was validated on 23 December 2013 by Walsall Planners. Be aware you only have a limited time to make your comments known. To confuse everyone Walsall Planners did not place the statutory notices on site and in local newspapers until much later. It should all have been synchronised properly. David Elsworthy, head of planning and building control for Walsall Council has recently assured everyone that "all representations will be taken into account up until its meeting on March 13." Nevertheless, it is imperative that you make your views known at the earliest possible opportunity to achieve maximum impact. You can download the official letter of notification, giving instructions on how to access the mass of submitted documentation, by clicking here.



Access recent documentation HERE including a 6-page leaflet detailing the half-truths and misinformation being circulated about this planning application.

I have been intimately involved with every aspect relating to the fortunes of Great Barr Hall for forty years. This spectacular heritage asset is of international importance as the "favourite meeting place" of the much-celebrated Lunar Society of Birmingham. This constellation of superior minds (Boulton, Watt, Wedgwood, Darwin, Priestley, Withering and others) has rightfully been described as “…the most remarkable group of thinkers and inventors in the eighteenth century—which had a more potent effect upon civilisation than that of any other society in history.” The true role of Great Barr Hall in Lunar Society history (members met here between 1785 and 1797 when Samuel Galton Jnr FRS took a lease) has only recently been properly explored and this research has been written up in a series of papers which you can download and explore at your leisure. Please respect the copyright restrictions, including use on social media and websites. Having read these papers you should better understand why this much-ailing building MUST be restored for posterity.

I have written extensively on the Scott family over the years: the connections to the Bronté family; the near-loss of the complete estate when a forged will was presented; the very significant contribution of Sir Francis Edward Scott towards Birmingham's emerging social institutions; the tragic life of his wife, Lady Muriel Anne Scott; the astonishing social life of the family. All very entertaining stuff but the Lunar Society period is considerably more important to our regional history. If fully exploited, for educational purposes and commercial advantage it can elevate this building to its rightful place as a beacon in the highly-important eighteenth-century Enlightenment landscape of the West Midlands.

Others have begun to recognise this important link with the Lunar Society. Professor Tony Seaton is currently working on a full biography of Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck, the eldest daughter of Samuel Galton Jnr and a considerable writer of the Jane Austen era. The only eye-witness acounts of any Lunar Society meetings (they met at each others residences on a monthly basis) comes from the pen of this woman, who spent here childhood at Great Barr Hall. On another tack, I have recently been approached by Geoff Henderson, Director of the prestigous Digital Native Academy, now based in the Jewellery Quarter. He is very enthusiastic about exploiting my Great Barr Hall material: "There’s a golden thread running from BMAG to Soho House to Soho Manufactory to Great Barr Hall and on down to Black Country Living Museum. I’m sure there are others I’ve missed off what could be a major industrial heritage trail. To me the question is why haven’t the marketing, tourism and industrial heritage professionals done something about it before now? Or am I missing something? The fact that these treasures straddle four local authority boundaries might having something to do with it."

Please read the documents about the Lunar Society era at Great Barr Hall by clicking HERE. You wilI be one of the first to access this primary source material.You can access a considerable amount of earlier website material on Great Barr Hall, including detailed planning documentation on the original Bovis Homes Netherhall site, by entering the "Great Barr Hall" portal above. :::: Last updated 4 April 2014