The Pype Hayes land originally belonged to the established Warwickshire Arden Family and was part of a much larger estate called Berwood, which is anglo saxon for “Woody Wood”. The Ardens resided at Park Hall, a few miles to the east, which was sadly demolished to make way for the M6 in the 1960's. The Ardens bestowed an unenclosed waste common upon a monastery at Leicester, which would have included what is now the Castle Vale Estate. The family bought it back after the dissolution of the monasteries during the reign of Henry the 8th. William Shakespeare was a famous Arden. His mother being Mary Arden of Wilmcote Warwick. She came from the ancient family and was heiress to some land. (More about the Hall.)
THE BAGOT FAMILY
The Bagot Family, whose Family Crest of the Red Bearded Goat could be seen outside the 1930's public house bearing their name, which resided in Staffordshire. The first family seat in the 12th Century was at a place called Oakley, but in 1360 they moved to Blithefield Hall, still the family residence. So how did part of such a famous family, once described by a local Victorian Historian as “one of the oldest and noblest families in England”, come to reside in Erdington which was no more than a hamlet in the 17th Century?
PYPE HAYES HALL
Pype Hayes Hall was altered in the 18th Century and enlarged in 1850. It is Jacobean in origin and was built circa 1635! Hervey Bagot married Dorothy Arden, daughter of Sir Henry Arden and was given the Pipe Lands as a dowry. His father Sir Hervey Bagot, built the house for him in the days of King James the 1st.
Herveys brother, Richard Bagot,
was Governer of Lichfield and a Colonel in the Royalist Army during the
Civil War. He defended successfully it seems, the attack on the Town and
the Cathedral but was later killed at the battle of Naseby. He was fighting
for the King at the age of only 27. There is evidence to suggest that the
family were always strong supporters of the Crown. Dorothy Bagot was known
to be a member of a collection of ladies, who was present at the Royal
Court and they were known as “The Beauties of Windsor” during the reign
of Charles the 1st. Local legend claims that Dorothy died tragically in
a riding accident and her ghost can be seen on certain nights in the Hall
and the Grounds.
The late owner of the house was Sir Walter Bagot who was elected as an M.P and whose grandson was to become the first Lord Bagot. The family were also to embrace clerical connections when the Rev Walter Bagot became the house owner. He was the intimate friend of the poet William Cowper, who had written extensively to the clergyman, Robert Southsay, the writer, and came to stay at the house in order to study and record Cowpers Letters when he was writing a Biography of the celebrated English poet. The Bagots stayed at The Hall until 1908 when it was sold to James Rollason a local manufacturer who lived there until 1919. In that year it was sold to Birmingham Corporation who converted it into a Convalescent Home, and the grounds into a Public Park. Until the late 1980's Pype Hayes Hall held the distinction of being the oldest lived in house in Erdington.
The Hall as first built in 1632-35 was on undeveloped land. There is no evidence that there had been a dwelling on the site before the 1630's. The 1630's Pype Hall formed an “E” shape as shown in the 1760 Estate Map by Tomlinson. The arms of thr “E” consisted of two storey half round bow windows of an early 17th Century type. Internally the main hall lay in the centre of the “E” with the servants and service wing at one end and a domestic wing at the other. The original Hall has been so altered by several centuries of rebuilding that it has been difficult if not impossible to judge the precise layout. The present 18th Century Porch echoes the internal changes designed to produce an exact central asymmetrical effect. Whilst it is not now certain that the bow windows are original, they copy the design of the two storey ones. There is now no evidence of this front block having been Timber Framed.
The front wall is a modern rebuild in rendered masonary around twelve inches in thickness. There are, however traces of a Sandstone Base Course, or Plinth, found during the 1950's renovations. This would normally be evidence of Half Timbering in the wall above. There are also traces of Carved Oak Overmantles which are probably not in the original positions, and are not much help in identifying the 17th Century room layout. The 18th Century Staircase, though not moved, is very much altered in its details. It bears the characteristic style of the Horne Brothers who were prominent architects and builders in the 1750's. Unfortunately there is no similar staircase surviving in the service wing, also, unlike Aston Hall and other houses of a similar period there is no evidence that Pype Hayes Hall ever had a magnificent feature, the Long Gallery. Here the second floor seems to have been used for servants quarters and possibly Nurseries.
1800 – 1906
In the 1820’s the building was
altered to provide a block along the rear of the South-East face with 2
Saloon type rooms, a Garden Hall with high ceilings on the ground floor
and a suite of five Bedrooms above them. There is some evidence that the
designer may have been James Trubshaw of Great Haywood Staffs, (Bagot County).
There is also some pseudo Jacobean ceiling decoration in Papier Mache,
at the time a Birmingham speciality. This block has the distinction of
having Lintels and Mullions of Yorkshire Sandstone identical with that
of the stone used to build the Nave and Tower of Erdington Parish Church
in 1822-24. This was a project that was much in the heart of the then owner
of the Hall the Reverend Egerton Arden Bagot. The stone came from the Woodkirk
Quarry near Dewsbury via the Canal System, with Birmingham and Fazeley
Canal passing quite near the Hall.
The Pype Hayes Estate conveyed in c1635 was very small, less than 40 acres. Although much later augmented by Parliamentary Enclosure. Fortunately in 1634 Dorothy Arden Bagot inherited as co-heiress the neighbouring Manor of Berwood (now Castle Vale Estate) producing an income more in accord with the needs of a gentlemans establishment. The House may have been built in clear expectation of such a bequest. It may be significant however that three of the later Bagots took holy orders and may have enjoyed the stipends of plural livings, though it is not known where such livings were situated.
The list below is incomplete but used references available for the years:
1643-80 Hervey Bagot, Esquire
1681-96 Arden Bagot
1696-1729 Thomas Arden
1754-65 Egerton Bagot, Esquire
1783-? His Kinsman Rev Egerton Arden Bagot
1819-50 his son Rev Walter Bagot
?-1866 his half brother Rev Egerton Ralph Bagot
1868-88 his son William Walter Bagot
In 1906 the Hall was sold to James Rollason of Shepherds Green Erdington, Wire Manufaturer of Bromford Mills and Lord of the Manor of Hampton In Arden.
The building was listed in 1947
and scheduled for preservation under the Town and Country Planning Act.
In 1951 minor repairs were being done on a small part of the building after
reports of smells. It was soon evident that the Main Timbers had been attacked
by Death Watch beetle and other wood eating beetle grubs. The renovations
cost £20,000 and took three years to complete. During the work Mrs
D. Moore, the Matron, said the entrance to the passageway was uncovered
and then blocked up again. It is thought to be the entrance to an underground
tunnel between Pype Hayes Hall and Aston Hall, existence long been suspected
but never proven. See more about the Hall.
MEMORIES OF THE HALL
In 1951 at the age of 65 there was an old gentleman by the name of White, who remembered the last squire of the Hall.
Mr White said that when Carol Singers went to the Hall, the old Squire would sit in a window and pelt them with apples, and when they ran off, would send a servant girl to fetch them back. But the Squire was a good fellow really and after he had his joke he would probably buy you a drink.
There was a Donkey at the Childrens
Home for many years who was called “Tiny Two”.
Regards Janet Shakespeare
Friends of Pype Hayes Park and Hall
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