Halesowen Abbey

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Ecclesiastical site

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameHalesowen Abbey
Alternative NamesHales
Historic CountryWorcestershire
Modern AuthorityDudley
1974 AuthorityWest Midlands
Civil ParishHalesowen

A building associated with Halesowen Abbey known as 'Abbot's Lodging'. This building has been variously described as an infirmary, abbot's lodging, or guest range. It is the only surviving roofed medieval building on the abbey site.

A detailed analysis of the building was undertaken in 1984, which identified four phases, and suggested it was an abbot's lodging, or at least part of a complex. The conclusions drawn from this analysis proposed four phases, and interpreted Phase I of the building as a first-floor hall with a heated solar which was separated by a partition, with a stair turret or private chamber off the hall.

Further investigations between 1987 and 1995 suggested there were in fact six phases, with initially (Phase 0) a 13th century building extending from the west end of the current building. This was indicated by stonework implying the extant building was in fact an addition, although when this was demolished is not known. Phase I (13th century) comprised the western part of the present building with a first floor chamber, and insertion or remodelling of the doorway in the west wall. Later in the medieval period the building was extended to the east, possibly to accommodate a chapel, with a large arched window, buttresses, and external chamfered plinth. Phase 3 saw the conversion of the east end of the building to a heated first floor chamber with a fireplace. Following the Dissolution (Phase 4) the east end was converted into domestic accommodation, including the raising of the first floor, and insertion of a doorway and windows; although it was not thought to be the main residence. Phase 5 included the blocking and alteration of windows and conversion into an agricultural building. The conclusions from this analysis suggested that the building was originally an infirmary with later alterations to accommodate a range of monastic officials

(PastScape 1525026)

Gatehouse Comments

The Abbot of Hales was granted a licence to crenellate his rooms (quasdam cameras) in 1294. The detached shell of the abbots house remains along with fragmentary parts of the abbey church and buildings. The Abbot of Halesowen was not popular with his tenants and was attacked in 1279 but the licence does appear to be associated with a period of building of the Abbot's quarters although no 'fortified' building is identified. The real 'defense' offered to the abbot by the licence was the sign of royal support and favour. Despite the enrolled copy of the licence specifically stating this was for Hales, Salop this licence is often attributed to Hailes Abbey, Gloucester. Halesowen was part of Shropshire until 1843/4 when it was moved into Worcestershire.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO975828
Latitude52.4432716369629
Longitude-2.03590989112854
Eastings397584
Northings282846
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Richard Cowdell All Rights Reserved
Copyright Richard Cowdell All Rights Reserved
Copyright Richard Cowdell All Rights Reserved
Copyright Richard Cowdell All Rights Reserved
Copyright Richard Cowdell All Rights Reserved
Copyright Richard Cowdell All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • Aberg, F.A. (ed), 1978, Medieval moated sites (CBA Research Report 17) p. 75, 77 online copy
  • Knowles, David and Hadcock, R. Neville, 1971, Medieval religious houses in England and Wales (Longman)┬áp189
  • Willis-Bund, J.W. and Page, Wm. (eds), 1913, VCH Worcestershire Vol. 3 p. 137-9 online transcription
  • Willis-Bund, J.W. and Page, Wm. (eds), 1906, VCH Worcestershire Vol. 2 p. 162 online transcription
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 404 online copy
  • Grose, Francis, 1785 (new edn orig 1756), Antiquities of England and Wales (London) Vol. 5 p. 8-11 online copy

Journals

  • Coulson, Charles, 1993 Aug, 'Specimens of Freedom to Crenellate by Licence' Fortress: The castles and fortifications quarterly Vol. 18 p. 3-15
  • Molyneaux, N.A.D., 1984, 'A Late Thirteenth-Century Building at Halesowen' Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society (ser3) Vol. 3 p. 45-53
  • 1974, Worcestershire archaeology and local history newsletter Vol. 14 p. 2
  • Bond, C.J., 1973, Worcestershire archaeology and local history newsletter Vol. 12 p. 18
  • Wilson, D.M. and Moorhouse, S., 1971, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 15 p. 141 download copy
  • Bond, C.J., 1970, Worcestershire archaeology and local history newsletter Vol. 6 p. 11
  • Somers, F., 1938, 'Recent Discoveries on the Site of Hales Owen Abbey' Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society (ser2) Vol. 15 p. 82-3

Other

  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 West Midlands (London: English Heritage) p. 75 online copy