William Dargue A History of BIRMINGHAM Places & Placenames from A to Y
Colborne Fields/ Colbourne Fields
B1 - Grid reference SP065859
First record 1517
Colborne Fields were originally demesne lands, ie. farmland belonging to the lord of the manor. At the time of the 16th-century surveys of the manor they were tenanted by Richard Russell, a member of a wealthy Birmingham family. The fields lay between Holloway Head and Bell Barn Road. The second element of this name, may derive from an Old or Middle English word which means a 'clear stream', but it was a word also used to signify a 'boundary stream'.
Cole, may derive from the Celtic word for 'hazel trees'; it is the name of one of Birmingham's rivers. A small stream used to run down from Bell Barn Road to join the River Rea near Belgrave Middleway. This watercourse marked the boundary between the manors of Birmingham and Edgbaston. Furthermore, it is known that the River Rea was in early times sometimes recorded as The Cole. So the Colborne Fields were probably named from the fact that they lay along a stream marking the boundary between the ancient manors of Birmingham and Edgbaston.
For the urban development of these lands, see Lee Bank.
William Dargue 01.08.2010
For 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps of Birmingham go to British History Online.