Haden Hill House

By Mick Pearson

Editor's Note - Please do not email me about Haden Hill House - we are not a contact point for the house. Their telephone number is 01384-569444, their address is also shown below.


How to find Haden Hill House

Opening Times/other information

A copy of the Haden Family Tree

Haden Hill House Museum and Haden Old Hall

19th Century Curate
Rev George Barrs

Please note contact details for Haden
Hill House are on the left.

I cannot help with information
about weddings or other functions.

Paul Barnett has kindly supplied census information for Haden Hill House for the period 1841-1901. You can find a link here:

- census -

(added 01/06/2008)

Also, Paul has provided a Haden Family History tree, produced by Walter Bassano. The link is here:

- tree -

Again, Paul has provided us with the 1911 census detail for Haden Hill House. The link is here:

- 1911 -

Haden Hill House, as seen today, is Victorian, built in 1878 by George Alfred Haden - Haden Best (1839-1921). The Haden family had owned the surrounding land since the 13th century and built the adjoining Haden Hall from the 17th century onwards. Haden Hall is under restoration, and there are annual open days for the public to view progress.

George Alfred inherited Haden Hall, the Haden fortune and estate in 1877. He landscaped the surrounding park to complement his new house, where he lived with his two adopted daughters, Emily Bryant and Alice Cockin. In 1921 Mr Best died, and a three-day sale of the contents of the house was held in February 1922. The House, Hall and park were saved by a committee, which raised money from local people and businesses. The estate was presented to the then Rowley Regis Urban District Council, for the public's enjoyment. Since 1922 the house has provided a variety of uses for the local community. During World War 2 ration books were issued here, a Ministry of Food store was maintained, and local families who had been bombed out were given overnight accommodation in the library.

The house is furnished as it would have been between 1878 and 1921, when it was Mr Best's home. Although we have very little of Mr Best's original furniture, we are lucky to have the 1922 sales catalogue so that each room is being displayed as closely as possible to how it would have looked at the time.

The Library

This room was Mr Best's favourite. It has all the original oak panelling and, if you look at the ceiling, there is a fish detail around the light fitting. Originally the room would have been lit by gas, or a petroleum lamp; the house did not have electric lights installed until after 1922. The fireplace has reproduction tiles and a restored cast iron grate: coal was the main fuel used. The glazed overmantle is original to the house and on the mantelpiece stands an Edwardian clock and two late Victorian vases.

The furniture in this room includes an oak chest c.1750, situated behind the door. The initials AS stand for Ann Smart who owned the chest and lived in Coseley. Sitting on top of the chest is an oak bible box. Around the tilt top table is a set of 4 Victorian chairs. To the left of the door there is a Victorian desk with a glazed Art Nouveau bookcase above. The oak chair in front of the desk is a captain's chair. The red armchair, settee, and 4 chairs originally belonged to Mr Best and were purchased by the Friends of Haden Hill Estate and returned to the house in 1996. The glazed case contains a variety of wildlife including ducks, kingfishers and a moorhen. Stuffed animals were very popular with the Victorians, and Mr Best originally had many glazed cases of stuffed animals in the house. The bookcases contain books dating from the early 18th to early 20th century. Also in the cases is some china, commemorating the Trinity Sunday School at Old Hill, which Mr Best helped to establish and run. Some of the books are those presented to Sunday School scholars by Mr Best. The key was presented to John Shaw, Alice Cockin's husband, in 1922, to thank him for his work in transferring Haden Hill House, Haden Hall and the park to the then Rowley Regis Urban District Council.

The Entrance Hall

The brass floor grating originally allowed warm air, generated from a Geest boiler in the cellar, to circulate around the hall. The tiled floor is an original Minton floor of 1878, produced in their factory in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire. The long case clock dates from the early 19th century, and has been restored. Near the clock is a Victorian oak hall sideboard. At the far end of the hall are a pair of stained glass doors with the letter B for Best in them, as well as flora and fauna motifs, reflecting Mr Best's interest in wildlife.

The Dining Room

This room was one of the principal rooms for entertaining guests for luncheon and for formal dinners. William Morris reproduction wallpaper has been used in this room to recreate how the house would have been decorated. Below the wallpaper is the original panelling. The ceiling has a beautiful ceiling rose to complement the cornice. The oak furniture includes a Victorian dining table and chairs, a side table and a Victorian dresser containing a Royal Albert Service. This room is, at present, licensed for Civil Weddings.

The main feature of interest is the fireplace and its overmantle, made of oak and decorated with ebony. There are reproduction marble fireplace tiles and columns, with a restored cast iron grate. Above this is the restored original glazed oak overmantle, complete with some original fabric (c.1878) at the top. The ornaments on the mantlepiece include a marble and ormolu clock, an imari ceramic duck and a number of other ornaments and plates.

The Morning Room

This room would have been used by the family to read the newspapers, write letters, and also for hobbies during the morning. The room has a beautifully restored oak panelled ceiling, which features a repeat of the carved fish motif found in the library. The furniture includes an Edwardian inlaid octagonal table by the window. There are many other items of interest in this room.

The Business Room

This room had a variety of functions. It was used by Mr Best to conduct his estate business, he would use this room to see tenants and tradespeople who would come to the back door of the house. It was also used as a billiard room, smoking room, and to house Mr Best's butterfly collection. Today, the room contains family trees of the Haden family, local views, and information on how the house, hall and park were presented to the council in 1922.

The Housekeepers Room

This room has its original oak window shutters and housekeeper's cupboards. The walls are decorated with a William Morris reproduction wallpaper called Willow.

The Guest Bedroom

This room contains a magnificent brass half tester bed made in 1890 by Evered and Company of Smethwick. It has a handmade black and white striped tick mattress and a pyjama case monogrammed GHB (George Haden Best). The main pieces of furniture are the floral upholstered chaise longue and matching chairs. There is also a Victorian cherrywood chest of drawers and an Edwardian washstand complete with Doulton accessories. The fireplace tiles are original to the house and decorated with poppies. The grate and overmantle have been restored.

The Drawing Room

This room was used for entertaining guests. The wallpaper is reproduction "Michaelmas Daisy" by William Morris. The main item of interest is the Dutch bombe cabinet containing a Royal Albert service. There is a Collard and Collard burr walnut grand piano that was made in Dublin, donated to the house in 1999 by the Friends of Haden Hill Estate. The view from this room is extensive, and Clent Hills can be seen on a clear day.

The house has:

  • Conference facilities
  • License for Civil Marriages
  • Guided tours: please telephone to book
  • Evening talks and tours available for local societies
  • School visits welcomed: KS2 History/Victorians. Handling collections available for loan to schools.
  • Victorian tearoom open at weekends
  • Souvenir shop
  • 10 minute walk from Old Hill station
  • Bus stop 2/3 minutes walk

Opening hours:
10am-5pm Monday-Thursday
10am-4.30pm Friday
1pm-5pm weekends

Service buses, 136/137 Birmingham to Gornalwood
247 Stourbridge to Dudley circular (clockwise)
248 Stourbridge to Dudley circular (anti-clockwise)
All these buses stop on the Halesowen Road

Old Hill Station is 10 minutes walk away

The Haden Family Tree

From Halesowen Chronicle dated 29th July 2004

Haden Hall is to receive £330,000 as part of Sandwell Council's "Preserving the Past, Looking to the Future" programme. Experts believe more can be done to make people more aware of their historical heritage. The money will enable major restoration work at the hall. Sandwell Council is also looking to hold more living history tours. Councillor Linda Horton said "We want to make the most of our museums so they provide world class learning opportunities."

1911 Census for Haden Hill House

Schedule Type
Last Names
First Names
Birth Year
Household Blozzard Annie F 1884 27 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Cooksey Annie Eliza F 1865 46 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Cooksey Audrey Bassano F 1902 9 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Cooksey Thomas M 1855 56 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Slanton Lilian Gertrude F 1887 24 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Willetts Betsy F 1889 22 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Bassano Agnes F 1871 40 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Bassano Alfred Hill M 1863 48 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Fanny Hayward F 1887 24 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Robson Anne F 1852 59 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Bird Hannah F 1861 50 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Bryant Bertha Emma F 1870 41 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Cope Charles M 1853 58 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Easthope Hannah Sophia F 1882 29 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Haden Best George Alfred Haden M 1840 71 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Payne Anne F 1856 55 Dudley Staffordshire
Household Simmons Lucy Florence F 1887 24 Dudley Staffordshire