B75 - Grid reference SP144989
This tiny hamlet in rural east Sutton is named after the nearby stream which runs north-to-south to join Langley brook east of The Lindridge.
The 1841 Census shows that there were two farms here and the tollhouse occupied by the family of Thomas More, the toll collector. The house, which still stands, almost certainly dates from the opening of the Sutton-Bassetts Pole (for Tamworth) turnpike in 1807. Now known as Collets Brook Farm, this is a Grade II Listed building. The original house is rectangular, 2-up-2 down. It has a central bayed entrance typical of such buildings to enable the toll collector to see both ways along the road without leaving the house. The house was later extended with a wing at rear. This may have occurred when the road was disturnpiked in 1872. The house is currently unoccupied and in a poor state of repair (2012).
In 1840 this road was reported to be in poor condition, the revenue having fallen because of competition from the railways. The Birmingham-Derby railway (via Tamworth) had opened in 1842; the Birmingham-Sutton branch line opened in 1862 and was extended to Lichfield in 1884. This was exacerbated by the abolition of statute labour which had first been introduced in respect of main roads under the Highways Act of 1555. Parishes had the responsibility of raising the obligatory labour of the inhabitants to work on the roads annually (usually for six days) without payment. The Highway Act of 1835 still vested responsibility for the maintenance of highways in the parish, but abolished statute labour. After the road was disturnpiked the County took over the maintainance of the highways.
William Dargue 21.01.09/ 20.10.2012
For 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps of Birmingham go to British History Online.