10:09am Thursday 19th September 2013
A UNIQUE 18th century Halesowen cottage has been awarded Grade 2 listed building status - saving it for future generations.
The little-known tumbledown cottage has become Hasbury’s only nationally recognised building and its listing marks the fulfilment of a lifelong quest to save it by a man who grew up next door.
Built as a farm labourer’s cottage, it became home to a nail-maker with a nail shop being added in the 19th century and is the last surviving building constructed from local sandstone in Hasbury.
Freelance architectural historian and historic buildings consultant Lee Hutchings made it his quest to protect the cottage which has stood for more than 300 years in Hagley Road.
He remembers the elderly couple who lived there when he was a child and although the property belongs to one of their descendants, it has been empty for more than 20 years.
Now working in Manchester, although his parents still live next door to the semi-derelict cottage, Mr Hutchings compiled research and put together a report with images and maps which he sent to English Heritage for assessment.
In listing the cottage, EH said: “No. 260 Hagley Road is not only of interest on the grounds that it is believed to be Hasbury’s sole surviving nail-maker’s cottage and nail shop, but also for being one of only three intact examples which are known to survive in this area of the West Midlands.”
Mr Hutchings hopes the cottage will now be restored sympathetically either by the current owner or sold to an enthusiast.
“It would make someone a lovely home, it’s a pretty building because of the red standstone,” he said.
He added: “All my life I’ve been trying to get it recognised as an important and rare piece of Hasbury and Halesowen’s social and architectural history which was moments away from being totally lost.The roof is half collapsed and it’s very unsafe but almost totally untouched.”
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