‘The Grange’ - Halesowen’s Stately Home
 
 

Today it is important because it is the site of Somers Sports and Social Club, which was the creation of the industrialist Seth Somers, circa 1949. It provides an important amenity for a lot of people for sporting and socialising purposes. Seth, who had taken over as Chairman of Walter Somers Ltd, from his father, the founder, had a vision that the house that he had lived in at various times between 1910 and 1926 should be put to a good purpose. His first reaction was to turn it into a Cottage Hospital but the advent of The National Health Service rendered that unnecessary. He then decided that the 25 acre site would be split with 14 acres of land made over as a public park and recreation site for all time. The rest he placed in the safe hands of Trustees to create a sports and social club to be known as ‘Somers Sports and Social Club’. This included the fine but dilapidated period house and ten acres of land. His ‘dream’ became a reality in 1951 when the property was declared ‘fit for purpose’ with the house made safe for use by the Club and the ten acres of land set out for a variety of sports.

Had Seth not made that decision the house may well have deteriorated beyond repair as rainwater leaked in from roofs where lead and other materials had been stolen. It could have fallen into the hands of developers with visions of putting it to less favourable uses but Seth once again thought of the people.

Recently we have discovered just how important The Grange has been in times now almost forgotten. Once it was at the very heart of a 1257 acre holding with wealth now almost beyond our imagination.  It was the home of Lord Dudley and has links with the poet William Shenstone and The Lytteltons of Hagley Hall. It is indeed Halesowen’s Stately Home.

At times it has been a place of great sadness but for the last 60 years it has brought unsurpassed pleasure to a lot of people because of the vision of one man, his Company and the original Trustees.

Unfortunately, the long term future of The Grange has not been secured, and will be under review when the lease held by Somers Sports and Social Club Ltd expires in the not too distant future.

 

Why is ‘The Grange’ so important?

The Year is 1906

People pose outside the two entrances to ‘The Grange’. One entrance with wooden railings is for horse drawn traffic, the other is for pedestrians. The signpost on the left, by the group of people, points to ‘Manor Lane’, which was then about 10 feet wide.


Today

The position where the woman with the bicycle stands is now the very centre of the traffic island on the A456 - a road carrying over 25,000 vehicles a day

Manor Lane Signpost
opposite ‘The Grange’
circa 1900

Seth Somers still ‘resides’ at The Grange

Fine oil painting  hung in ‘pride of place’ on the staircase wall

His name and generosity will not be forgotten

Ground Floor Plan of The Grange, circa 1940

All that is left of the main house is shown within the dash-lined

rectangle on the left of the image

It is hoped that all those with an interest, no matter how small, will enjoy this site and want to know more about The Grange. If you have anything to contribute then please do be in touch (See Help! page).
Additionally, if you would like your email address added to a list of those wishing to be informed of updates then please send me an email to authorise me to do so.
Finally, before you read more of The Grange on this website, I would ask any party with an interest in buying the finished book to let me know. This would not commit you to buying one but will help me gauge interest and inform you when the book is available.
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