Hanley’s Historic Houses

 

An illustrated book about some of the older houses in the parish of Hanley Castle has been published by The Hanleys’ Village Society. Written by local historian Malcolm Fare after 3 years’ research into county and family archives, Hanley’s Historic Houses describes 90 houses of historic interest and some of the people who have lived in them over the centuries. A fold-out map identifies where they are located and suggests a walk linking them, starting at Hanley Swan Village Stores.

The properties range from a 15th century cottage to a brewery and from a home for orphaned boys to a country house hospital for soldiers wounded in the Great War. Among the people who lived in these buildings were an 18th century inventor of a universal sun dial, a 19th century fish breeder who also invented an alarm gun for catching poachers, a naval surgeon who served during the First Opium War, a breeder of prize cattle and sheep who also designed an agricultural society silver medal, a civil engineer who introduced the Bessemer steel process to India, a matriarch who, by the time she died at the age of 91, had 43 grandchildren, hop and cider merchants, market gardeners, countless farm workers and domestic servants, and the king of Greece.

Many of the older houses were constructed in two periods during which there was a mini building boom in the parish: firstly, the second half of the 17th century when about 40 farms and cottages were built following the sale by Charles I of one third of Malvern Chase; secondly, the 30 years from 1810 to 1840, when the growing attraction of Malvern’s spring water led to an influx of people seeking cures for various ailments and wanting to live nearby. Around 100 houses were built or enlarged in this period.

The book costs £10 and is available from the Village Stores.


For further details about the Hanleys Village Society, please visit the main Village Society page.

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