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Forum Home > Tale's from the region. > Haden Hall. Rowley Regis.

Alaska.
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Posts: 1409

Old Hill, Rowley Regis, Dudley Castle, Thomas Haden, Haden Hall, Halesowen.


The Haden dynasty started with one Ricardo Haden, who was a minor noble, supporting William the Conquer, in his successful efforts to gain the English Crown. His first task on arriving in the area was to build a small fortress to suppress the locals, and defend his small allotment of just over 50 acres. The only Norman stronghold, ever to be built in Rowley Regis. Compared to the mighty William Fitz Ansculf, who was already residing on his Baronial lands, in Dudley Castle, Ricardo was very small fry indeed. Succeeding generations increased the size of the estate, and built a more comfortable new home in 1310. By the time his descendent, Thomas Haden, married Mary Bloom in the latter part of the 16th century, the estate was quite substancial. The records list the fields and meadows which made up the holding, some names are still recognisable.


Pigg Lane Meadow, Further and Hither Broadfield, Further, Hither and Lower Wormidge, Little Hill, Three Burnitts Meadow, Shepe Meadow, Burnitts Copye, ( Copse ) Great Hill, Sitch Meadow, Two High Leasowes, Blackemore Lands, Spring Copye, Moore Meadows, Leighton Pasture, Broad Meadow, Timbertree Pasture, and Osell Moor.  The arae was increased again later, with the addition of three fields at Cherry Orchard called Foley's Ground. In 1661, after an assesment for Land Tax, the figure was set at 14 shillings and 7 pence. The family earned it's money from farming, of which the estate comprised six. Haden Hill Farm, Haden Cross Farm, Dudhill Brickhouse Farm, Cherry Orchard Farm, Waterfall Lane Farm, and Powke Hillock Farm. The Hall itself was about this time enclosed with a wall, very much as it is today.


The Hall itself, was probably constucted sometime between 1575, and 1585. Thomas and Mary had a son, born in 1588, also called Thomas, and as the birth was recorded in the Hales Owen records, he must have been born in the new house. Not overly blessed with a multitude of offspring were the Hadens, but the estate managed to passed down the family line until the birth of Ann Eliza Haden. Born in 1790, she turned out to be the last of the Hadens in the direct family line. A queer old bird, so the story goes, she never married and died a spinster in 1876. There would have been times in her life, when she may have despaired at the changes to her little paradise. The Industrial revolution was not kind to the area. Her little domain was virtually surrounded by huge Pit banks, and the air would have been thick with the fumes of the many furnaces. She did though, manage to keep together, the original 50 odd acres that Ricardo Haden had been given, no mean feat for a mere woman in such turbulent times. High in the old Hall, looking out over her favourite view, she quietly passed away, leaving behind, so it is said, her ghostly presence. Possibly, apart from the Hall and Park itself, the only remaining link with over 800 years of occupation. I'm glad to see, that at long last, restoration has been completed for future generations to enjoy.



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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

July 25, 2011 at 11:29 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1409

Haden Hall, Old Hill, Halesowen Abbey. Secret Passages.


There is of course, as you would expect for such an old building, a ghost story. It comes from a tale in the time of Edward II, and concerns a story of, supposedly, unrequited love. It was rumoured, that from the Halls cellers, there was a secret passage that ran all the way to Hales Abbey.  It's a devil of a long way that, must have taken a crew of men a long time to dig it. It was supposedly used to transport Food and Ales between the two places, although by my calculations it would have quicker using the track they called a road. A very attractive young woman, in legend called "The fair Elaine of Haden Hall", was a handmaiden to Edward IIs wife, " Isabel the she Wolf " . My, but they did have some fancy names in the days gone by. This young women met one of the Abbey's Monks, ( un-named, I will call him Edward every ready, or you can make up your own.) and developed this " thing " for him, as indeed, he did for her, as they do, but it shall also remain un-named, as this is a family friendly website.  As the family were very religious, and scandal was to be avoided at all costs, their meetings took place in the cellers. Useful things, cellers and secret passages. The enivitable happened, (well it must have done at some point, but's that not what comes next)  for one night they were discovered, no doubt partaking of all that food, ale, and whatever else they could both get their hands on. He must have had some filthy habits, young Every ready, and by that I mean celler floors aren't very clean are they. The punishment for such crass behaviour, and especially for being " caught at it ", was being walled up alive, and for this, the family choose  the secret passageway, presumably together, which would have also put paid to all the deliveries of the Halls illicit goodies. Some time later, so it was related, the apparition of the fair Elaine, dressed in virginal white, ( what else ) and with a very sad expression on her face, ( well so would all of us, if someone takes our little playthings away.) was reported at the Hall. She was supposed to be looking for her lover, ( or a dry white wine and a toasted cheese sandwich ) so at some time, their emaciated bodies must have got seperated, for she never seems to have found him. (  indeed, with very few sighting, the randy little Monk doesn't appear to have been looking for her either ) She is still occasionaly reported being seen, but only in the Hall, perhaps she's forgotton where the celler is, and the location of the secret passage seems to have slipped her mind as well. Pity that, despite extensive restoration, no one else has reportedly ever found it either.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

September 7, 2011 at 11:59 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1409

Haden Hall, Corngreaves Hall, Ghosts, Hayseech. Halesowen.


A slightly different tale from the one above, still with the same ghosts though, attributes the happenings to " Corngreaves Castle ", the estate of which adjoins the old Hall's grounds. The secret tunnel was supposed to finish at the banks of the River Stour, in Hayseech. The present day Corngreaves Hall, is supposed to be built on the old castle site, and is even today, haunted by the spectre of a ghostly monk. ( could this be my " Edward every ready " again ) Together, both he and the Lady Eleanor, ( this time called " The White Lady ") roam the place presumably still looking for a way out, after being walled up by the nasty Abbott of Hales. The tale goes on to tell, that two young ladies, living at the Castle at the time, were so terrified by the apperitions, that in fleeing from them, fell into the brook, ( River Stour ) and were both sadly drowned. Thus adding to the story, so that we now appear to have four ghosts.  ( can one ghost, I wonder, frighten another ghost ) This story inspired someone to print an illustration of the incident, which can be seen in the " Images from the Forums " Album, in the Photo Gallery.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

November 13, 2011 at 10:55 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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