Supplement: the boundaries of Yardley in 1495

After the completion of this work in 1962, a document was discovered in the Birmingham Reference Library collection of deeds relating to Marston Green, which is a l495 Perambulation of Yardley. A copy is attached hereto.

A Royal Commission had been appointed, of two members, for reasons unstated and at present unknown: these gentlemen had duly walked the bounds on two successive Rogation days, in company with twelve men of Yardley and the same number from each of the five bordering manors along the appropriate part of the boundary. The sworn men took their oaths upon the correctness of their 'meares’, apparently without disagreement, although the Commission may in fact have been called to settle a dispute. There is a suggestion of this in the case of Kings Norton, whose men did ‘condescend’ with the Yardleians that their common bounds were such and such, and having walked them the two parties agreed upon their oaths that these bounds should stand forever.


The 1495 Presentment contradicts none of the conclusions already made. It is most readily compared with that of 1609, and the comparison is close, though the detail is much less and seems inadequate. It is noteworthy that detail increases with the centuries: where the 972 Charter was cryptic in the extreme, the Tithe Map Perambulation of Solihull (Yardley's not survivings) is most carefully detailed. Topographical names of 1495 were repeated in 1609 with almost no variation, and even the wording is often sufficiently alike in both to suggest that the later clerk had access to the earlier report. Even ‘the house of John Prettye’ at Warstock is recorded in both, indicating a continuity of family ownership between the two dates that is rare, most tenants’ surnames being different in 1609.

The meeting of three 'Lordshipps' at the cross on Highters Heath is confirmed, as are the inter-common rights of tenants of each in the wood of the others: these were 'as of ould customs', and are known to have existed at least from the early 14th century. They are expressly stated here to exclude the driving of stock across the unfenced borders. (*) It had been the enclosing of Kingswood by 'Mortimer's Bank’ (still visible in the late 18th century, Hutton tells us), which had led to conflict between the men of the three manors and Roger Mortimer's reeve, resulting in the latter’s death. His master obtained judgment against the tenants at Bromsgrove, none daring to appear in their own defence, and an enormous fine was imposed upon them: after Mortimer's attainder, the greater part of this was remitted by judgment of a court held at Warstock in 1329.


It is of interest that Colebrook Priory watermill was called 'Bach Mill' in 1495, as on Beighton’s map of 1725, but was 'Bates Mill’ in 1609. All landmarks therefrom are provisionally or positively identifiable, with the exception of ‘Tott Hill’: the 1717 alteration makes it difficult to place this exactly, but if as suggested elsewhere the boundary was formerly to the east of the later line in this part, the name may well refer to Cockshutt Hill.


This supplement permits two corrections to be made. It is stated by H.P.R. Finberg that the document hitherto described as an 11th century copy of the Charter of 972 may now be regarded as an original: and that there is no evidence of the existence of Pershore Abbey before the 9th century.

(*) Or the collection of mast; but free browsing across the boundaries was permitted.


John Morris Jones, 1964.


The Presentmt of xjj men of Yardley xjj men of Norton xjj of Aston xjj men of Solihull xjj men of Bicknell xjj of Sheldon sworne for the veiwe of Yardley

Theise bee the true Bounds of the parishe of Yardley veiwed the xth day of May in the xth yeare of Kinge Henry the Seaventh by all the pishioners about it upon their oathes, That is to say first betweene Yardley and Aston their wear appoynted for Aston John Arden John Brandwood Robert Massey William Holt gent, Thomas Knight Symond Vair John Able John Swyfte William Meor Thomas Brook with many other ffor Yardley Henry Est gent. Richard Smalbrook William Jefferey John Higgins William Greene John Dolphine Thomas Chethilly Thomas Lowle Richard Stoacks John Watton William ffavell Thomas Shilton Thomas ffarr Thomas Bromwty (?) Richard Acocke with other of Yardley, Item they veiwed and concluded that the water of Cowle parted the said Lordshipps untill it come to the Poole taile of Hayemill And from there upp to Sparkbrook untill it come to Sparke greene and to Lowe lane upon their oathes Item thear meetinge with them the honest and sworne men of Kingsnorton, that is to say Thomas Raynolds Bayley there John Middlemore gent. Richard Braxton Thomas Byssell Humfery Rotton Thomas Greene William Hawkes William Bandryse William Avenant Roger Kettle Richard Stoughe John Pretty Humferey ffield Richard Lococke with manie others Item att which meeting and veiw the said twoe Parrissioners Norton and Yardley did condescend that the said Low lane was betweene the said two Lordshipps and soe to the Gylden Corner upp to the greeneway to the lane called Bulley lane So upp the lane to the Kings Heath and soe from Bulley lane straight over the heath to the corner of the ground of Thomas Byssell called the Haunche next the roundcrofte and soe downe the Haunche ditch after the Launde to the Water of Chynne between Great Mayos and Little Mayos and so upp by the house of John Prettyes to the Hoarstock and soe to the crosse on Heyters heath, The which veiw and bounds the said twoe parishioners wear agreed to stand fforever (?) upon their oathes, Item thear meetinge with them the honest and sworn men of Solihull, that is to say John Greswould Esquier John Buttler John Harwell gent. Richard Poll Thomas Parr Banden (?) Pretty John Walker Thomas Loe (?) John ffulford William Hawe Richard Shawe John Shawe with many other of Solihull And when these parishioners wear thear mett they did loveingly condescend and agree. That the said three Lordshipps should bee from that time forward entercommoners one with another as of ould custome their elders wear. That is to saye one should not Staffedrive nor in a mastyear and should not pick upp mast in the others woods, But only with their swine and cattell to bee first commoners one with another quietly forever, Then Norton men went their way And Yardley men and Solihull men went there veiw betweene their Lordshipps Soe they veiwed down a Gullett from the said Crosse between Solihull woods and Yardley Woods to a Laund and soe downe the midst of the Laund to Bach Mill and so over the water of Coal into the ground called ffynchalls and throughe the same ground to the ditch of William Hawe and so up the said ditch of Thomas Cotterell to the high waye and over the waye to the ground of Thomas Gell (?) called Stillfeilds and so through the said grounds to the highwaye and over the waye through Longley to Clay Wall ditch and downe the ditch throug Longley againe to the highway upon their oathes, And upon the morrowe beinge the xjth day of Maye the honest and sworne men of Bicknell mett with the said men of Yardley that is to say Thomas Mounford gent. Richard Mounford Thoam Catisby gent. William Hobbinns Thomas Jefferyes John Smythe John Corpson Richard Mou(?) William Pintch Hughe Tuckley Thomas Wayte Thomas Harte with many others. And when they wear all att Keynton Hall veiwed from the highwaye aforesaid through the ground of the said Thomas Mounford after the little brooke to the ground of Thomas Shilton and soe throughe the grounds of Thomas Shilton to the highwaye betweene Birmingham and Solihull and over the waye upp Shawley Lane to the ditche of William Hawe called Shawley Ditch and downe the ditch to the meadows of Richard Brooke called Shearley Meadowe, and over the meadowe and over the end of Lyndon ffeild and upp the meare in Lyndon ffeilds upp to Coventrye Waye and over the waye into the ditche of John Cotterell and soe upp the ditch to the house of the said John Cotterell Then down the ditch of Richard Acocke untill it come anent the house of the said Richard Acocke and through the entery of the said Richard and through the parlor of the said Richard and then downe the Mear in the midst of the ffeild to the ditch of Mr. Digbys belongine to the Moat House of Sheldon, and soe downe the ditche to the highwaye and there meeting then the sworn men of Sheldon Thomas Blackwall Robert Donton John Branden Thomas Watner Thomas Bonell Nicholas Donton Henry Cashmore Henry Cowper Richard Brockhurste Nicholas Brandon Henry Cleston John Blackwall Thomas Thurston Robert Brockhurst Thomas Baxter John Ashford Thomas Parley with other And they with one assent and consent veiwed downe the ditche of Thomas Marston till they came to the grounds of Robert Donton and soe up Marstons Ditch and Baytffeilds Ditch till they come to Tott Hill and then up Denton Ditch to the Park Ditch and down the meare betweene the two ffurlongs to the midele of the nether ffurlonge and downe the meare in Tott Hill and from the meare and foredight on the Parke corner and so up the lane and up the ditch of Richard Byssell till it come to the ground of the Lorde of Sheldon and then into the ditch of the Lord till it come to the mear, And down the mere to Byffeilds dith and up his ditch to the Parklane soe downe the lane to Kitt greene and straight over Kitt greene to the ditch of Richard Kings and so to the ditch of Willliam Jefferye and so down to John Grimes ditche to the highway and soe on the way to the ditch of John Orme and soe between Ormes ground and Parks ground to the water of Coal on all parts.


The Kinges Comissioners wear Sr. John Hurkston Knight and Thomas Nevell Esq. to inquir the verie true meares and Bounds of the parisse of Yardley.

Boundaries in 972
Boundaries in 972
Boundaries in 1609
Boundaries in 1609
Part of Beighton's Mapp, 1725
Part of Beighton's Mapp, 1725
Boundaries in 1847
Boundaries in 1847
Boundaries 1911 to 1966
Boundaries 1911 to 1966


Reasons for the study, the origins of Yardley and the Charter of 972
The mapping of Yardley boundaries

Boundaries 2
The boundaries of Yardley in 972
The boundaries of Yardley in 1609
The boundaries of Yardley 1843/7
The boundaries of Yardley in 1911

Boundaries 3
A comparison of the boundaries between 972 and 1962

Boundaries 4
Supplement: the boundaries in 1495
Map: boundaries in 972
Map: boundaries in 1609
Map: part of Beighton's Mapp 1725
Map: boundaries in 1847
Map: boundaries 1911 to 1966


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