William Dargue A History of BIRMINGHAM Places & Placenames from A to Y
B32 - Grid reference SO995834
At the north-west end of Woodgate Valley Country Park, the placename, Barelands denotes 'waste', poorer land that was not being farmed productively. However, the name also indicates that woodland here was at some stage put to good use by coppicing. This entailed cutting the trees every few years almost to ground level to encourage rapid long straight growth. Such woodland was a valuable asset, the timber being used for fencing, wattle, tools or firewood. (See coppicing in the Glossary A-F.)
Wilderness Farm is a name with similar implications: this was later known as Moor Farm ie. 'marshland' farm, and stood north of Clapgate Lane.
William Dargue 30.07.2010
For 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps of Birmingham go to British History Online.