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Historic Kidderminster: 
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Historic Buildings and Streets 

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Public Meeting Received Archaeologists' Report

The findings of archaeologists concerning the churchyard dig completed last September were reported to a public meeting at St Mary’s Chantry on Friday 31st January. It was attended by 60 people. The dig was part of the Civic Sosiety's search for the Saxon monastery or church which gave the town the “minster” part of its name. It is funded with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of just under £50,000.

At the meeting staff from Worcestershire Archaeology commented that the dig was probably the most successful community project they had worked with in terms of the enthusiasm generated.

Perhaps the most interesting find was a lead cloth seal from the medieval period. Please read a copy of the archaeologists' report.

“The findings are some compensation for not finding any building buried in the churchyard,” said Nigel Gilbert, leader of the Historic Kidderminster project.

A radar survey of the churchyard in 2006 had apparently revealed with some certainty that there was a structure lying hidden underground in the churchyard. “I’m afraid those solid radar images are now being interpreted simply as solid pristine bedrock sand,” commented Mr Gilbert. “Despite this disappointment, St Mary’s remains a possible site for the Saxon minster.”

The archaeologist’s report also contains a good deal of intriguing information about the management of the churchyard during the past two centuries.

Richard  Bradley presented the report for Worcestershire Archaeology. Nigel Gilbert spoke about the implications for future research into the Saxon minster.

Mr Alan Taylor attended, representing the Heritage Lottery Fund, and his speech was much appreciated by the audience. He referred to the enthiusiastic public response, and he encouraged us not to rule out a further application to HLF, providing of course that it is well founded.

Three Historical Walk Leaflets

In 2008 the Society's Historic Kidderminster Project published three walks round historic parts of Kidderminster. They have proved very popular. Three thousand copies of each leaflet were printed, but most have now been distributed by Kidderminster Library and especially by Bewdley Museum.

Click on the links here to download copies of the leaflets. They are the East Walk around the Birmingham Road and Leswell area; the Puxton/Franche walk which marks the sites of many demolished buildings including Franche Hall, Puxton House and the original Three Crowns and Sugar Loaf pub; the South West walk which takes you from the town centre along the canal towards Stourport.

Weavers Cottages in Horsefair

Agreement has been reached for the Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust to apply for lottery funding to ensure the conservation of these important listed 18th century cottages. If all goes to plan they will be turned into modern residences, with extensions at the back. The initial application for the first stage of funding has been made. It remains to be seen whether it will be possible to build in a small museum area. This would complement the carpet museum, but it seems likely that an additional financial source will be needed to make this possible.

More new HKP Historical Reports

The substantial body of work completed by the Historic Kidderminster Project continues to grow. There are now 160 or so reports published on the town's historic buildings. To read these please click on Historical Reports on the left hand side of this page.

All HKP reports are available as hard copies at Kidderminster Library, Worcester Record Office at the newly-built Hive and the Carpet Museum Archive.

The new reports include Butts Depot, the premises in Park Butts of the seed merchant Clement Dalley. Another business property covered is 15 Vicar Street, once the Excelsior Works. Another pub is added, Albion Inn in Braod Street. Reports on three more houses have been completed - Comberton House, Shrubbery Cottage in Birmingham Road, and Brookland House at 11 Woodfield Crescent. A row of houses Union Terrace in Hurcott Road is included. There is a new report on the creation of Lea Bank Avenue on Bewdley Hill. The Ivydene report has been updated to include fascinating information on the move to Kidderminster of the Lancashire soap manufacturer, Joshua Margerison.

The reports are not primarily about the architecture of the buildings. They are more about the social history of the town and the people who lived in the buildings. The reports should be of use to family historians and those researching the origins of their own house.

Anybody can contribute information about a building or write a report for the project. If you wish to do so, please email Kidderminster Civic Society at mail@kidcivicsoc.org.uk

Membership

If you would like to become a member of the Civic Society or would like to read the members' newsletter, please click on About Us.

To contact the Society email address is: mail@kidcivicsoc.org.uk





The content of this website is copyright of the Kidderminster Civic Society and the Local Heritage Initiative, 2006 - 2007