Historic Kidderminster Project

Engraving of St Mary's church

Can we unearth the secrets of St Mary's churchyard?

Nigel Gilbert has led the Historic Kidderminster Project since its formation in 2006. It was set up by the Civic Society in partnership with archaeologists of Worcestershire County Council to create a record of the town’s buildings of historical interest – past and present.

The purpose is to enhance awareness of Kidderminster’s proud history, although it does not now look as though it has one. Also, it is intended to create a record easily accessible by planners, so that conservation can be properly considered and the destruction of the past avoided.

The town centre has been devastated by the ring road. Many buildings key to the history of the town have been lost, including listed buildings. The Lion Hotel, Richard Baxter’s house, the Library and School of Art buildings, and the cellar of Harveys Wine Merchants to name but a few.

To read any of the 150 or so historical reports produced so far by HKP, go to www.kidcivicsoc.org.uk The project, which was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund until 2008, commissioned a radar survey of the churchyard. This work was undertaken by GSB of Bradford, who work with Time Team on Channel Four. They found that there was an area of structural remains underground. This may be the lost Saxon monastery or church mentioned in the charter of 736 and which gives the “minster” to the town’s name.

It is hoped that further work will be undertaken to identify these remains.