HAGLEY - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868


1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland

"HAGLEY, a parish in the lower division of the hundred of Halfshire, county Worcester, 2½ miles S.E. of Stourbridge, its post town, 7 N.W. of Bromsgrove, and 10 from Birmingham. It is a station on the West Midland railway. The parish contains the hamlet of Wassel and a large Roman encampment on Witchbury Hill. The land is partly in common, but is well wooded. The surface is undulating, and the scenery richly diversified. The village, which is considerable, contains some good private houses, and in the vicinity are several handsome family seats.

The living is a rectory* [the asterisk denotes that there is a parsonage and glebe belonging to the living] in the diocese of Worcester, value £550. The church, an ancient structure dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is situated in the grounds of Hagley Hall, and has recently been enlarged and beautified as a testimonial to Lord Lyttelton for his public services to the Church. In the interior are monuments to the Lytteltons, and the well-known inscription to Lady Lucy Lyttelton. The parochial charities produce about £16 per annum. Here is a National school for both sexes. There is a chapel-of-ease at Blakedewn.

Hagley Hall, the principal residence, is the seat of Lord Lyttelton, who is lord-lieutenant of the county and lord of the manor. Hagley Hall was built by the first Lord Lyttelton, the elegant historian and poet, who resided here, and was frequently visited by Pope, Hammond, and other literary celebrities. The hall is a substantial mansion of stone. It contains a remarkably handsome picture gallery, 85 feet by 22, decorated with choice carvings, and the ceiling painted by Cipriani. Amongst the choice masterpieces are, Charles I.'s Family, the "Virgin" and "Dead Christ", by Vandyck, Duchess of Richmond, Monmouth, Lord Brouncker, Pope and his dog Bounce, Thomson, Duchess of Portsmouth, Matsys' "Miser", with several paintings by Rubens, and busts of Milton, &c. In the grounds surrounding the mansion are the Prince of Wales's pillar, Jacob's well, Pope's temple and urn, hermitage, Thomson's seat, &c."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]