Halesowen Abbey and Associated Water Control Features
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County Council (Unitary)
Halesowen and Rowley Regis
SJ977977 (397675, 282815)
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The remains of the associated water management system and mill sites at Halesowen Abbey. The position chosen for establishing the Abbey at this point of natural springs may have been significant, and chosen due to the presence of pre-existing ritual landscape centred on the springs. How the water was provided to the abbey buildings is not clear, although it was certainly from the east, probably fed from the contour leat, as well as from springs from the west. Immediately to the north and north east of the precinct are the earthwork remains of a series of large ponds. The water control system for these ponds appears to have been quite complex. A bypass leat is visible running parallel to the south side of the ponds and it forms the north boundary of the inner precinct. Earthworks indicate the ponds were connected to this channel and to each adjacent pond by sluices. A further pond may have existed to the west of the approach road to Manor Farm. The valley to the south of the conventual buildings has been dammed to create ponds, their retaining banks remain visible as earthworks. It is thought that the central pond was used to provide a water supply for the latrines, situated in the south range of the cloister. At the south end of the retaining bank of this central pond, are the remains of levelled platforms thought to be the remains of former watermill sites. The tail-races for these watermills remain visible as depressions adjacent to the mill platforms. A prominent earthwork, the south boundary of the site, runs south-west from the retaining bank in the south-east part of the site. The position of this ditch and its relationship with the south pond indicate that it carried water and clearly served as part of the monastery's water-control system. The west end of the ditch widens into a double-ditched feature with a linear earthwork situated between the two ditches. This feature is considered to be the site of a number of mills associated with the monastery.
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