Stevens Park, Wollescote (Wollescote Park)
The name 'Wollescote' is derived from the Saxon 'Wulhere's cot'. Earliest records of the area date back to 1282, and tells of a family that lived in the area, Agnes and Walter DeWlfrecote. Wollescote Hall was build four centuries later in the 1600s and has housed many families over the years.
One family, the Millwards, owned the hall for over 340 years from 1508. Thomas Milward lived here in the 17th Century and when the civil war started he supported the King. In 1643 Prince Rupert used the hall as his base and after his loss at the Battle of Stourbridge Common the Prince escaped to the Hall where Thomas hid him in an old well. The Millwards stayed in the Hall up to 1848 when it was put up for sale.
It was owned by the Stevens family in the early twentieth century and this grade two listed building was given to the people of Lye and Wollescote by Ernest Stevens in 1930. Ernest Stevens was a wealthy local industrialist who created his wealth in the enamelled hollowware trade. His were manufactured in Cradley Heath and were sold under the “Judge Trademark”.
Ernest Stevens stipulated that the hall was to benefit the community with the provision that there would be no discussions of politics, drinking of alcohol and ball games on Sundays. The hall was rented out to Worcester Education Department as an annexe to Folley College Art Department in 1971 but the building fell into disrepair soon after the college left the building.
In 1991 renovation work commenced and it is now occupied by the Lye/Wollescote Sons of Rest and part of the Social Services Department of Dudley Council.
The Friends of Wollescote Park meet regulary in the Sons of Rest Room in Wollescote Hall. See Get Involved for more details and date of next meeting.