William Dargue A History of BIRMINGHAM Places & Placenames from A to Y
B14 - Grid reference SP069806
Shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1831 at the junction of Featherstone Road and Brandwood Road, Brandwood End, the name seems to include the term 'cuckold', a perjorative word dating from late Old English denoting a man who, unwittingly, has an adulterous wife. This is a common name across the country and may or may not denote the place where there was a ducking stool on which to punish the errant wife. There would have to have been a stream or pond deep enough to submerge a seated woman, though early Ordnance Survey maps seem show neither here.
Names, especially of fields, including reference to the cuckoo are also commonly found, and this may actually be the origin of the name here. These names have not been satisfactorily explained. They may relate to the presence of a cuckoo in that place; they may refer to the plant, meadow bittercress also known as cuckoo flower or lady’s-smock (Cardamine pratensis) which grows in boggy places of little agricultural use; or it has been suggested that they refer to a jocular and widespread folk tale where the people of a village make a pen to stop the cuckoo flying away so as to make the summer last last longer, which may in turn relate to a pre-Christian religious practice.
B24/ B73 - Grid reference SP116928
This Cuckolds Corner is referred to in William West's History, Topography and Directory of Warwickshire of 1830. A number of Itineraries are shown for routes across the county, including one from Atherstone to Birmingham. 2 miles 1 furlong from Sutton and 5 furlongs before Erdington is Cuckolds Corner. This is the junction the Chester Road and Sutton Road.
William Dargue 02.11.2008/ 22.09.2012
For 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps of Birmingham go to British History Online.
For Cuckolds Corner, Kings Heath see http://www.british-history.ac.uk/mapsheet.aspx?compid=55194&sheetid=10127&ox=1300&oy=866&zm=4&czm=4&x=281&y=172.
For Cuckolds Corner Wylde Green see http://www.british-history.ac.uk/mapsheet.aspx?compid=55193&sheetid=10081&ox=1118&oy=1898&zm=2&czm=2&x=591&y=336.