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Coordinates: 52°26′N 2°07′W / 52.43°N 2.12°W / 52.43; -2.12

Hagley
The Lyttleton Arms, Hagley.jpg
The Lyttleton Arms
Hagley is located in Worcestershire
Hagley

 Hagley shown within Worcestershire
Population 4,283 (2001) for Civil Parish; approximately 5600 for the whole village
Parish Hagley
District Bromsgrove
Shire county Worcestershire
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town STOURBRIDGE
Postcode district DY9
Dialling code 01562
Police West Mercia
Fire Hereford and Worcester
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament Bromsgrove
List of places: UK • England • Worcestershire

Hagley is a village and civil parish on the northern boundary of Worcestershire, England, near to the towns of Kidderminster and Stourbridge. The parish had a population of 4,283 in 2001,[1] but the whole village had a population of perhaps 5,600, including the part in Clent parish. It is in Bromsgrove District.

Strictly, Hagley refers to the area of the original village, near Hagley Hall. The majority of what is commonly known as Hagley is strictly West Hagley. This grew up in the late 19th century near the railway station and contains the shopping area and schools. The precise dividing line between the two areas is undefined and this debatable. However, only two continuously developed roads join "Top" Hagley and West Hagley, so that the line must be somewhere along these roads. Nevertheless, both settlements lie within the parish of Hagley.

Hagley is separated from Stourbridge and thus the urban Black Country by a narrow strip of green belt. It lies at the foot of the Clent Hills. The village is served by its own railway station on the Kidderminster - Birmingham line.

It is on the Birmingham to Kidderminster road, the A456, which is known as the Hagley Road in Birmingham, because it was once administered by a turnpike trust,[2] 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, Hagley lacks the essential characteristics of a market town.[3] While it has a healthy 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,[4] 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.

Contents

Landmarks

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 on 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 stonebuilt church from around 1908, near the centre of Hagley.

Tragedies

Hagley Obelisk

Three tragic events during the late 20th century have drawn media attention to Hagley.

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Murder of a student

In 1983, Susan Renhard from West Hagley, was a student at Manchester Polytechnic. She 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 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.

Child murder

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 - he is still behind bars after almost 20 years and is likely to remain in prison for another decade at least, as his 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 recommended never to be released from prison.

School minibus crash

In November 1993 a serious collison 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.

Famous residents

See also

References

  1. ^ Census 2001
  2. ^ Local Statute, 26 Geo. II, c.47
  3. ^ According to the definition in West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy, policy RR3.
  4. ^ 2.6% of the population were unemployed at the time of the 2001 census: Hagley census profile

External links


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