For many centuries this area was known as a “wild and desolate” place, but in an ever changing world, Hazel Slade or simply “The Slade” to locals – has withstood the ravages of time, and now it has become a most attractive village. It is now known in Estate Agents terminology as “a much sought after place in which to live” with a single property value currently in excess of £300,000. I am sure my Grandfather would have never in his whole lifetime imagined such wealth for his village – particularly when all the old terraced houses were built in the 1870’s for less than £100 each.
It is worth noting that the whole of the village and the surrounding countryside has been held or owned, by the Paget family and prior to the 12th century by the Crown and the Church. It has only been since 1968 that individuals have been able to own freeholds, but even today it is understood “The Marquis” does have some underground mineral rights.
Hazel Slade often described as one word is set within a glade or dell in an area known as “Hednesford Hills” which is within the southern sections of the Cannock Chase Forest, South Staffordshire. At its lowest point is the Bentley Brook which eventually winds its way to the River Trent at Rugeley some 4 miles away. Since 1920 the village at its highest point has been dominated by the championship Golf Course “Beaudesert” and the 2nd hole, now denuded with tree cover, overlooks the whole village.
Trees abound and the local vistas are a sight to behold. The newly formed Hazel Slade nature reserve encourages wildlife to be plentiful and often the famous Chase Fallow deer can be seen hereabouts.
The last and only remnant of the 1870’s village is the “SLADE PUB” which still stands on the corner of Cannock Wood Street and Rugeley Road leaning into Hednesford Hills and is still the focal point of the village.