William Dargue A History of BIRMINGHAM Places & Placenames from A to Y
B6 - Grid reference SP066899
Bristle-lands-end first record 1783
There are many names whose derivation is obscure. Although they may well be Anglo-Saxon or medieval in origin, their first recorded instance is too late to give a good indication of their original elements. This name, which has now fallen out of use, is of uncertain origin: 'brist' may derive from Old English beorc meaning 'birch', or from bryst meaning a 'gap' or 'pass'. On the other hand the name may derive from the family name of a local landowner. 'End' denotes that it was a settlement at the far end of the manor, in this case Handsworth.
William Hutton in his 1783 History of Birmingham described the route of the Roman Icknield Street as passing this way:
Ikenield-street . . . extends . . . over Handsworth-heath, entering a little lane on the right of Bristle-lands-end, and over the river Tame, at Offord-mill, [Holford] directly to Sutton Coldfield.
Icknield Street, the Roman road to Wall is believed to start in the vicinity of Metchley Roman fort. Its route across the City Centre is unknown, but it is believed to follow the modern roads of Great Hampton Row and Wheeler Street, Stoneleigh Road and Wellhead Lane to the Old Ford (Holford) on the River Tame, then along Kingstanding Road to cross the west side of Sutton Park where the agger is still clearly visible in places.
The name, Bristnalls End, described a location south of Birchfields on Birchfield Road, just south of Trinity Road.
William Dargue 25.09.2008/ 31.07.2010
For 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps of Birmingham go to British History Online.