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



West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire

& National Links


Agricultural History Society, British founded to promote the study of agricultural history and the history of the rural economy and society. Also histories, directories, military books and church records for Birmingham, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire. CDs currently cost about £10 and more are being added all the time.

Archaeology UK A searchable database of the positions of more than 95,000 UK archaeological sites. Most are linked to an aerial photograph plus a local road map and many to Victorian Ordnance Survey maps. The website hosts a searchable database of placenames, an online gallery, glossary of archaeological terms, summary of British historical figures and events and a list of other websites. Useful, detailed and thorough site which seems to be seems to be the personal project of Chris Kutler running the project on a commercial basis.

Archaeology, Association for Environmental The Association for Environmental Archaeology was formed in 1979 by a group of environmental archaeologists based at the Institute of Archaeology, University of London, to provide a wide-ranging means of communication between those working in environmental archaeology and related subjects. Members' interests range from anthropology and palaeopathology through parasitology, zooarchaeology and soils to archaeobotany and the study of prehistoric economies.

Archaeology, Council for British An educational charity working throughout the UK to involve people in archaeology and to promote the appreciation and care of the historic environment for the benefit of present and future generations.

Archaeology, Current Britain’s leading archaeological magazine published six times a year, with a focus on digging up the past. All periods are covered, from prehistory, through the Romans, down to the Middle Ages and coming down to the archaeology of more modern times. Here you will always find the latest discoveries in British Archaeology. Current Archaeology was launched in 1967, since when it has covered over 1000 excavations as well as reviewing nearly 1500 books.

Archaeology, Medieval Society for Medieval Archaeology - study of 5th-16th centuries by archaeological evidence especially of Britain and Ireland. Also serves as a medium for co-ordinating the work of archaeologists with that of historians and scholars in any other discipline relevant to this field.

Archaeology, Subterranea Britannica Formed in 1974, Subterranea Britannica is a society devoted the study and investigation of man-made and man-used underground places. Cold War related material is covered separately here: Subterranea Britannica brings together people with an interest in all types of underground space - from deneholes to dug-outs and from souterrains to subways. There are at least seventy categories of underground excavations that are of interest to our members. As a result, there are among our many members experts in particular types of underground structure, such as Cold War bunkers etc & WWII military sites, ice houses and limestone quarries. There are some areas of underground study that are so specialised and complex, coal mines and other types of working mine for example, that they are better covered by specialist professional mining and engineering societies. Consequently, Subterranea Britannica tends to devote its energies more in the direction of older, smaller and more neglected underground features.

ArchaeologyWin Scutt's website - Some interesting controversial views on the origin of English.

Archatlas The project uses satellite imaging and electronic mapping to understand how and why early farming and urban communities developed where they did and how they spread across the world. Andrew Sherratt is the director of the site which is funded by the British Academy, Oxford and Sheffield universities.

Archive CD Books Project Rod Neep’s commercial site exists to make reproductions of old books, documents and maps available on CD to genealogists and historians, and to co-operate with libraries, museums and record offices in providing money to renovate old books in their collection, and to donate books to their collections, where they will be preserved for future generations.

Media Archive for Central England The Media Archive for Central England is the public sector moving image archive for the East and West Midlands. This means our focus is on moving images held on film, video, DVD or any other carrier that relate in some way to the Midlands.

Archives, National The National Archives of England, Wales and the UK has one of the largest archival collections in the world, spanning 1000 years of British history, from Domesday Book of 1086 to recent government papers. You can see this collection at The National Archives in Kew, or view certain documents online. NA acts as a clearing-house for information about the location of non-public records and manuscripts relating to British history kept elsewhere in the UK and overseas. We give detailed guidance to government departments and the public sector on best practice in records management, as well as selecting public records of historical value which will be kept for ever.



BBC Birmingham - Walk through Time derived from the BBC TV series.

BBC History Links to history programmes as well as a wealth of background material.

Bellringing - Church Bells of Warwickshire A wealth of information provided by Mike Chester much of it the research notes of Chris Pickford.

Black History - Connecting Histories a partnership project led by Birmingham City Archives, with the University of Birmingham, the University of Warwick, and Black Pasts, Birmingham Futures group supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The aims were to make documents and photographs available about the histories of diverse communities in Birmingham, to support people from a range of different communities to get involved in archiving their histories and to ensure that community histories are told and used to support learning.

Britannia - America's Gateway to the British Isles A wide range of historical subjects with articles by many contributors.

British History Online Digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust, it aims to support academic and personal users around the world in their learning, teaching and research. This is an invaluable site. The Warwickshire and Worcestershire Victoria County Histories are available here to download, as well as UK and local gazetteers and directories, parliamentary papers etc. Plus enlargeable copies of the first Ordnance Survey maps. 1:2,500 Epoch 1 The County Series maps at scale 1:2500 for Birmingham, Cardiff, Chester, Chichester, Colchester, Coventry, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Lichfield, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford, Portsmouth, Salisbury, Southampton, Winchester, Worcester, York and much of central London. Ordnance Survey 1:10,560 - Epoch 1 The County Series of Ordnance Survey maps for Great Britain. 

British Library Comprehensive information about the Library, the scope of its collections, and how to use its services. There is a range of catalogues for different types of material, thousands of images and some sound samples. 

Buildings, Historic, in Pen & Ink Birmingham-born, William Albert Green 1907-1983 drew many pen and ink pictures of historic buildings in the Midlands, the majority the Birmingham and Warwickshire and in Shropshire selling at a nominal price to family and friends. They were later used for tour guides and in various local newspapers and magazines. Many of the buildings have been demolished, and so this collection forms a valuable historic record which we wish to share with others. Drawings are free for non-commercial use, and may be bought. The website of his son, Edwin Green.

Buildings, Researching Historic Buildings The personal website of Jean Manco, a historic buildings researcher. Hints on planning a research programme, and clues to finding and understanding useful sources for building history, such as maps and deeds. There are bibliographies on everything from architects to Victorian architecture. There are quick guides to archives. There are introductions to a wide range of building types, architectural styles, and the development of towns and villages. Ecclesiastical sources are such a big topic that The Church gets a large section to itself. 



Canal - Lapal Campaign to restore the Lapal Tunnel on Dudley No.2 Canal.

Census - Pickard's Pink Pages provides a large number of links to sites about Warwickshire mainly regarding genealogy. Especially useful are the links to the FreeCen Censuses of Warwickshire for 1841, 1861 and 1892. Seems to be the personal site of Trespess (?) Pickard. 

Conservation - Georgian Group Britain’s architectural heritage is one of the nation’s greatest assets and the Georgian period (broadly 1700-1837) gave us some of our most beautiful buildings. The Georgian Group is the national charity dedicated to preserving Georgian buildings and gardens. Every year we are consulted on over 6,000 planning applications involving demolition or alterations. Our intervention has helped save many Georgian buildings and protect others from unsympathetic alterations. It is often through our influence that a better solution is found.

Conservation - Save Britain’s Heritage SAVE has been described as the most influential conservation group to have been established since William Morris founded the Society for the Protection Ancient Buildings over a century ago. It was created in 1975 - European Architectural Heritage Year - by a group of journalists, historians, architects, and planners to campaign publicly for endangered historic buildings. Through press releases, lightening leaflets, reports, books and exhibitions, SAVE has championed the cause of decaying country houses, redundant churches and chapels, disused mills and warehouses, blighted streets and neighbourhoods, cottages and town halls, railway stations, hospitals, military buildings and asylums. From the start, SAVE has always placed a special emphasis on the possibilities of alternative uses for historic buildings and, in a number of cases, it has prepared its own schemes for re-use of threatened buildings. On repeated occasions SAVE proposals have been instrumental in giving threatened buildings a renewed lease of life. SAVE is also very active on the broader issues of preservation policy.

Conservation - Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings SPAB is involved in all aspects of the survival of buildings which are old and interesting. Our principal concern is the nature of their "restoration" or "repair", because misguided work can be extremely destructive. To us the skill lies in mending them with the minimum loss of fabric and so of romance and authenticity. Old buildings cannot be preserved by making them new. In 1877 William Morris and other members of the Pre Raphaelite brotherhood hold the inaugural meeting of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in Queen Square, Bloomsbury. The founding members were deeply concerned that well meaning architects are scraping away the historic fabric of too many buildings in their zealous ‘restorations’



Directories, Historical is a digital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales, from 1750 to 1919. It contains high quality reproductions of comparatively rare books, essential tools for research into local and genealogical history. This University of Leicester site has recently been relaunched with much better search engines. Includes Pigot's Directories Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire 1828; White 1849 History & Directory of Birmingham; Dix General & Commercial Directory of Birmingham 1858; Post Office 1850 Directory of Birmingham, Staffordshire & Worcestershire: Kelly's Directory of Birmingham, Staffordshire & Worcestershire 1867: Court Guide & County Blue Book of Warks, Worcs & Staffs, 1902; Slater's Directory of Birmingham, Worcester & the Potteries 1851: Bennett's Business Directory for Warwickshire 1914; Peck's Trades Directory of Birmingham 1896-97.

Open Domesday This is the first free online copy of Domesday Book. The site was built as a non-profit project by Anna Powell-Smith, using data created by Professor J.J.N. Palmer and a team at the University of Hull. The Domesday Book statistics underlying this site were originally collected during the 1990s to create the Domesday Explorer CD-ROM. The data was created by a team led by Professor John Palmer at the University of Hull, funded by the AHRC, and assisted by a Domesday Book translation provided by the publishers Phillimore & Co. Anna Powell-Smith found the data online, and used it to make this site. The raw Domesday data has been put online by Hull University, under a CC-BY-SA licence.

Domesday Book Online An interesting site packed with information by an anonymous author.



English Heritage English Heritage exists to protect and promote England's spectacular historic environment and ensure that its past is researched and understood. English Heritage is the Government's statutory adviser on the historic environment. Officially known as the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, English Heritage is an Executive Non-departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.



Forests and Chases in England and Wales c1000 to c1850 The purpose of the project is to raise awareness of, and excite interest in, the proposal to conduct systematic groundwork towards a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary investigation of the medieval and post-medieval spatial, temporal, functional, and cultural survival and significance of the Forests and Chases of England and Wales. This site is maintained by Dr Graham Jones, St John's College Research Centre, University of Oxford. Particularly interesting is an extensive Glossary



Genealogy - Warwickshire Ancestors This project aims to provide a "free-to-view" online searchable database of all the 19th century Warwickshire census returns. It is part of an initiative to make high quality primary (or near-primary) records of relevance to UK genealogy conveniently and freely available online.Currently we are transcribing the 1891 and 1841 census returns; the 1861 census will be started shortly

Genealogy UK & Ireland - GENUKI The aim of GENUKI is to serve as a virtual reference library of genealogical information that is of particular relevance to the UK & Ireland. It is a non-commercial service provided by volunteers in co-operation with the Federation of Family History Societies In the main, the information that is provided in GENUKI relates to primary historical material rather than the results of genealogical research.

Geological Survey, British The British Geological Survey is the world's longest established national geological survey and the UK's premier centre for earth science information and expertise and responsible for advising the government on all aspects of geoscience as well as providing impartial geological advice to industry, academia and the public.

Google Earth  A wonderful free programme to download which allows you to view satellite photographs of anywhere in the world. The Birmingham ones are of good definition and are regularly updated. You can read the words ‘Bus Lane’ on the Alcester Road, see your cark parked at home and even spot people walking across Centenary Square. It is also possible to superimpose a street map on the photographs.



Heritage Gateway Search for information on England's historic sites and buildings, including images of listed buildings. This website allows you to cross-search over 60 resources, offering local and national information relating to England’s heritage.

Historic England - Search the official list of Listed buildings. The map search facility is particularly useful especially if your search terms do not precisely match those of the listing. 

Historic Parks and Gardens, UK Database provides freely accessible, accurate and inspiring information on the UK parks, gardens and designed landscapes and all activities concerned with their promotion, conservation and management. 

Historical Geographical Information System The Great Britain Historical Geographical Information System is a unique digital collection of information about Britain's localities as they have changed over time. Information comes from census reports, historical gazetteers, travellers' tales and historic maps, assembled into a whole that is much more than the sum of its parts. This site tells you more about the project itself and about historical GIS.

History Learning site Personal site of history teacher Chris Trueman covering school National Curriculum topics - not just for school pupils.

History on the Net The aim of this site is to offer a wealth of historical information and resources for teachers, pupils, parents and anyone who wishes to further their historical knowledge. ‘It is my intention that the site will continue to develop into a comprehensive resource for teachers, pupils, parents and anyone who has a love of History. All pages are written in keeping with the site's aim - to provide historical information, linked to the English Secondary School National Curriculum, that is easy for both children and adults to navigate, is written in accessible language, is illustrated wherever possible and makes learning fun.’ – seems to be Heather Wheeler’s personal website.

Historypin - A useful collection of old photographs pinned to a map by users.

Home Guard Staffordshire website - Memories and Information relating to Home Guard units in Warwickshire - by Chris Myers

Houses, History and Construction of Medieval Timber-framed Houses The personal website of Lachlan? - a starting point for anyone interested in timber-framed houses in England and Wales, their method of construction and the people who lived in them, starting with the 13th-19th centuries - dwellings of cottagers, merchants and yeomen. Photographs, diagrams, places to visit, bibliography and weblinks.

Human Race - Myths of British Ancestry by Stephen Oppenheimer Everything you know about British and Irish ancestry is wrong. Our ancestors were Basques, not Celts. The Celts were not wiped out by the Anglo-Saxons, in fact neither had much impact on the genetic stock of these islands. You can also find out more about his work at the Bradshaw Foundation website where a map shows the virtual global journey of man over the last 160,000 years.



Images - Ancestry Images Steve Bartrick’s website is provided as a free image resource for historians, genealogists and anyone undertaking family history, ancestry or local history research. The site now contains over 12,500 images of old and antique prints, maps and portraits, dating from the 17th century but mostly from the later 18th century and 19th century. The images are all of prints and maps that are for sale on his main website, www.antiqueprints.com but will also include all those that are now sold and no longer visible on his commercial site.

Industrial Revolution, Revolutionary Players A project focussing on the history of the Industrial Revolution in the West Midlands 1700-1830. The region became internationally significant for achievements in science, industry, art and culture - with images of resources from museums, archives end libraries.



Local History Online is the website of The Local History Press Ltd and has an online bookshop, a calendar of local history events, a list of local history societies. 



Medieval English Towns The aim of the Medieval English Towns site is to provide historical information about cities and towns in England during the Middle Ages, with particular but not exclusive emphasis on medieval boroughs of East Anglia and on social, political and constitutional history. A growing selection of primary documents (translated into English) relevant to English urban history is included. Personal website of Stephen Alsford.

Medieval Studies Labyrinth The Labyrinth provides free access to electronic resources in medieval studies at Georgetown University via easy-to-use menus and links to other servers around the world.

Medieval Studies, Online Reference Book ORB is an academic site, written and maintained by medieval scholars for the benefit of fellow instructors and serious students. All articles have been judged by at least two peer reviewers. Authors are held to high standards of accuracy, currency, and relevance to the field of medieval studies. Academic collection of articles and original texts.



National Trust The charity which protects and opens to the public over 300 historic houses and gardens and 49 industrial monuments and mills and looks after forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, downs, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, castles, nature reserves and villages.



Parish Records Parish Mouse This site contains transcriptions of parish registers, historical books, directories and gazetteers that I own. All the transcriptions have been made from the original books. The photo blog links to my pages on flickr where you can browse through nearly 4,000 photos of churches, graves and illustrations from the historical books. Contains scans of images from R K Dent 1880 Old & New Birmingham, for example - a fascinating lucky-dip of site belonging to Sally Lloyd.

The Peerage This website is the result of around fourteen years of work by Daryll Lundy collecting information on the European royal families and on the British Peerage. A really useful site when researching manorial families, etc.

Photographs - English Heritage Images of England Funded by English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund this initiative aims to create a 'point in time' photographic record of England's listed buildings. Images of England is a snapshot of the Listed buildings at the turn of the millennium with the text entry on the Statutory List of Historic Buildings. (It is not an up-to-date record of all currently Listed buildings.) Best to register so that you can use the Advanced Search facility.

Photographs - Francis Frith Archive The Frith archive is the only photographic archive of national importance in private hands: 365 000 photographs, catalogued depicting 7,000 cities, towns and villages throughout Britain; many have been photographed continuously between 1860 and 1970, illustrating physical and social changes that have taken place; over 120,000 available for purchase as high resolution digital scans.

Photographs - Geograph British Isles This project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The photographs may be searched by inputting a postcode (the first part is sufficient), grid reference or placename. Sponsored by The Ordnance Survey and linked to their maps and to Google Earth.

Photographs & Film - British Pathe, the world's first finest digital news archive. Preview items from the entire 3500 hour British Pathe Film Archive which covers news, sport, social history and entertainment from 1896 to 1970.

Placename maps A site with a variety of interesting Anglo-Saxon items including maps to complement those on pages li-lxii in The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-names by Victor Watts (CUP 2004) by Keith Briggs.

Placenames, Gazetteer of British The intention is to include the name of every settlement which has a distinct name and identity. Each district within an urban area which has a distinct name and identity has been included as a separate entry. The website is part of that run by The Association of British Counties, ABC,a society dedicated to promoting awareness of the continuing importance of the 86 historic counties of Great Britain.

Placenames, Institute for Name Studies The Institute is the focus for research and teaching in the field of name-studies at the University of Nottingham, the home of the English Place-Name Society for over 30 years. The Institute houses the Survey of English Place-Names and other research projects on both place- and personal names. Click here for online access to the meaning of placenames by county.

Pubs, Midlands Site is run by Kieron McMahon, a bloke with a passion for pubs and drinking a top notch pint of beer. Has reviews of pubs and pub histories.



Railway Society, Midland Aims to bring together those interested in the Midland Railway including its predecessors, successors, joint lines and working arrangements.

Railways - London Midland Scottish Railway LMS Society Web site - in its time, Britain's and the world's largest privately owned railway company in terms of quoted stock market value.

Railways in Worcestershire This site records the railways of Worcestershire and is the work of members of the Malvern Industrial Archaeology Circle (MIAC), formed by members of the Worcester Locomotive Society. 

Railways, Warwickshire The Warwickshire Railways Study Group was formed in 2005 to research, record and share information on the county's railways via this web site. We welcome others to contribute to the site at any level ranging from simply checking the information published to contributing information and photographs. The personal site of Mike Musson.

Roads The Society for All British and Irish Road Enthusiasts exists for the discussion and education of roads in Britain and Ireland. Anyone with an interest in British or Irish roads is welcome to join and participate.  Many resources available online.





Victoria County History The greatest publishing project in English local history. Since 1899 the VCH has presented the authentic history of English places and their people written county by county from original documents. Access a selection of VCH texts via British History Online

including the A History of the County of Warwickshire: Volume 7 The City of Birminghamessential reading for researching Birmingham history and particularly useful because it cites all references.

A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 4 Hemlingford Hundred ed L F Salzman 1947 which includes Castle Bromwich, Sheldon, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Water Orton;

A History of the County of Worcester Volume 3 which includes Kings Norton, Northfield and Yardley.



The War Graves Photographic Project The original aim of The War Graves Photographic Project was to photograph every war grave, individual memorial, Ministry of Defence grave, and family memorial of serving military personnel from WWI to the present day. However, due to its popularity we have now extended our remit to cover all nationalities and military conflicts and make these available within a searchable database. Now working as a joint venture with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and assisting the Office of Australian War Graves, Canadian Veterans Affairs and the New Zealand Ministry of Heritage and Culture this will enable families, scholars and researchers to obtain, via the CWGC or TWGPP websites, a copy of the photograph of a grave or memorial which for many is impossible to visit due to the location.

Warwickshire, Windows on The website aims to promote access to historic collections representing the very best of Warwickshire's heritage, culture and personalities. The project web site contains over 10,000 fascinating items - many made available in digital format for the first time. A wide range of resources are represented - including old photographs, rare documents, maps, historic buildings, art, letters, fossils, literature, everyday memorabilia and much much more. Each item is interpreted by relevant subject experts and the web site database can be explored using a variety of powerful search tools. A series of "Spotlights" focus on key aspects of the collections and give users the added opportunity to improve their understanding of Warwickshire's unique past. Site sponsored by a number of organsiations including Warwickshire Record Office, Warwickshire Libraries, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Warwick Castle.

History West Midlands Exploring the rich and fascinating past of the historic counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. History West Midlands, is an independent website which provides free access to a variety of programmes and different media focussing on the history of the people of the West Midlands, their ideas, innovation and industry. The site is designed anyone who wants to know more about the region and will also provide resources for students, learners and educators.

Wikipedia A free encyclopaedia being written collaboratively by contributors from around the world. Includes lots of information and pictures of Birmingham and districts. In my judgement the material here is as good as you would find anywhere on the web.

Windmill World A website for windmill enthusiasts with maps, aerial views, photographs and details. Some watermills. Seems to be the personal project of Mark Berry.

Workhouses  Peter Higginbotham is the creator of this web site which contains over 2000 web pages, 4000 photos and illustrations, and 1000 maps and plans! This web site, which began life at the start of 2000, is the result of my researches and visits to hundreds of former workhouse sites across the British Isles. All this work has been done entirely in my spare time and is totally self-funded. An excellent thorough and varied site with information on Birmingham, Aston, Erdington and Kings Norton workhouses.