William Dargue  A History of BIRMINGHAM Places & Placenames from A to Y

Note about this Site


This website is a radical rearrangement of material that I compiled for my History of Birmingham on Your Doorstep, an electronic document that I started working on many years ago, but which was first published in July 2000 on the Birmingham Grid for Learning website (now defunct). You can download it from this website -  William Dargue's History of Birmingham on Your Doorstep 2008


I had uploaded the bulk of the material onto this website by August 2008, and over the years have made many alterations and additions. It is my intention not to undertake any further work on this website.


William Dargue 1st February 2021



  • This document covers the City of Birmingham Metropolitan District, but also some significant nearby localities outside the city.
  • Many of our placenames originate with the Anglo-Saxons. The terms Angle, Anglian and Saxon refer to closely related peoples originating in northern Holland, north-west Germany and southern Denmark who spoke mutually comprehensible dialects of the same language. Angles made their way to the West Midlands from the east via the Tame valley; the (West) Saxons came from the south via the Severn valley.
  • The usual term for the early medieval language is Old English, though it may be referred to as Anglo-Saxon. By the Middle Ages Old English evolved into Middle English, the language of Chaucer, and by Tudor times into early Modern English, the language of Shakespeare. Old English words are printed in italics, their translation between inverted commas.
  • Where known, the earliest documented date of each placename is given. However, placenames predate the first surviving record by many years. Some of the earliest records of placenames are found in surnames eg. Hugh de la Haye who was recorded in 1171 provides the first reference to the Hay in Hay Mills. Hugh had taken his name from the place where he lived.
  • Apostrophes are usually omitted in placenames.
  • Dates on my articles show the original date they were written and when they were last revised.