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Black Country Geopark

Geosite 026

Situated in Halesowen on the southern edge of the West Midlands urban conurbation. It is a 57-hectare public park, Site of Special Scientific Interest, containing the remains of one of the most important and influential landscapes of the 18th century.

The garden at The Leasowes was designed by the poet William Shenstone beginning in 1743 and continuing until his death in 1763. Shenstone created his garden from farmland; forming a diverse landscape of wooded valleys, open grassland, lakes and streams. Today, The Leasowes is of major historic significance ranking in importance with landscapes such as Blenheim and Stowe, and being listed as Grade 1 on the English Heritage 'Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England'.

Visitors to The Leasowes would take the famous 'circuit walk'. This path led around the garden allowing every aspect of the design to be fully experienced and appreciated. Walkers would be led past seats and urns carefully positioned to enhance a scene, or to allow the opportunity to rest and admire the carefully created views.

Many of the features also bore poems placed by Shenstone to evoke a sense of mood; some of the seats and urns were also dedicated to Shenstone's close friends. Water was of great importance in the design of The Leasowes and whilst walking around the garden the visitor would be constantly aware of both the sound and sight of water as it flowed through the valleys and rushed over cascades to plunge down into pools.

Nowadays, the most treasured hidden gem is 'Virgils Grove' that were restored to their former glory with £1.3 million Heritage Lottery Funding. Visitors can make the most of their time around the 57 hectare site enjoying walking along the footpaths amongst the wildlife and wildflowers across the reserve.

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Geosite 001 Dudley Museum at the Archives is the Geopark headquarters and promotes the aspiring Black Country Global Geopark - Dudley Museum at the Archives.