On my work journey between Lichfield and Stafford, I used to drive past Wolseley Bridge twice a day, twice a week for two years, always curious about the collection of buildings and machinery opposite The Wolseley Centre and always meaning to return and take a proper look. Today I finally did!
The buildings house antiques, arts and craft businesses. Most are rescued relics from the our agricultural past – barns, stables and dovecotes. The main barn, facing the road, is thought to date back to the 17th century. It was taken down from Parchfield Farm in Colwich and re-erected here in 1985 and there’s a photograph here on Staffordshire Past Track of the work being carried out.
Today I was lucky enough to see the re-construction of a timber framed building taking place for myself. Willey Barn came to Wolseley from Willey Lodge, in Presteigne, Powys in 1990. By 1993 one half of the barn, a three bay cart shed, had been rebuilt at Wolseley using traditional techniques but the second half, the granary, had remained in storage until now. There are some photographs of the barn in its original location on the planning application (details below).
Other buildings on site are the Moreton Stable and Cattle Shelter, the Ranton Barns, a Dovecote and an RAC callbox. Amidst the agricultural machinery is what looks like a small mine cart with part of a track and an old petrol pump (but please correct me if I’m wrong). I think it’s fantastic that they have been preserved and given a new lease of life here and would really like to know more about their origins.
Incredibly, the biggest curio of the day for me was not found amongst this collection but up a track leading away from the craft complex and towards the Wolseley Park Estate. I have plumbed both the depths of the internet and my imagination but as yet can’t find an explanation for this fenced-in stone structure. Does anyone else know anything?
Planning application: 12/16670/FUL | Extension to provide additional exhibition area | Willey Barn Wolseley Bridges Colwich Stafford Staffordshire ST17 0XS