WALKS AROUND HAGLEY: WALK No.7 BROOME
DISTANCE 3 AND A HALF MILES. TIME ABOUT 2 HOURS. PARK EITHER AT THE SIDE OF THICKNALL LANE OR NEARBY (O.S. MAP GRID REF. 903793) Notes nettles in high Summer and large dogs will have to be lifted over the first three stiles.
- The walk begins at the lane opposite Thicknall Farm. There is proof of a dwelling here from the 14th. century, William de Thickenol was mentioned in 1327 and Henry Thykenol in 1400. Ticken means young goats (perhaps also lambs) so the farm was possibly the residence of the shepherd who grazed the animals on the adjacent Clent Heath. Walk along this lane and turn left at the T-junction, in a few yards cross the stile on the right and follow the footpath, with the, fence on your left, to the two stiles. Cross these so that the hedge is now on your right.
- There are views of the Clent Hills as you walk to the next stile, onto a track where you turn right.
- Before you take the next turn right stop and view Red Hall Farm. The present house was built in. the late 17th. or early 18th. century using some materials from previous houses on the site. The evidence leads to the assumption that there was a part sandstone and timber-framed building on the site. The name Red Hall means Red Spring and the site has been occupied since 1373, when it belonged to Black Ladies Priory, Brewood and was tenanted by John de Dunclent and his wife Alice.
- Turn right passing the millstone in the bank. Along this lane on your left is Old Well Cottage, formerly Broome Farm. It is the black and white cottage with a cider press in the side/back garden.
- At the junction stop. Broome House (now a private retirement home) is on the left, on the right is the Old School House and beyond it is the Parish Rooms (previously Broome School built in 1889 and closed 1933).
- Go straight ahead and through the Church yard. The present Church of St. Peter was built in 1780 with 1861 additions, it replaced a medieval church. One of the Rectors was Thomas Dolman, who married Mary Penn from Harborough Hall in 1726, her sister Anne was the mother of William Shenstone the poet and landscape gardener famous for his grounds at the Leasowes, Halesowen. Rejoin the lane.
- Notice the bargeboards on Rose Cottage by the Junction. On the left nearest the junction is Dower Cottage, partly timber framed, which was the temporary Rectory between 1921 and 1924 whilst. the new Rectory was built.
Optional Diversion. Turn right to view Broome Farm on the left, note the road sign! Either retrace your steps or circle the centre of Broome.
- At Dower Cottage take the road to Churchill. Note the boundary wall of the Old Rectory. Look for Lords and Ladies in the hedge opposite (in season.) At Hundredacres Farm take the footpath over the ditch and stile, diagonally across the field to the next stile on the A450, which cuts a corner
- Cross the road to the footpath opposite. Just before the path crosses the end of the first field you are passing over the route of the Roman road between Droitwich, Greensforge and Watling Street. Pause at the gap in the hedge for lovely views of Romsley, Walton, Clent and Wychbury. The Hall, Church spire and the Monument at Hagley can. also be seen.
- Continue to the T junction at the foot of the steep bank through the wood. Turn right on the far side of the hedge and follow the path to Broome Mill.
- One pool faces you, but is fenced off, turn right, on your right is Broome Mill, now a modernised house. When on the tarmaced drive the raised bank on the right is the dam of the pool which supplied the water for the mill.
- Follow the drive to the A456. The 5 acre field on the right, known as "Poor's Land" raised money for the poor by rent or crops until 1949.
- Cross the A456 to the footpath by Harborough Farm. Built between 1832 and 1838. but recently extensively altered. The two cottages on the hill to the left are older.
- At Stakenbridge Lane turn right. The Post Box outside Yarnold Cottages shows which one was once a Post Office. Railway Cottage is one of three built c. 1852.for railway employees. Bay Tree House now stands where cottages for the poor were built in 1805, but sold in 1836 when the poor were sent to Bromsgrove Workhouse. Not a change for the better!
- Dammas House recalls the fact that Dammas Hall was situated on that corner.
- The raised bank on the right of the road, just before the houses begin, is the remains of a tumulus, one of a group excavated by Bishop Lyttelton in the 18th. Century.
- On reaching the A456, on your right is Daisy Cottage. In 1838 this cottage & shop belonged to William Price. Cross the road carefully, into Thicknall Lane, then cross the A450 and return to your car.