B18 - Grid reference SP059881

First record 1390

Warstone Lane Cemetery
Warstone Lane Cemetery


The first reference to Sandpits is found in a document of 1390 which refers to Sir Thomas de Birmingham's 'castle' at 'Warstone near the Sandpits' - see Warstone.


In 1783 William Hutton described the built-up area of Birmingham and recorded a number of hamlets beyond it, including a group of fourteen houses at the Sand Pits on the Dudley Road.


There was formerly a sandstone quarry here which yielded both sand and sandstone. The sand would have been used from medieval times as the main ingredient in making mortar for building work and proved to be good for making casting moulds in iron foundries.


The sandstone, although relatively soft was also used as a building stone; from the 18th century it was used in the construction of the local canals.


The General Cemetery and the Church of England cemetery were laid out east of Icknield Street on the site of the sandpits - see Hockley and Key Hill. A street name now maintains the connection.



William Dargue 23.10.2012


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For 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps of Birmingham go to British History Online.