William Dargue  A History of BIRMINGHAM Places & Placenames from A to Y


Birmingham Districts


Acocks Green History Society  An excellent website jam-packed with well-presented accessible information.

Allens Cross The history of life on the Allens Cross Council Estate and of the Community Centre is to be preserved thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Allens Cross Community Centre was the first of its kind to be built in Birmingham and one of the very first to be built in Britain. In 1931 a large estate was built by the City of Birmingham in the Vicinity of Allens Farm at Northfield. The housing provided was a great improvement on that of the inner city slums from which most of the tenants came, but there were no recreational facilities apart from public houses, churches and schools. There were no playing fields, no public meeting rooms and no centres at which a community spirit could be built. So a band of volunteers from Allens Cross decided to form a Community Association with a Community Hall. Allens Cross residents can be proud to be associated with this pioneer movement, which, in the following twenty years was copied all over the country.

Ashfurlong Hall A brief history by the owner of the walled garden. See also an article from the Birmingham Post when the house was up for sale in 2009. 

Astonbrook Through Aston Manor A wealth of information about Aston maintained by John Houghton & Rod Birch - contributions welcomed.



Balsall Heath Local History Society The excellent website of one of Birmingham's most innovative history groups.

Bartley Green & District History Group researching three old villages/ hamlets on the edge of Woodgate Valley Country Park. These villages are Woodgate, Moor Street and California. The main industries in these villages were nail making, farming and brick making and there is plenty of evidence of these industries that still remain today. We also research the Lapal Canal and Tunnel which ran below ground straight through Woodgate Valley via Lapal, Moor Street and on to California.The society was formerly Woodgate & the Valley History Group. Some good old photographs and a number of publications for sale.

Beggars Bush Neil Howlett's website with information on this placename found in over a hundred places across the country. 

Bournville A walk round the Bournville on the Discovering Britain website delivered by the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers. 

Brindleyplace The website of the company that owns Brindleyplace in the City Centre - a history of the development included.



California - see Bartley Green & District History Group researching three old villages/ hamlets on the edge of Woodgate Valley Country Park - Woodgate, Moor Street and California.  

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens This unique example of an English Baroque Garden is being restored as near as possible to the period 1680-1740 by Castle Bromwich Hall and Gardens Trust. The 10-acre Walled Garden contains over 600 species of plants from the period.

Castle Bromwich Graveyard A community project exploring the stories behiund the gravestones.

Castle Vale A very thoughtful and thought-provoking articles by 'Municipal Dreams'. Make sure you also read Part 2.

Cotteridge These pages contain information about the history and development of the suburb of Cotteridge, in south Birmingham; as well as links to local businesses and organisations. There are sections on Cotteridge history, memories contributed by readers, and a photograph gallery. Webmaster David Bradford.



Edgbaston - The Botanical Gardens The website of the Botanical Gardens opened in 1832, designed by J C Loudon, a leading garden planner, horticultural journalist and publisher. Today the gardens offer a superb opportunity for recreation and relaxation close to the centre of Birmingham.

Edgbaston - The Oratory The church’s website includes sections on the history and architecture of the building as well as information on Cardinal Newman.

Elmdon Hall Article on Elmdon Hall on Matthew Beckett's Lost Heritage website.

Erdington An anonymous personal website with some information on Erdington Abbey, Fort Dunlop, Mother’s Club, and Spaghetti Junction.



Gilbertstone - the Legend of Gilbert the Giant.

Great Barr, Past & Present B43 A web site dedicated to presenting past, and present, information on Great Barr. The area is loosely defined but includes Hamstead, Gorse Farm, Newton, Grove Vale, Pear Tree, Scott Arms, Queslett and Pheasey. There are a number of significant historic areas, including the Great Barr Hall estate, Red House Park, Bishop Asbury’s House and Hamstead Colliery. The site is organised by geographic area and various themes. The personal website of Anthony Lewis.

Great Barr Hall - Urbex/UK a fascinating site about the infiltration of derelict structures in the UK by Simon Cornwell. Find Great Barr Hall, pictures old and new, under Explorations.



Hall Green St Peter's Church The church’s website includes a brief church history.

Hamstead Miners In 1876 the Hamstead Colliery began to sink mineshafts; a thick coal seam was reached by 1880 at a depth of 2000 feet. The 4th March 1908 marked a terrible disaster when fire broke out causing the deaths of 25 miners. The mine closed in 1965 and the area was redeveloped for housing. The Hamstead Miners Memorial Trust are creating a display of Colliery memorabilia and raising funds for a statue on Hamstead Road.

Handsworth Historical Society - a good site with lots of Handsworth history as well as details of the society's programme of talks. 

Handsworth History Site A site is dedicated to the people of Handsworth, past present and future  all that you see and read here is provided by Brummies past and present, their friends and relations. A website by John Houghton and Mike Ingram.

Happy Valley - A history of this interesting pleasure site in Yardley Wood with photographs - part of the Acocks Green History Society's website.

Harborne - Grove Park Norman Field's collection of photographs of Grove Park, Harborne with a history of the park and The Grove.

Harborne, St Mary's The church’s website includes a church history, and is hosted by David’s Emporium, the fascinating quirky personal website of Birmingham schoolteacher, David West. 

Harborne - Royalty Cinema A website set up by a trust trying to save this Grade II listed art deco survival.

Hay Mills/ Tyseley A History of Reynolds Tubes at Hay Hall. 

Heartlands Local History Society - We cover the area inside the boundaries of Aston, Erdington, Bromford, Washwood Heath, Alum Rock, Small Heath, Bordesley, Deritend, back through Ashted, Saltley, Vauxhall, Duddeston and Nechells. We are here to preserve your History, your Memories and above all to keep the Old End Alive. The society has a Facebook group.

Highgate - St Alban's church The church’s website includes a good history section.

Hill Hook Local Nature Reserve is located in Four Oaks, a hidden oasis of green, bordered by residential streets and an outstanding site with a wide variety of habitats. The pool provided water for Hill Hook cornmill, which operated from the mid 1600s and was demolished in the 1970s. The site is owned by Birmingham City Council and managed jointly by them, Friends of Hill Hook Local Nature Reserve and The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country.

Hockley For Lucas, Great King Street see Lucas Memories and pages on the Triple C Motor Accessories website.



Jewellery Quarter A walk round the Jewellery Quarter on the Discovering Britain website delivered by the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers. 

Jewellery Quarter - Birmingham Assay Office The largest assay office in Europe. Founded in 1773 the main function of the Assay Office is to test and hallmark precious metal items as required by the Hallmarking Act. In 2005 12 million articles were hallmarked at the Assay Office.

Jewellery Quarter - Official Website This unique area dates back over 250 years and is home to over 400 jewellery businesses. A designated conservation area with over 200 listed buildings, it is a proposed World Heritage Site. It has been described by English Heritage as a unique historic environment in England, which has few parallels in Europe. The Quarter contains Birmingham’s last remaining Georgian Square in the tranquil surroundings of St Paul’s, with its restaurants, bars and galleries. 

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, based in an old jewellery factory is well worth a visit, as is the Pen Room Museum, which reflects the Quarter’s reputation in the 19th century as the World’s centre for pen production. To complete the historic picture, the Quarter’s public art and building trails are worth trying, as are its historic Cemeteries with their ghostly catacombs.

Jewellery Quarter Research Group Researching the history and times of people and places in and around Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. Includes a good picture gallery.



Key Hill Cemetery, Friends of The cemetery was closed for burials in the early 1980s and has been largely forgotten since then. The Friends want to raise funds to spend on things required to bring the cemetery back to a state that reflects its historical importance.

Kings Heath Local History Society includes some downloadable documents.

Kings Norton Parish has a good section on the Saracen's Head and the Old Grammar School restoration project.

Kingstanding Voices of Kingstanding is an oral history project which seeks to record the history of the Kingstanding estate, Birmingham since it was built in the 1930s. It aims to record the suburban experience of it’s residents across its homes, schools, churches and in particular its community associations. The project has been carried out by Chris Hillcox.



Ladywood, St John’s & St Peter’s Church The church website, as well as religious and services information, has a history of the church and photographs.

Ladywood Past & Present is the website of a non-profit making organisation that is trying to preserve the memories, whether written or photographic of Ladywood - maintained by Mac Joseph.

Lickey Hills Quarries Information on the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust website. 



Marston Green A short history with photographs on the Bickenhill Parish Council website.

Moor Pool Residents Association - The site has a brief history of this Harborne estate and has a number of useful links and downloads.

See also Rob Sutton's very thorough and detailed website, Moor Pool History & Preservation.

Moor Street - see Bartley Green & District History Group researching three old villages/ hamlets on the edge of Woodgate Valley Country Park. These villages are Woodgate, Moor Street and California.  

Moseley Society The Moseley Society, a registered charity, was formed in 1979 with the aim of preserving and protecting the best of this unique area of Birmingham, England. It is committed to promoting high standards of planning and architecture, organising meetings of public interest and concern, and serving on local advisory bodies. 

Moseley The Moseleians Association for former students and staff of Moseley Secondary/ Grammar, Moseley Modern, College Road Senior and Moseley School.

Moundsley Hall Archaeological survey 2009



New Hall Mill, a Grade 2 listed building, one of only two water mills still surviving in Birmingham. The Mill and its meadow field are privately owned and managed by the New Hall Water Mill Preservation Trust. Although now surrounded by the New Hall Valley Country Park, the Mill is only open to the general public on specific Open Days, or by prior arrangement. The site was created and is maintained by Ray Martin on behalf of the New Hall Water Mill Preservation Trust.



Peddimore Hall Barns Historic Building Research and Recording 2006 - Survey carried out by Birmingham Archaeology in respect of a planning application.

Perry Barr - Church of St John the Evangelist Good information about the history and architecture of the church with some account of the district's history.  

Pype Hayes Information about Pype Hayes Hall from the Bagot family website.



Quinton Local History Society and the John Hope Collection - Hope was for many years a Methodist minister in Quinton, near Birmingham. He amassed a large collection of postcards and photographs, some dating from the turn of the century, which depict Quinton, Harborne and the surrounding area.



Roughley Neighbourhood Forum has some historyish content.



Saltley Saltley Stories captures the experiences of local people in the words and images of past and present residents. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, working with researchers from the School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham, Saltley Stories is produced by Norton Hall community organisation.

Selly Oak St Mary’s Church The church’s website includes a good brief history. Also on the church's website as a pdf document, Francis W Leonard's The Story of Selly Oak, 1933 written for St Mary’s Parochial Church Council in aid of the appeal to recast the bells.

Selly Oak Park A site set up by the grandson of Josiah Thomas Horton, the first park-keeper at Selly Oak.

The Shire The Shire Country Park Friends website. The Shire Country Park runs alongside the River Cole from Solihull in the South, to the Ackers Trust in Small Heath to the North with adjacent areas included. The Friends are representatives from each of several volunteer conservation groups. 

Small Heath Circle Forum 

Small Heath, All Saints Church The church website has a good history of the Angilcan churches in Small Heath.

Soho Mint - Chris Leather's on-line tribute to Matthew Boulton. 

Sparkhill St John’s Church  The church’s website has a short history section.

Stirchley The website of Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum and is presented rather like one of the free newspapers. Has a small interesting local history page and an online forum.

Stirchley A history of Stirchley Baths extracted from Paul Raymond Jones 1981 The History of Bournville Lane Baths and other heritage information.

Stockfield Acocks Green Information on Mike Byrne's excellent Acocks Green History Society website. 

Streetly Some local history on the Streetly Community website 

Swanshurst Information about this administrative division of Yardley in John Morris Jones 1979 booklet on the Acocks Green website


Sutton Coldfield - Victoria County History - Warwickshire Volume 4 1947 - Essential authoritative detailed background with full references.

Sutton Coldfield Civic Society Since the 1950s the Civic Society has worked in the interests of Sutton Coldfield, particularly the built environment. The aims are to encourage the conservation of the best of the architectural and physical features of Sutton Coldfield, to encourage the development of the highest quality of new buildings, to ensure that the new roads follow the least disruptive route to urban and rural environments.

Sutton Coldfield, History of  Graham Ord’s personal website presented encyclopedically and packed with information. This is not a work of scholarship; it is a selective idiosyncratic compendium of topics relating to the history of the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield based on information compiled from the work and research of others and made freely available at the Local History Library, on the World Wide Web or from the numerous sources and publications.

Sutton Coldfield, Holy Trinity Church The church’s website has lots of historical information.

Sutton Coldfield Local History Research Group - A seriously good local history website with a wealth of well-researtched history articles on the History Spot

Sutton Coldfield Natural History Society The purpose of the Society is to enable people to meet together to learn about natural history in general (and that of the locality in particular) in a friendly atmosphere. Originally founded in 1919, the Society was revived in 1951, and has met regularly ever since. The website includes a section on Sutton Park.

Sutton Park, Friends of includes sections on archaeology and archaeological walks. 



Ward End/ Washwood Heath A website run by David Millin dedicated to the late Metro-Cammel Ltd.

Warley Download Old Memories of Old Warley from the History of Oldbury, Langley and Warley website.

Warley Information about Warley on the Quinton Local History Society website 

Weoley Castle estate - thoughtful analysis by Municipal Dreams.

Witton A History of Kynoch’s Company, from 1862 until 2009 and from Kynoch to IMI.

Wythall Parish Church website has an excellent history of both the church and the district.



Yardley The Acocks Green History Society website run by Mike Byrne has a vast amount of primary information about the parish of Yardley of which Acocks Green was part. 

Yardley Conservation Society website has some old photographs of the village plus an interesting 'Walk round Old Yardley Village' by Stephen Price 1979.