Blakelands House – The History

Our History

1500 to 1600 – A Cottage at Blakelands is known of from the mid 1500’s.

Wall paintings discovered on the first floor date the cottage to this time.

A farmhouse of some note as it is known to have been two storeys, thought to be of Tudor origin.

The original part of the cottage still forms the main house kitchen today.

 

1638 – Roger Corbett owned the farmhouse.

A plaque of horseshoe nails dates the family connection.

 

1700 – Edward Corbett, son of Roger married Mary and the house was extended from a cottage to a

square adding the Main Hall.

 

1720 – Blakelands was extended to its current size & shape with the addition of the Northern Wing and

Queen Anne Façade.

Edward & Mary had 3 children, the two spinster sisters, Hannah & Mary later founded

The Corbett School in Bobbington village,

which despite moving from its original position following an aircraft accident is still open today,

helped by the original Trust they founded.

 

1799 – The House passed from the sisters to John Charles Beckingham, a Lawyer & Clergyman from London.

He was the son of their cousin Catherine Beckingham.

 

1801 – Sherrington Sparks, a prominent farmer of Bridgnorth bought Blakelands.

 

1802 – The house and lands, some 200 acres including the Royal Oak Public House, Smithy & Cottages at

Halfpenny green are bought by Thomas Bowen, a Malster.

During his time here, a second storey is added to the single storey outbuildings to the rear of the house to

create the Malthouse.

His family are to reside here for nearly 150 years.

 

1924 – The Royal Oak public house was sold from the estate to Banks’s Brewery.

 

1939 – Bobbington Airfield was built by the Air Ministry, who acquired some of its land from Blakelands

 

1947 – Dr Leonard Harvey Eunson buys Blakelands as his country Home.

His practise was at Dudley Port in Tipton. –   The Black Country.

 

1956 – Charles Percival Bolland buys the house less 45 acres at auction for £12,000.

The 45 acres are obtained by Air Ministry.

The Bolland family gifted the Smithy Lands to the Parish to form the Green at Halfpenny Green.

 

1958 – Edward Bolland sells the house and 4.5 acres to Norman Holland. A Dental Surgeon originally from Wolverhampton.

 

1980 – Following an auction of the fixtures, Blakelands sits empty for over a year after

Norman Holland leaves to sail the seas on his yacht.

The Modern History & The Morgan Family

 

1981 – John & Doreen Morgan buy Blakelands from Mr Holland as the family home for themselves

and their sons Paul, David, & Daniel along with Johns father Sam Morgan.

Sam was a retired Coal merchant from Tipton. – The Black Country.

Daniel becomes a pupil at The Corbett School & Doreen initially reuses the existing Pig sty’s attached to the

courtyard stables, the Victorian malt house, & the paddocks to breed Pigs.

A new main entrance driveway is created, the existing drive to the House being too narrow for the increased traffic.

 

1982 – John starts restoring the lake, set in the south corner of the grounds,

silt build up over the years and partial infill by the air ministry in 1940 has left it only 12 to 24 inches deep.

The lake is restocked with 160 Carp and Golden Rudd in 1983.

 

1986 – Following the end of breeding Pigs, The first sign of Blakelands new future appear when Doreen Morgan

starts Cream Teas in the main house and holding Flower demonstrations with her sister Pauline for visiting groups.

 

1991 – The 18th of May sees the very first Wedding Reception held at Blakelands, and then in July,

following a service in Swindon Church Paul & Heather Morgan’s Reception is held here.

Later in the year, work starts on the alterations to the Victorian Malt House

to create a new restaurant & banqueting hall.

 

1992 – Blakelands Restaurant & Banqueting Hall opens on the 31st October

along with three bedrooms in the main house available for accommodation.

John & Doreen win The South Staffordshire Conservation & Design Award for the sympathetic & careful conversion

of the buildings.

Blakelands Barn and the Coach house are sold to help fund the development.

 

1995 – The former Stables, set on the main Courtyard are converted for guest accommodation and open

to add 5 extra bedrooms.

A fourth Generation of the family arrives at Blakelands with the birth of Chloe.

 

1996 – Sam Morgan, Johns father passes away peacefully at home. Following a service at Bobbington Church,

he is laid to rest in Tipton.

In September happier times return with the arrival of a new Samuel Morgan when Paul & Heathers son is born.

 

1998 – Blakelands Barn, Sold in 1992, a brick Hay barn and cart store to the north of Blakelands

is repurchased and opens initially providing four additional bedrooms all named after Blakelands former Owners,

Thomas Bowen, Charles Beckingham, Sherrington Sparks and Dr Leonard Harvey Eunson.

The building is now known as Blakelands Lodge.

 

1999 – The Coach House, next to the main house, originally sold in 1992, to fund development,

returns to the Estate as home to Paul Morgan, his wife Heather and their two children, Chloe & Sam.

The Estate is now back together as in 1981.

Chloe enrols as a pupil at the Corbett School, in Bobbington, founded by the Corbett sisters.

 

2000 – June – The new Lodge Restaurant and Bar opens in the Lodge Building, along with 3 extra bedrooms,

taking the total to 15 letting rooms, each still retaining an individual style.

The three new bedrooms are named after another previous owner, the Bolland family, who still live and farm the area today,

part of this family own & run the successful Winery at Halfpenny Green.

The former Malthouse restaurant is now home to main reception and administration offices.

 

2001 – January – A complete rewiring of the House and some internal remodelling work was undertaken,

including restoring the original centre doorway from the Morning room into the Main Hall.

Sam Morgan becomes a pupil at the Corbett School.

By the end of 2001, Blakelands had hosted 600 Wedding receptions with over 50,000 guests.

 

2002 – Paul Morgan is appointed a Governor of The Corbett School

Doreen Morgan erects an Armillary centrally on the Front Lawns to commemorate the Golden Jubilee.

 

2004 – Eve’s Folly, a thatched Summer house, half glazed & painted is erected

overlooking the lake by Doreen Morgan.

 

2006 – The Lake is landscaped & ‘Morgan’s Mound’ is created.

The mound is situated in Dove Meadow & a winding walk to the top gives long open views over the surrounding countryside.

We also hosted our 1000th Wedding reception.

 

2008 – The formal gardens of the House are relandscaped with the addition of the Bandstand to the Southern end.

 

2009 – The works to the formal gardens continue with the addition of the Water feature at the Northern End of the lawns.

 

2011 – The Bandstand is now licensed for Civil Wedding Ceremonies, allowing us to host weddings on the gardens.

 

2012 – The first outdoor Wedding takes place in July, as we celebrate our 20th Birthday year since opening.

 

2013 – The Maltings Barn is addded to the list of Civil Ceremony Rooms, couples can now choose to be married in Blakelands House, on the Lawns or with upto 100 guests indoors in the Barn.

 

2016 – Remodelling & re-roofing work to the link building between Blakelands House & the Maltings building sees the creation of ‘The Bridal Loft’, a self contained Bridal Preparation area which allows for brides to arrive from 9.30am to prepare for their day, avoiding any potential crossover with couples from a previous days wedding.

 

 

Ever Onwards…………

 

 

 

Blakelands House has always been a centre of activity, a local employer, and first and foremost a family home.

Its history, from its beginnings as a small cottage, through to the grander house that sits here today has changed

and altered with the times.

Through its changing architecture, it traces the history of each family that has cared for & loved it.

We hope we have honoured its history.