Thieves Damage Halesowen's Walled Garden Museum

Burglars broke into the historic Leasowes Walled Garden museum in Halesowen on Tuesday night, and caused extensive damage.

Hales Owen Trust volunteers have lovingly transformed the 18th century garden in the last two years creating a volunteer centre, workshop and museum in old buildings on the site.

However, on Tuesday night, thieves broke into the buildings damaging doors, windows and then stole cash, museum artefacts, an oven, gas cannisters and even a box of teabags.

Leasowes Walled Garden project manager Mick Freer was left “disgusted and devastated” when he discovered the burglary’s aftermath. He said:

“These people are scum and they have to be caught, they are the enemies of the people of Halesowen and should be in court.

“They have put this project back years, they have caused so much damage and robbed us of our income because we will have to pay for everything to get fixed.”

He added: “These gardens were left for the people of Halesowen to enjoy and we have done so much work to improve them.

“It is heartbreaking to see how something like this can break the confidence of everyone involved.

“We want to keep on trying to do our best, and if people in the town believe in what we are doing then they will have to help us out financially.

“This is for the future of Halesowen, it is for the town’s heritage, it is for nature conservation and for future generations.”

Leasowes Park is of historical significance because of the landscaping carried out by poet William Shenstone from 1743 until his death in 1763.

The Hales Owen Abbey Trust, which bought the garden in 2014 from Stourbridge College, has spent around £70,000 on the purchase and facelift and is preparing a lottery bid to build a Victorian greenhouse and visitor centre with a cafe.


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