B26 - Grid reference SP131848
Shawley: first record 1495
The names Shawley or Shirley, neither of which are now in use, suggest that there was a medieval settlement south of the Coventry Road on the Yardley-Lyndon boundary. The name first appears as Shawley in the Perambulation of the boundaries of Yardley in 1495, and may mean 'shire clearing'. The county boundary ran east of Gilbertsone Avenue and crossed the Coventry Road east of Clay Lane; Sheldon and Lyndon were in Warwickshire while Yardley lay in Worcestershire. Placenames in the woodland areas east of Birmingham which end with -ley denote clearings for agriculture. The 1847 tithe map for Yardley shows four fields called Shaw Leys west of Lyndon playing fields in the area where Gilbertsone Avenue makes a right-angled turn. On the Lyndon side of the boundary was a field called Shearley Medowe. Lyndon/ Lyndonbarn Farm may be the original site of Shawley.
The name may alternatively derive from Old English sceaga ie. 'a little wood'.
See also Gilbertstone.
William Dargue 10.03.2009/ 21.08.2012
For 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps of Birmingham go to British History Online.