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Wolverley Conservation Area

Wolverley Conservation Area was designated in 1972 and is located west of the River Stour running northwards from its confluence with the Horse Brook.

Wolverley village has grown up on land given by a Mercian King in 866 AD to Wulfeard, a Saxon leader, from whence it gets its name. The Knight family undertook much development in Wolverley in the mid 18th Century, but the most dominant building, The Old Sebright School, is built on a site at the centre of the village which was provided in the will of William Sebright in 1620. This eldest son of a prominent farming family made his fortune as a merchant in London and left a foundation for the establishment of a school for the children of Wolverley.

The Old School House, along with Wolverley House and St. John the Baptist Church are the three Grade II* Listed Buildings which form the major vertebrae of the Holloway which is the backbone of the Conservation Area. This narrow routeway has been cut into the sandstone cliff at the southern end of the Conservation Area, and through the rocky hill in the northern part where it forms a deep cutting too narrow to accommodate two way traffic which is controlled by lights.

There are thirteen listed structures in all. These are augmented by the many smaller eighteenth and nineteenth century characterful buildings scattered throughout the length of the village. Many, having been converted from their previous uses, are now residences for people who work in the surrounding towns.

The centre of Wolverley nestles in the Horse Brook valley at the foot of a sandstone cliff surmounted by the church. The base of the church tower is probably the only surviving part of the original church built in 1174. The new church was erected in 1772. Adjacent to the church stands the old manor house known as Bury Hall.

The open character of the village "square'' is reinforced by the largest building, the Old School House, being set back and "winged" by the Music Room and the Knight House. Although the Old School House is dated 1620 being the time of its foundation, the present building was not erected until 1849.

The northern part of the Conservation Area is dominated by Wolverley House which was built in the mid 18th Century by Edward Knight. The coach-house (now called Lucas Buildings) and The Dovecote, together with the imposing gate posts, and The Birches - a 19th Century gentleman's residence opposite, form an impressive group of Listed Buildings. This group is surrounded by clusters of varied mature trees. Indeed, the Conservation Area is endowed with a wide range of trees which enhance its character.

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