Archive for the ‘Landscapes’ Category

The Reedswood tank sometime between 1925 and 1934. W05861: Walsall Local History Centre

PART 4: opens with a review of changes in Walsall and the army between the Crimea and WWI, then Walsall’s experience of WWI in general… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/?page_id=6402&preview=true

Walsall’s Crimean cannon feature, with clock and fountain, at the Bridge, circa 1865.

Part Three covers the lengthy and messy process that Walsall undertook to obtain and then find a site for its war cannon, without ever really having a view of what they mean’t, followed by the story of their rapid demise…. https://wp.me/P4ui4e-1Fc

Wolverhampton cannon, circa 1862. An example of a local town centre cannon monument (now Queen Square), simply mounted on a plinth. The statue of Prince Albert replaced the cannon in 1866

The second part of this article looks at Walsall’s experiences and views of the Crimean War, how and why Russian cannon came to Britain, and why towns like Walsall, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Ludlow and Hereford sought to use them as features in public spaces… https://wp.me/P4ui4e-1F8

Landywood Farm, 2018.


It is impossible to know if the Walsall Road led to settlement in Wyrley or just connected it to the existing road network – this is because of the lack of physical evidence and the road joined the more ancient and larger settlements of Bloxwich and Cannock. The Walsall Road (A34), I would suggest, was already a well trampled out ‘hollow way’ by the time of the population expansions of the early medieval period – indeed, as the name Wyrley is Old English in origin, the road was possibly in existence by the Saxon period in some form… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/1066-1840-the-growth-of-great-wyrley-and-the-walsall-road/

The old Watling St, now isolated as a no through road at what was once a cross roads with Leacroft Lane and Washbrook Lane (now completely gone). 2018.

The purpose of this series of articles is to examine, if only in brief, the relationship between the settlement of Great Wyrley (alternatively, the settlement of people within Great Wyrley) and some of the roads that have defined it or, indeed, may have created it. The first part is on the M6 Toll road and Watling Street… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/the-road-to-great-wyrley-watling-street-and-the-m6-toll/

9 June 1963, this aerial photo shows the Birches Sun Club within the Covert. (Staffs Record Office)


This, the final part, will focus on the naturist side: it opens with a brief look at the history of naturism – placing the Birches Club (the 1950s – 1980s) into context- before looking at what little is known about the Club itself… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/other-places/essington-laid-bare-springhill-and-the-birches-sun-club-part-3/

Springhill House: built in Georgian style, it is orientated to face the old gardens, not the road. 2017.


This is the second part of a three part article on the archaeological and historical landscape of Springhill (Essington Wood) with a special focus on Springhill House and its Covert, a piece of woodland to the rear of this house that once hosted the Birches Sun Club, a former naturist (nudist, in parlance of old) site… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/?page_id=3544&preview=true

The 1834 OS Map, showing the canals and mineral railway from the coal pits near the Mitre Inn. The Enclosure took place after these were constructed. (Walsall Local History Centre)

This is the first of three articles that is on the landscape of Springhill in Essington Wood, the special focus on Springhill House and the Birches Sun Club, a former naturist (nudist, in parlance of old) site located in Springhill Covert, a piece of woodland to the rear of Springhill House (now Springhill Farm), off Broad Lane, in Essington… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/other-places/essington-laid-bare-springhill-and-the-birches-sun-club-part-1/

The heart of what was Little London. (2017).

The heart of what was Little London. (2017).


I started to look into the history of the White Lion pub in Walsall, which is located on the corner of Sandwell Street and Little London, in what is generally called the Little London area of Walsall. It quickly became apparent that it was old – and by that I mean it predated the both the current 1890s rebuild and the 1830 Beerhouse Act – so I knew that its early origins would be difficult, if not impossible to track. So, this part will indirectly look at the pub by concentrating on the place name and early development of the area known as Little London in Walsall, with some reference to the Little London in Willenhall; while the second part will look at the pub itself…https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/walsall/little-london-and-the-white-lion-walsall/

Margaret Marshall outside the front of the Black Horse - with Alfred and Clara? Alfred became a brewer and I bet he supplied the beer advertised. (WLHC)

Margaret Marshall outside the front of the Black Horse – with Alfred and Clara? Alfred became a brewer and I bet he supplied the beer advertised. (WLHC)

This article has aimed, through two pubs, to introduce Walsallians and Bloxwegians alike to a little history of a once important cross-roads and centre of an agricultural and mining estate. Nobody bats an eyelid there anymore; and while these buildings have mostly gone, like the miners and the farm workers, the area in many ways is not so different. This article is dedicated to the one constant in our story – the people of Leamore… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/walsall/tales-of-lost-leamore/lost-leamore-i-a-horse-of-a-different-colour/