William Dargue A History of BIRMINGHAM Places & Placenames from A to Y
B73 - Grid reference SP115932
Green Lanes is a street name and also the name of a small area between Green Lanes and Little Green Lane at the southern end of Wylde Green. A green lane was the term used of an unmetalled parish road usually wide enough to have a strip of grass along each side; the main purpose of such lanes was for moving livestock. The two green lanes here have lent their name to a location which is now included with Wylde Green.
This immediate district has been also known as Chester Road, probably after the opening of the railway station here. The Chester Road was so-named from the 18th century when it became part of the the Broughton-Chester-Stonebridge Turnpike set up in 1759. It became part of a nationally important route running past, though not through Birmingham, and linking London via Coventry and Stonebridge to the major seaport of Chester.
The road ran northwards via the present A452 before joining Watling Street (the present A5) at Brownhills. It must have been less well-used after 1727, when the Coventry Road and Soho Road/ Holyhead Road via Birmingham became part of the London-Holyhead Mail Road to Ireland. However, this was already an ancient dating from prehistoric times. During the Roman period it was part of a route which led to Coleshill where a 1st-century villa and temple have been excavated. When the Sutton Branch Line from New Street Station opened in 1862 with a station on the Chester Road the development of middle-class housing in the immediate area was given impetus.
Much of the surrounding area was built up in the mid-20th century; however, some 19th-century cottages and larger houses remain.
William Dargue 06.03.2009/ 01.08.2010
For 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps of Birmingham go to British History Online.