antiquaries: the Discovery of the Past in eighteenth-century Britain, London Topliss 2003 Halesowen Abbey, English Heritage Access Survey, Lisa Foster Jane Topliss Associates report (EH AMP data) VCH 1906 The Victoria County History of Worcestershire, Vol 2, London VCH 1913 The Victoria County History of Worcestershire, Vol 3, London (reprinted 1971)

  • Wilson D & Moorhouse S 1971 Medieval Britain in 1970, Med Arch 15, 124-179

  • APPENDICES A Scheduling Description MONUMENT: Halesowen Abbey and associated water control features PARISH: Dudley DISTRICT: Dudley COUNTY: West Midlands NATIONAL MONUMENT No: 21568 NATIONAL GRID REFERENCE(S): SO 9767 8283 DESCRIPTION OF THE MONUMENT (N.B. This has been re-formatted into shorter paragraphs for improved readability, but no changes have been made to the text.) The monument is situated approximately 1km south east of the town of Halesowen. The core of Halesowen Abbey, a foundation of the Premonstratensian order, is in the Guardianship of the Secretary of State and includes the ruins of the conventual buildings which are also Listed Grade I. The monument is much more extensive and also includes parts of the associated water management system and the earthwork remains of mill sites. Halesowen Abbey was founded in 1215 by Peter des Roche and was colonised by canons from the existing Premonstratensian house at Welbeck in Nottinghamshire. The main abbey buildings lie among the agricultural buildings and the farmhouse of Manor Farm and occupy a slight eminence or spur of land which falls away quite sharply to the south into the valley of a stream which flows from west-east and joins a second stream to the south west of the conventual buildings. The conventual buildings are situated within a rectangular enclosure or precinct, which was originally defined by man-made pools of water to the north, south and south west and by waterfilled ditches cutting across the spur on the west and east sides. The precinct thus enclosed measures approximately 170m east-west and 100m north-south. The east ditch remains waterfilled whilst the west ditch is no longer visible on the ground surface. It is shown on the 1885 Ordnance Survey map and a resistivity survey at the site has indicated that the west ditch survives as a buried feature. Access into the inner precinct is thought to have been via a causeway from the north which is now overlaid by the farm track leading to Manor Farm. This causeway crosses the small valley to the north of the precinct, which was dammed in at least five places in the medieval period. The causeway itself forms the westernmost surviving dam in this group. It also crosses a channel running east-west along the north side of the precinct. The channel has been infilled but survives as a buried feature. It served as a bypass leat for the ponds to the north and, at one time, is thought to have provided the water supply for the ditches to the west and east of the conventual buildings. The monastic church, built of local red sandstone, is sited in the north part of the inner precinct and its standing remains include one bay of the north wall of the presbytery, the south west corner of both the south transept and the east end and a fragment of the south west corner of the south wall of the south aisle. The remains of the church are thought to be of

  • early 13th-century date. The standing portion of the south transept survives almost to its original height but has been considerably patched with modern work. Two doorways, one above the other, which originally connected the west range of the cloister to the church, remain visible within the transept. A range of agricultural buildings, which form a courtyard and are associated with Manor Farm, overlie the south wall of the church and the north part of the cloister. The north barn follows the same alignment as the church. It has been partly built from reused medieval masonry and timbers and is thought to be mostly of 17th-century date. However excavations at the site during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and field evidence indicate that this barn incorporates standing fragments of the south wall of the south aisle, the west wall of the south transept and the north end of the west wall of the east range of the cloister within its fabric. In particular, the medieval doorway which originally provided access from the nave of the church into the north east corner of the cloister survives within this farm building. Although the majority of the barn itself is not included in the scheduling, the in-situ sections of medieval standing masonry which are visible within the barn and identified on an excavation plan of 1906 are included. Of the south range of the cloister, the south wall of the frater and its undercroft remain standing. To the south west of the claustral buildings there is a post-medieval building incorporating masonry from the abbey. This building is not included in the scheduling. To the south east of the church is a two-storey rectangular stone building originally constructed during the second half of the 13th century, although a number of later alterations are visible within the fabric. This may have been the abbot's lodging. Notable features of the building are the original transomed two-light upper windows, a number of which are now blocked, and the corbelled fireplace in the south wall. This building is included in the scheduling. Cartographic evidence indicates that the fields to the north and west of the monastic church, within the moated enclosure, were known respectively as Lower and Upper Churchyard indicating that these areas were used as the monastic cemetery. The conventual buildings in the precinct were originally set within a larger system of water control features. In 1938 excavations related to the road widening of Manor Road recovered evidence of a length of walling and a cobbled surface thought to be associated with the outer gatehouse of Halesowen Abbey. These features were destroyed when the road was widened into a dual carriageway, but they indicate that the monastery was originally bounded along its north side by Manor Way. The area of land between Manor Way and the series of ponds immediately to the north of the precinct has been the site of modern mining activity and this area is not included in the scheduling. Immediately to the north and north east of the precinct are the earthwork remains of a series of large ponds, of which at least five have been identified. The westernmost pond was formed behind a retaining bank which formed a causeway for the entrance track into the monastery. The valley to the east of here was dammed four more times creating a flight of ponds extending eastwards for approximately 460m. The water control system for these ponds, which are now dry, appears to have been quite complex. A bypass leat, or overflow channel, is visible running parallel to the south side of the ponds and it forms the north boundary to the inner precinct. Earthwork evidence indicates that the ponds were connected to this channel and to each adjacent pond by sluices.

  • A survey of the earthworks at Halesowen Abbey has indicated that there may have been a further pond to the west of the approach road to Manor Farm. It is unclear how far the pond, which is now dry, originally extended westwards and it is, therefore, not included in the scheduling. The valley to the south of the conventual buildings has been dammed in three places to create ponds. These are now dry but their retaining banks, built across the stream channel, remain visible as substantial earthworks. The retaining bank visible immediately to the south west of the conventual buildings would have originally created a large body of water along the south boundary to the precinct. The proximity of the central pond to the conventual buildings suggests that the pond had a domestic use and a sluice within its retaining bank is thought to have provided a water supply for the latrines, situated in the south range of the cloister. At the south end of this retaining bank and at the north end of the south pond's retaining bank are the remains of levelled platforms which are thought to be the remains of former watermill sites. There is no surface evidence of the mill buildings on either retaining bank but such evidence will survive in the form of buried features. The tail-races for these watermills remain visible as shallow depressions on the ground surface adjacent to the mill platforms. The retaining bank in the south east part of the site would have originally retained a supply pond of some considerable extent, but only a sample 12m wide area of the deposits found on the floor of the pond is included within the scheduling, adjacent to the retaining bank. A prominent earthwork, which forms the south boundary to the site, is visible running south west from the retaining bank in the south east part of the site. The topographical position of this ditch and its relationship with the south pond indicate that at one stage it carried water and clearly served as part of the monastery's water-control system. The west end of the ditch widens into a double-ditched feature with a linear, raised earthwork situated between the two ditches. This feature is considered to be the site of a number of mills associated with the monastery and a resistivity survey of the earthwork has indicated the presence of at least one structure and traces of several more surviving as buried features. The field to the north of the double-ditched earthwork is bounded along its west side by a bank and ditch and on its north and east sides by the former ponds. This enclosed field retains earthwork evidence of ridge and furrow cultivation, running north-south across the ground surface. In 1536 Halesowen Abbey and all its possessions were surrendered to the Crown and two years later the monastic buildings were partly demolished. The site of the abbey was granted by Henry VIII to Sir John Dudley who passed the site to his servant George Tuckey. The in-situ sections of medieval standing masonry within the barn, and the rectangular stone building south east of the church are included within the scheduling. The 19th century farmhouse and the agricultural buildings of Manor Farm, except where specified above as being included, are excluded from the scheduling. All fence posts, concrete and tarmac surfaces, and all service inspection chambers are also excluded but the ground beneath all these features is included. ASSESSMENT OF IMPORTANCE From the time of St Augustine's mission to re-establish Christianity in AD 597 to the reign of Henry VIII, monasticism formed an important facet of both religious and secular life in the British Isles. Settlements of religious communities, including monasteries, were built to

  • house communities of monks, canons (priests), and sometimes lay-brothers, living a common life of religious observance under some form of systematic discipline. It is estimated from documentary evidence that over 700 monasteries were founded in England. These ranged in size from major communities with several hundred members to tiny establishments with a handful of brethren. They belonged to a wide variety of different religious orders, each with its own philosophy. As a result, they vary considerably in the detail of their appearance and layout, although all possess the basic elements of church, domestic accommodation for the community, and work buildings. Monasteries were inextricably woven into the fabric of medieval society, acting not only as centres of worship, learning and charity, but also, because of the vast landholdings of some orders, as centres of immense wealth and political influence. They were established in all parts of England, some in towns and others in the remotest of areas. Many monasteries acted as the foci of wide networks including parish churches, almshouses, hospitals, farming estates and tenant villages. The Premonstratensian order, or "White Canons", were not monks in the strict sense but rather communities of priests living together under a rule. The first Premonstratensian establishments were double houses (for men and women), but later they founded some 45 houses for men in England. The Premonstratensian order modelled itself on the Cistercian values of austerity and seclusion and founded all its monasteries in rural locations. Halesowen Abbey is a well-documented example of a Premonstratensian monastery founded during the early 13th century. The quality of the surviving remains has been attested by excavation, though a great deal remains to be discovered. The site retains several important fragments of major monastic buildings and also the earthwork and buried remains of secular and agricultural buildings and features, the survival of which is more unusual. Organic material will be preserved in many of the water control features on the site and this will be of value in understanding the economy and environment of the site's inhabitants. SCHEDULING HISTORY Records show that the monument was originally included in the Schedule on 8th February 1915 as: COUNTY/NUMBER: Worcestershire 2 NAME: Halesowen Abbey Scheduling amended on 2nd July 1975 to: COUNTY/NUMBER: West Midlands 2 NAME: Halesowen Abbey, abbey fishponds and precinct earthworks Monument placed in Guardianship on 11th October 1976 as: COUNTY/NUMBER: West Midlands 2 NAME: Halesowen Abbey The reference of this monument is now: NATIONAL MONUMENT NUMBER: 21568 NAME: Halesowen Abbey and associated water control features SCHEDULING REVISED ON 08th February 1995

  • B Listing description MANOR WAY St Mary's Abbey (ruins) (Manor Farm) (formerly listed under Manor Lane) SO 98 SER 2/58 10.1.50 I Founded 1215 for Premonstratensians. The remains are mainly C13 and are disposed about a modern farmhouse. The north wall of the barn embodies part of the south aisle of the church with 2 claustral doorways. Fragments of the south transept and 2 lancet windows. portions of south transeptual chapel and north wall of chancel. Substantial wall of refectory with 4 lancets and undercroft. A good detached shell remains, probably the Abbatial House, C13, with coupled lancets and some C16 lights, and the original timber roof. Another detached but problematical building: Foundations of chapter house. AM.

  • C Non-statutory criteria for assessing the national importance of Ancient Monuments The following criteria (which are not in any order of ranking), are used by the Secretary of State for assessing the national importance of a monument and considering whether scheduling is appropriate. They should not be regarded as definitive; but as indicators which contribute to a wider judgment based on the individual circumstances of a case. Period: all types of monuments that characterise a category or period should be considered for preservation. Rarity: there are some monument categories which are so scarce that all surviving examples which still retain some archaeological potential should be preserved. In general, however, a selection must be made which portrays the typical and commonplace as well as the rare. This process should take account of all aspects of the distribution of a particular class of monument, both in a national and a regional context. Documentation: the significance of a monument may be enhanced by the existence of records of previous investigation or, in the case of more recent monuments, by the supporting evidence of contemporary written or drawn records. Conversely, the absence of documentation can make the potential of a monument more important as the only means of developing our understanding. Group Value: the value of a single monument (such as a field system) may be greatly enhanced by its association with related contemporary monuments (such as a settlement and cemetery) or with monuments of different periods. In some cases, it is preferable to protect the complete group of monuments, including associated and adjacent land, rather than to protect isolated monuments within the group. Survival / Condition: the survival of a monument's archaeological potential both above and below ground is a particularly important consideration and should be assessed in relation to its present condition and surviving features. Fragility / Vulnerability: highly important archaeological evidence from some field monuments can be destroyed by a single ploughing or unsympathetic treatment; vulnerable monuments of this nature would particularly benefit from the statutory protection which scheduling confers. There are also existing standing structures of particular form or complexity whose value can again be severely reduced by neglect or careless treatment, and which are similarly well suited by scheduled monument protection. Diversity: some monuments may be selected for scheduling because they possess a combination of high quality features, others because of a single important attribute. Potential: on occasion, the nature of the evidence cannot be specified precisely, but it may still be possible to document reasons anticipating its existence and importance and so to demonstrate the justification for scheduling. The greater the likelihood that such evidence will be revealed through archaeological investigation, the stronger will be the justification for scheduling.

  • D Statutory criteria for Listed Buildings Taken from Principles of Selection for Listing Buildings: general principles applied by the Secretary of State when deciding whether a building is of special architectural or historic interest and should be added to the list of buildings compiled under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (Department of Culture, Media and Sport, March 2010). The Secretary of State uses the following criteria when assessing whether a building is of special interest and therefore should be added to the statutory list: Architectural Interest: To be of special architectural interest a building must be of importance in its architectural design, decoration or craftsmanship; special interest may also apply to nationally important examples of particular building types and techniques (e.g. buildings displaying technological innovation or virtuosity) and significant plan forms. Historic Interest: To be of special historic interest a building must illustrate important aspects of the nations social, economic, cultural, or military history and/or have close historical associations with nationally important people. There should normally be some quality of interest in the physical fabric of the building itself to justify the statutory protection afforded by listing. Listed buildings are graded as follows: Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest; Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest; Grade II buildings are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them. English Heritage publish various detailed guidance notes on the selection of buildings and structures for Listing, illustrating how these criteria are applied. In general terms, all buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are most of those built between 1700 and 1840. The criteria become tighter with time, so that post-1945 buildings have to be exceptionally important to be listed. A building has normally to be over 30 years old to be eligible for listing. According to the most recent English Heritage figures, 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I, 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II* and 92% of listed buildings are Grade II.

  • E List of vertical aerial photographs in English Heritage archive (as at February 2013)

    Sortie number Library number

    Camera position

    Frame number

    Held Centre point Run Date Sortie quality

    Scale 1: Focal length (in inches)

    Film details (in inches) Film held by

    RAF/CPE/UK/2469 803 RS 4051 P SO 971 833 9 09 MAR 1948 A 10000 20 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 MOD

    RAF/541/15 855 RS 4012 P SO 969 831 10 13 MAY 1948 AC 10000 20 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/541/15 855 RS 4013 P SO 977 832 10 13 MAY 1948 AC 10000 20 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/540/664 1237 RP 3099 P SO 966 831 7 29 JAN 1952 A 10000 20 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/540/664 1237 RP 3100 P SO 971 833 7 29 JAN 1952 A 10000 20 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/540/664 1237 RS 4099 P SO 974 817 15 29 JAN 1952 A 10000 20 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/540/664 1237 RS 4100 P SO 978 819 15 29 JAN 1952 A 10000 20 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/58/903 1294 V 5190 P SO 972 824 7 27 JUN 1952 A 4920 10 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/58/903 1294 V 5191 P SO 975 823 7 27 JUN 1952 A 4920 10 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/58/903 1294 V 5192 P SO 978 823 7 27 JUN 1952 A 4920 10 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/58/903 1294 V 5398 P SO 973 828 10 27 JUN 1952 A 4920 10 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/58/903 1294 V 5399 P SO 976 828 10 27 JUN 1952 A 4920 10 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/58/903 1294 V 5400 P SO 979 828 10 27 JUN 1952 A 4920 10 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/543/1311 2024 2F21 88 N SO 973 828 34 14 JUN 1961 AB 10000 20 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 MOD

    RAF/543/1311 2024 2F21 89 N SO 979 829 34 14 JUN 1961 AB 10000 20 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 MOD

    RAF/58/4652 2035 F22 114 P SO 970 839 12 29 AUG 1961 A 10000 24 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    RAF/58/4652 2035 F22 115 P SO 980 839 12 29 AUG 1961 A 10000 24 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    RAF/58/4652 2035 F22 172 P SO 978 818 13 29 AUG 1961 A 10000 24 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    RAF/58/4652 2035 F22 173 P SO 969 818 13 29 AUG 1961 A 10000 24 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    RAF/541/256 2680 RS 4242 P SO 981 828 9 10 MAY 1949 AC 10000 36 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/541/256 2680 RS 4243 P SO 971 829 9 10 MAY 1949 AC 10000 36 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/541/256 2680 RS 4467 P SO 984 833 15 10 MAY 1949 AC 10000 36 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    RAF/541/256 2680 RS 4468 N SO 976 835 15 10 MAY 1949 AC 10000 36 Black and White 8.25 x 7.5 NMR

    MAL/71139 7200 V 82 P SO 969 817 1 02 OCT 1971 A 12000 6 Black and White 9 x 9 FNH

    MAL/71139 7200 V 83 P SO 969 829 1 02 OCT 1971 A 12000 6 Black and White 9 x 9 FNH

    MAL/81029 9162 V 127 P SO 967 831 6 02 AUG 1981 A 10000 6 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    MAL/81029 9162 V 128 P SO 976 831 6 02 AUG 1981 A 10000 6 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    MAL/81029 9162 V 129 P SO 985 830 6 02 AUG 1981 A 10000 6 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

  • Sortie number Library number

    Camera position

    Frame number

    Held Centre point Run Date Sortie quality

    Scale 1: Focal length (in inches)

    Film details (in inches) Film held by

    OS/63081 9431 V 19 P SO 981 826 4 01 JUN 1963 A 7500 12 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    OS/63081 9431 V 20 P SO 975 830 4 01 JUN 1963 A 7500 12 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    OS/65219 9434 V 23 P SO 980 823 3 20 SEP 1965 A 7500 12 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    OS/65219 9434 V 24 P SO 982 829 3 20 SEP 1965 A 7500 12 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    OS/59098 20188 V 50 N SO 982 830 3 04 JUL 1959 A 5550 12 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    OS/98696 22804 V 19 N SO 969 824 1 19 AUG 1998 A 7000 12 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    OS/98696 22804 V 20 N SO 974 824 1 19 AUG 1998 A 7000 12 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    OS/98696 22804 V 21 N SO 980 824 1 19 AUG 1998 A 7000 12 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    ADA/234 26366 Vp2 181 N SO 966 824 2 10 APR 1985 A 10000 6 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    ADA/234 26366 Vp2 182 N SO 974 824 2 10 APR 1985 A 10000 6 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    ADA/234 26366 Vp2 183 N SO 981 826 2 10 APR 1985 A 10000 6 Black and White 9 x 9 NMR

    Total sorties 14 Total images 41

  • F List of oblique aerial photographs in English Heritage archive (as at February 2013)

    Photo reference (NGR and Index number)

    Film and frame number Original number

    Date Film type Map Reference

    SO 9782 / 1 CAP 8056 / 42 HG 07 JUN 1952 Black& white Unknown SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 2 CAP 8056 / 43 HG 07 JUN 1952 Black& white Unknown SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 3 CAP 8056 / 44 HG 07 JUN 1952 Black& white Unknown SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 4 NMR 18978 / 01 15 DEC 2000 Colour slide 35 mm SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 5 NMR 18978 / 02 15 DEC 2000 Colour slide 35 mm SO 977829

    SO 9782 / 6 NMR 18978 / 03 15 DEC 2000 Colour slide 35 mm SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 7 NMR 21087 / 07 15 DEC 2000 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 976827

    SO 9782 / 8 NMR 21087 / 08 15 DEC 2000 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 975828

    SO 9782 / 9 NMR 21087 / 09 15 DEC 2000 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 975828

    SO 9782 / 10 NMR 21087 / 10 15 DEC 2000 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 976826

    SO 9782 / 12 NMR 21087 / 12 15 DEC 2000 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 977826

    SO 9782 / 13 NMR 21087 / 13 15 DEC 2000 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 976829

    SO 9782 / 14 NMR 21087 / 14 15 DEC 2000 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 976829

    SO 9782 / 15 NMR 21087 / 15 15 DEC 2000 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 976826

    SO 9782 / 18 NMR 18995 / 01 15 DEC 2000 Colour neg 35 mm SO 975828

    SO 9782 / 20 NMR 18995 / 03 15 DEC 2000 Colour neg 35 mm SO 976829

    SO 9782 / 21 NMR 18995 / 04 15 DEC 2000 Colour neg 35 mm SO 976829

    SO 9782 / 22 NMR 18995 / 05 15 DEC 2000 Colour neg 35 mm SO 975826

    SO 9782 / 23 NMR 18995 / 06 15 DEC 2000 Colour neg 35 mm SO 975828

    SO 9782 / 24 NMR 23019 / 01 19 MAR 2003 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 976829

    SO 9782 / 25 NMR 23019 / 02 19 MAR 2003 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 976827

    SO 9782 / 26 NMR 23019 / 03 19 MAR 2003 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 976827

    SO 9782 / 27 NMR 23019 / 04 19 MAR 2003 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 978828

    SO 9782 / 28 NMR 23019 / 05 19 MAR 2003 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 978828

    SO 9782 / 29 NMR 23019 / 06 19 MAR 2003 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 976826

    SO 9782 / 30 NMR 23019 / 07 19 MAR 2003 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 976826

    SO 9782 / 31 NMR 23019 / 08 19 MAR 2003 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 976826

    SO 9782 / 32 NMR 23019 / 09 19 MAR 2003 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 976826

    SO 9782 / 33 NMR 23019 / 10 19 MAR 2003 Black& white 70mm,120,220 SO 976827

    SO 9782 / 34 NMR 21985 / 00 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 979828

    SO 9782 / 35 NMR 21985 / 01 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 979828

    SO 9782 / 36 NMR 21985 / 02 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 977829

    SO 9782 / 37 NMR 21985 / 03 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 38 NMR 21985 / 04 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 39 NMR 21985 / 05 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 40 NMR 21985 / 06 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 976827

    SO 9782 / 41 NMR 21985 / 07 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 976827

    SO 9782 / 42 NMR 21985 / 08 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 976826

    SO 9782 / 43 NMR 21985 / 09 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 976826

    SO 9782 / 44 NMR 21985 / 10 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 975828

    SO 9782 / 45 NMR 21985 / 11 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 975828

    SO 9782 / 46 NMR 21985 / 12 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 975828

    SO 9782 / 47 NMR 21985 / 13 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 975828

    SO 9782 / 48 NMR 21985 / 14 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 975828

    SO 9782 / 49 NMR 21985 / 15 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 974827

  • Photo reference (NGR and Index number)

    Film and frame number Original number

    Date Film type Map Reference

    SO 9782 / 50 NMR 21985 / 16 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 976827

    SO 9782 / 51 NMR 21985 / 17 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 977828

    SO 9782 / 52 NMR 21985 / 18 19 MAR 2003 Colour neg 35 mm SO 976829

    SO 9782 / 53 NMR 26894 / 01 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976827

    SO 9782 / 54 NMR 26894 / 02 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976827

    SO 9782 / 55 NMR 26894 / 03 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976826

    SO 9782 / 56 NMR 26894 / 04 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 978829

    SO 9782 / 57 NMR 26894 / 06 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 977828

    SO 9782 / 58 NMR 26894 / 07 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976827

    SO 9782 / 59 NMR 26894 / 08 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976827

    SO 9782 / 60 NMR 26894 / 09 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 61 NMR 26894 / 10 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 62 NMR 26894 / 11 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976827

    SO 9782 / 63 NMR 26894 / 12 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 975827

    SO 9782 / 64 NMR 26894 / 13 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976826

    SO 9782 / 65 NMR 26894 / 14 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 66 NMR 26894 / 15 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 977826

    SO 9782 / 67 NMR 26894 / 16 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 979828

    SO 9782 / 68 NMR 26894 / 17 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 975828

    SO 9782 / 69 NMR 26894 / 18 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 70 NMR 26894 / 19 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 975827

    SO 9782 / 71 NMR 26894 / 20 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976827

    SO 9782 / 72 NMR 26894 / 21 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 974826

    SO 9782 / 73 NMR 26894 / 22 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 74 NMR 26894 / 23 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 975828

    SO 9782 / 75 NMR 26894 / 24 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 975828

    SO 9782 / 76 NMR 26894 / 25 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 77 NMR 26894 / 26 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 977827

    SO 9782 / 78 NMR 26894 / 27 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 977827

    SO 9782 / 79 NMR 26894 / 28 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 977826

    SO 9782 / 80 NMR 26894 / 29 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976825

    SO 9782 / 81 NMR 26894 / 30 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976826

    SO 9782 / 82 NMR 26894 / 31 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 977828

    SO 9782 / 83 NMR 26894 / 32 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 977829

    SO 9782 / 84 NMR 26894 / 33 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 979829

    SO 9782 / 85 NMR 26894 / 34 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 978829

    SO 9782 / 86 NMR 26894 / 35 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 977829

    SO 9782 / 87 NMR 26894 / 36 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 977829

    SO 9782 / 88 NMR 26894 / 37 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976828

    SO 9782 / 89 NMR 26894 / 38 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 976829

    SO 9782 / 90 NMR 26894 / 39 24 FEB 2011 Digital colour 35 mm SO 977827

  • G List of aerial photographs held by the Cambridge University Committee for Aerial Photography (CUCAP) Oblique This list is based on a search of the CUCAP online catalogue: www.geog.cam.ac.uk/cucap/search/?lonLat=&search=Halesowen+Abbey Cat ID Date

    HG42 7 June 1952

    HG43 7 June 1952

    HG44 7 June 1952

    AUB24 12 April 1968

    AUB25 12 April 1968

    AUB26 12 April 1968

    AUB27 12 April 1968 Vertical This list is based on the interactive map on the CUCAP online catalogue. In the immediate vicinity of the abbey there are photographs taken in 1985, 1987, 1989, 1999, 2001. The two principal runs are: Reference Date

    RC8JD 172-4 23 April 1987

    ZknLS 225-7 25 June 2001

  • H Dudley Historic Environment Record data Within a c.250m study area, approximately centred on the south-eastern corner of the Scheduled Monument HER Number Date Site Name / description

    873 medieval St Mary's Abbey, Halesowen.

    1793 undated Ten Acres, Foxcote: ?Cropmark.

    1794 undated Manor Way;close to: ?Cropmark.

    1795 undated Ten Acres: ?Cropmark.

    1796 undated Middle Abbey Oaks; Pond Feature

    4136 Bronze Age? Colt Leasow, Lappal; ring ditch?

    4137 Bronze Age? Ten Acres: Possible ring ditch.

    4138 medieval Ten Acres:Possible Pillow Mound.

    4139 medieval Ten Acres: Possible pillow mound.

    4140 undated Ten Acres: Sub circular enclosure.

    4322 post-med Lapal Lane South; Lapal House & Lodg

    4323 post-med Lapal Lane; Site of Canal Cottages.

    4326 post-med Illey Lane: Illey Mill

    4329 post-med St Marys Abbey; Moat.

    4482 undated Coopers Wood; NE of Illey

    4871 prehist/ BA? Colt Leasow; Heat Crazed Stones Found

    6181 post-med Lapal Lane; Canal Pumping Station

    7245 post-med Manor Way: Manor Lane Colliery.

    7246 medieval Halesowen Abbey Gatehouse Manor Way

    7371 post-med Dudley No. 2 Canal (Lapal Section)

    7372 post-med Lapal Tunnel; Dudley No.2 Canal.

    7379 post-med Halesowen Railway

    7406 mesolithic Abbey Fields flint scatter

    7603 medieval Illeybrook Farm: Ridge and Furrow.

    7605 medieval Lye Close Lane: Ridge and Furrow.

    7606 medieval Lye Close Lane: Ridge and Furrow.

    7607 medieval Lye Close Lane: Ridge and Furrow.

    7608 medieval Lye Close Lane: Ridge and Furrow.

    7609 medieval Manor Abbey,1: Ridge and Furrow.

    7610 medieval Manor Abbey 2: Ridge and Furrow.

    7611 medieval Manor Way; Ridge and Furrow

    8539 undated Illeybrook Farm: Enclosure cropmark

    8541 medieval Lapal Farm; Ridge & Furrow

    8542 undated Illey Hall Farm: Enclosure cropmark.

    10595 medieval? The Queb, Manor Abbey; Cropmarks.

    12030 post-med Manor Way; Site of The Brick Yard

    12295 medival Nine Flat Acre Piece: Medieval Tile

    12296 prehistoric Nine Acre Flat Piece; Flint scraper

    12297 Roman Field Barn Close; Roman Rim

  • 12342 medieval Lapal Township.

    12360 mesolithic-BA Flat Piece; Flint Artefacts

    12363 mesolithic-BA Gig Pit Leasow; flint flake.

    12364 Roman Gig Pit Leasow; Roman pot sherd.

    12365 medieval Barn Close; Scatter of Med. sherds.

    12366 medieval Flat Piece; medieval pot sherds.

    12367 medieval Gig pit Leasow; Medieval pot scatter

    12368 Roman Chattery Wood; Roman pot sherd.

    12369 medieval Chattery Wood; Medieval pot sherd

    12370 medieval Four Acre Flat Piece; Medieval pot

    12371 medieval Ten Acres; Medieval pot sherd.

    12372 medieval The Four Acres; Medieval potsherd

    12373 Roman Colts Leasow; Roman Pottery Sherd

    12374 medieval Colts Leasow; Medieval Pottery

    12387 Roman Flat Piece; Roman Pot Scatter.

    12388 mesolithic-BA Flat Piece; Flint Artefacts

    12389 medieval Flat Piece; Medieval pot sherds.

    12390 Bronze Age Flat Piece; Bronze Age Arrowhead

    12391 medieval Flat Piece; Medieval Tile

    12440 medieval Bottoms Field; Holloway.

    12443 Roman Plat Piece; Mortaria Rim.

    12458 Roman Ten Acres; Roman Pottery

    12460 undated The Parks; Flint piece

    12507 undated Flat Piece Field, Illey; whetstone

    12508 undated Flat Piece Field; Bored Stone.

    12641 undated/RO? Manor Way; Cropmarks

    12690 undated Illey Brook Farm; Holloway II

    12692 medieval Illey Brook Farm; R & F Furlong

    12698 modern 2nd WW Machine Gun Post

    12699 undated Holly Leasow; Circular Earthwork

    12718 Bronze Age Illey Brook East; Heat Crazed Stones

    12721 N/A Illey Lane: Bartley Green FC negative watching brief

    12722 Roman Manor Way; Roman Sherds.

    12723 undated/RO? Illey Lane; Cropmark - Roman Villa?

    12724 undated Frankley; Foredrove Holloway.

    12726 prehistoric Illey Brook - East; Broken pebbles

    12727 undated Upper Rushy Piece; lineal cropmark

    12736 Bronze Age Burnt Mound Material.

    12778 Iron Age Bog Quebb Field; Pot sherd

    12779 medieval Bog Quebb Field; Med. Pot Handles

    12780 undated Hilly Quebb; Stone Wetstone.

    12781 medieval Middle Abbey Oaks Field; Med. Tile

    12782 prehistoric Bog Quebb Field; Burnt Stones

    12783 Bronze Age Hilly Quebb Field; Burnt Stones.

  • 12784 Bronze Age Bog Quebb Field; Burnt Stones.

    12785 Bronze Age Colt Leasow Field; Burnt Stones

    12786 Bronze Age Colt Leasow; Burnt Stones

    12787 Bronze Age Lower Abbey Oaks Field; Burnt Stones

    12788 Bronze Age Lower Abbey Oaks Field; Burnt Stones

    12789 Bronze Age Lower Park; Burnt Stones

    12790 Bronze Age Nine Acre Flat Piece; Burnt Stones

    12791 Bronze Age Fout Acre Flat Piece; Burnt Stones

    12792 Iron Age - medieval Hilly Quebb Field; Clay Spindle Whorl

    12794 palaeolithic/neolithic Hilly Queb Field; Flint Hammer Stone

    12795 prehistoric Hilly Quebb Field; Piece of flint.

    12801 medieval St Mary's Abbey, Halesowen.

    12810 Roman Flat Piece Field; White Bead

    12811 Roman Flat Piece Field; Samian Ware

    12813 medieval Lower Abbey Oaks; medieval tile in Ditch/Pit Fill.

    12902 prehistoric Lower Leasow, Worked flint

    12903 Roman Lower Leasow, Roman Sherds

    12904 undated Upper Abbey Oaks; Marl Pit

    12905 mesolithic- BA Colt Leasow; Flint Artefacts

    12906 mesolithic Flint Artefacts

    12907 mesolithic- BA Flint Artefacts

    12908 mesolithic- BA Flint Artefacts

    12909 Roman Bog Quebb; Roman sherd

    12918 mesolithic- BA Long Quebb Field; Flint Flake

    12919 mesolithic- BA Hilly Quebb; Flint Artefacts

    12920 mesolithic- BA Hilly Quebb Field; Flint Artefact.

    12923 mesolithic- BA Colts Leasow: Flint Artefacts

    12924 mesolithic- BA Barn Close; Flint Artefacts

    12927 mesolithic- BA Four Acre Field; Flint Artefacts

  • I List of early illustrations of the abbey This list is taken from Marsden (1986) Appendix 2, re-formatted and with minor changes, annotations and additions as appropriate. It includes only one illustration definitely not listed by him Lines 1817/1849, which is from a book in Halesowen Library; he may have been aware of it but not considered it worth including as it is not itself an original, although it was copied from an early drawing. He does not list the two watercolours described as Green B 1775, but these may be the same as other entries see note under that entry. As in Marsden's original, as far as possible the list is chronological rather than alphabetical, and undated items are listed separately (alphabetically) at the end. Dated Buck S & N 1731 The East View of Hales Owen Abbey. in the County of Salop, in A Collection of engravings of castles, abbeys and towns in England and Wales, London Green J A 1754 Engraving of the ruins of the abbey accompanying Charles Lyttleton's The Parochial Antiquities of Hagley, Frankley, Churchill, Clent, Arley and Halesowen in the Counties Worcester, Stafford and Salop, Society of Antiquaries MSS 139 Hooper S 1774 The Abbey, engraving by Sparro from a drawing by Hooper in F Grose, The Antiquities of England and Wales, Vol 3, London, 1775 Green B 1775 View of the ruins of the Manor Abbey in Halesowen, Shropshire, watercolour in the British Library, ref K.Top.36.14g, listed and shown on the Library websitre. This is not listed by Marsden, but appears from the details given to be the same as the first item listed under his British Museum entries see the Anon b in the 'Undated' section below. A second painting with a similar description in the Library may be the same as his second item, although referenced 14h rather than his 14l. Both are on the Library website: www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/kinggeorge/m/003ktop00000036u014g[or14h]0000.html. The items may have been transferred to the new British Library, which did not exist when Marsden was writing. Hearne T 1777 Remains of the Monastery of Halesowen, watercolour in Birmingham Art Gallery, Accession No 1929P39 (Marsden has this dated only as 'pre-1817. The Birmingham City Art Gallery website dates it as 1777. There is also a copy with slight differences on the Dudley Museum and Art Gallery website this has not been investigated for this report, and it is not known whether it is another version by Hearne or a later copy) Parkes D 1789 Part of the Abbey Church, and The Abbey House etc, engravings in The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol 69, 113 (February 1799) 'LH' 1791 Sketch of a stone coffin found beneath the pavement at Hales Owen Abbey, The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol 61, 1097 Parkes D 1797 et seq Drawings of the tiles dug up at Halesowen Abbey, in Skeytches and Scrappes pycked upp in lonelie Walkes, British Museum MSS Caldwall J 1799 (engraver) Remains of Halesowen Abbey, in TR Nash Collections for the History of Worcestershire, Vol 1, 490.

  • Green B c.1800 SW prospect of Halesowen church, and a view of a small portion of the abbey ruins (two vignettes on one plate; source/location not given by Marsden) Parkes D 1801 The Abbey, engraved by J Storer in The Itinerant, 1 January, 1801. Parkes D c.1802 A view of the ruins of the abbey, in The Copperplate Magazine, Vol 5, plate ccxiv (1792-1802) Parkes D 1802 Hales Owen Abbey, engraved by W Pearson, in W Pearson Select Views of the Antiquities of Shropshire, plate 34 Greig J 1807 Remains of Hales Owen Abbey, Shropshire, in The Antiquarian and Topographical Cabinet for 1807 Parkes D 1808 Remains of the Abbey Church, engraved by Basire in The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol 78, 577 (July 1808) Parkes D 1811 Hales Owen Abbey, Shropshire, engraved by W Angus in J Britton and EW Brayley, The Beauties of England and Wales, Vol 13, 326 (London 1813) Storer J 1811 View of the abbey, in the Antiquarian and Topographical Cabinet, Vol 10 Lines HH 1817/1894 Ruins of the Refectory (?), Halesowen Abbey, described as 'engraved from a drawing made by the late Mr HH Lines in 1817', in W Salt Brassington, 1894, Historic Worcestershire, published by the Midland Educational Co. c.1894 (undated but the forward is dated 1894). This item is not listed by Marsden, and neither the location of the original drawing, nor how accurately the 1894 engraving copied it, is known Coney J 1825 View of the ruins of the abbey, in W Dugdale Monasticon Anglicanum...A New Edition, Pt 2, Vol 6, p926 (London 1830) Gething W 1877 Halesowen Abbey, engraving mentioned in Halesowen Borough Council, Exhibition illustrating the history of Halesowen (Halesowen 1950) Gething W 1877 Halesowen Abbey north side of church, engraving mentioned in Exhibition illustrating the history of Halesowen (Halesowen Borough Council 1950) Leaver C 1882 Halesowen Abbey, oil painting mentioned in Exhibition illustrating the history of Halesowen (Halesowen Borough Council 1950) Pope H 1895 Two etchings of Halesowen Abbey, mentioned in Exhibition illustrating the history of Halesowen (Halesowen Borough Council 1950) Pope H pre-1908 Halesowen Abbey (sepia touched with blue), in Birmingham City Art Gallery (N.B. although listed by Marsden, at the time of writing, February 2013, this is not listed on the Birmingham City Art Gallery website. It is not known whether this is because it is no longer in the gallery, or has simply not been added to the online catalogue.) Mackenzie CV 1943 Halesowen Abbey, watercolour mentioned in Exhibition illustrating the history of Halesowen (Halesowen Borough Council 1950)

  • Undated Anon a Halesowen Abbey, miniature engraving, artist unknown, mentioned in Exhibition illustrating the history of Halesowen (Halesowen Borough Council 1950) Anon b As listed by Marsden this covers two items: 'A coloured west view of the ruins of Manor Abbey, Hales Owen: lf. lin x 10 1/2in [M xxxvi. 14.g] A coloured view of part of the ruins of a Manor Abbey, Halewowen: 11 1" x 10 1/211 [xxxvi.14.L] (see Manuscript Maps, Charts and Plans and Topographical Drawings in the British Museum, Vol. II (Shropshire))' See also Green B 1775 above these may be the same Grazebrook Engraving of the Abbey, mentioned in Exhibition illustrating the history of Halesowen (Halesowen Borough Council 1950) Noble Hales Owen Abbey, Shropshire. Marsden has this as an engraving published by Alexander Hogg a woodcut facsimile of Sparro's view of the abbey ruins, mentioned in Exhibition illustrating the history of Halesowen (Halesowen Borough Council 1950). Hogg actually published his Picturesque Views of the Antiquities of England & Wales in 1785 under the name of Henry Boswell, extensively plagiarising the plates and text of from F Grose The Antiquities of England and Wales (Sweet R 2004, 323). Sparro's image was itself an engraving from a drawing by Hooper (see above) Prattinton (coll'n) The Worcestershire Prattinton MS collection (Society of Antiquaries), contains a collection of drawings to illustrate his collection, including: No 6, a view of Halesowen Abbey; No 8, Ruin of Hales Owen Abbey, by T. James Dudliston; No 9, collections of drawings copied from those in the possession of Mr Mytton they (it appears from Marsden's list that this note refers to No 9) include drawings of recumbent figures from the abbey and two tracings of drawings of the ruin

  • J List of collections of material from Halesowen Abbey This list is based on Marsden's (1986) Appendix 3, which he entitles 'Available details of material previously dispersed from the site', with later information and collection No 7 added. It does not include the work carried out from the 1980s to 2007 by Birmingham University and Birmingham University Field Archeology Unit (BUFAU) / Birmingham Archaeology (BA). Due to the recent closure of BUFAU/BA, and the imminent closure of the academic department, details of the archive are not readily available. Much material is in storage and not readily accessible. It is understood that project designs are currently being prepared to catalogue and assess the archive, with a view to possible English Heritage funding. It is therefore suggested that a full assessment of Halesowen archive material is not feasible at this time, but could be considered as part of an updated and enhanced synthesis (suggested in 9.4.3 & 11.3 Proposal U1 above) if the Birmingham archive catalogue project has then taken place. 1 British Museum The Rutland Collection in the BM has 760 catalogued tiles (L1-760) and tile fragments, plus other uncatalogued examples, mostly excavated by the Duke of Rutland. They have been catalogued by Eames (1980). Details are available on the BM website. 2 Victoria & Albert Museum The V & A Department of Ceramics has eight tiles acquired 1927 on Holliday's death (c326-1927, 330-1927, 342-1927, 344-1927, 354-1927, 362-1927, 376-1927). Listings are available on the V & A website; some are illustrated. 3 Fitzwilliam Museum , Cambridge The Fitzwilliam was reputed to have part of the material excavated by Holliday, but there is no longer any record of it. It has one tile excavated by the Duke of Rutland, illustrated on the Museum's website (EC.31-1936). (Marsden has reference c.31-1936.) 4 Halesowen parish church Marsden lists a case of material on display in the church. 5 Walsall parish church The choir stalls with misericords are those from the abbey church. 6 Dudley Archives and Local History Service Marsden lists a fragment of pillar (actually a sandstone column base), six floor tiles (three decorated and three plain) and five fragments of painted window glass from the 1930s excavations, stored at Halesowen Library. These are from Somers' 1939 excavations, and were originally loaned for an exhibition at the time. They were removed from the Library by the Borough Archaeological Officer in 2009, on conversion of the store room to a computer

  • room (Dudley HER 873), and transferred to the 'Architectural Store' at the Dudley Archives Centre, Mount Pleasant Street, Coseley (Hemmingway pers comm). 7 Worcestershire Archaeology Society The Dudley HER (ref 873, Halesowen Abbey) notes that another 81 tiles have been recently recorded by Stephen Price in the Collection of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society. (Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society, Third Series, Vol. 22, 2010 pp 212-214). These tiles were set in eight wooden trays by Elsie Matley Moore between 1938 and 1940 and had been presented to the Society by Lord Cobham in 1938(?). They were said to have been found in excavations in 1928 and 1937 on a type-written label on the box. As the Duke of Rutland was excavating during this period they seem likely to have been found by him. According to Adrian Durkin (of Dudley Museum) Elsie Matley Moore was introduced to the Duke of Rutland by Lord Cobham and the result was that he allowed her to have some of his seconds. (The main collection went to the British Museum see item 1 above).

  • K List of documentary sources This list is directly taken from Brindle (nd, 12-14). None of these have been examined for this report. No further research into primary sources has been carried out and no additional sources have been identified. Birmingham City Archives, Lyttelton/Hagley MS, ref 3279 The early papers of the Lyttelton family, Viscounts Cobham of Frankley and Hagley, contain a good deal of material relating to the monastic and post-monastic history of Halesowen. A full list is available via the National Archives' website. The collection includes the Court Rolls for the Manor Court of Hales from 1269 in almost unbroken sequence until themed 17th century, and Court Rolls for the Hundred Court of Hales from the later 13th century. These have been published by the Worcester Historical Society (Amphlett 1930, and Wilson 1933). Other notable items are as follows: 3279/347130-2 Account Rolls of Brother Roger atte Ree, Cellarer and Grangiarius,

    with kitchen accounts, 1360-69. 3279/347133 Account Roll of Thomas Symondes, Collectarius, 1441-2. 3279/347137 Account Roll of Hugh Goodman, receiver to the Rt Hon. Viscount

    Lisle of manors in Stafford, Worcs, Salop and Halesowen, 1544-5. 3279/347146 Rental Roll of Halesowen Abbey and Dodford Priory, c1500. 3279/347147 Halesowen Abbey, Roll recording divers forms of accounts of

    accounts and other precedents, c1300. 3279/347148 Record of grants of to Halesowen Abbey and the Priory of Dodford,

    lands, premises etc in Frankley and Warley, C13 to 1427. 3279/347156 Report of Robert Burglyon and Thomas de la Lee, 1386-7, of a

    commission of oyer et terminer, that bondmen and bond tenants of the Abbot of Halesowen at Rommesley co. Salop had refused their custom and services.

    3279/351147 Inspeximus and Confirmation of grant of the church of Halesowen by Adam of Orleton, Bishop of Worcester, 4.1.1331/2, including the text of Peter des Roches' foundation charter of 1215.

    Numerous post-medieval documents relate to property at Halesowen. However, no cartulary for the abbey seems to be known. British Library manuscripts catalogue The BL MS catalogue lists a number of items in its RP class: copies of exported manuscripts, deposited under government export regulations. RP 1803/4 William Marshal, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, surrenders his Claim to a rent

    in favour of Halesowen Abbey, c1227-31. Add Ch 42618 Lease by the Abbot and Convent of Halesowen for 99 years to John

    Walker of Swyndon of a messuage and land in Swyndon, in Womborn parish, 1482.

    RP 1803/3 William Marshal, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, confirms a grant by Warin, son of William de Upton, of land in Ab Lench,

    Granted to Halesowen, c1227-31.

  • RP 8451 Charter of Inspeximus and confirmation by Adam of Orleton, Bishop of Worcester, of the original grant of the church church and Chapel of Halesowen to the Abbot and Canons, giving the text of Peter des Roches' foundation charter of 1215: another version of Birmingham MS 3279/351147 (above).

    RP 1808/6 Roger, son of the clerk of Halesowen, makes a grant of land to Halesowen Abbey, early C13.

    Records of the Visitations of Bishop Redman, late 15th century The most important documentary source for the Premonstratensian order in the late Middle Ages are two volumes, relating to the visitations of Richard Redman, Abbot of Shap, Bishop of St Asaph and later Bishop of Ely, Principal of the Premonstratensian province of England [C15]. There are two main documents. MS Ashmole 1519 in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, is a volume of 149 folios compiled at the time for Redman, probably by Robert Bedale, a canon of Shap who was his chaplain and clerk. This records visits to Halesowen by Bishop Redman in 1478, 1481, 1488 and 1494. The other volume is Belvoir Add MS 2, owned by the Duke of Rutland and kept at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire: it was discovered there by Howard Colvin, and does not seem to have been available to scholars since. This is a compilation of documents probably made at Welbeck Abbey, mainly relating to Welbeck and other houses of the Premonstratensians' 'Middle Circary'. Two early 18th century MS volumes in the British Library are copies of some of the contents of the Belvoir volume made by the 18th century antiquary Francis Peck: BL Add MS 4934 and 4935. These include material from two cartularies of Croxton Abbey in Staffordshire and a lot of other material relating to Premonstratensian houses, whose source was unknown until Colvin identified it as Belvoir Add MS 2. See Colvin, 1951; Gribbin, 2001. National Archives, Kew Halesowen Abbey, Worcs, Works by the Ministry of Works, 1937-9, WORK 14/1067 Sandwell Community History and Archives Service Untitled papers relating to Halesowen Abbey, no date, N1/2/xxiii Worcestershire Record Office Copy of three charters relating to Halesowen Abbey, late C13/early C14, 707:962/8965/4/vi Copy of a typescript history of Halesowen Abbey by Arthur G Pound of Whiteheath Villa, Rowley Regis, early C20, 899:31/3762/2/i

  • L Ecological assessment INTRODUCTION A Phase 1 Habitat Survey was carried out by Warwickshire County Council Ecological Services to inform the Conservation Management Plan. The scope of the survey was:

    (i) a desk-based study of existing habitats and protected/notable species records.

    (ii) a site visit to: determine the habitats present within the site, and to assess their nature conservation value. assess the potential for protected species to use the habitats within the site and recommend the need for any subsequent protected species surveys.

    (iii) a report to highlight any potential ecological constraints or opportunities at the site in relation to future management, development and its impact on protected species. METHODOLOGY Desk-based study A search of the protected species records held by the Birmingham and the Black Country Ecological Records Centre (EcoRecord) and Worcestershire Biological Records Centre was undertaken for the area up to 1km around the site. This included statutory and non-statutory nature conservation designations and records of protected and notable species. Field Survey A Phase 1 Habitat Survey of the site was undertaken on 7th March 2013 by Lois Browne and Michelle Eaton (Ecologists), Louise Sherwell (Assistant Ecologist), and Chris Hill (Ecological Assistant) in accordance with the standard methodology (NCC, 1990 updated JNCC, 2003) and IEEM (2012) Guidelines for Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (GPEA), 2nd Ed. This involved the classification of habitats according to the species present and target noting features worthy of further investigation. An assessment was also made of the potential of the habitats to support protected species. Any evidence of protected or notable species was recorded during the site visit. Other incidental observations of fauna were also noted. DESK-BASED STUDY Statutory sites

  • There is one statutory site located within 1km of the site boundary, Tenterfields Local Nature Reserve (LNR). Non-Statutory sites Parts of the site are designated as non-statutory Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs) (Refs: DY072, Illey Brook North (a tributary of Illey Brook) and DY071, Manor Abbey Woodland). These are sites of County-level importance. Illey Brook North is also partly selected as a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation (SLINC). It comprises a watercourse with a block of broad-leaved woodland further south of the site. Illey Brook North flows in a north-westerly direction through the farm and to the north. Water flow is moderate, with vegetation along its banks consisting of tall fringing trees and shrubs with a grazed or ungrazed understorey of herbs. Alder (Alnus glutinosa), crack willow (Salix fragilis) and pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) dominate the canopy, with the shrub layer dominated by hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), elder (Sambucus nigra), guelder rose (Viburnum opulus) and hazel (Corylus avellana). Herbaceous species recorded within the woodland include broad-buckler fern (Dryopteris dilatata), wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) and yellow archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon) and within the damp grassland habitat includes devils-bit scabious (Succisa pratensis). Manor Abbey Woodland SINC is described as an area of mature semi-natural diverse woodland along the watercourse. The woodland comprises ash (Fagus sylvatica), oak, alder, crack willow and sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus). The ground flora is best at the south-western part of the site, and includes sanicle (Prunella vulgaris), bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), wild garlic (Allium ursinum), wood millet (Milium effusum), yellow archangel and greater stitchwort (Stellaria holostea). South of the woodland, the grassland has a reasonable to good species diversity including crested dogs tail (Cynosurus cristatus), sweet vernal grass (Anthoxanthum odorat), pignut (Conopodium majus), birds foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and common knapweed (Centaurea nigra). North of the woodland, the grassland is species-rich neutral grassland with further species including ladys mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris agg) and creeping cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans). The majority of Manor Abbey Woodland lies outside of the site boundary, with only part of the woodland located within the south-western part of the site. There is good habitat connectivity between the site via several important and diverse wildlife corridors, which include Hunnington Disused Railway (Site ref SO98/08), which lies adjacent to Manor Abbey Woodland. The disused railway line comprises a mosaic of overgrown sections with scrub woodlands and tall herb sections with occasional open grassland. Illey Brook is also an important linear wildlife corridor, which runs through the site and provides connectivity with woodland to the south and east. Additional non-statutory sites that lie further afield within 1km of the site include SLINC Lapal Lodge approx. 500m to the east of the site, SINC Coopers Wood & Lyclose Meadow approx. 750m to the south-east of the site, SLINC River Stour Corridor approx. 500m to the west of the site and SINC/SLINC The Leasowes approx. 900m to the north of the site. The site lies within the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area (NIA), one of 12 areas in the country selected by Natural England to deliver significant improvements to the natural environment. It has five key objectives: to increase the amount of wildlife habitat;

  • to enhance the value of existing habitats; to increase the number of sites with wildlife value; to target action on corridors and stepping stones for biodiversity and to involve local communities for the above work. The site lies within the Grassland Focus Area of the NIA and further information regarding project work funding is available on the Birmingham and Black Country webpage (please see Section 5, References). Protected species There are records of common pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus), soprano pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pygmaeus), Nathusius pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus nathusii), natterers bat (Myotis nattereri), brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus), Daubentons bat (Myotis duabentonii) and noctule (Nyctalus noctula) within 1km of the site boundary. All bats are European Protected Species (EPS), fully protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA) (as amended) and the Conservation Regulations 2010. Other protected mammals from the surrounding area include water vole (Arvicola amphibius), which are fully protected under the WCA. The most recent record of water vole was recorded in 2002 in Manor Abbey Woodland, within approximately 100m of the site. There are a number of records of badgers (Meles meles), which are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. There are also records of brown hare (Lepus europeaus), which is a UK BAP species, from within the same 1km grid square as the site. Recorded on the site boundary on the Illey Brook, there is a record of the partially protected species, common frog (Rana temporaria). There are also records of the partially protected species, common toad (Bufo bufo) and smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) within 1km of the site. These species are partially protected from sale only under the WCA. Common toad is additionally a UK BAP species. Several notable bird species have been recorded within Manor Abbey Woodland near to the boundary of the site, including kestrel, grey wagtail, willow tit, yellowhammer, dunnock, bullfinch, starling, song thrush, redwing, mistle thrush, stock dove and mallard. Further afield within 1km, house sparrow, barn owl and lapwing have also been recorded. Locally notable plant species recorded within the site boundary include bluebell, seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) (however 4 figure grid reference only) and a rare hawkweed (Hieracium acuminatum). Locally notable species recorded within 1km of the site include Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) in Halesowen Athletic Club adjacent to the site. Sea trout (Salmo trutta) has been recorded on site. Invasive species Species which are invasive and are listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA) have been recorded within the site and within the surrounding area. These include Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), recorded within Manor Abbey Woodland. Other invasive species recorded within 0.5km are Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera), Canadian waterweed (Elodea canadensis), Himalayan cotoneaster (Cotoneaster simonsii) and rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum). It is an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow

  • in the wild invasive non-native plants listed on Schedule 9 due to their adverse impact on native wildlife. FIELD SURVEY HABITATS The site contains two watercourses, one water-body, linear semi-natural deciduous woodlands and grazed species poor semi-improved grasslands. The centre of the site contains a number of Halesowen Abbey remains, agricultural buildings, and Manor Abbey Farm. A number of archaeological remains are present in the grasslands, which are noticeable to the north and south of the site. It is in these areas where the semi-improved grassland increases in floral diversity. Smaller areas of tall ruderal vegetation and scrub are also found within the site. The grasslands are bounded by a mix of post and wire fencing and/or managed and unmanaged hedgerows. Stone walls and piles of rubble are present in places. The site contained the following habitats:

    Buildings Stone walls / piles of rubble Running water Standing water Linear semi-natural woodland Semi-improved grassland Hedgerow Ditch Scrub Tall ruderal (unmanaged growth long grass, thistles, willow-herb, etc)

    Each habitat is described below, with features of ecological interest and detailed species lists given in Appendix 1. A map showing ecological features is presented in Appendix 2. Buildings All buildings were briefly assessed internally and externally for evidence of bats and potential roosting features. An ecology survey of the buildings by Elizabeth McKay in 2009, undertaken in connection with the planning application for residential conversion of the barns, identified nesting barn owl and foraging bats within the site (McKay, 2009). The existing Victorian farmhouse is of brick-built construction with a pitched, tiled roof. The roof appeared to be generally in good condition, with no apparent missing or slipped roof tiles, tight lead flashing and mortar intact. Although a thorough investigation of the farm building was not carried out at the time of the survey, it appears the building comprises one large roof void, with a projecting two-storey gable on the northern elevation. It is likely the roof void is of suitable size and dimension to support a void-dwelling bat roost (such as brown-long eared bat) and there were suitable features for crevice-dwelling bat species such as pipistrelle and Myotis sp. The eastern range of barns is used for stabling horses ('Barn complex A' on Fig 99). The barns are single storey, brick-built with tiled, unlined roofs. Many access points for bats and nesting birds are present on the buildings, such as through areas of missing roof tiles, stable doors and window openings.

  • The western range of barns ('Barn complex B') consists of three barn sections. The 17th-century barn forming the north side of the range is relatively dilapidated. This has stone walls and most of the roof is missing. Due to Health and Safety reasons it could not be fully investigated. However, from what could be seen it appeared the most easterly part showed a separate roof void, providing potential for bats and/or barn owls. The two buildings forming the west and east sides are brick built, with unlined pitched tiled roofs. Again many access points 6 for bats and nesting birds are present on the buildings, such as through areas of missing roof tiles, stable doors and window openings. They are largely devoid of a separate roof space, although it was noted that the most southern part of the building to the west of the complex, has a small roof void. This could not be searched at the time of the survey. Adjoining the eastern side of the 17th-century barn is part of the abbey ruins (the south transept wall), which is of stone-walled construction and contains many suitable ledges and holes in the stonework suitable for nesting birds. To the south of the barn ranges the farmyard area comprises hardstanding. Several species of lichen, moss and liverwort are growing on the hardstanding. Ivy-leaved toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis) is growing on the west-facing stone wall between the farmyard and the paddock (Area 1b) to the east. The Infirmary is a two-storey building to the north-east of the farmhouse, which is of stone walled construction with a pitched, shingle roof. It is understood to date from the 13th century with later alterations. The roof is of crown post construction, internally boarded. There are rectangular holes in the western wall, providing access for bats and nesting birds. Further access points are present through gaps under the eaves. Windows are covered with wire mesh. The roof is open to the rafters with the exception of the western end of the barn which contains a void that was inaccessible to survey. East of the barn complexes is a single-storey stable block of brick-walled construction with a pitched, tiled roof. The buildings are draughty with missing tiles and gaps at the side, and wooden framed with no lining. Stone walls and piles of rubble Stone walls have lichen species present and provide shelter for invertebrates including bees and spiders. The walls, along with the piles of rubble, are considered to provide suitable habitat for hibernating and overwintering amphibians and reptiles that may be present on site. Storage area Immediately north of the western barn range is an area of land used for storage with an area of hardstanding, log piles and building materials, grassland and bramble scrub. Running and standing water

  • To the south of the site, a tree-lined stream runs through the site from east to west, approximately two metres wide (the southern valley and pond system, Areas 4 and 5). At the time of the survey the water was relatively fast flowing, with mostly steep clay banks and little aquatic vegetation. At intervals along the watercourse the banks were shallow with more of a sandy substrate. Infrequent aquatic and marginal species such as brooklime (Veronica beccabunga) and soft rush (Juncus inflexus) were noted. One water body is present within the site, comprising a linear water body immediately east of the farm buildings, approximately 90 m in length and 8-9 m in width (the water-filled channel along the eastern edge of the inner precinct, Areas 1a and 1b). The water body is 80% shaded by bankside trees along all banks, comprising alder, ash, oak and holly (Ilex aquifolium) with wood falsebrome (Brachypodium sylvaticum), broad-leaved dock (Rumex obtusifolius) and bluebell amongst its grassland flora. The water level is likely to fluctuate throughout the year and was less than 1 m in depth during the survey. There was no aquatic vegetation noted, with the exception of two small patches of brooklime. A further stream flows through the northern part of the site (the northern valley and pond system, Area 3). This is similar to the southern stream, having little water or fringing aquatic vegetation, although in patches it is lined with scattered scrub. Semi-natural broad-leaved woodland A strip of broad-leaved woodland runs along the watercourse to the south of the site. The canopy is dominated by alder, ash and pedunculate oak with occasional willow (Salix sp) in damper areas. There is a sparse understorey of hawthorn, elder, bramble (Rubus fruticosus) and hazel. Ground flora includes bluebell, lords and ladies (Arum maculatum), wild garlic, wood avens (Geum urbanum), herb robert (Geranium robertianum), Dogs mercury (Mercurialis perennis), harts tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium), broadbuckler fern and wood dock (Rumex sanguinea). An area of broad-leaved semi-natural woodland is present in the south-western part of the site alongside the watercourse, which forms a small part of Manor Abbey Woodland SINC (to the south of the sports ground, Area 8). The canopy is dominated by pedunculate oak and ash with an understorey of hazel and bramble scrub. Wild garlic was recorded here. The watercourse present to the north of the site also has a strip of broad-leaved woodland at the eastern end of the site, containing mostly the same species as found along the southern watercourse with alder, oak and hazel being frequent. Semi-improved grassland The majority of the grassland on site is species poor semi-improved grassland. The swards are grazed and in areas are heavily poached by horses, in particularly the grasslands immediately surrounding the buildings on site. However, it was noted that species richness increases in the areas of undulating ground, where the archaeological features are located. This is particularly notable with the grassland to the north and south of the site (see map in appendix 2). Due to the management of the grassland and time of year of the survey, it was not possible to record a full species list.

  • Species recorded in the grasslands include cocks-foot (Dactylis glomerata), annual meadow grass (Poa annua), perennial rye grass (Lolium perenne), Yorkshire fog (Holcus lanatus), creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens), common mousear (Cerastium fontanum), greater plantain (Plantago obtusifolia), ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolate), 10 cleavers (Galium aparine), dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis agg.), meadow cranesbill (Geranium pratense), selfheal, common nettle (Urtica dioica), hedge woundwort (Stachys sylvatica), and cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris). To the north and south of the site, additional species recorded comprise crested dogstail, common mouse-ear, red fescue (Festuca rubra), sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella), pignut, common birds-foot-trefoil, common comfrey (Symphytum officinale), and common knapweed. Other additional species, which indicate localised damp conditions, include ragged robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi), jointed rush (Juncus articulatus) and soft rush (Juncus effusus). Hedgerows The managed hedgerows onsite, approximately 2m high, consist predominantly of hawthorn. Unmanaged sections also include blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), elder, hazel, beech (Fagus sylvatica), common ash, dog rose (Rosa canina agg.), bramble and ivy (Hedera helix). Ground flora includes cow parsley, common nettle, lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria), cleavers, and lords and ladies. Dry ditch A dry drainage ditch was present along a hedgerow which borders the eastern boundary of the grassland surrounding the farmhouse (along the eastern side of the dam, Area 4). Scrub Scattered patches of hawthorn-dominated scrub with occasional blackthorn, and bramble were located throughout the site, mainly in the semi-improved grassland fields. Two elder bushes were present adjacent to the abbey ruins (south transept wall). Tall ruderal To the west of the farmhouse, and alongside part of the watercourse bankside, there is a section of tall ruderal vegetation dominated by willowherb (Epilobium sp.), and common nettle with patches of bramble scrub (Area 7). FIELD SURVEY FAUNA Bats

  • All the buildings on site were considered to offer potential for crevice-dwelling and void-seeking species of bat. The site contains a number of mature trees (mainly oak, ash and willow), which could provide potential roosting opportunities for bats. Six trees in particular were highlighted as having medium-high potential for roosting bats: a number of mature oaks with noticeable fissures (Fig 99 T2, T5 and T6), a mature willow with rot holes and split bark on the stream bank to the south-west of the site (T1), a mature ash (T3) and a mature sycamore with two rot holes (T4). A number of additional trees across the site were also thought to offer medium to low roosting potential for bats. The mosaic of habitats found within the site (running and standing water, woodland, semi-improved grassland) also provides good foraging habitat for bats. Badgers Although no evidence of badger (Meles meles) was found onsite, a badger sett with a large number of seemingly active holes (c18) was present just to the north of the site in a wooded bank (the former coal-mine, now landscaped). The sett appeared active with soil heaps and discarded bedding present. It is considered likely that the badgers use the adjacent fields onsite for foraging. Otters and water voles At least one tree, a mature willow by the side of stream in the southern valley was highlighted as providing a potential laying-up site for otters (Lutra lutra) due to the presence of a hollow in the trunk leading to beneath its exposed roots. However, no evidence of otter was found within the vicinity of this hollow or along the stream (e.g. spraint, footprints or fish remains) and generally the watercourse is considered to offer sub-optimal habitat for otters due to its small size, poor aquatic biodiversity (no fish were noted at the time of the survey) and as the site is not well-connected to a main river, being immediately surrounded by a mainly agricultural landscape. A number of potential water vole (Arvicola terrestris) holes were noted along the watercourses embankments. However, they were exposed and no additional evidence of water vole was found along the watercourse (e.g. droppings). The watercourse is considered to offer habitat of low-medium suitability for water voles and a more detailed survey would be recommended at a suitable time of year, especially given the most recent record of water vole was recorded in 2002, within c100m of the site. Other mammals No evidence of other protected or notable mammals was recorded. The habitats within the site were not considered to be suitable for dormice (Muscardinus avellanarius). White-clawed crayfish

  • No evidence of white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) was found within the watercourse to the south of the site (e.g. burrows near the waters edge), although the stream was considered to offer medium suitability for this species. The watercourse exhibited heterogeneous flow pattern and some areas were noted to have a rocky substrate, along with roots and woody vegetation lining the watercourse. There are no records of white-clawed crayfish within 1km of the site, however a more detailed investigation for this species is considered to be required on site. Herpetofauna The water-filled channel was considered sub-optimal for breeding great crested newts (Triturus cristatus), due to heavy shade, and limited aquatic and marginal vegetation for egg-laying. A small ditch lies north of the water-body and did not hold water at the time of survey (shown on map in appendix 2). A small ephemeral water-body was present at the time of the survey in the grassland to the south of the site (the double ditch linear earthwork along the southern boundary of the scheduled area). Aquatic vegetation was limited to jointed rush. The watercourses were too fast-running to be used by breeding amphibians, such as great crested newts. However, the stone walls, areas of rubble, mosaic of grassland, scrub and hedgerow could provide hibernation, terrestrial or commuting habitat for newts, toads or frogs, especially as there are a number of ephemeral waterbodies on site. Overall the site is considered to offer low potential for amphibians. The site is also considered to provide low potential for reptiles. However, the stone walls, areas of rubble, mosaic of grassland, wooded watercourses, scrub and hedgerow could provide hibernation, terrestrial or commuting habitat. Birds A typical range of birds was recorded given the habitats present. It is known that barn owl (Tyto alba), has bred onsite in previous years and evidence that the species was still active was found in the form of pellets and splashings in both barn ranges. Approximately 10 barn owl pellets were present under the beam between the stables in the west range and 4 or 5 under a beam within the east range. There was also evidence that the species had used the infirmary, but currently there is no access for the species to the building. Many of the farm buildings had previously been used for nesting by barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), whilst a number of old house martin (Delichon urbicum), nests were noted under the eaves of the farmhouse. Survey work between April-June is likely to record a number of other migrant breeding species. Invertebrates The mosaic of habitats within the site, including semi-improved grassland, with scattered scrub, wooded stream, stone walls, is considered to have a high value for invertebrates, especially butterflies.

  • CONCLUSIONS The habitats with the highest ecological interest are the historic remains and the agricultural buildings for their use by barn owls and potential opportunities for bats, along with semi-improved grassland fields to the north and south of the site, the semi-natural wooded areas along the watercourses and water-body, particularly as they contribute to the overall habitat mosaic of the site. We recognise that the site needs to be managed in terms of the historical features on site. Therefore a compromise is recommended for the site, whereby management is carried out in an ecologically sensitive manner, which integrates biodiversity enhancement measures where appropriate. Concurrently, the existing habitats being retained should be brought into good ecological management, to improve these habitats in the long-term. Such a compromise would represent a positive approach towards the sites continued ecological value in the future, especially considering that, if the site was left as it currently exists, in the long-term, the agricultural buildings are likely to deteriorate into further disrepair, the overgrazing would impact increasingly on the grasslands value and, if left unmanaged, natural regeneration would eventually erode the surrounding grasslands, as scrub would inevitably encroach onto the grassland areas over the next twenty to thirty years. Provided existing important ecological features are retained, the long-term management of the sites historic interests are sensitive to the sites ecological value, and that retained habitats are managed long-term to enhance their ecological value, it is possible that the sites ecological value can be conserved in the future. Where ecological features cannot be retained it is recommended the site is enhanced to compensate for any loss. As the site lies within the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area (NIA), it is possible that funding may be available for project work, in particular work led by community groups. Further information on how to apply can be sought from the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust. We would also recommend that enhancement measures are carried out on remaining grassland areas to increase species richness of the semi-improved grasslands and provide additional foraging habitat for the barn owls on site. This would include measures such as a sensitive grazing and management regime, set aside areas of rough grassland along field boundaries, potential seed harvesting of species-rich grassland and translocation of seed to less species-rich areas. Enhancements of other habitats within the site are also recommended as part of a Natural Improvement Area, in addition to further compensation for any loss of habitat, such as carrying out some woodland management on existing woodland to allow increasing light to penetrate the ground layer. There are no confirmed bat roosts within the site. However, the remains of the abbey, agricultural buildings and Manor Farm house are all considered to provide some potential for roosting bats. Furthermore, a number of trees on site provide potential bat roosting opportunities in the trees and six trees in particular were highlighted as having medium high bat roosting potential. The sites overall mosaic of habitats also provides good bat foraging conditions. All UK species of bat are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and are also European Protected Species, protected under the Conservation of Habitats Regs. 2010. Therefore if any of the buildings, historic structures or mature trees are likely to be impacted on as a result of works, we recommend that these are first surveyed for bats.

  • If bats are found to be present in any trees or buildings on site, then any development at the site may require a derogation licence from Natural England, depending on the scale of the disturbance, to include a scheme of mitigation designed to avoid adverse impacts on individuals and on the conservation status of the local population. There is an area directly adjacent to the site which is actively used by badgers. Badgers are protected under their own legislation, The Protection of Badgers Act, 1992. It is therefore recommended that a further check for badgers is carried out immediately prior to potentially disturbing works are carried out (e.g. if land needs to be ploughed up prior to tree-planting), as badgers are a mobile species that can dig new setts literally overnight. There are no confirmed records of otter or water vole on site, although the tree-lined watercourse to the south of the site is considered to offer some potential for these species. Otters and their holts (place of rest) are protected under the 1981 Wildlife & Countryside Act and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 so are therefore deemed a European Protected Species. Water voles and their burrows (place of rest) are protected under the 1981 Wildlife & Countryside Act. Water voles are also a UK and Local BAP species. Likewise there are no confirmed records of white-clawed crayfish on site. However a more detailed survey of the watercourse in relation to this species is recommended should any works be likely to impact on this species through loss of habitat, pollution or disease. Any works affecting the bank or that will disrupt the main channel of any watercourse should proceed only with caution. The species is scheduled under both the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and the EC Habitats Directive. The latter gives the species European Protected Species status. It is also a UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species. There are no great crested newt or reptile records surrounding the site and the site is considered on the whole to offer a low potential for these species. However, some potential for terrestrial, hibernating or commuting habitat for amphibians and reptiles is present on site. Therefore, care should be taken during any disturbance works to suitable terrestrial habitat (including piles of rubble, stone walls, semi-improved grassland and commuting corridors through the site such as the wooded areas, hedgerows and dry ditch). If great crested newts or reptiles are found at any point then works must stop whilst Natural England is contacted. Reptiles and amphibians are protected to varying degrees under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and great crested newts are additionally deemed European Protected Species. A number of birds were recorded using the site, including amber-listed and protected species barn owl; amber-listed barn swallow; and the amber-listed house martin. The grassland, albeit not optimal, is also likely to provide some foraging habitat for barn owls. The trees, hedgerows, scrub and any areas of long grassland all provide potential nesting opportunities for birds. Any necessary removal of trees or shrubs should take place outside the bird nesting season where possible. If not possible, trees should be checked by a suitably qualified ecologist immediately prior to works being carried out. The barn owl is listed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981, as amended). This means that the birds, their young, nests and eggs are fully protected at all times in the UK. A fine or custodial sentence may be applied to an offence against barn owls.

  • It is also an offence to disturb barn owls on an active nest with eggs, young or before the eggs have hatched, or to disturb parent dependent young. The site provides good habitat for a range of invertebrates. It is therefore recommended that a further, dedicated invertebrate survey is carried out by a suitably qualified ecologist in appropriate survey conditions. It is not considered likely that the site supports any other protected or notable species. Overall the site is considered to be of medium ecological value at the county level. RECOMMENDATIONS Maintenance and redevelopment works Any maintenance or work at the site has the potential to impact upon habitats of relatively high value and protected and/or notable species. The site also has the potential to be enhanced in terms of biodiversity and the value it holds for the local ecology. We would therefore make the following recommendations in regards to safeguarding and enhancing provisions on-site for habitats and protected species: (i) Any future works should enhance the semi-improved grassland, especially the most

    species-rich areas (to the north and south of the site), through sensitive management. (ii) Any future works should retain as many of the abbey ruins as possible, in particular

    where barn owls have been found to be nesting. (iii) Further bat and barn owl surveys will need to be carried out on any of the standing

    historic remains, buildings or trees on site should any works be proposed that will impact on these features. For guidance on optimal survey periods for protected species, please see the Ecology Survey Calendar in Appendix 3.

    (iv) A further check of the site for evidence of use by badgers should be carried out prior

    to the commencement of any works. Any subsequent recommendations or remedial works will be implemented within the timescales agreed between the ecologist and, where necessary, Natural England.

    (v) The watercourse in the south of the site should be surveyed for the presence of water

    vole, otter and white-clawed crayfish by an appropriately qualified ecologist at a suitable time of year, in accordance with best-practice guidelines. If any works are proposed, the watercourses should be protected by an appropriate buffer zone of at least 5 metres along the edge of the watercourse to ensure no contamination and works are carried out in accordance with Environment Agency guidelines. This 5 metre zone should also be enhanced and protected through appropriate fencing in accordance with EA guidelines.

    (vi) It is recommended that a further, dedicated invertebrate survey is carried out by a

    suitably qualified ecologist in appropriate survey conditions.

  • (vii) Although the water body was considered to be of low potential for great crested newts, care should be taken during any site clearance work, in particular around areas of rubble, stone walls or tree roots. If any great crested newts are found then work should stop whilst WCC Ecological Services or Natural England is contacted for advice on how to proceed.

    (viii) Any work should avoid disturbance to nesting birds. Birds can nest in many places,

    including buildings, trees, shrubs, long grassland and dense ivy. The main nesting season lasts approximately from March to September, so work should take place outside these dates if at all possible. Birds can nest at any time and the site should ideally be checked for their presence by an experienced ecologist immediately before work starts.

    (ix) Any future works should be carried out in a sensitive manner and all personnel on-site

    should be briefed on how to identify bats, badgers, great crested newts, reptiles and nesting birds and what to do should they encounter any such species.

    (x) All existing trees and shrubs should be protected during works in accordance with

    British Standard BS5837: 1991, A Guide for Trees in Relation to Construction. General management Enhancement of the site for ecologically valuable habitats and protected and notable species, including bats, reptiles, amphibians, birds and invertebrates are encouraged to enhance or maintain biodiversity onsite. We recommend that this should include: (i) Enhancement of semi-improved grassland through sensitive grazing or mowing

    regime and, where appropriate, seed harvesting and translocation of seed to less species-rich areas;

    (ii) Enhancement for barn-owl foraging habitat, such as providing areas of rough

    grassland along the fields boundaries where appropriate. (iii) Watercourse enhancements such as pollarding or coppicing of mature trees and shrubs

    along the banks of the stream to reduce shading. (iv) Enhanced management of the existing woodland areas, e.g. through selective thinning

    to allow increased light to penetrate the ground layer. (v) Sensitive grazing regime of grassland by fencing off areas from horse grazing during

    some months, or rotational grazing, to benefit wildflowers and in turn, invertebrates. (vi) Retaining mature trees and standing dead wood for bats and nesting birds. With any

    lopping work required as part of woodland management, retain dead wood on ground to benefit invertebrates such as beetles and fungi (after bat and bird surveys).

    (vii) Buffer zone along stream bank of at least 1-2m to allow bankside grass and tall herb

    vegetation to increase in height for reptiles/amphibians/small mammals.

  • (viii) Management of water body by removal of fish if any are present to improve its value for amphibians.

    Any new tree planting proposed on site should: (i) be consistent with native species currently on site and found naturally in the local area. (ii) incorporate an ecologically sensitive rotational coppicing regime should be utilised to

    ensure that grassland flora is still able to co-exist with the new tree-planted habitat. This is likely to include measures such as ensuring trees are coppiced before shading out ground flora below, and ensuring that there are a sufficient number of land parcels on rotation to allow grassland habitat to be sustained long-term at the site.

    Potential funding sources The above management objectives could be funded through the following:

    Agri-environmental schemes such as Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) and Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Nature Improvement Area (NIA) funding (see Birmingham and the Black Country Wildlife Trust website) Landfill Tax and Landfill Communities Fund grants (for example SITA Trust, WREN, Biffa award) Biodiversity Offsetting (Defra and Local Planning Authority) For further information and advice please contact WCC Ecological Services or the Local Planning Authority Ecologist. References Biffa Award website http://www.biffa-award.org/home Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust website Nature Improvement Area (NIA) http://www.bbcwildlife.org.uk/NIA Defra website Biodiversity Offsetting http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/natural/ biodiversity/uk/offsetting/ IEEM (2012) Guidelines for Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (GPEA), 2nd Ed. Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management JNCC, (2003). Handbook for Phase 1 Habitat Survey: A technique for environmental audit (reprint). Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough. McKay, E. (2009) Ecology Survey Barns at Halesowen Abbey [Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council Planning reference nos. P09/1218 and P09/1219 - Listed Building Consent]

  • Natural England, (2004) Bat mitigation guidelines: English Nature, Peterborough Natural England website Agri-environment schemes http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/farming/funding/es/default.aspx SITA Trust website http://www.sitatrust.org.uk/ UK BAP website http://www.ukbap.org.uk/default.aspx WREN website http://www.wren.org.uk/

  • Ian Greig MA MIfA with Michelle Eaton and Stuart C Palmer

    Halesowen Abbey CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN

    Report No 1315 April 2013

    understanding heritage matters

    MAPS AND PLANS

  • Scheduled Monument

    Former Scheduled area

    Possible outer precinct boundaryaccording to:

    Marsden (1986, g 19)

    Brown (2005, g 13)

    Litherland and Moscrop (g 23)

    Landscape Heritage Area

    Sites of important localnature conservation

    0 100 200m

    N

    To Manor Lane/WayManor

    Way(A456)

    (Formerly Man

    or Lane)

    Manor Abbey Farm

    HALESOWEN

  • N0 100m

    Manor Way

    (A456)

    (Formerly M

    anor Lane)

    425-004

    425-002

    425-001

    425-001

    425-003

    Lease-car park and hut/toilets

    Pedestrian access

    Vehicle and pedestrian access (works only)

    Vehicle and pedestrian access

    Standing masonry

    Maintenance and scaolding rights

    Maintenance and scaolding rights

    425-001 AMP number

    Fig 2: Guardianship and lease details

  • Fig 3: Dudley Historic Environment Record data

    1272312727

    4482

    12699

    12030

    4323

    1277812782

    1291812905

    1794

    72457246

    1290212903

    12788 7406

    1796

    1290412781

    12787

    12369

    12373

    12786

    12785

    1292312374

    4136

    12784 12919

    12460

    1290712789

    12783

    12724

    12779

    1290912722

    1264110595

    1290612780

    8541 1279212794 12795

    6181

    7371

    12790

    12440

    4871

    12264 12368

    1292712371

    12372

    12908

    179512924

    4326

    12690853912698

    1236712363

    12364

    12297

    12366

    12391

    12370

    1236012365

    12390

    12295 1229612718

    1281112810

    12801

    87312813

    4329

    12920

    12507

    1250812791

    124581793

    4139

    4140

    41384137

    12443

    12387

    1238812389

    12370

    12726

    Manor Way(A4

    56)

    (Formerly Man

    or Lane)

    Gra

    nge

    Hill

    B4

    551

    HALESOWEN

    ILLEY

    M5

    Lapal Lane South

    12736

    LAPAL

    Illey Brook

    0 100 500m

    N

    Scheduled Monument

  • Fig 4: Engraving of Halesowen Abbey by S & N Buck, 1731

  • Fig 5: Halesowen (Lapal township) tithe map, 1841

    Scheduled Monument

    N

  • NFig 6: Detail from Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map of 1885

    Scheduled Monument

  • Fig 6: Detail from Ordnance Survey map of 1885

    N

    Scheduled Monument

    Fig 7: Detail from Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map of 1904

  • Scheduled Monument

    N

    Fig 8: Detail from Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map of 1918

  • Scheduled Monument

    Scheduled Monument

    N

    Fig 9: Detail from Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map of 1948

    0 100 200m

  • NFig 10: Detail from Ordnance Survey map of 1:2500, 1971

    Scheduled Monument

  • NFig 11: Detail from Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map of 2013

    0 100 200m

    Scheduled Monument

  • Fig 12: Air photograph from 1948 showing sports stadium under construction and infilling of former ponds in the field between the stadium and the farm access (NMR ref RAF/541/15 Lib No 855 Frame 4013)

    Fig 13: Air photograph, 1952, looking south west (NMR ref CAP 8056 frame 43)

  • Inrmary

    FarmhouseExisting building

    Areas of past excavations (after Marsden 1986 g 12)

    Existing standing medieval wall

    Previoulsy recorded medieval walls or foundations

    2007 evaluation

    Conjectural

    2003 watching brief

    Possible monastic structure shown by 1986 geophysics

    Possible pre-monastic structure shown by 2003 geophysics

    Fig 14: Monastic building layout and previous archaeological work

    0 10 50m

    N

  • Fig 15: Undated, probably early 20th-century plan in English Heritage Archive (ref 853/24)

    Fig 16: Brakspear's plan of 1906, showing monastic buildings related to the existing farmyard buildings as known and conjectured at that time (VCH 1906, opp p136; Brakspear 1906)

  • Fig 17: Halesowen Abbey, 1777, by Thomas Hearn

    Fig 18: Existing farmhouse from approximately the same viewpoint

  • Fig 19: Interpretative plans (top) by Litherland & Moscrop (nd, fig 23), on interpretation panel in the infirmary (centre), and sketch plan on EH file ref AA/690734/1 Pt 2 (lower)

  • Inner precinct

    Outer precinct

    Fig 17: Interpretation plan by Brown (2005, g 13) with Scheduled Monument boundary added

    0 100 200m

    N

    Scheduled Monument

  • N0 100 200m

    Manor Way(A4

    56)

    (Formerly Man

    or Lane)

    HALESOWEN

    AREA 3

    AREA 2AREA 1a

    AREA 1b

    AREA 5

    AREA 6

    AREA 7

    AREA 8

    AREA 4

    South TranseptWalls

    Presbytery Wall

    Farmhouse

    Inrmary

    Cloister SouthWall

    C17 Barn

    Cloister West Wall

    Illey Brook

    POND 5POND 4 POND 3

    POND 2

    POND 1

    Fig 19: Buildings and Areas described

    Scheduled Monument

    Public footpath

  • Ian Greig MA MIfA with Michelle Eaton and Stuart C Palmer

    Halesowen Abbey CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN

    Report No 1315April 2013

    understanding heritage matters

    FIGURES

  • Fig 22: Presbytery N wall, looking NW (photo: English Heritage)

    Fig 23: Presbytery N wall, looking SW (photo: English Heritage)

    Fig 24: South transept S (left) and W (right) walls, looking SW

    Fig 25: South transept S wall looking NW

    Fig 26: South transept wall adjoining barn, showing condition

  • Fig 27: South transept looking S, showing saplings close to masonry

    Fig 28: Cloister S wall, looking SE

    Fig 29: Cloister S wall, looking NW (photo: English Heritage)

    Fig 30: Cloister W wall fragment in E wall of open-fronted shed, looking SW

    Fig 31: Cloister W wall fragment in E wall of open-fronted shed, looking NE

    Fig 32: Open-fronted shed north wall, looking S

  • Fig 33: C17 barn, looking SW

    Fig 34: C17 barn west wall, looking S

    Fig 35: C17 barn NW corner, showing moulded string course

    Fig 36: C17 barn N wall interior E end, showing arch of medieval door

    Fig 37: C17 barn N wall interior W end, showing fragment of medieval door jamb

    Fig 38: C17 barn N wall W end, looking W

  • Fig 39: infirmary west and south elevations, looking NE

    Fig 40: infirmary north elevation (photo: English Heritage)

    Fig 41: infirmary interior, looking east (photo: English Heritage)

    Fig 42: infirmary interior, grave slab built into south wall

    Fig 43: infirmary SW corner ground level, cracking

    Fig 44: infirmary SW corner first floor level, cracking

  • Fig 45: Farmyard looking east, cloister south wall on right, infirmary right distance

    Fig 46: Western range of farm buildings, looking NW

    Fig 47: Western range of farm buildings, looking NE, south transept wall above roof

    Fig 48: Eastern range of buildings looking NE

    Fig 49: Eastern range of farm buildings, looking NE from the infirmary

    Fig 50: Former farmyard north of existing barns, looking E

  • Fig 51: Remains of former open barn, looking E

    Fig 52: Foundation of former silo

    Fig 53: Farmhouse west side, looking east

    Fig 54: Farmhouse south side looking E, showing gabion revetment and altered stream bank profile

    Fig 55: Area 1a, looking SW from NE corner

    Fig 56: Area 1a, looking S from NE corner

  • Fig 57: Area 1a, looking W from NE corner along line of low bank or garden walk

    Fig 58: Area 1a, looking E from NW corner, showing erosion at gate to Area 4

    Fig 59: Area 1b, looking E

    Fig 60: Area 1b east side, S end of water-filled channel, looking N

    Fig 61: Area 1b west side, looking N

    Fig 62: Area 1b wall to farmyard, looking SE

  • Fig 63: Area 2 eastern side, looking N

    Fig 64: Area 2 eastern side, looking N

    Fig 65: Area 2 western side, looking S

    Fig 66: Area 3, culvert below dam / access causeway, looking W

    Fig 67: Area 3, looking E, Pond 6 to left

    Fig 68: Area 3 north side of valley from footpath, looking W

  • Fig 69: Area 3 dam between Ponds 2 and 3, looking N from footpath

    Fig 70: Area 3 Pond 1, looking W to dam

    Fig 71: Area 3 Pond 5 erosion at bridge over stream, looking NW

    Fig 72: Area 3 erosion of dam where crossed by footpath, looking NW

    Fig 73: Area 3 dam of eastern pond, Halesowen Urban District Council inspection / vent cover

    Fig 74: Area 3 metal pipe at eastern end, looking SE

  • Fig 75: Area 4, looking W showing its relationship with the house and garden

    Fig 706 Area 4, looking SE, recent rainwater in the former smaller pond/ditch

    Fig 77: Area 4 possible former foundation, looking NW

    Fig 78: Area 5 north side of stream, looking east viewed from top of dam in Area 4, top of hedge between Areas 4 & 5 in foreground

    Fig 79: Area 5 north side of stream, looking W from path at east side of field

    Fig 80: Area 5 dam, looking S from footpath, breach for farm track on left

  • Fig 81: Area 5 south of stream at top of slope, looking NW

    Fig 82: Area 6 (distance) from Area 5 (near) looking SW, showing boundary fence crossing earthworks (left to right)

    Fig 83: Area 5, erosion of dam by horses

    Fig 84: Area 5, erosion and collapse of stream bank, looking E

    Fig 85: Area 6 double ditch linear earthwork, looking E

    Fig 86: Area 6 precinct / field boundary bank, looking N

  • Fig 87: Looking from Area 6 NW to de-scheduled valley of Illey Brook

    Fig 88: Area 6 north side looking NW, showing scheduled dam (foreground) and unscheduled valley floor beyond

    Fig 89: Area 7, looking SW

    Fig 90: Area 7, looking NE

    Fig 91: Area 8 N side, looking SW from Area 2

    Fig 92: Area 8 S side, looking NW from Area 6

  • Fig 93: Wider setting open country to S, looking S from Area 6

    Fig 94: Wider setting open country to E, looking E across the southern valley and pond system (Area 5) from SE of the infirmary

    Fig 95: The buildings in their setting, looking S from the footpath at Manor Way

    Fig 96: The buildings in their setting, looking SE from the footpath crossing the northern valley and ponds (Area 3)

    Fig 97: The buildings, looking S from the access near the inner precinct boundary

    Fig 98: The buildings in their setting, looking NW from the footpath at the SE of the scheduled area

  • Fig 99: Ecological assessment, Phase 1 habitat survey

  • LOT 5

    LOT 6

    LOT 7

    LOT 8LOT 1

    LOT 2

    LOT 3

    LOT 4

    0 100 500m

    N

    Scheduled Monument

    Fig 100: Sale Lots from Fisher German John Sanders sale brochure, 2012/3

  • Fig 101: Site layout for residential conversion as approved (Maple Design drg ref MD/MFB/727/8r3)

  • Fig 102: Internal layout for residential conversion as approved (Maple Design drg ref MD/MFB/727/2r2)

  • Fig 103: Elevations for residential conversion as approved (Maple Design drg ref MD/MFB/727/3r1)

  • Fig 104: South transept, looking SW, 18th January 1966 showing farm storage and temporary buildings (photo: English Heritage ref A 6018/14; copy on file AA/90734/1 Pt 1)

    Fig 105: Infirmary interior, 18th January 1966 showing farm equipment storage (photo: English Heritage ref A 6018/12; copy on file AA/90734/1 Pt 1)

  • Fig 106: Wooded stream at the southern end of site, with higher water level

    Fig 107: Water-filled channel to east of buildings

    Fig 108: Stream in northern valley and pond system, with low water level

    Fig 109: Species richness increased around historic remains in grassland to north and south

    Fig 110: Unmanaged hedgerow along northern boundary

    Fig 110: Tree 2, mature oak with fissures and holes

  • Ian Greig MA MIfA with Michelle Eaton and Stuart C Palmer

    Halesowen Abbey CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN

    Report No 1315 April 2013

    understanding heritage matters

    GAZETTEER

  • Gazetteer: Presbytery Wall

    Name Presbytery Wall

    Identifier AMP Assets Register No: 425-001

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial re-

    mains of a 13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval

    building known as the infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved

    Description One bay of the wall survives almost to top of window height, standing isolated to the

    north-east of the farmyard buildings. On the south face are the corbels of the vaulting

    and decorative mouldings. The north face shows the remains of a buttress on the east

    side of the window and the north wall of a side chapel on the west side.

    Significance National

    Designation Scheduled Ancient Monument.

    Management

    Issues

    The presbytery wall is in good condition.

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013

    Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management

    Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

  • Gazetteer: South Transept Walls

    Name South Transept Walls

    Identifier AMP Assets Register No: 425-001

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial remains of a

    13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval building known as the

    infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south

    of the former inner precinct.

    Description The whole length of the west wall is present, which now forms the east wall of a later barn.

    From it extend a short projection southwards (the west wall of the vestry/chapter house),

    and elements of the south wall of the church, which now form parts of the north wall of the

    barn. The south transept wall survives for c.15m eastwards from the junction. The west wall

    retains a pair of tall lancet windows, corbelling for the former vaulting and decorative mould-

    ings. The south wall has two entrances through it, one double-height, through which it is easy

    to appreciate that the present ground level to the north is at least 1m higher than to the

    south.

    Significance National

    Designation Scheduled Ancient Monument.

    Management

    Issues

    The transept south and west walls are in good condition, although the pointing at the base of

    the south end of the west wall is in poor condition, and there are saplings growing close to

    the masonry which it would be prudent to remove

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013

    Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management

    Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

  • Gazetteer: Cloister South Wall

    Name Cloister South Wall

    Identifier AMP Assets Register No: 425-001

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial remains of a 13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval building known as the infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south of the former inner precinct.

    Description A substantial portion of the cloister south wall, sometimes described as the frater south wall, survives. It currently forms part of the garden wall of the farmhouse. It survives almost to the full height of the second storey, where five lancet windows re-main.

    Significance National

    Designation Scheduled Ancient Monument.

    Management Issues

    The cloister south wall is in good condition. There are building materials being stored close to, but not touching the wall, as well as a farm gate leaning against the wall, which is a point of concern. The wall is adjacent to vehicle parking and access routes, and there is the potential for collision damage although no evidence of this was noted; there is a low kerb in front of it on the north (farmyard) side, but this provides no significant protection.

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013 Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

  • Gazetteer: Cloister West Wall

    Name Cloister West Wall

    Identifier AMP Assets Register No: 425-001

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial remains of a 13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval building known as the infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south of the former inner precinct.

    Description The east wall of a small, now mostly derelict, open-fronted shed to the south-west of the farmyard includes substantial masonry which was probably part of the west wall of the south cloister range. It has a complex history, and incorporates much re-used medieval stone. It may have developed out of a small free-standing building to the west of the cloister, possibly the medieval kitchen, extended post-dissolution to join the remains of the west cloister wall which then became its new east wall. The east wall consists of substantial, well-laid masonry, below a post-medieval brick gable. The central part of the north wall, and what is now the eastern internal partition, may also be medieval. Other walls are a mixture of re-used stone and brick.

    Significance National

    Designation Scheduled Ancient Monument.

    Management Issues

    The cloister west wall (the east wall of the shed) was included in the periodic condition survey in 2009, when it was reported as being in good condition. It has re-cently been consolidated by English Heritage under the guardianship arrangement. Like the nearby cloister south wall it is adjacent to vehicular access and potentially vulnerable to collision damage, but is given a degree of protection by a low barrier of old railway sleepers. The building is roofless and, apart from the east wall, derelict. The interior contains a considerable depth of rubble and rubbish.

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013 Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

  • Gazetteer: 17th Century Barn

    Name 17th Century Barn

    Identifier Not in guardianship; no Asset Number.

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial remains of a 13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval building known as the infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south of the former inner precinct.

    Description With its east end formed by the south transept west wall, and its west wall adjacent to the main access track, a large barn forms the north side of the western range of barns in the farmyard. It has seven bays and several phases of construction have been recognised. The earliest phase of the barn has been dated on architectural grounds to the 17th century, and this has been confirmed by dendrochronological dating of the roof timbers which suggests construction in 1672 or shortly after, although re-using many timbers dating from 1507.

    Significance National

    Designation None, although contains parts of a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

    Management Issues

    The condition of this building is extremely poor, partly derelict. Much of the roof has collapsed, and has temporary sheet roof covering at the east end. There is poor point-ing and loose masonry in various places. However, the walls are basically sound.

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013 Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

  • Gazetteer: Infirmary

    Name Infirmary

    Identifier AMP Assets Register No: 425-002

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial remains of a

    13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval building known as the

    infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south

    Description This survives as a detached stone building south east of the church and claustral build-

    ings. Its original function is uncertain, and it is thought to have been an addition to an

    earlier building, now lost, on its western side. The walls are of sandstone with various

    architectural features including buttresses, mullioned windows and a fireplace cor-

    belled out at first floor level on the south side, except for the west elevation of which

    the lower part is sandstone and the upper is post-medieval

    brick. The roof is wooden shingles, applied during repairs in 1987 in preference to

    tiles to minimise the weight. Internally, the medieval first floor has been removed and

    there are various post-medieval brick additions, including buttressing and a partition

    wall creating a small room at the

    western end; this has a half-floor providing a viewing platform into the rest of the

    building.) A grave slab is built into the south wall; this had previously been built into

    the cloister south wall, where it and others are shown on early 19th-century engrav-

    ings, and was still there in 1871.

  • Significance National

    Designation Scheduled Ancient Monument.

    Management

    Issues

    The periodic condition survey of 2009 (AMP report ref 525/2009) listed previous re-

    cent work on the infirmary: structural repairs, masonry repairs, re-covering of the

    roof with shingles (1987); and repairs of spalled door reveal (2000). It identified a

    number of problems at the time, of which the most serious related to the wall plates

    and roof, and structural movement and cracking at the NE, NW and SW corners,

    which appeared to be continuing despite previous measures taken to address it. Re-

    pairs, monitoring and annual inspection were recommended. Cracks are still noticea-

    ble. A modern metal animal-feed holder beside the adjacent farm track intrudes on

    the south elevation, but can easily be removed.

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013

    Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management

    Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

    Gazetteer: Infirmary

  • Gazetteer: Area 1a

    Name Area 1a, Inner precinct, east of farm access.

    Identifier Boundary fences are Asset No 425-004.

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial remains of a 13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval building known as the infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south of the former inner precinct.

    Description The north and east boundaries approximate to those of the monastic inner precinct. The field boundaries are marked by post-and-wire fencing, with hedge at the west adjacent to the ac-cess track, except where it directly abuts the eastern range of farm buildings. It includes the linear water-filled channel running N-S along its eastern edge, i.e. the boundary runs along the eastern side of the water which is also the boundary of the Scheduled Monument, although there is also a post-and-wire fence along the western side of the water. (The southern end of this feature is in Area 1b.) Its most noticeable feature is the standing masonry of the north presbytery wall. There are mature trees along both banks of the linear water feature. Numer-ous low earthworks are visible. A linear depression, corresponding to the boundary between enclosures 73 and 74 on the tithe map, was partly water-filled, probably due solely to the re-cent extreme wet weather. The short stretch of narrow ditch or channel running westwards from the north-east corner, shown as water-filled on surveys up to the 1990s, was dry when inspected for this report (apart from two small puddles). There is a gate from the access track in the north-west corner, and a gate to Area 1b in the southern fence.

    Significance National

    Designation -

    Management Issues

    The ground surface around the gate to Area 4 is very soft and disturbed by animal movement, no doubt exacerbated by the recent wet weather. The fencing against the water-filled ditch was in poor condition and haphazard, with barbed wire strands fixed to loose sections of old steel gates or trees. This remains the same.

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013 Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

  • Gazetteer: Area 1b

    Name Area 1b, Inner precinct, east of farm access.

    Identifier -

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial remains of a 13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval building known as the infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south of the former inner precinct.

    Description This is a small enclosure containing the standing medieval infirmary and a small 19thcentury stable block in the south-east corner. The northern boundary is a post-and wire fence with a gate Area 1b, except where it abuts the south wall of the east range of farm buildings. The eastern boundary is a continuation from Area 1a, and again includes the water-filled channel. The southern boundary is formed by the farm track leading east from the farmyard to Area 5; there is no fence, although there are eight mature hawthorn trees along its northern side, to-wards the infirmary. There is also the remains of a stone wall foundation at the western end. apparently a continuation of the low stone wall which forms the western boundary between the field and the farmyard.

    Significance National

    Designation -

    Management Issues

    The ground surface is short grass, in which a few low earthworks can be seen although it is difficult to discern a pattern on the ground. There is, however, the postulated monastic range to the west of the infirmary, although no earthworks representing it have been suggested. The foundations and low concrete base walls of the former 20th-century shed are still visible to the north of the infirmary, immediately west of the small stable block.

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013 Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

  • Gazetteer: Area 2

    Name Area 2, Inner precinct west of access and possible part northern pond system.

    Identifier -

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial remains of a 13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval building known as the infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south of the former inner precinct.

    Description Area 2 is to the west of the modern farm access track, from which it is separated by a post-and-wire fence and hedge. It includes the western side of the monastic inner precinct. At the south-east corner is the open-fronted shed and a gate to the track and farmyard. The farm access is noticeably raised from the level of the field, increasing in height northwards and forming a distinct causeway. The southern boundary is mostly a hedge reinforced with barbed wire. The western boundary is a wooden post-and-rail fence separating the field from the ad-jacent sports track. At the north the field slopes sharply down to a stream which forms the field boundary although the scheduled area ends c.20m to the south at the top of the slope; this is probably related to the 1940s landfill. An overhead telephone line enters the field near the SE gate and runs north along the eastern side, and then west towards the sports centre buildings. A high voltage overhead power line enters the field from the south-west and runs as far as a pole near the gate; it must continue underground.

    Significance National

    Designation -

    Management Issues

    The ground surface is short and medium-length grass, and shows many low earthworks, de-scribed as low spread scarps, banks and platforms, including a possible westward continuation of the low E-W bank in Area 1a which is interpreted as a garden walk just south of the inner precinct boundary. The field is used for grazing, and is very soft in parts, notably towards the north of the field which appears to be the site of the 1940s landfill. There is considerable dis-turbance from animals and vehicles adjacent to the gate, where stone chippings and other ma-terial have been dumped to improve the surface. There is evidence of mole activity in places.

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013 Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

  • Gazetteer: Area 3

    Name Area 3 northern valley and pond system east of the present access

    Identifier -

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial remains of a 13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval building known as the infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south of the former inner precinct.

    Description Area 3 corresponds to the valley of the stream which was dammed in several places to form the northern system of ponds. It includes the whole of the north side of the field, between the Scheduled area and the boundary fence as well as the monument itself. The ponds are num-bered from east (1) to west. There are five large ponds plus a smaller one on the south side of the valley; the latter numbers only the main ponds. The field boundaries are a mixture of post-and-wire fence, wooden post-and-rail fence and hedges. The westernmost dam carries the farm access causeway over the culverted stream, and is assumed to have performed a sim-ilar function for the medieval access. The valley has a fairly steep slope on the south side. The northern slope is shallower in the west and centre where the field is widest; the strip along its north side, not included in the scheduled area, is more level. The valley narrows and steepens to the east, where its northern edge is marked by the wooded embankment of the disused and filled-in canal. There are no sub-divisions within the field, which provides a panoramic view of the whole pond system, interrupted only by the few trees. The dams are particularly impressive from the point where the public footpath enters the field from the south, at the dam between Ponds 2 and 3. Apart from the western dam which carries the access, the four dams to the east survive as upstanding earthworks, along with the less-prominent earthworks of the system of the associated leats and channels. All except the west (causeway) dam are now breached by the stream.

  • Significance National

    Designation -

    Management Issues

    The surface is short grass, grazed by horses, with a few trees along the stream bank and else-where. The condition of the earthworks is generally good, but there are a number of issues; Erosion by animals, severe erosion is also present at the bridge, possibly due to animals, ero-sion due to human traffic along footpaths, mole and rabbit activity, excavation by Halesown Urban District Council for inspection/vent cover and pipe connected to this and trespassers causing damage to fencing. A substantial tree is growing out of the masonry on the south side of the culvert carrying the access over the dam at the west of the field. The masonry is dis-torted, and it will eventually cause more severe damage and possibly collapse.

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013 Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

  • Gazetteer: Area 4

    Name Area 4 West end of southern valley and pond system.

    Identifier -

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial remains of a 13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval building known as the infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south of the former inner precinct.

    Description This small field should ideally be considered as part of Area 5, which contains the rest of the southern pond system, but has been kept separate because there is a substantial boundary between the two, and it is much more closely associated with the farmhouse in the current land management arrangements. In purely archaeological terms there is no distinction. At the north the field adjoins the farm track from the farmyard to Area 5, and is unfenced. The east-ern boundary, separating it from Area 5 is a post-and-wire fence with a hedge. The southern boundary is the stream, and it is separated from the house and its garden area only by a post-and-wire fence. From a level area at the north it slopes down to the stream, but the natural contours have been altered by the earthworks of a large dam in the shape of an inverted 'L' running N-S along the east side and W-E part way down the slope, formerly retaining the large pond to the east. A second, smaller pond and other channels have been identified. The ground surface is short grass. A few stones are visible in the NW of the field, at the top of the slope just south of the farm track, possibly the foundations of a small building visible on OS maps from 1885-1918 although, if this is the case, much displaced.

    Significance National

    Designation -

    Management Issues

    No major condition issues were apparent, although a circular metal animal-feed holder adja-cent to the farm track is an unwelcome intrusion into the view of the infirmary building from south of the track. It could be moved easily.

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013 Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

  • Gazetteer: Area 5

    Name Area 5: Southern valley and pond system

    Identifier

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial remains of a 13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval building known as the infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south of the former inner precinct.

    Description Area 5 comprises the majority of the southern valley and pond system that are within the Scheduled Monument, although the one pond does extend beyond this to the east. It is cur-rently a single field with a stream running through it, and archaeologically it forms a single co-herent unit. It contains the western of two large ponds in the southern valley, except for the dam which retained it (which is in Area 4), and a second dam at its east end. The pond re-tained by this second dam is excluded from the scheduling apart from a sample strip on the east side of the dam. The western boundary is a substantial hedge and post-and-wire fence.. A farm track runs along the hedge at the north side of the field, and a public footpath enters the east side via a stile in the post-and wire Fence. There is no physical boundary to the scheduled area at the south-east, where it simply crosses the open field parallel to the dam; the field continues as a long, narrow enclosure defined by the top of the valley. The south-west bound-ary is a simple post-and-wire fence along the top edge of the valley. The north side of the field is fairly level, further south sloping down to the stream. In the flat area adjacent to the south-western fence there is ridge-and-furrow, continuing from the adjoining field. The dam at the east of the scheduled area is prominent. It has been breached by the farm track, but this is not recent; map evidence shows it in this position since at least 1885. The south-west boundary cuts across the east end of the double-ditch earthwork which is used to define the southern edge of the scheduled area, and also a corner of ridgeand- furrow, most of which is in Area 6.

  • Significance National

    Designation -

    Management Issues

    The most significant condition issue is probably erosion and disturbance caused by hoses graz-ing. The field appears to be particularly prone to waterlogging, and the soft ground exagger-ates the problem, becoming very badly churned up in places. It is particularly bad adjacent to the gate at the NW and the stream at the SW. On the north side of the stream, the dam shows erosion in two places, which appears to have been caused by horses climbing it. Slightly to the south-east of the dam, the stream bank is eroding and a small area has collapsed. This is probably on the edge of the scheduled area or just outside it.

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013 Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

  • Gazetteer: Area 6

    Name Area 6: Southern scheduled area.

    Identifier -

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial remains of a 13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval building known as the infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south of the former inner precinct.

    Description The scheduled area to the south-west of the southern valley and pond system, and south of the farm complex, is roughly triangular and entirely within one larger field except for a very small projection into the adjacent field at the extreme south-west. The northeastern bounda-ry of Area 6 is the post-and-wire fence approximately following the upper edge of the south-ern valley, which separates it from Area 5 and does not respect earthworks in either field. The southern and western boundaries of the scheduled area are not physically marked on the ground but are related to earthworks. The southern boundary is immediately to the south of the double ditch linear earthwork that has been interpreted as either the boundary ditch of the outer precinct and part of the monastic water system, or a postmedieval quarry. The western boundary of the scheduled area turns north to cross the double ditch on a small modern causeway (grassed-over, but lumps of concrete can be seen protruding), and run in a straight line along a low bank. This also continues southwards beyond the scheduled area. The short northern boundary follows the top of the steep valley side. The ground surface is short grass, and almost the whole area shows ridge-and-furrow. On the western side are various low earthworks: enclosures, possible linear building platforms and a windmill mound. Area 6 overlooks the valley of the Illey Brook between the western boundary of the scheduled area and the brook, which was included in the original scheduled area but was descheduled in 1995. Also overlooked, and de-scheduled at the same time, was the valley immediately west of western dam of the southern pond system.

  • Significance National

    Designation -

    Management Issues

    No condition issues were noted.

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013 Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

  • Gazetteer: Area 7

    Name Area 7 South-west of farm buildings

    Identifier -

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial remains of a 13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval building known as the infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south of the former inner precinct.

    Description South-west of the farmyard is a small area bounded by Area 1 to its north, the sports stadium on the west, the stream to the south and the garden of the farmhouse to the east; there is no barrier to the garden. It slopes down to the stream, and is crossed by a farm track running south-west from the yard down to a gate and bridge over the stream, giving access to the fields to the south. The surface is very overgrown and uneven either side of the track, particu-larly on the north side. There is a short, steep wooded slope up to the sports ground at the west.

    Significance National

    Designation -

    Management Issues

    Very overgrown, with dumping of waste material and equipment.

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013 Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

  • Gazetteer: Area 8

    Name Area 8 South of sports stadium

    Identifier -

    History Halesowen Abbey, a nationally important medieval asset, consists of the partial remains of a 13th-century abbey church and claustral buildings, a complete medieval building known as the infirmary, and surrounding earthworks including well-preserved pond systems north and south of the former inner precinct.

    Description This area is not within the Manor Farm Estate ownership. It forms a narrow projection of the scheduled area, on the north side of the stream. The northern strip is within the stadium, and is grassed. There is a wide low spread bank between the sports track and the fence at the top of the slope down to the stream. The south-facing stream bank itself is very steep and thickly wooded. The low spread bank can be seen within the sports stadium, pre-sumably the continuation from Area 7.

    Significance National

    Designation -

    Management Issues

    -

    Sources Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013 Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315.

    AcknowledgementsDHA13 Halesowen CMP 2.pdfAcknowledgements

    DHA13 Halesowen CMP 3.pdfAcknowledgements

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