News

Treasures from Worcestershire’s Past: ~1~ Netherton House image

  • 29th November 2013

Following on from the success of our Explore Your Archive feature, which ran throughout last week; today we are introducing a new feature: Treasures from Worcestershire’s Past. For the next year we will be featuring a treasure from across the Archive and Archaeology Service each week – that’s a total of 52 treasures to demonstrate what wonders can be found amongst our collections. For our first week we are bringing you an image of Netherton House:

If you were on the site of The Hive 200 years ago what would you have seen?

You never know what you might find in the archives, although sometimes you will draw a blank when searching. A few years ago we had some volunteers researching the history of the site of The Hive before we moved in, to help with the exhibition we were planning for the opening. On a map of 1741 we found a house just to the east of the site but weren’t sure what it was. Searching through the archives we discovered it was Netherton House, a gentleman’s house with garden, owned by the Smith family. We couldn’t find any picture of the house in the archives. However our researchers extended their search elsewhere, and came across a picture of Netherton House, showing the grandness, as well as well dressed young men walking in the grounds or relaxing in the freshly cut hay. The Friends of Worcestershire Archives then helped us to purchase this picture, to help us tell the story of the site of our new home and the wider story of Worcester.

Maps show that The Butts was an open area outside of the city, and a number of people built summer houses in the fields. Today it is hard to image that it was almost a rural idyll as you look round and see and hear the hustle and bustle of the city centre. The house continued in the hands of the Smiths, and we found prenuptial agreements in the archives showing that the house remained the property of two nieces even after their marriages, preventing their husbands taking control. Further investigation showed that it later became a school for young men.

Photos are a fantastic resource in our collections, but engraving and pictures can take us back even further, showing what places were like before the dawn of photography. This is one of our treasures because it is lovely picture of the area we are now based, the excitement of discovering it, and also because it is the only representation we can find of a lost building of Worcester.

Comments are closed.

Related news


  • 24th June 2022
Worcestershire Heritage Day – Sat 16 July

We are pleased to be hosting a Worcestershire Heritage Day on Saturday 16th July, as part of The Hive at Ten events marking 10 years since The Hive opened. To celebrate this milestone, local heritage venues and organisations will be joining us between 10am and 4pm with displays and activities. There’ll be lots to see...

  • 22nd June 2022
Happy Windrush Day 2022

Happy Windrush Day 2022!   This is the fifth national celebration and marks 74 years since the SS Empire Windrush carried the first Caribbean migrants to the UK to help re-build Britain after WWII. Ancestors From Overseas Worcestershire Archive has two books of relevance in our reference library. These provide some useful background information and pointers...

  • 16th June 2022
Market Garden Heritage App

A new app has been launched on the Google Play and Apple Stores about market garden heritage in the Vale of Evesham. It is part of the culmination of the Market Gardening Heritage Project, funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund and led by Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service. The app brings together research and oral...