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Campaign launched to save historic buildings near Lichfield

The Woodhouse at Hopwas. Pic: Mark Lorenzo

The Woodhouse at Hopwas. Pic: Mark Lorenzo

A last-ditch campaign to save an historic building near Lichfield from demolition has been launched.

The group of red-brick buildings at Hopwas – known as the Woodhouse – are believed to have begun life as a gamekeeper’s lodge since the 1700s.

But with a demolition order now in place, archaeology graduate and blogger Mark Lorenzo is launching a campaign to save the buildings and find out more about their history.

He explained:

“It’s a unique set of buildings – I don’t know how many 18th century gamekeepers lodges in their original settings exist in the UK but I’m guessing you can count them on one hand.

“I don’t know when it was abandoned and the reasons why, but it’s not mentioned in any listed building lists or any official register which is crazy considering the uniqueness of the set of buildings and its history.”

Mark has traced part of the background to the site – and discovered that it may have started out as a lodge built in the 18th Century.

He continued:

“After falling into debt it was sold to John Levett. At this time he was living at the house working as a gamekeeper. Hopwas Wood was passed to his nephew Thomas Levett and,  from my own investigations, it appears that  it was inhabited by Joseph Tomlinson, the woodsman  and his family in 1834.”

Mark has already outlined his discoveries on his blog – but believes there is more to find out about the unusual buildings.

Although the demolition could take place at any stage, Mark has said he plans to find out whether the site could be listed to protect it in the short term at least.

And he has called on local residents to join his campaign. He added:

“I urge anyone who cares about our shared heritage to make as much noise as possible about this.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

1 Comment

  1. Lorna Bushell

    18th November, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    The house is older than the 18th century- back to the 16th, although little of this remains. Have you looked in the VCH volume on Lichfield – in the library.
    Why not join the Friends of Hopwas Wood. See the website.The garden must have been fantastic too!
    I have a few photos taken some years ago, including inside on a visit wth aTamworth heritage society, with Stefan Netz.They were hoping to live there as two families. there are references to a round house there too. I cold go on……..1