The early nineteenth century

In the absence of any surviving survey of this sort for 1766 or any previous century, there is no means of producing a complete picture of Yardley until the period of accurate map production. The name, the church and village, and those parts of the boundary which are also the shire borders, are shown on maps from 1586, but until the l8th century, the scale is rarely greater than one inch to four miles, and the few details shown are inaccurate. The first One-Inch map of Warwickshire, Henry Beighton's, was surveyed in 1722-5: it includes some features of the Worcestershire promontory, but cannot be used to provide information about Yardley as a whole. Not until the Ordnance Survey of 1812-17 was the entire parish subjected to careful mapping, and it is from that late date only that a comparative study of its development can be made.


This essay is based on all available maps from 1833, when two-inch scale fair drawings were made from the first O. S. field-sheets, to the present: on the author's investigation of vanished and surviving buildings from earlier periods: and on a street-by-street survey begun by a small group in 1965, completed by the author a year later.


As the two-inch drawings are available in Birmingham only on photostats and are difficult to interpret in detail, the following chapter is derived from the first O.S. one-inch map, published in 1834 but recording the survey of twenty-one years earlier. While lacking some details of the larger-scale map, the one-inch includes more names and is easier to read.


Road-names used throughout this essay are the modern ones. In the map-study, every building named is so recorded on the map then being examined. The number of buildings recorded in brackets for a named area is usually that counted within a half-mile radius of the central site, and is approximate: it necessarily includes dwellings, farm buildings, inns, smithies, workshops, kilns, and all other structures, and is given solely to provide comparisons of building densities.


Yardley's population in 1812-17 was about 2,000, increasing at a rate of 2% per annum. The average density of population was 170 to the square mile. The greatest concentration of buildings, a relative term in a Parish having a fairly uniform pattern of dispersed settlement, was the village alongside St. Edburgha's Church. There were about 40 structures including Blakesley Hall and May Cottage on the periphery. Eastwards of the untenanted moat behind the church there was a complete absence of building to the boundary. (Queens Road Park, with faint ridge-and-furrow markings, and a copse on the site of the infilled moat, and the Municipal Sports Ground have maintained this open area to the present.)


Lesser groupings shown on the map in Church End Quarter are 'Lea Village' (not named) north-east from Lea Hall (13): at Stichford (16) about the un-named Yew Tree junction: and a smaller wider scatter in the half-square mile between Cole Hall and Pool Lane (now Broadstone Road) (30). Single farms or other establishments are Field House, Yardley Mill, Fast Pits, Smarts Hill: and there is a disconnected scatter along both sides of Coventry Road (25). Development is peripheral to Yardley Fields and Lea Field. From other sources some of the buildings can be identified. Thus in Yardley village, apart from church and school, there are known to have been stables, and a smithy, an inn, four kilns, cottages and a farm, almshouses, a lock-up, and a vicarage. But in the absence of such knowledge for the whole parish, there is no point to isolated naming except of buildings still standing or recently razed.


In the other three Quarters of Yardley, a definite pattern of settlement is even less easy to discern on the map. The sprinkle of building was relatively densest from Spark Brook over Spark Hill to Showell Green (about 40): there was a small group just above normal flood level on both sides of the Cole at Greet (about 20), the eastern hamlet being presumably associated with Greet Manor House there: scatters are found on Warwick Road at the Westley Brook ford and near Acocks Green House (28): on the ridgeway, Fox Hollies Road/Highfield Road, from Hall Green Hall to Tritterford (27): on Amington Road, which ended at cottages now demolished: on Waterloo and Yardley Roads to Field Gate Farm (23): on Stockfield Road and about Arden Road, bordering the open fields (2l). No building was shown on Yardley Road from Field Gate to Fox Green, since it was then merely a field-bounding track between Acocks Green and Stock Fields. On the Stratford Road between Shaftmoor Lane and School Road there were 17 buildings. On the east side of the Cole valley, in the un-named (and indeed nameless) area about Slade and Scribers Lanes were 14, while along the west side, on Priory and School Roads, there was a certain concentration (35) bordering Yardley Wood Common, and a minor one along the north edge of Billesley Common, from Bulley Hall (mis-named Billesley Hall) to Yardley Wood Road (20).


Individual named buildings in Greet Quarter were Kite House, New Inn, Hay Hall and Mill, Stockfield House, and Broomfield Hall. In Broomhall Quarter were Tyseley House (Hall or Farm), Fox Green (House), Irons (Hirons) Hall, Fox Hollies (Hall), Shaftmoor (Farm), Greet Mill (Greetmill Hill Farm), Bushmoor Barn, and Broom Hall. Swanshurst Quarter had Greet (Manor House), Sarehole, Lady (not named) and Titterford Mills; Grove Farm, Green Bank, Sarehole (Hall or Farm), White House (site of Billesley House), Billesley Hall (Bulley Hall), Billesley and Quagmire Farms, Hillclose, Longfield and Paradise Farms, Ivy House (on Slade Lane), Derbyshire's, Barton's Folly (Barton's Lodge) and Handes Barn. Swanshurst Farm was marked but not named, as were other farms and houses like Bloomers (Lea Hall Farm), Pool Farm, Ivyhouse (Brook Lane), Tyseley and Ashleigh Granges, Titterford, Tatterpool, Cole Bank and Gospel Farms, and Cateswell.


Some other features of the 1838 map are: The Acocks Green tollgate but no others: New Inn, named, and inns marked at Four and Six Ways on Stratford Road, but no other known ones: the Workhouse on Coventry Road: and tile works, south of Stichford on Station Road and on 'Red Hill' opposite Deykins Road. Topographical names include Yardley Field, Greet and Billesley Commons, and Yardley Wood. Hall Green is given equal prominence with Yardley in lettering size, presumably because of its chapel, since it is not even a hamlet. Fords and road bridges are correctly shown but not footbridges on the former. Streams and pools are shown accurately, and moats are drawn and so named on Moat Lane and by the church. The apparent mis-naming of the former Allestrey Hall moat as Kents Moat (further mis-copied onto later maps as Rents Moat) is presumably due to the positioning of the name and the omission of the Kents Moat symbol above it. Only one canal wharf is shown, that at the end of Wharf Road, on the Warwick Canal. Features found on the two-inch drawing but not on the one-inch map are: field divisions apparently hedges with large trees at intervals: the supposedly still open fields of 1817 actually enclosed, but Wake Green, Billesley Common, and Yardley Wood still common land: Swans Farm (Swanshurst) and Tatterpool Farm (Titterford House) named, also Cowford Hall (site at corner of Church Road/Lea Hall Road) shown near a ford on Yardley Brook: and shaded Turnpikes with marked milestones. Stratford Road was clearly then regarded as the London road, as its stones (on the map and presumably on the ground) showed distances from the capital - 113 miles at Green Bank.


The mid-nineteenth century

n 1847 the population of Yardley was around 2,800 and declining slightly. The 40% increase in three decades had been reflected in the number of buildings shown on the large-scale Tithe Award Map of that year, which was up by about half that percentage. All enclosures were marked and numbered on the map, and from the different sequence of numbers on former field pieces it has been possible to delineate the old open fields after enclosure. There was still no building upon them, and indeed parts survived as recreation grounds until recently: Manor Road (Church Field and Stich Meadow), Yardley Fields Road (Stichford Field - with barely visible ridge and furrow), and Wynford Road (Stock Field). The growth areas were Yardley village, and the Cole Hall - Pool Lane, Spark Brook - Showell Green, and Hall Green - Titterford axes: there was little change elsewhere.


The Mermaid, Bull's Head, Old Crown (Six Ways), and Dog & Partridge (Priory Road) inns were named. An effect of enclosure was the widening and improving of 19 lanes or parts thereof, about and across the commons: they included Brook Lane, Yardley Wood Road, Wheelers Lane/Coldbath Road/Swanshurst Lane, School and Priory Roads, and also Yardley Road and Station Road (Stechford), where they crossed the former open fields. The London & North-Western Railway (1838), crossing the Cole south of Stichford, had cut through the Church Field and Lea Hall ridges: five high brick bridges of three arches (of which only those at Hillhouse and Lea Hall survived electrification demolitions) carried lines over the deep trenches, and the line was embanked over the valley of the Yardley Brook.


The Tithe Map showed a number of large houses without names: these, all in Church End, were later called The Oaks, Rockingham, The Retreat, Yew Tree and Yardley Houses. Gospel House (Gospel Farm), marked on the 1838 map, was named. Other additions were the Rushall Lane (Stockfield Road) Congregational Chapel (1827), and Church Schools in the village and at Yardley Wood: the latter was held in a meeting house built a decade earlier, a year before one in Hall Green.


Architectural styles to be seen in Yardley in the mid-19th century may be deduced from structures which have survived into the 20th century. The parish has no building stone (hence the use of the church tower wall for blade-sharpening), but was heavily wooded until Tudor times. Some old farms, e.g. Swanshurst, Grove were still close-timbered like the Trust School: they were 15th century, with overhung first floors. Like Hay Hall, some of these earliest buildings were later enclosed in brick, tile rooves replaced thatch, and external chimneys of brick were added. There were probably few 'Jazzobethan' mansions like Blakesley Hall, wherein wood was used decoratively as well as structurally. The usual building in the 16th century, when timber was becoming scarce locally, was the open frame infilled initially with wattle and daub - the 'chequerboard' style characteristic of rural Worcestershire today - and later with brick. Shaftmoor, Hall Green Hall, Field Gate Farm, Stockfield and Little Sarehole Farms, Ashleigh Grange and Vintage Cottage, were all examples of this. The 'pad and panel' east wing of Swanshurst was a late example of close timbering. Grove Farm's (1651) wings and Pinfold House (17th century) were probably among the last wood-framed houses to be built in Yardley. Hillhouse and cottages on Amington Road were 17th century brick. The Georgian period brought additions in brick, like the west wing of Swanshurst and the infilling of the central hall, and the false facade of Pinfold House. New brick buildings were Tyseley Grange and the Swan (l7th century), Titterford Mill (1783), Cateswell, and many single and row cottages. Of these a number survive at Showell Green and on Prince of Wales Lane, Arden and Shirley Roads, and Paradise, and Brook Lanes. Many 18th century rebuildings or new buildings included Greet Manor House (Manor Farm), Cole Hall, Paradise, Coldbath, Moorlands and Church End Farms, Spartans, Lea Hall and Broom Hall, and Glebe and Deykins Farms, and Sarehole Mill. Among 19th century replacements were Yardley Farm, Titterford, Quagmire, Billesley, Brook Farms and Billesley Hall Farm (Bulley Hall). Hay Hall was refronted after 1810, Cateswell was enlarged, The Firs on Yardley Wood Road received a new facade, the Bull's Head (Stratford Road) was rebuilt, and the north wing of Hall Green Hall was added. Mansions like Stockfield Hall, the rebuilt Italianate Fox Hollies Hall, and Robin Hood House (now inn) appeared about mid-century. At dates unknown, Shaftmoor and Hillhouse were stucco'ed. Many farms became ivy-covered, two in Swanshurst Quarter being known as Ivyhouse.


The 15th century structures (Hay Hall, Swanshurst, Grove Farm, Trust School) were two-storeyed and gabled, with dormer windows. Chimneys were external, added later. The Tudor buildings were similar, but with open frames and elaborate chimneys. Houses of the 17th century had brick gable ends higher than the roof tree, and chimneys were inbuilt. All Georgian buildings were of brick and tile, though beams were still (and later) used over wide entrances. They were simple and well-proportioned, with flat frontages and low rooves. Sash windows were in fashion, but casements also continued in use. The largest buildings were of three storeys, with square windows under the eaves. Farms comprised a group of substantial buildings set about a yard. Labourers' families 'lived in', or occupied terrace cottages. The plain rural Georgian style persisted with little change into the mid-19th century. Wider, arched windows, iron frames, barge boards, and brick porches were sometimes added, and stucco might conceal either brick or timber. In the 1850s debased Georgian and Gothic Revival appeared, and thereafter only cottages carried on the old tradition. But it was never to die wholly, as many turn of-the-century terraces show, it re-appeared in council houses of the 1930s, and is seen again in the latest high-density developments.


To assess correctly the development of Yardley to 1850 it would be necessary to know its chronology and nature in fullest detail. While the main features of the medieval manor can be deduced, the complete pattern is not known: and later growth can be explained in general terms only until that period is reached, after the mid-century, of which sufficient remains on the ground or in record to make more exact deductions possible. 1850 is an arbitrary date of division between rural and suburban Yardley. Prior to it, development was explicable by internal factors: but thereafter, following a slight recession, there was a population increase of 40% in a decade (2,753 in 1851; 3,848 in 1861), which in the absence of major industrial activity (since no agricultural growth in a fully enclosed parish could cause such an influx) must be ascribed to external factors - the nearness of ever-growing Birmingham, and the extension of travel facilities thereto and from. Yardley had been peopled by the families of farmers, labourers and providers of rural services, and rural craftsmen in clay, wood, leather and metal, all of whom worked in the parish. Thenceforward an always-increasing proportion of its inhabitants was of migrants from Birmingham, escaping nightly from the smoke of the town which provided their wealth or wage. The drastic changes which this invasion wrought in the appearance and economy of Yardley will be detailed below: but first the 1850 landscape will be explained to the limited extent that the evidence permits.


The cluster of dwellings at the village was small because the numbers employable and sustainable by the northern open fields and pastures were limited, and because the site was not a good one - on uncapped clay, with a poor water supply. The farm kilns there and elsewhere on the arable fringes made bricks and tiles as a winter occupation, assured of a market in Birmingham and having the Warwick Canal near enough (when the lanes were dry) to take away their products and bring their fuel. The absence of farms within the now enclosed fields is probably explained by slow and piecemeal amalgamations of holdings by farming families well established in ancient homesteads, and the fairly even spread of large farms elsewhere by a general colonisation of the more favourable parts of the waste within a comparatively short period of population growth and manorial encouragement. The many small-holdings on the fringes of the extensive commons of the southwest were doubtless squatter settlements where cottage industry had to supplement inadequate income from the land: the scatter near the Yew Tree junction, along the northern edge of what was probably the most heavily-wooded area of the manor until Tudor times, may have had a similar origin. Building along turnpikes and lanes might be either the cause or the result of the thoroughfares: whether lanes were trodden out between existing homesteads, or houses were built along made roads for ease of travel is a matter for conjecture in the absence of maps and dates.


The Victorian half-century, 1850 - 1900

By 1860, when the next Tithe Map appeared, the railway to Oxford and Banbury had been built; banked high over Cole and canal, and trenched through the ridge, which was spanned by four bridges. A station at Acocks Green was built in the year of the line's opening, 1852. In 1878 it was renamed Acocks Green and South Yardley: is this the first use of the misnomer? Consequent building of large villas in debased Georgian (some still standing) occurred just south of the station, on Sherbourne Road and Sherbourne Drive: these were the homes of the first of those wealthy fugitives from Birmingham whose modern descendants live in open-plan luxury at Dorridge and Kenilworth. Similar houses of slightly later date still stand on the south side of Warwick Road opposite St. Mary's church, and others (mostly demolished) stood on both sides of the turnpike east of Westley Brook. Large terraced villas were built on Flint Green Road. On Stockfield Road a few new buildings included Stockfield Hall, while on Yardley Road north of the station the old field-track had The Beeches, a mansion in Rustic Tudor style and Yew Tree Cottages. The yellow-brick Congregational Church on Warwick Road (1860) was built of imported material, as was the sandstone St. Mary's (1866), but most later churches are of local brick. The L.N.W. Line had still brought little change to Church End, although Stichford had had a station since 1844. Yardley village had spread along its north-south axis, having now 55 buildings, but was to develop little more. On the summit of Church Field, Redhouse and the villa (now the 'Yardley Arms ') had been built.


Coventry Road was still only sparsely settled. 'East' Greet had grown little, though Greet House (not to be confused with Greet Manor House) had appeared on the valley side. 'West' Greet was being developed, haphazardly and individually, on Warwick Road about Albion Road. On Sparkhill, in the acute angle between the turnpikes, there was an open scatter which continued to Wake Green and included about 80 buildings. James Place (1856) was built on Avon Street. From Hall Green Hall to the Bull's Head on Stratford Road there were enough houses (21) to justify the name of 'The Hamlet' which was applied to that part of Fox Hollies Road. On Shirley Road there were 11 buildings.


At High Bridge on the Stratford Canal, Christ Church, Early English style in sandstone (1849), the Vicarage and National School, faced two almshouses (all c. 1857). About the north end of Billesley Common 38 houses now clustered, and there were 22 in the south-west corner of the parish. On Wake Green the brick-and-stone Gothic pile of Spring Hill College for Congregational Ministers had been built (1854). Its name was not local, but that of the earlier site in Birmingham. Nearly all the new buildings of this period were single ones, separate dwellings: there were relatively few terraces. No back-to-back houses were ever built in Yardley.


Of the urban features of the last hundred and fifty years there are increasingly substantial remains to the present. The 1880 Tithe Map does not reflect the growth of population in two decades (150%) and can be ignored as being probably based on the earlier survey. However the first edition of the O.S. 6-inch map (1885-6) does show the expected increase of dwellings for a population of about 13,000. (It rose in the decade after 1881 from 9,745 to 17,141). Development is most notable in the corner enclosed by the Spark Brook and is clearly an extension of built-up Bordesley: between Stoney Lane, Durham Road, Fernley Road and Warwick Road, there were a dozen new streets of terraces, which absorbed several old cottages, and some off-street rows. The cottage rows of Albion and Bertha Roads and Hermon Row were perhaps the oldest, built in the 1870s, and next were Avon, Bard, Shakespeare and Stratford Streets on the slope of Sparkhill. James Place and Perseverance Place (1870) on Avon Street, Somersault and Coleman Cottages on Baker Street (1869-70 ) were to be incorporated into continuous lines of not dissimilar dwellings in the next decade or so. Some parts of this district give the impression of the back-streets of a small country town. St. John's Church, opened in a corrugated iron building in 1878, was rebuilt as now in local brick eleven years later. The School, on the farther slope of the hill, dates from 1884, but there had been a Church School on the site from 1856.


The 1874-5 Trades Directory of Francis White provides some information about commercial premises, though it is not necessarily a complete record and locations are not always given. Post offices, one at a farm and the rest in shops, are listed on Coventry Road and at Stechford, Yardley, Acocks Green, Greet (?) and Hall Green. There were 20 inns and 6 beerhouses dispersed about the parish. Acocks Green had most shops (17), followed by Sparkhill (11) and Greet (6): there were 4 on Coventry Road, 3 at Yardley Wood, 2 at Hall Green, and 5 others making a total of 48 shops. Only one of these was certainly in Yardley village.


East Greet was unchanged except for the Greet and Burbury Brickworks which were beginning to excavate the valley side. Clay pits were henceforward few but large: rural Yardley was pock-marked with more than a hundred small clay or gravel pits, which were to be infilled with domestic refuse. The quadrilateral between Formans, Stratford, Fernley, and Percy Roads was being developed piecemeal in mostly uniform terrace blocks of narrow tunnel-back houses, large 3-storeyed ones at the top and steadily smaller ones towards the bottom, from the 1870s to the 1900s. The Percy Road industrial area had begun with an umbrella factory.


Wake Green now had a church, St. Agnes' (1884), daughter to St. Mary's, Moseley, and new streets were being laid out round it. Mansions were appearing on Yardley Wood and Wake Green Roads in extensive grounds and unlovely styles. There were humbler terraces on Windermere and Coldbath Roads and Prince of Wales Lane. Otherwise there was no development in Swanshurst: Hall Green and Yardley Wood Board Schools served wide areas of farmland.


Turnpike abolition in 1876 had cleared the way for public transport to extend from Birmingham, but there were other obstacles. Thus, while steam trams has reached the summit of Sparkhill by 1885, the humped and narrow Cole bridges could not carry tracks: there were only horse buses to the Swan until 1904 and to the centre of Acocks Green until 1922. The trams to Sparkhill and Heybarnes made rural Yardley and its pleasant river easily accessible for townsfolk. The large new and rebuilt inns like the Mermaid and its near neighbours, and the Plough and Harrow at Hay Mills bridge, the Bull's Head on Red Hill, the Swan in Victorian Tudoresque, and the Britannia at Tyseley, catered for Sunday trippers. 'Happy Valley', between the Stratford Canal and Chinn Brook at Yardley Wood, was reached from Alcester Lane's End tram terminus. There were to be no transport services anywhere near Yardley village until 1926.


Villas spread from Flint Green along Broad Road, behind which St. Mary's School was built in 1874. There was similar growth about the Methodist Church on Shirley Road opened eleven years earlier: and on Arden and Summer Roads, Victoria Road (west side), Sherbourne Road, Station Road down to the open brook, and a new road which bypassed it, Dudley Park Road, though this was only partly built-up. A pattern was being established (to be completed only in the 1930s) of old lanes and a few new streets whose development enclosed large pieces of land used for nurseries, orchards, allotments, sports grounds etc. There were lowlier terraces on Tyseley Hill; 3-storey terrace villas facing a row across narrow Stockfield Road; a hamlet on Warwick Road nearby that included 'The Grange' (1889), a smithy, and the Pioneer Cabinet Works; and cottage rows on Spring Road: but all these were at the limits of the commuter suburb henceforth to be commonly called Acocks Green. North of the station, Yardley Road was the axis of mansion building, with development on Malvern and Elmdon Roads and the Avenue down to the brook, on Francis Road and on Dalston and Augusta Roads. But growth was sporadic, clearly generated by the railway and bounded by the canal. Facing Pinfold House and a brewery and smithy on Mansfield Road, were tunnel-back terraces of the 1890s. Yardley Cemetery, already in use, was bought by the Rural District Council and extended in 1886.


Hay Mill had been rebuilt and greatly enlarged in 1865. Two years earlier Thomas Horsfall, a partner in the wire-works, had built a tiny chapel, also used as a school, at the end of the Fordrough. He built St. Cyprian's Chapel, (enparished after five years) over the Mill's side race in 1873. Amington Road, formerly Tannery Lane, had been extended to the mill as Speedwell Road, bordered by mean terraces: and new streets - George, Francis, Redhill, and Arthur Roads - in addition to the north end of King's Road, were being patchily built up with narrow-bayed terraces during the 1880s. Industry was spreading along the canal: apart from the long-established Tannery (Muscott's) there were three brickworks just north of the waterway, and a foundry and the Vanguard Works south of it. Clearly the housing growth in Hay Mills was the result of industrial activity, beginning with the introduction of steam power at the mill: this was no overspill from Birmingham, for the town extended only as far as Victoria Park, so that it cannot be compared. with Spark Brook: nor was it a rural dormitory suburb like Acocks Green or Stechford. It is in fact Yardley's only example of a self-contained industrial village. From the 1880s it had a growing shop centre on Coventry Road, Redhill Board School opened in 1892, and there were three inns. As terraces spread up the hill in the 1890s, a tall block was built with its cellars in the holloway that had been the old line of Coventry Road before the turnpike. Hay Mills Police Station was built in terracotta in 1903: it bears the device of Worcestershire amid its baroque stonework.


Church End had little growth to show, except at Stechford as it now came to be called (another railway nisnomer). All Saints' Mission began work in 1878, the present church being opened twenty years later. Mary Road was the first of the so-called 'Royal Roads' to be developed, its detached villas dating from 1865 onwards and having fishing rights in the Cole - which were then worth having. After Victoria House (1865) and Gumbleberries (1874), Victoria and Albert Roads were gradually built up. Though most of the varied structures are of the 1880s and 1890s, Stechford is of all Yardley districts the most mixed in date and architecture. There has never been any large-scale development, never a proper centre, since the two ancient hamlets, Lower Stichford, and Fieldhouse, were at the extreme north and south ends of the old field-bound track that became Albert Road, now hardly affected by the suburban growth. For nearly a century spaces have been infilled to individual taste, every decade being represented. A unique development was Northcote Road, two plain terraces on railway land (1890). By 1900 Albert Road was built up very much as now. At the north end tunnel-back blocks were being erected, those on the east side incorporating an old barn and cottage. South of the railway, the west side had a large laundry and a continuous but summary-defying collection of 2-and 3-storey villas in ones, twos, and terraces, and similar buildings faced them south of the church. Victoria, Mary and Frederick Roads were built up in like fashion but not fully, and peripheral growth had begun on Morden, Francis, Lyttleton, Richmond and Stuart Roads. At the five-way junction where Field House stood, the first part of the much extended school went up in 1896, and a 'centre' including shops converted from recently-built 3-storey terrace houses had begun to develop there. Beside the ramp by which Station Road climbed to the railway bridge (1865, replacing a level-crossing) the old lane acquired cottages of 1835-40. One of these was the earliest Methodist meeting-house, since replaced by a chapel in Lyttleton Road.


More mansions in extensive grounds - Grange, Grove, Croft - adjoined Yardley village. Two inns, the Malthouse, a fire station and the Cottagers' Institute (1882) were buildings not hitherto recorded: the farm kilns had gone out of use due to competition from rail-borne Welsh slate. East of Cole Hall, the Solihull Sanitary Board's sewage works were in operation, the Acocks Green sewage farm being closed in 1901.


The urbanisation of Yardley

Urbanisation of Yardley (introduction)

The natural landscape

Ownership and administration

Yardley in medieval times (map)

Yardley at the end of the eighteenth century (map)

Section two

The early 19th century

The mid-nineteenth century

The Victorian half-century 1850-1900

Section three

The last years of independence

Development 1911-20

Two decades 1919-39

Section four

Yardley since the war

Urbanization maps

Surviving antiquities of Yardley (map, 1981)


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