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The Lyttelton Arms
Hagley shown within Worcestershire
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Hagley is a village and civil parish in Worcestershire, England. It is on the boundary of the West Midlands and Worcestershire counties between the towns of Dudley and Kidderminster. The parish had a population of 4,283 in 2001, but the whole village had a population of perhaps 5,600, including the part in Clent parish. It is in Bromsgrove District.
The parish of Hagley used to consist of Top Hagley, Lower Hagley and Blakedown. The main focus of the village was Top Hagley where Hagley Hall and the parish church of St. John The Baptist (with its origins in Anglo-Saxon times) reside, In 1868 the Earl of Dudley defrayed one third of the cost of the tower and spire by George Edmund Street to the Church.
With the arrival of the railway in 1852 and the building of a "proper" station and its iconic GWR footbridge (finished in 1884), Lower Hagley started to expanded.  With the expansion of Lower Hagley (now known as West Hagley) the focus of the village started to move. This was recognised in 1906 with the building of a subsidiary parish church in Lower Hagley dedicated to St. Saviour, and today West Hagley contains the shopping area and the schools. The precise dividing line between the two areas is undefined and is therefore debatable. Nevertheless, both settlements lie within the parish of Hagley.
Hagley is part of the West Midlands Urban Area as defined by the Office for National Statistics, and is joined to Stourbridge and the Black Country by the A491 and B4187; The village lies at the foot of the Clent Hills, and is served by its own railway station on the Kidderminster to Birmingham line.
It is situated on the A456 Birmingham to Kidderminster road, which is known as the Hagley Road in Birmingham, because it was once administered by a turnpike trust, whose responsibilities ended at the former boundary of the parish (now in Blakedown).
Despite having a population larger than some market towns (such as Tenbury Wells) and once having its own cattle market, Hagley lacks the essential characteristics of a market town.[a] While it has a shopping street and many local services, it is a fundamentally unbalanced community economically, in that there is little local employment (other than in local services). However, unemployment is low, because of the ease of commuting to work. Accordingly Hagley is essentially a dormitory village. The population of Hagley greatly increased after the arrival of the railway in 1862, which enabled people to commute into Birmingham or the adjacent Black Country.
Hagley is known for
- Hagley Hall, the home for several centuries of the Lyttelton family, whose head is Viscount Cobham, and
- Wychbury Hill with its 'monument' (an obelisk). The body of "Bella" was believed to be found in a wood near the hill, sparking the murder mystery "Who put Bella in the Witch Elm?" about which a play was written by the local drama society. However contrary to the urban myth the body was found in Hagley Wood off a lane on the side of nearby Clent Hill.
- St. Saviour's Church, a stone-built church near the centre of West Hagley, dedicated in 1908 and consecrated in 1957. The church consists of a nave and chancel without a tower. It has a series of windows by Francis Skeat.
The parish register of Hagley is the oldest in England. It dates from 1 December 1538, being the year in which registers were ordered to be kept in all parishes.
Three tragic events during the late 20th century drew media attention to Hagley.
Murder of a student
In 1983, Susan Renhard from West Hagley, a student at Manchester Polytechnic, was murdered while taking photos in the Peak District. Her body was discovered showing indications that she had fought violently to defend herself before being strangled. The murder made national headlines and Norman Hugh Smith, a 17 year old computer student, was found guilty of the crime and described by the judge a "very wicked man". Susan's father, a retired law lecturer, became heavily involved in two charities that seek to help relatives who have lost loved ones through homicide.
In January 1988, Stuart Gough, a 14-year-old newspaper delivery boy was found murdered some 20 miles away near Worcester. Serial paedophile Victor Miller later admitted murdering Stuart and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The trial judge said that he didn't know whether it would be safe ever to release him. An article in the Daily Telegraph listed Miller as one of 35 murderers that the Home Secretary had recently[when?] recommended never to be released from prison.
School minibus crash
In November 1993 a serious collision occurred on the M40 motorway near Warwick, approximately 30 miles from Hagley, resulting in the deaths of twelve pupils and a teacher. Only two girls survived the accident that made national headlines and caused moves for new legislation to improve safety and driving standards for school vehicles.
- Jon Bentley of Channel Five's Fifth Gear and The Gadget Show currently lives in Hagley.
- Adrian Chiles, presenter of Match of the Day 2 and formerly of The One Show.
- Andrew Downes, composer.
- Clive Everton, snooker commentator.
- Jon Ford, former professional association footballer with Swansea AFC, Bradford City and other teams. Now a retired assistant manager for Stourbridge FC.
- Jason Koumas lived in Hagley
- Charles Lyttelton (bishop), born here, and buried in the parish church.
- Dan O'Hagan, television football commentator.
- Emily Pepys (1833-1877), child diarist, became the first wife of the rector, Rev. Hon. William Henry Lyttelton.
- Lee Sharpe, former professional footballer with (among other teams) Manchester United was a former student of Hagley RC High School.
- John Bonham, drummer for Led Zeppelin, lived in Hagley from 1969-1972.
- Hagley Hall
- Wychbury Hill
- Hagley railway station
- Hagley Catholic High School
- Haybridge High School
- Stourbridge News - Hagley's local newspaper, covering the Stourbridge area
- According to the definition in West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy, policy RR3.
- Census 2001
- Smith 2006.
- Folkes, J. Homery The Victorian Architect and George Edmund Street Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaelogical Society. Third Series Vol 4 1974 p9
- English Heritage 2013.
- Pritchard 1999, pp. 10, 14 (PDF 12, 16).
- Pritchard, pp. 10, 14 (PDF 12, 16).
- "Census 2001: Key Statistics for urban areas in the Midlands". Office for National Statistics. ISBN 0-11-621745-6. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
- Local Statute, 26 Geo. II, c.47
- HHFS staff 2013.
- 2.6% of the population were unemployed at the time of the 2001 census: Hagley census profile
- "West Window". St. Saviour's, Hagley. flickr. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
- Valentine 1891, pp. 265–266.
- Lundy 2011, p. 1084 § 10838.
- English Heritage (2013), Hagley Station Footbridge, Hagley, BritishListedBuildings.co.uk
- HHFS staff (2013), Industry and Transport, Hagley Historical and Field Society, retrieved May 2013
- Lundy, Darryl (16 February 2011), Rev. Hon. William Henry Lyttelton, The Peerage, p. 1084 § 10838, retrieved August 2011
- Pritchard, Jean (1999), Hagley & Blakedown in the 19th Century: Domestic Serviced and social background, Occasional papers (4), Hagley Historical and Field Society
- Smith, Jacky (2006), A Century of Parish Life, Hagley Church of England (Cofe)
- Valentine, Laura (1891), "Hagley Park", picturesque england its landmarks and historic haunts, London ; New York: Frederick Warne & Co., pp. 264–268
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hagley.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Hagley.|
- Hagley Catholic High School
- Haybridge High School
- Hagley Hall
- Photos of Hagley and surrounding area on geograph