William Dargue A History of BIRMINGHAM Places & Placenames from A to Y
B10/ B25 - Grid reference SP110852
Hayberne: first record 1390
The name Hayberne from Anglo-Saxon, either geheag bernes or geheag burna, may mean 'barley-house enclosure' or 'enclosure by the brook', ie. the River Cole. This would have been fertile alluvial land along the river, especially good pasture for livestock. It is not known whether this name refers to the enclosure of Hay Mills or to a different one.
During the reign of Richard II 1377-1399, Heybarnes seems to have been a separate manor, but it was always under the same lordship as Bordesley. The manor must have been small. William Dugdale, in his Antiquities of Warwickshire 1656, quotes from a 14th-century inquisition following the death of the manor's overlord, Sir John Botetourt which certifies that Heybarnes contains 'one Messuage, and three Carucates of land.' A carucate, also known as a hide, was a medieval measure of land (for taxation purposes), the area that a ploughteam, generally of eight oxen, could plough in a year. Depending on local soil conditions it was roughly equivalent to 120 acres, c50 hectares.
Heybarnes is at the junction of Coventry Road and Small Heath Highway, and is now rather a location than a district name. Heybarnes Farm at the south end of Heybarnes Road survived as Smiths Farm at least until 1890.
See also Hay Mills.
William Dargue 02.08.2010
For 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps of Birmingham go to British History Online.