Halesowen Conservation Management Plan

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Complete with Plan, Maps, Figures and Gazetteer. 2014

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<ul><li><p>Ian Greig MA MIfA with Michelle Eaton and Stuart C Palmer </p><p>Halesowen Abbey CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN </p><p>Report No 1315 April 2013 </p><p>understanding heritage matters </p></li><li><p> Project: </p><p>Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan </p><p>Commissioned by: Win Scutt @ English Heritage Project Report No. 1315 Site Code: DHA13 NGR: </p><p>[5] </p><p>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: </p><p> Stuart C Palmer </p><p> Date: April 5th 2013 Report reference: Greig, I, Eaton, M, and Palmer S C, 2013 </p><p>Halesowen Abbey Conservation Management Plan, Archaeology Warwickshire Report 1315. </p><p> Archaeology Warwickshire The Butts Warwick CV34 4SS Tel: 01926 412278 Fax: 01926 412974 fieldarchaeology@warwickshire.gov.uk www.warwickshire.gov.uk/archaeology </p></li><li><p>CONTENTS SUMMARY 1 Introduction </p><p>Background and objectives Site location and designations Ownership, management and current public access Consultations Organisation of this Conservation Management Plan </p><p> 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 </p></li><li><p> Historical value Aesthetic value Communal value 8 Significance </p><p> 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) </p></li><li><p>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 &amp; 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 </p><p>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 </p><p>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 &amp; 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 </p></li><li><p>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 &amp; 5 in foregruond </p></li><li><p>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 </p></li><li><p>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. </p></li><li><p>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 serie...</p></li></ul>