Medieval times (map seven)
By 1300 Yardley's population was about 500. Most of the folk lived about four open field systems, Yardley and Lee (Lea Hall) in the north, Tenchley (Stockfield/Acocks Green) and Greet (Sparkhill). But there were by that time many assarts, individual farms, particularly in the southern half of the manor. Map 6 shows those assarts which can be located because their owners' surnames have survived in place-names, or because those who lacked a surname added a known location to baptismal names. Thus we find the Sparks of Sparkhill, the Lowes of Lowe (Stoney) Lane, and the Pugges of Quagmire Farm, formerly Puggemire; and taxpayers de (of) Fulford (Grove Farm), Greethurst north of the Coldbath Brook (possibly Ashfield Hall), Bulley on the site of Moseley Golf Clubhouse, of the Heath at the west edge of Billesley Common (Hollybank Farm?), Billesley (Wold Walk off Trittiford Road), Fynchale (Acheson/Watwood Roads), Waxhull (Webb Lane), and Swanshurst. From other sources we know that 'atte Wodes' lived near Priory Road, Golatres near Formans Road, and Cotterels at Sarehole. There were three taxpayers living on the sites of Green Bank, Cateswell, and Cole Bank Farm, de Faucombe, de Clodeshale, and de Whateley; 'combe' means hill hollow, 'hale' is heath, and 'whateley' may mean 'wheatfield', so their names give us some topographical facts. There is no indication of a village. Only four men described themselves as being 'of Greet', and nowhere else are there more than two names together.
It will be noted that several assarts were on Yardley's borders, as far from neighbours and interference as possible. The planting of an assart was done with the approval of the manorial lord (who levied a fine that was in effect a rent) but not necessarily or always with that of the local peasantry. 'Swanshurst' might be translated as 'peasants wood'. It was a partly-cleared common pasture which extended over an area much larger than that known by the name today. From Saxon times the law of Arden had permitted the overnight erection of a dwelling therein and the subsequent enclosure of a small piece of land provided that others' access to the pasture was not blocked. The making and removal of banks and ditches which were intended to enclose part of Swanshurst were the cause of several suits heard at Worcester Assizes in the 13th century. Clearly the founding of separate farms at the waste edges was seen as a threat to ancient rights. In 1332 the men of Yardley, Kings Norton, and Solihull combined to throw down banks put up by order of Roger Mortimer, the manorial lord in Norton Wood, where the folk of all three manors had inter-common rights. Most of a huge fine imposed on them for killing Mortimer's reeve in a brawl that followed their action was later remitted by decision of a court held at Warstock. The known extent of common land in Swanshurst Quarter is shown on Map 7, but this may already have been eaten into during many centuries. A square patch between Yardley Wood and Springfield Roads was then or later called Greet Common. A part of this became the Yardley Poor Allotments. Billesley, Swanshurst, and Sarehole Commons had probably been continuous from there, stretching between the Cole and the west boundary as far as Billesley Farm. Brook Lane, Coldbath Road, and Yardley Wood Road were the boundaries of Bulley and Greethurst estates, Billesley, Pugmire, and Attwood Farms separated the central commons from Yardley Wood, which occupied the area between the river and the west and south boundaries, south of Pendeen and School Roads. The named farms began as small assarts which flourished and later enclosed large areas of common. Swanshurst and Sarehole Farms thrust into the central commons from the river. Wake Green and Showell Green were common pastures on the borders of Greet sub-manor. By the 1540s when the religious houses were dispossessed of their estates, Maxstoke Priory had acquired Greethurst, Swanshurst, Sarehole, and Fulford. All its property was taken by the Crown.
In 'The Leys of Yardley' I have shown that there are many intriguing alignments of old dwelling sites, and that a number of 'ley-lines' intersect at precise points on the sites of Swanshurst, Sparkhill, Bulley, Springfield, and Bulley Farms, and The Moats. However there is a notable lack of correspondence between the ley-lines and known old roads, so that whatever the alignments indicate (if anything) they were certainly not linked by ancient tracks. In fact the routes taken by the old roads were clearly dictated by geology and natural vegetation, and it is probable that animals had trodden them out before men found them useful.
Two routes were of greatest antiquity, both ridgeways, and they may well have been pre-Saxon in use. School Road/Highfield Road/Fox Hollies Road are part of the through-Yardley way which descends from the flat plateau only to cross the Cole at Trittiford and Stechford. The Stratford Road winds across the level between stream-heads until it must dip to cross the Cole. It makes a sharp bend there to traverse the boggy valley at right-angles before resuming its north-westerly direction. The crossing point may not be the original one: before the bend the road points directly towards the Formans Road crossing, sometime 'foul Ford'. Greet Mill was built in the mid 13th century, and usually thereafter there was a shallows in the river immediately below the dam: I suggest that travellers used this ford, and later the top of the rebuilt weir, so that the road became permanently diverted. One Roger Fullard was in 1275 the first recorded victim of a Cole flood: he and his horse were drowned when he tried to cross at Greet Mill when the river was high and swift-flowing.
The two ridgeways met at Four Ways. It may be claimed that all other roads in the Quarter until urbanisation began as access tracks between fields, farms, and mills, developing into through-routes later. Wake Green Road/Robin Hood Lane linked Moseley Village, Sarehole Mill, and Stillfields House, for example, and Brook/Webb Lanes linked Bulley, Little Sarehole, and Longfield Hall. Yardley Wood Road (Stoney Lane, Wildays Lane) was a drovers' track that linked all the commons from Showell Green to Yardley and Norton Woods - and incidentally to Berry Mound. Notably lacking was a riverside road. From Trittiford northwards there was no direct way along the valley, and none was to be provided until the 1920s. There would obviously be no track on the marshy floor, but it is odd that there was none on the firm drift above the thick woods of the valley sides.
It is probable that by Tudor times the roads shown on Map 8 were all in use. The difference between field paths and highways lay in the extent of wear only. The first O. S. maps bear this out, showing little distinction between them. Highways to elsewhere became worn, degenerating to holloway gorges on valley sides and to wide strips of morass on the level, because there was no road-making until Georgian times. Parishioners' grudging labour was used to mend and infill, but not to lay a firm and dry foundation. Only 'the highway to Henley' and 'the churchway' (School Road/Highfield Road) to St. Edburgha's Church in Yardley Village would be given more than the minimum of attention. From Elizabeth I's reign Highway Overseers had to be appointed annually in each Quarter, with responsibility for bringing out the poor tenants on six statutory days to fill in holes and draw harrows over ruts, employing horses and carts provided by the richer farmers. Work on highways for the benefit of 'foreigners' was most unwillingly performed.
See Map Five and 'The Boundaries of Yardley'. Boundary presentments have survived from 1495 and 1609 to give us some interesting topographical details. Twelve jurors of Yardley met by arrangement with a dozen from each of the neighbouring manors, to tread out and agree upon their mutual boundaries. The men of Aston and Yardley had the Cole and Spark Brooks as indisputable (if shifting) boundaries. Nowadays the Spark is nowhere visible in the Quarter, yet this trickle has in its time separated two peoples (Angles and Saxons), two kingdoms (Mercian and Hwiccan), two sees (Lichfield and Worcester), the shires of Warwick and Worcester, the Hundreds of Coleshill and Pershore (later of Hemlingford and Halfshire) the manors of Bordesley and Yardley, the parishes of Aston and Yardley, the Borough of Birmingham and the Civil Parish of Yardley, the City and the Rural District - and two wards, constituencies, and postal districts. Astonians and Yardleians parted at the start of Stoney Lane, where the parishioners of Kings Norton (from Moseley Yield, one assumes) were waiting. Southward the party trudged beside the little Spark (which in 1511 was described as 'a torrent'!) along a gravelly lane called Lowe Lane after a local family - but they may have taken their name from a 'low' (burial mound) nearby, as they were first recorded as 'de lowe' in 1327. The jurors left the brook a little short of its source (south of Phipson Road, in what used to be called Spring Field) at 'the gylden corner'. This may refer to the yielden corner, the eastern extremity of Moseley (Tax) Yield in Kings Norton Manor. The 'tall oak' of 972 perhaps stood at this corner. They turned up 'the greenway', a tree-lined and little-used track which is now called Belle Walk, skirted the source of the Showell Green Brook (Bull Spring?), crossing Wake Green Road, and continued south on Billesley Lane. This is a modern misnomer, replacing the ancient 'Bulley Lane'. Fording the Coldbath Brook the party had Greethurst on the left. This estate, first recorded in 1221, had the status of a sub-manor in succeeding centuries, and was held in succession by Holtes, Grevises, and Taylors. Part of it is now Moseley Golf Course, laid out in 1904. Part of the royal manor's waste (Kings Heath, first ref. 1511) lay to the right as Bulley was circuited: that assart had been planted very near the border at a date unknown, but no latter than the 13th century. When the ancient Bulley Hall was rebuilt late last century its name was changed to Billesley Hall Farm, quite incorrectly, and soon after it became the Golf Clubhouse.
From Yardley's westernmost point at Bulley, the twenty-four good men and true took the tracks later called Springfield Road and Barn Lane (the latter after an Italianate barn designed by one of the Taylor ladies), which were at that time part of the highway from Birmingham to Alcester. The road straight across Kings Heath was a turnpike improvement of 1801. Leaving the highway, they went south-south-east to 'the corner of the Haunche' and 'Haunche Ditche' (brook). No distinction was then made between natural and man-made watercourses, nor were pools on boundary streams recorded. The Haunch Brook still runs and trees stand beside it as when the bound-beaters squelched through 'the slade called the launde' (the boggy dell), following it down to the 'water of Chyne' (Chinn Brook). The boundary left that stream almost at once, and went up the valley side (between Great and Little Mayos) to John Pretty's house 'called Whorstocke'. This part still lies open and pleasant on the west side of Yardley Wood Road, being the east end of Cocks Moor Woods.
Just south of the Stratford Canal the bus garage covers the site of Pretty's house, later called Warstock Farm, which lay just but only just, on the Norton side, so that the front door led into Yardley. The Whorstocke (boundary post) stood at the junction of Warstock Road and Lane. From there the boundary and its perambulators went in a straight line, a negotiated boundary half a mile south-south-east to 'a cross on Highters Heath'. The school named after the district straddles the boundary: an oak-lined path to its rear entrance is the perambulation track, which has been obliterated by modern streets from there. Both manors were taken into Greater Birmingham in 1912, so that their boundaries then ceased to have any significance and the buildings between the wars ignored them.
Three lordships met at the cross, which today is the junction of Prince of Wales Lane and Gorleston Road. There the Solihull parishioners greeted the Yardleians and the Nortonians took their leave - having sworn on oath as to the correctness of the 'meares'. The 'cross' may have been no more than a crossing of tracks, as shown on the first O. S. map, but it could have been a timber preaching cross, possibly erected in thanksgiving for the royal clemency of 1339. From earliest times the tenants of the three manors had enjoyed inter-common rights in this patchily-wooded area: the cross was a convenient meeting-place for the settlement of disputes and the exchange of strayed beasts. Close nearby the Yardley Wood Brook rose: the boundary followed it down the 'gullet' which separated the manors' woods (and the shires), and through another 'launde' towards Bach Mill. Modern housing and the Stratford Canal have obliterated the upper reaches of the brook and its tributaries, but it appears east of the embankment and runs through open land, a vestige of Yardley Wood Common to the north now threatened by development, to the Priory Mill Pool, thence down the mill's head and tailraces to the Cole. When the tailrace was lengthened northward, probably in the early 19th century, the boundary went with it. The medieval priory, a small building south of the pool, was in Solihull Lodge. East from the Cole the Shirley Brook was ascended, with Finchalls, Radmore, and Conyngre on the Yardley side. They were well-named, after heath, a marsh, and a sandy slope respectively. Although it was recorded in neither presentment, there was a mill on the Shirley Brook, the bed of whose pool is still traceable today between the gardens of Watwood and Geoffrey Roads. The brook is culverted beneath the North Warwickshire Line embankment, but visible above. Not far from its source on Sandy Hill the boundary left it to go due north to the Stratford Road, 'the highway to Henley'. The brook runs between Blythford Road and Sandy Hill/Stonor Roads. Houses block the perambulation track on the south side of the highway, but beyond it the Bridle Path is still a right of way. From Highters Heath to the Stratford Road the ancient shire and manor boundary is unchanged, but now it separates the Metropolitan Districts of Birmingham and Solihull, both in the County of West Midlands.
Among the jurors of 1495 were John Dolphin and Thomas Lowe. The site of the Lowe residence is not known, but it may have been Sparkhill Farm. The Dolphin home was Swanshurst Farm. There had been a family taking its name from that place in the 13th century. In 1392 John Swanshurst was schoolmaster and chantry priest at St. Edburgha's. The Dolphins succeeded them, and it may have been the 1495 John who built the main hall at Swanshurst which survived until 1917 - though it cannot be claimed that this stood on the same site as the original farmhouse. To the 15th century hall, which was open to the roof, a first floor with dormer windows was added, and in 1600 a close-studded wing was built alongside. About that time Ashfield Hall and Little Sarehole were built or rebuilt, both in chequerboard timbering. Grove Farm was erected perhaps as early as the 14th century, being then called Fulford (foul ford ?) Hall. A parlour wing was added in about 1600, and a service wing a half-century later. Coldbath Cottage on the Greethurst estate was probably a Stuart hunting lodge. It has, or had before its drastic modernisation, a carved Jacobean fireplace. Oldhouse Farm and Longfield Hall were of the same period. Evidence about the other known buildings is lacking, but that they were all half-timbered with thatch or Yardley tile roofs and moated may be guessed.
It was necessary in the mid 16th century to replace the lapsed manorial system of administration. Two Acts established the Civil Parish of Yardley as the body collectively responsible for local government, answerable to the county magistracy. Each parish's major concerns - keeping the peace, highway maintenance, and poor relief - were thenceforward overseen by appointed and unpaid officials chosen from among the chief tenants. So large a parish as Yardley could not be managed by a single team of Overseers, and initially there were three divisions, each with its own officials. All of the manor south of the Warwick Road was called Broomhall End. In Stuart times the south-west had become sufficiently populous to justify a further division, and Swanshurst Quarter came into being. Rate-collecting was to prove so onerous that a final sub-division into Near and Far Ends was made. The Quarters were still in being until the amalgamation of Poor Law Unions in 1912.
Tudor to Georgian times
Detailed evidence for a view of the Quarter between the 16-19th centuries awaits the reconstitution of the disbanded Discovering Yardley Group or at least the production in some form of the material we extracted during five years' work. The early evidence was published as 'Medieval Yardley' by the group's leader V. Skipp (1970) with maps by the present writer.
A steady increase in the number of farms and a shrinking of wood and waste may be assumed. Enclosure of Greet Fields (on both sides of the Stratford Road over Sparkhill) took place early. Holdings were exchanged to permit grouping of closes near the farmhouses at the edges, vacant strips were taken up by neighbours, and the whole expanse was hedged and ditched. But total enclosure came late to the rest of Swanshurst Quarter and was not complete until the 1840s. Squatters continued to establish themselves on the edges of the commons, eking out a living by labouring or nail-making. No early hovels survive, but their brick replacements remained on Brook and Wheelers Lanes until recently, and a cottage row still stands beside the last remnant of Showell Green, but recently obliterated by the new dwellings of Fernside Gardens.
The first bridge over the Cole around here was at Greet Mill, recorded in 1620. It was for foot travellers only. Horsemen and waggoners continued to use the ford - and some of them paid the penalty for trying to cross through the sudden floods to which the river has always been prone. Timber footbridges at the other four fords of the Quarter were washed away on occasion: brick replacements were not provided until the early 15th century.
Families and houses
The Dolphins (variant spellings) farmed about fifty acres and lived at Swanshurst Farm without interruption from 1480 until 1854, when bachelor John died. (An announcement of his forthcoming marriage in Aris's Birmingham Gazette in 1826 was contradicted in the next issue). The farm was heavily mortgaged to permit purchase of a large tract of land between Robin Hood and Baldwins Lane (Hillclose Farm) in the 1840s. To the 15-16th century building a plain brick wing was added in Stuart times, and the rest of the house was then bricked between the timbers. There were large outbuildings. After John's death Swanshurst served as a slum tenement presided over by the Widow Tomlinson. The brick wing collapsed, and vandals caused further damage when the house stood empty for three decades, then in 1906 an eccentric solicitor (Stanbury Eardley) went to live in the ruin. He believed that it stood on the site of a Saxon chapel, claiming to have found the roof and fluted wooden pillars of its chancel. It was Eardley who revived or invented he story of King Alfred's association with Swanshurst. He was said to have made the house that then occupied the site his headquarters while his army camped in the earthwork nearby, prior to a battle against the Danish host on Berry Mound. The only documentary support for the story, and that no more than recorded hearsay, is the claim by the aggrieved peasants in 1221 that Swanshurst waste was theirs by original grant of King Alfred. After Eardley's death the house was bought as scrap by William A. Clarke of Moseley and demolished in 1917. Some of the timbers were used as decorative features in a new house called Swanshurst in Russell Road, Moseley. The barns were pulled down three years later, when Swanshurst Lane was about to be built up. The actual site of the old farm was behind the house called, in pursuance of the legend, Berry Mount.
The Grevis (modern Greaves) family were yeoman farmers living in Moseley village. They became rich through cheap purchase of church lands at the Dissolution. Sir Richard Grevis bought Greethurst from the Holtes in 1578, and the title to and remaining land of Yardley manor from the Crown in 1629. It was the Grevises' ownership of parts of the Quarter which caused the spread of the name Moseley into it: thus Swanshurst Pool was known as Moseley New Pool to distinguish it from Old Pool on Coldbath Brook. A succession of spendthrift heirs so reduced the estate that when the last Richard Grevis died all that was left barely sufficed to pay his debts. A few years later, in 1766, John Taylor acquired the lordship and 1013 acres, all that remained of the manorial land. Taylor, a wealthy manufacturer and co-founder of Lloyds Bank, lived at Bordesley Hall. Like nearly all of Yardley's lords he and his heirs never lived in the manor, but they were jealous of their game and fishing rights: dire warnings were given of punishments for poaching. Most of the Taylor holdings were sold in and after 1913. All manorial privileges were ended in World War II, but the courtesy holder of the title of lord of Yardley is Jonathan Taylor of Lower Quinton Hall near Stratford. He attended the Millenary celebrations.
Grove Farm, a Maxstoke Priory property, was acquired at the Dissolution by the Greswolds. They were lords of Greet Manor and lay rectors of Yardley. The timbered farmhouse stood off the Stratford Road on a site now enclosed by Grove and Greswold Roads, still marked by some tall trees, until 1896 when a Greswold heir (who had added an 'e' to his adopted name) sold the land for building. In Green Road the low farmhouse miscalled 'The Chalet' is of Stuart date: an outbuilding still displays the chequerboard timbering that is hidden under the stucco of the house. In, 1721 Sarehole Hall was rebuilt. Its outbuildings, some of which still stand, were added more than a century later. The house was replaced by a bungalow in the late 1950s. Known early Georgian buildings, all now demolished, were the Russells’ home at Showell Green (destroyed in the 1791 riots), Showell Green House, which may have been a rebuilding on the Russell site and was latterly the Taylor Memorial Home, the Mermaid Inn, Springfield House, Spartans off Green Road, the White House (in front of Billesley Police Station), and Cateswell. Later ones, some from the early decades of the 19th century, were Coldbath, Ivyhouse in Brook Lane, Titterford, Moorlands, Quagmire, Paradise and Brook Farms, Titterford House (formerly Tatterford Farm) and the Bull's Head. Several of those had Yardley roof-tiles in broad bands of two shades of red. Most of them replaced earlier buildings on the same sites. There is no information about the appearance or building history of Shrubbery and Sparkhill Farms; Oaklands, Ivyhouse, Barton's Folly and Derbyshire's Farms on Baldwins Lane; Robin Hood, Cole Bank, and Woodlands Farms. Billesley Farmhouse was rebuilt in the 1880s. A consequence of enclosure was the departure of a number of families from hovels near the common borders: either they had no documented rights to use of the land, or they could not afford to hedge and ditch the small pieces allotted to them. So they sold out and moved as employees into garrets on the large rebuilt farms. Many cottages disappeared. The only cluster is at Showell Green where stand the row referred to above, Yew Tree Cottage, and the older part of No.123 opposite.
Nearby on Showell Green Lane (Shrubbery Lane) a Regency mansion called Showellhurst stood until 1978. Its shutters were not ornamental when it was built, for armed assault on isolated houses was then common. About 1840 were built The Firs on Yardley Wood Road (the bay windows are fifty years later), the Bulls' Head, and Yardley Wood Cottage. Warstock House and Springfield on Yardley Wood Road opposite Woodstock Road (not to be confused with the Georgian house of that name near Springfield Farm) were built at mid-century, as was Highfield House. Springfield's site is a small block of flats, but the others survive, as does Sparkhill House, embedded in the end of a row of shops on the Stratford Road/Showell Green Lane corner. In 1857 the Cotterell Charity built two almshouses opposite Christ Church, which are still occupied. Ashfield Hall, a chequerboard house, became 'Ashleigh Grange' in its last years when it was a mere residence.
The names of some of the Quarter's tenant farmers are known: they include the Cotterells of Paradise, the Bissells of Billesley and Sarehole, the Webbs of Little Sarehole and Brook Farms, the Poultons at Six Ways (Robin Hood Farm?), the Greens at Hall Green Hall, and the Glovers at the Bull's Head. That inn, before and after rebuilding, was the venue for all kinds of rural entertainment - flower shows, horse and foot races, pugilistic bouts and cock mains.
Henry Beighton's 'Mapp of Warwickshire' was surveyed in 1722-5. Yardley is nearly islanded in his native county, so much can be learned from the boundary features he shows. Also, the highways which cross Yardley are drawn, with their intersections. These can be matched with known lanes, so that if these are plotted and foredroves to known farms are added, a conjectural map of the early Georgian manor is produced. However, as there was probably little change in the landscape from then until early Victorian times, the known landscape of the latter period can be considered in detail in its place, while other 18th century topics are dealt with here.
The Birmingham to Edgehill Turnpike Trust was established in 1725, one of the first around here. Though the Trust was quick to set up tollgates (one at the top of Cole Bank Road opposite the new Charity School, with a cottage for the keeper alongside), it was less prompt in making real improvements to the road on which tolls were being levied. Across the gravel ridge, the highway was a rutted strip of morass as wide as the present dual carriageway at Robin Hood by winter's end, travellers having carried out the ancient obligation to tread out a new way beside the old when the latter was impassable. On the slope up from Greet Mill, Green Bank in later times, the road was a steep and narrow holloway that became a watercourse in rain. Parishioners still had to perform their statutory labour, but the Trust now provided surveyors/engineers. A narrow causeway was made on both approaches to the ford, which was later paved. The holloway was eventually infilled (probably in the 1770s when tolls were raised by a half) with hard-core, and a cambered strip of macadam road was made, of graded and rolled layers of broken stone, wide enough for two coaches to pass, with a ditch on each side, down the middle of the worn way elsewhere. A causeway was also made to cross the Spark Brook's marshy valley. More horses were drowned during Cole floods: the first wain bridge was built by the county in Regency times. Coaches went to Warwick and the capital along what for some decades was called the London road, a preferred way to the shire town because the Warwick Road was notoriously bad.
The name 'Stratford Road' came into use after the opening of the Avon Navigation, which made the town a river port. From 1745 there were milestones showing the distance from the capital - 114 opposite Sparkhill Park, 113 at Cole Bank Gate. (Here 'bank' has the local meaning: it refers to the slope up from the river, not to the riverside) By the century's end five daily coaches sped along the improved turnpike to and from Birmingham, keeping strict time. The Bull's Head was not a stage for the change of horses, but a 'request' stop. Coaches did not stop at tollgates, which were manned not by Trust employees, because they could not be trusted, but by men who had bought at auction the right to take tolls for a year. Warned by the guard's horn, the keeper would swing wide the gate and let the heavily-laden coach go through at speed, catching the shilling and sixpence flung to him. For necessary repairs there were blacksmiths' and wheelwrights' shops by the Cole Bank Gate. Footpads infested the Turnpike. The worthy schoolmaster of Hall Green, Samuel Swinburne, was robbed near Greet Mill in broad daylight, and a horseman was brought down at Foremans Lane corner by a rope stretched across the road, and one Jones a milliner was held up near The Mermaid. These are but three of many incidents recorded in Aris's Birmingham Gazette.
The pools of the Quarter had all been made by 1783. On the Coldbath Brook there were four - Coldbath itself, Lady Mill Pool, Old or Great Pool, and Sarehole Mill Pool. Swanshurst Slade Pool (alias Grove or Moseley New Pool) had been dammed on the next brook to the south by one Henry Giles in or before 1758. All these were fishponds, whether serving mills or not; fish was a profitable crop, caught in nets, as well as a source of sport. Greet Mill Pool had been made by a weir across the river, and this was enlarged in 1775. There were the two pools on the southern boundary which serviced Colebrook Priory (Bates or Bach) Mill and Shirley Mill; and in 1783 the 7.5 acre pool of Titterford Mill was dug out of the Coleside meadow, with a long dam on the river side, and a leat from the Chinn Brook.
Geology, Natural vegetation, and relief and drainage
Early settlement, and Saxon beginnings
Boundaries, Domesday Yardley, and Moats and earthworks
Medieval times, and Ancient roads
Old houses, Local government, and Tudor to Georgian times
Families and houses
Bridges, Watermills, and the Stratford Canal
The Tithe Map
Churches, and Schools
Yardley Rural District
The City of Birmingham, and Urbanisation
Industry, Between the Wars, and Public transport
Swanshurst Quarter in 1979, and Short bibliography