Bagot Pype Hayes Park, Hall and Gardens
Pype Hayes Hall in Birmingham, Erdington, England

Pype Hayes Hall is a former mansion house in the Pype Hayes area of Erdington, Birmingham, West Midlands. It was formerly in the historic county of Warwickshire before being transferred into the new county of the West Midlands along with the rest of the city. It has Grade II listed status.

The history of the Manor of Pype is obscure, however it seems that the Manor was part of the dower of Dorothy Arden, daughter and co-heiress of Robert Arden of Berwood (now Castle Vale), on her marriage in about 1625 to Hervey Bagot, second son of Sir Hervey Bagot, 1st Baronet.

Bagot enclosed many acres of waste and in about 1630 built the new mansion house and park. He lived in the house for 15 years before being killed at the Battle of Naseby in 1645 as a Royalist Colonel in the Civil War. Members of junior branches of the Bagot family continued to live at Pype Hall for over 250 years. Later additions to the property include the stable block which bears the date 1762 and the house was much enlarged and improved in the mid 19th century.

The poet Robert Southey (1774-1843) worked at the Hall upon his 1833 biography of William Cowper, a friend of the Bagots.

Between 1881 and 1888 the Bagots sold around 700 acres of the estate to Birmingham Tame and Rea Drainage Board for the creation and expansion of the Minworth Sewage Works. The house was let out to tenants before eventually being sold by the Bagots in 1920 to the City of Birmingham. The City adapted the park (Pype Hayes Park) for public recreation and the Hall has since been put to various public social uses. As of 2007, it is occupied by a child adoption service.

The source of a stream is in the Streetly area of Sutton Park where it flows as a small trickle to Blackroot Pool in Sutton Park, which has been formed as a result of the damming of the stream. It then flows south east to a pool near Wyndley Leisure Centre. Water is channelled from this pool to Wyndley Leisure Centre where there was a now-demolished water mill. The stream then goes under ground, below Sutton Coldfield town centre before resurfacing along Queen Street on the edge of the town centre. Here it is channelled to follow the edge of the road before flowing beneath it at a bend where it flows from north east to south east. It continues flowing in this direction, past Plantsbrook School, which receives its name from the stream, and turns north east at Sutton Coldfield Town F.C.'s training ground, underneath Ebrook Road, named after the former name of the stream. It meanders through a housing estate and underneath a railway viaduct and enters New Hall Valley Country Park from its north.

From here it is channelled southwards past the New Hall Estate, New Hall Manor and New Hall mill. Prior to it being channelled, it flowed alongside New Hall Manor to New Hall Mill, where it powered the machinery. The stream is split into two streams, parallel to each other as it approaches Wylde Green Road. Up until 1967, the Wylde Green Road was crossed by a ford formed by Plants Brook. Alongside this, John Vesey, Bishop of Exeter, constructed one of his 51 cottages known as the Fordkeeper's House. This provided security to those travelling along the Wylde Green Road.

It continues to flow south through the country park in New Hall Valley, and underneath Penns Bridge. It flows to the east of Walmley Golf Club and provides water to 'The Dam', a long pool at Penns Hall. This southwards pattern is gradually lost as it flows around the boundary of Pypes Hayes Golf Course. Here it begins to flow south east, and once it reaches Eachelhurst Road, it is flowing east.

A bridge was built over the stream at Eachelhurst Road and a parting in a housing estate indicates the course of the stream, despite being underground. It resurfaces soon after into several small pools, which were formerly reservoirs. The area was designated nature reserve status in March 1991 and covers an area of 24.96 acres.

A small trickle from the reservoirs provides water to the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal.

The Bagots, recalled in the Bagot pub, made their home at the newly built Pype Hayes Hall (sometimes known as Pype Hayes House) which dates from the first half of the 17th century. Known as the house of the 13 gables, in the early 19th century Pype Hayes Hall was owned by the Rev. Walter Bagot. In 1919 the trustees of the Bagot family sold both it and 76 acres of the estate for .£10,000 to Birmingham Corporation. The house became a convalescent home and later a children's residential nursery whilst the grounds were enlarged in 1928 by the purchase of the remainder of the estate for .£3,0l6 to make a 113 acre recreation ground.

Lovely memories I'm sure. It will seem that I hung around all the local parks but Pype Hayes was one that I did in my pre-teens and mid-teens, although I had been taken there by my parents and also the lady whose baby I used to walk as her husband played cricket there quite often, so she invited me along to take care of the baby while she watched him play. I remember the small shop was in part of the Hall and sold Wall's Ice Cream and Vimto.

Later on I took my youngest brother there for "adventure" trips and we would "mine" clay from the small stream in the wetlands area, take it home and make models out of it. It was quite the adventure and you had to have wellies to go through all the marsh areas. We got rather wet if I remember.

At Fentham Girls I had a friend who lived in Hanson's Bridge Road close to the Park. It was a bit of a monkey run for the local boys and I would travel miles on the 28 bus to go there if I could get the bus fare. I met my first boyfriend there when I was l5. It's a lovely park and I had some great times there.

The only memory I have of Pype Hayes Park was going there with my mate Terry Birch (no relative I believe) and his mum in 1944. I put my foot right in a wasp's nest and we picked loads of dock leaves to cut down the stinging. Since then, though, I have never been afraid of wasps, and leave them alone, expecting they will do the same to me, which they have done for the last 62 years.


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