Selly Oak

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the suburban district of Selly Oak. For the Selly Oak local authority electoral ward, see Selly Oak (ward). For the Selly Oak Parliamentary constituency, see Birmingham Selly Oak (UK Parliament constituency).
Selly Oak
Selly Oak High Street.jpg
View of Selly Oak High Street (A38 Bristol Road) looking south towards Northfield
Selly Oak is located in West Midlands county
Selly Oak
Selly Oak
 Selly Oak shown within the West Midlands
OS grid reference SP041823
Metropolitan borough Birmingham
Metropolitan county West Midlands
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BIRMINGHAM
Postcode district B29
Dialling code 0121
Police West Midlands
Fire West Midlands
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament Birmingham Selly Oak
List of places
UK
England
West Midlands

Coordinates: 52°26′19″N 1°56′28″W / 52.43866°N 1.94111°W / 52.43866; -1.94111

Selly Oak is a residential suburban district in south-west Birmingham, England. The suburb is bordered by Bournbrook and Selly Park to the north-east, Edgbaston and Harborne to the north, Weoley Castle and Weoley Hill to the west, and Bournville to the south. The Worcester and Birmingham Canal and the Birmingham Cross-City Railway Line run along the northern boundary of the area.

Toponymy[edit]

District sign for the Selly Oak area, on the (Bristol Road (A38)), facing north-bound traffic
Oil painting of 'The Old Selly-Oak Tree' by W. Stone (1897)

Selly Oak was formerly known as Escelie.[1] The name Selly is derived from variants of "scelf-lei" or shelf-meadow,[1] that is pasture land on a shelf or terrace of land, probably the glacial deposits formed after the creation and later dispersal of Lake Harrison during the Quaternary period.

There are two entries in DB for Selly Oak (Escelie). The first entry for Selly Oak records a nuncupative (oral) will and is out of conventional order.[2] Wulfwin had leased the manor for the term of three lives and the newly appointed Bishop of Lichfield, Robert de Limesey, used the will to challenge the loss of his land. “Wulfwin bought this manor before 1066 from the Bishop of Chester, for the lives of three men. When he was ailing and had come to the end of his life, he summoned his son, the Bishop of Li (chfield?), his wife and many of his friends and said: ‘Hear me, my friends, I desire that my wife hold this land which I bought from the church so long as she lives, and that after her death the church from which I received it should accept it back. Let whoever shall take it away from it be excommunicated’. The more important men of the whole County testify that this was so.” The second entry shows that Wibert had been replaced as sub-tenant by Robert suggesting the challenge was successful.[3]

One of the purposes of Domesday Book was to provide a written statement of the legal owners and overlords (Barons) of the land in the reallocation of territories after the conquest. William Fitz-Ansculf, from Picquigny, Picardy in France, was assigned a Barony. He made his base at the Saxon, Earl Edwin’s, castle in Dudley, Worcestershire. He and his successors were overlords of the manors of Selly Oak and Birmingham both of which had previously been owned by Wulfwin. It would appear that William Fitz Ansculf died during the First Crusade. Henry of Huntingdon in his ‘History of the English People’ writes that: “Then from the middle of February they besieged the castle of ‘Arqah, for almost three months. Easter was celebrated there (10 April). But Anselm of Ribemont, a very brave knight, died there, struck by a stone, and William of Picardy, and many others.”.[4]

The earliest Tax Roll for Selly Oak was the Lechmere Roll of 1276-1282. Selleye (Selly Oak) and Weleye (Weoley) were separate from the manor of Northfield. Of the twenty households listed the person who paid the most tax was William de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, who was the half-brother of Henry III and one of the wealthiest men in the kingdom.[5]

The Papal Register 1291 shows that Northfield was an Ecclesiastic Parish which was connected with the Priory of Dudley.[6] In the next Tax Roll in 1327 the entries for Selly Oak and Weoley were combined with those of Northfield. This suggests a time-frame for the establishment of the Parish of Northfield.[7]

The 'Oak'[edit]

The Oak element of the name Selly Oak comes from a prominent Oak tree that formerly stood at the crossroads of the Bristol Road and Oak Tree Lane/Harborne Lane. The original spot is still commemorated by an old Victorian street sign above one of the shops on the north-side of Oak Tree Lane, which declares it to be "Oak Tree Place" and has the date of 1880.[8]

Brass plaque that reads "Butt of Old Oak Tree from which the name of Selly Oak was derived.

The Oak that stood here was finally felled in May 1909 amid fears about its safety, due to damage to its roots caused by the building of the nearby houses. The tree was cut-up and the stump removed to Selly Oak Park, where it remains to this day, bearing a brass plaque that reads "Butt of Old Oak Tree from which the name of Selly Oak was derived. Removed from Oak Tree Lane, Selly Oak 1909".[9] By 2011 the stump had become quite rotten and the brass plaque was no longer secure. It was removed by the Friends of Selly Oak Park and replaced with a replica plaque. The original was retained by the Friends for conservation. The remains of the stump were left in the park.

The earliest attestations for the name 'Selly Oak' date from 1746, and come from the manorial court rolls for the Manor of Northfield and Weoley, of which the district of Selly was a part.[10] The stump of the old oak in Selly Oak Park was examined using dendrochronology, and the results gave a date of 1710-1720 for when the tree began growing.[11] It is therefore thought that the tree became a landmark following the turnpiking of the road from Bromsgrove to Birmingham (now the Bristol Road), which began in 1727.[12]

An older name for the same crossroads, where the road from King's Norton to Harborne (now represented by Oak Tree/Harborne Lanes) met the Bromsgrove to Birmingham road (now the Bristol Road), appears to have been Selly Cross; at least this is what it was called during the 16th century when it was recorded as Selley Crosse in 1549 and Selley Cross in 1506.[13]

Felling the Selly Oak, 1909

The supposed tradition that the original oak was associated with a witch named Sarah or Sally is without foundation,[14] and is likely to have arisen as a means of explaining what may have been a variant and local pronunciation of the name as 'Sally' Oak.[15] Indeed the name is actually recorded as Sally Oak on a canal map produced by John Snape in 1789.[16]

In March 1985, a 'new' Selly Oak was planted by local Councillors on the north side of Bristol Road on the small triangle of land between Harborne Lane and the Sainsbury's site, following road improvements to the junction.[17] A second 'new' Selly Oak was planted in October 2000 at Bentella's Corner on the south side of Bristol Road, on the opposite side of Oak Tree Lane to the original site.[18] In addition, there may also have been a third planting of yet another 'new' Selly Oak, next to the extension to Sainsbury's car park, after the demolition of The Great Oak pub in 1993.[citation needed] All of these Oaks are still[when?] growing.

Governance[edit]

The suburb is in the Selly Oak local authority electoral ward, along with the districts of Bournbrook, Selly Park, Ten Acres and a small part of Stirchley. It also comes under the Selly Oak local council constituency, which is managed by its own district committee, and comprises both the Selly Oak ward as well as the wards of Billesley, Bournville and Brandwood.

Geography[edit]

Population and services[edit]

The 2001 Population Census recorded that 25,792 people were living in Selly Oak with a population density of 4,236 people per km² compared with 3,649 people per km² for Birmingham. It had a below-average percentage of ethnic minorities with only 15.9% of the population consisting of ethnic minorities compared with 29.6% for Birmingham in general. Due to the proximity of the University of Birmingham there are a large number of students in the area.

Education[edit]

Schools include Selly Oak School, Selly Park Girls Technology College, St Edwards RC, Raddlebarn Road, Tiverton Road, and St Mary's C of E Primary School.

The following is a the history of the schools in Selly Oak Ward taken from the Victoria County History that was published in 1964 and accordingly the information requires updating.[19]

St Edwards RC Primary School, Elmdon Road: The school opened 1874 as St Paul’s RC School, in new buildings with one schoolroom and one classroom. It moved in to new buildings in1895 and the name changed to St Edwards RC School. A new schoolroom was provided in 1897 increasing the accommodation for 120 children. It was altered and enlarged in 1909 and further improvements were required in 1912. In 1953 it was reorganised for Junior and Infants. Teaching was conducted by the Sisters of the Charity of St Paul.

St Mary’s C of E Primary School, High Street, Selly Oak (Bristol Road): It opened as a National School in 1860 with accommodation for 252 children. It was enlarged in 1872 and ten years later the boys and girls were separated. When St Mary’s National School was opened in Hubert Road Bournbrook in 1885 the girls were transferred there and the National School was used for boys and infants. In 1898 the schools were united for administration and called Selly Oak and Bournbrook Schools. A third department was opened in 1898, in Dawlish Road, to accommodate 545 senior girls and the Infants department. Selly Oak School was used for junior girls and Infants. Bournbrook School was used for boys with accommodation for 200 boys provided at the Bournbrook Technical Institute from 1901-3.

The Selly Oak and Bournbrook Temporary Council School was opened by King’s Norton and Northfield UDC in 1903 in the room that was previously used as an annexe of Selly Oak and Bournbrook C of E School. The premises were not satisfactory and the school was closed in 1904 when Raddlebarn Lane Temporary Council School was opened. Selly Oak School was damaged in 1908 by a gale and the premises were condemned in 1912. The schools were separated in 1914 with the 1885 Hubert Road and 1898 Dawlish Road buildings becoming St Wulstan’s C of E school. Selly Oak School became St Mary’s C of E School. In 1946 accommodation was also provided in the People’s Hall, Oak Tree Lane.

St Wulstan’s C of E School, Dawlish Road and Hubert Road St Mary’s National School Bournbrook was opened in Hubert Road 1885 to accommodate 550 pupils. The school closed in 1939 due to dwindling numbers. The Dawlish Road premises were sold in 1940 as a warehouse but bought by Birmingham Education Committee in in 1952 to be an annexe to Tiverton Road County Primary School.

Selly Hill C of E, Warwards Lane Ten Acres Church School opened in 1874 to accommodate 125 children. The name changed in 1884 to Selly Hill Church School. It was sometimes known as St Stephen’s Church School, or as Dogpool National School. It was enlarged in 1885 and a new school was opened on an adjoining site opened in 1898 to accommodate 440 children. Further enlargement and alterations took place in 1914, and after reorganisation in 1927 and 1931 the school closed in 1941. Between 1951 and 1954 the buildings were used by Selly Park County Primary School and from 1954 by Raddlebarn Lane Boys County Modern School.

Selly Oak Boys County Modern School, Oak Tree Lane This was opened in 1961 with nine classrooms, practical rooms and a hall.

Selly Park County Primary School, Pershore Road This school opened in 1911 to accommodate 1,110 boys, girls and infants and enabled the closure of Fashoda Road Temporary Council School. The buildings were altered and the school reorganised in 1931-2. In 1945 the senior department became a separate school. St Stephen's Parochial Hall provided accommodation for two classes from 1947 to 1954. War damage was repaired in 1950 and in 1955 children were transferred to Moor Green County Primary School with one building used as an annexe of this new school.

Selly Park Girls’ County Modern School, Pershore Road This became a separate school in 1945, accommodating 440, in the buildings of the County Primary School.

Fashoda Road Temporary Council School This was opened by King’s Norton and Northfield UDC in 1904 and closed with the opening of Selly Park Council School.

Tiverton County Primary School This school was opened in 1906 by King’s Norton and Northfield UDC with accommodation for 510 children. Bournbrook Congregational Church provided accommodation for two classes in 1952. The buildings of the former St Wulstan’s C of E School were bought in 1952 for an extension to the school. In 1954 the name was changed to Tiverton Road School.

Raddlebarn Lane County Primary School In 1905 King’s Norton and Northfield UDC opened a temporary school in iron buildings for the Selly Oak and Bournbrook Temporary Council School from the Bournbrook Technical Institute. Accommodation for 126 was provided in a Primitive Methodist Chapel. Permanent buildings replacing the hut opened in 1909 as Raddlebarn Lane Council School with accommodation for 800 children.

Raddlebarn Lane Boy’s County Modern School This became a separate school in 1945 with additional accommodation provided in 1951 in the Friends Meeting House, Raddlebarn Road, and from 1954 in the former St Stephen’s C of E School in Warwards Lane.

Selly Oak Colleges[edit]

Main article: Selly Oak Colleges

This information has been gathered from the Victoria County History which was published in 1964 so there is a need to add to it.[20]

Woodbrooke, Bristol Road This was the former home of Josiah Mason, George Richards Elkington, and George and Elizabeth Cadbury. It was opened in 1903 as a residential settlement for religious and social study for Friends. A men’s hostel, Holland House was opened from 1907-1914. By 1922 more than 400 foreign students and 1,250 British students had passed through the college. Only about 50% of these belonged to the Society of Friends.

A separate missionary college was established at Westholme in 1905, this was the house of J W Hoyland. A year later it moved into permanent quarters at Kingsmead. By 1931 the Methodists had added Queen’s Hostel for women.

Westhill College was created in 1907 as a result of gifts by Mr. and Mrs. Barrow Cadbury. The building erected in 1914 was named after its first principle, G H Archibald.

Fircroft was a working men’s college conceived as a place of training for Adult-School workers. The college moved to The Dell in 1909 which was renamed Fircroft. The college moved in 1957 to Primrose Hill, George Cadbury’s old home, and this was renamed Fircroft.

Carey Hall, Weoley Park Road was opened in 1912 as a joint venture of the Baptist Missionary Society, and the London Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church of England for training women missionary candidates.

The College of the Ascension, opened 1929, replaced the original Westhill College building as a training institution for women missionaries for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.

The YWCA College began work in 1926 moving to new premises in College Walk.

The Churches of Christ Theological College moved from Park Road, Moseley to Overdale in 1931.

The Beeches, built by George Cadbury before 1914, was used from 1925 to 1933 as a holiday home for non-conformist ministers and their wives. It became The Beeches Educational Centre for Women from 1933 to1939. After the War it was used by Cadbury Brothers Ltd as a trade college.

St Brigid’s House, Weoley Park Road, was a second Anglican college, which initially shared premises with the College of the Ascension.

The Anglican Industrial Christian Fellowship Training College was also situated in Weoley Park Road from 1954 to 1956. St Andrews College, a united men’s missionary college was opened in Elmfield before moving to Lower Kingsmead.

A Central Council of governing bodies of the colleges was created in 1919. George Cadbury gave extensive playing fields in 1922 on which a pavilion was erected in 1928. The Rendel Harris Reference Library opened in 1925 with central offices, classrooms, and lecture rooms. A new library building was opened in 1932. The George Cadbury Assembly Hall, built by Dame Elizabeth opened in 1927.

Hospitals[edit]

Main article: Selly Oak Hospital

Selly Oak Hospital began as a workhouse. It was built in 1872 for the King’s Norton Poor law Union which was formed in 1836 and included the Parishes of Beoley, King’s Norton, Northfield (Worcestershire), Harborne and Smethwick (Staffordshire), and Edgbaston (Warwickshire). The architect was Edward Homes who had designed St Mary’s Church. By 1879 the hospital catered for 400 patients including the poor but also the aged, sick, and infirm. In 1895 the foundation stone was laid for a new infirmary designed by Daniel Arkell. In 1906 the Woodlands was built as a home for nurses. The school of nursing was officially opened in 1942.[21]

With the creation of Greater Birmingham in 1911 Selly Oak became part of the Birmingham Union for Poor Law responsibility. By the Local Government Act of 1929 the functions of the boards of guardians were transferred to the local authorities and Birmingham Corporation became responsible for the administration of public assistance and for 16 institutions containing 6,000 patients. Selly oak hospital, with 550 patients, was administered by the public health, maternity, and welfare committee becoming a general and not poor law hospital.[22] For many years the workhouse and infirmary buildings have been used as offices and consulting rooms rather than as wards for patients. The main prosthetic limb production and fitment centre for the West Midlands is still functioning.

The Centre for Defence Medicine was located at Selly Oak Hospital and casualties from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were treated there. When the university hospitals Birmingham trust NHS foundation trust was formed in 1997 Selly oak Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital were jointly administered. A new hospital has been built beside the old QE and Selly Oak Accident and Emergency Department was closed with the transfer of patients beginning on 16 June 2010. the hospital in now fully closed with all NHS services consolidated to the new Queen Elizabeth hospital. A significant group of buildings have been listed but 650 houses will be built on the site [23]

Public transport[edit]

Both Selly Oak and Bournbrook are served by Selly Oak railway station on the Cross-City Line, providing services to the Birmingham New Street, Lichfield Trent Valley and Redditch stations. It was originally built as part of the Birmingham West Suburban Railway, who agreed a land rental deal with the Worcester and Birmingham Canal to allow construction. It opened in 1876 as a single track line, running from Birmingham New Street to Stirchley Street. Bought out by the Midland Railway to allow their trains to pass through Birmingham without turning having used the Camp Hill Line, they extended the tracks south to a junction south with the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway at Kings Norton, and double-tracked the entire line length. The line was slightly realigned in the early 1930s, and the stub of the old alignment is still visible next to the current bridge over the Bristol Road.

The former Bristol Road tram route and its depots were replaced by buses in 1952.[24] The original tram sheds were demolished in about 2005 for flats, whilst Selly Oak bus garage was closed in 1986 and converted into a self-storage depot in about 1990.[24]

Public facilities[edit]

The area is well served by all kinds of public facilities. These include:- Selly Oak Library which hosts the Selly Oak Library Local History Group. One of the people accused of and incorrectly imprisoned for the Carl Bridgewater murder was arrested in the now demolished Dog and Partridge public house. There was a cinema, the Oak, which every Saturday morning was home to the ABC minors children's cinema club. The cinema stood on the current site that is Sainsbury's.

There is one main cemetery in Selly Oak, Lodge Hill Cemetery, opened 1895, and run by Birmingham council since 1911. Its main entrance is on Weoley Park Road, at its junction with Gibbins Road and Shenley Fields Road.

Public Houses[edit]

Photographic evidence exists for all of these pubs with the exception of ‘The Boat’ and ‘The Junction’.

The Bear and Staff is situated at the junction of Bristol Road and Frederick Road

The Boat was an early pub, beside the canal at the bottom of the Dingle, kept by Mr. Kinchin.[25]

Bournbrook Tavern, Bristol Road, was a Mitchells and Butlers pub with an unofficial name of ‘The Steps’ due to a flight of steps up to the entrance. It was replaced by ‘The Brook’ which has since been demolished.

In the 1881 census the Bristol Pear, corner of Bristol Road and Heeley Road, was the Heeley Arms with Thomas Thompson as publican. It changed its name to the Station Inn before adopting its current name.

The Brook replaced the Bournbrook Tavern and has since been demolished and a Hall of residence is now on the site.

In 1881 the Country Girl, Raddlebarn Road, is listed as a beer garden. It has undergone various modifications. The cottages on the site have been used to give a more acceptable address to those born in the Workhouse.

Behind the façade of the Dog and Partridge was an old farmhouse which had sold its home-brewed beer from the early days of Selly Oak’s canal-side development. It had been run by an independent beer retailer until 1938 when Mitchells and Butler bought it. It was positioned on the front of ‘The Dingle’. The pub and the Commercial buildings were demolished from the 1998s. The site is now subject to a major planning application from SENSE.

The original Dogpool Inn, corner of Pershore Road and Dogpool Lane, was diagonally opposite where the current pub stands. It appears on an 1877 map. The landlord was Tom G H Thompson. (SOSP p103) It has had various names: Firkin, Hibernian and is now the New Dogpool Hotel on the site of Ten Acres Inn. It is an Art Nouveau style building with terracotta facing and French Empire type roof.

Goose at the OVT - See Kerby’s Pools, Bournbrook

The Gun Barrels was just in Edgbaston. During the late C19th the pub became popular for prize fights because as the Bourn Brook was the County Boundary, the pugilists could escape from the local police by crossing the brook which was beyond their jurisdiction. The pub had been rebuilt by 1987 and has since been demolished. An earlier building called ‘The Grinders’ appears at this location on an 1819 turnpike map. It may have been named after William Deakin’s gun Barrel Manufactory at Bournbrook in 1841. Like many rural inns the pub had an adjacent bowling green which may also have been used for croquet.

The Junction Inn was situated on the canal wharf at the junction of the Dudley and W/B canals – a large house is shown on an 1873 map [26]

The Great Oak was a new pub opened on the Triangle; however access was nearly impossible due to traffic.

The original Oak Inn was on the corner of the Bristol Road and Harborne Lane. It was demolished during road improvements and for the development of the Triangle for Sainsbury’s store c1980.

The Prince of Wales was on the site of Halfords on the Battery Retail Park.

The Plough and Harrow was formerly called the New Inn in 1900 and took the name Plough and Harrow in 1904, it was demolished pre 1987.

The Selly Park Tavern, Pershore Road, was built in 1901 as the Selly Park Hotel, in the Arts and Crafts style for Holders Brewery. It replaced the Pershore Inn which probably dated back to the building of the Pershore Road in 1825. A skittle alley at the back is possibly one of the earlier Inn’s outbuildings.

Ten Acres Inn, corner of Pershore Road and St Stephen's Road, is now the site of the New Dogpool Hotel. It was built by Holt’s brewery.

In 1900 the Village Bells, Harborne Lane, had William Caesley as landlord. It had become the Infant Welfare Centre by 1922. The building was reputedly used as a meeting place for the Primitive Methodists. The site was cleared for road widening.

The White Horse was in Chapel Lane.

Religion[edit]

St. Mary's Church, Selly Oak

George Richards Elkington put up most of the money to build St Mary's Church on Bristol Road in 1861, built by the Birmingham architect Edward Holmes. There are several Elkington Burials in the Churchyard, including George Richards Elkington and his wife Mary Austen Elkington., and Brass Plates to Commemorate them within the name of the church. These rather amusingly show the couple with Victorian fairstyles and a mixture of Victorian and medieval clothing.

The Five Mile Act in 1665 meant Birmingham, although a large centre of population was not a borough, and was therefore exempt from the effects of the Act and attracted an influx of ex-preachers religious freedom made the town attractive. The Declaration of Indulgence of 1672 resulted in the licencing of meetings of which few seem to have been registered. The following is an update from the VCH City of Birmingham [27]

A Psychic Centre on the Bristol Road, Selly Oak was registered for public worship in 1946

An Un-denominational church in Alton Road was registered for public worship from 1912 to 1945.

Bournbrook Chapel, a brick building seating 250 in Elmdon Road, was opened by members of Selly Oak (Bristol Road) Primitive Methodist church in 1901. In 1932 there was a church membership of 54. Bournbrook Church Hall, Dartmouth Road, seating 350 built in 1932. The church was formed in 1894 and in 1902, when services were being held in a corrugated iron building, numbered 30 members. For some years after 1902 Dartmouth Road was a mission of Francis Road

Bournbrook Elim Church, Alton Road, formerly an un-denominational mission, was acquired in 1944. The congregation, founded from Graham Street, had formerly met in a hired hall. Church membership in 1957 was 110.

Bournbrook Gospel Hall, Tiverton Road was registered for public worship in 1895 and is probably identifiable with the Selly Oak Hall which claimed, in 1892, to have a Sunday evening congregation of 70. It was open in 1957.

Christ Church, Selly Park, was formed from St Stephen’s parish.

In 1894 George Cadbury opened the Selly Oak Institute which was used as a place of worship until the new meeting-house was built in 1927. In 1899 the institute consisted of a main hall, ancillary rooms, and a temperance tavern, or ‘cyclists Arms’. In 1954 there was said to be an average Sunday attendance at the meting-house of 70.

Raddlebarn Lane Mission Hall, a corrugated iron building seating around 150, was opened in 1922. It was preceded by another hall built on the same site by Edward Cadbury in 1903 and original known as the Friends’ Hall, Selly Hill, which was destroyed by fire in 1916. During the intervening period the congregation met at Raddlebarn Lane Council School. The hall was closed in 1950 and subsequently used by Birmingham Corporation for educational purposes.

Selly Park Chapel was built by the Baptists, completed in 1877, at a cost of £3,400 of which W Middlemore subscribed £2,600 and, in 1892 provided 400 sittings. Services had previously been held in the Dog Pool Chapel, a wooden mission hall erected in 1867 in ST Stephen’s Road by members of Bradford Street Circus Chapel. The Sunday afternoon congregation in 1892 was 90. Church membership, 228 in 1938, had fallen in 1956 to 82.

St John’s church was opened by the Wesleyans in 1835, and provided sittings for 108. It was replaced in 1877 by a new chapel costing £2,414 which provided sittings for 350. Important extensions were notified to the Wesleyan Chapel Committee in 1909. In 1940 St John’s was described as a brick building seating 494 with a school hall and seven other ancillary rooms. The church originated in cottage meetings which followed the appointment in 1829 of C Bridgewater as inspector of tolls at the Selly Oak locks. There was a Sunday evening congregation of 35 in 1851, and a Sunday afternoon attendance of 118 in 1892. Church membership in 1932 was 150.

St Paul’s Church was opened by the Primitive Methodists in 1874. In 1908 a new brick chapel seating 500 was built which had, in 1940, five ancillary rooms, one of which was built as a school hall. The congregation was founded in 1870 and met at first in the open air, then in cottages, and finally in a hired dance-hall, before the first chapel was built. In 1892 there was a Sunday afternoon attendance of 107. Church membership in 1932 was 193

St Paul’s Convent was founded in 1864 by the Sisters of Charity of St Paul but the mission was not established until 1889. A stable and coach-house in Upland Road was used until a school was built and part used as a chapel in 1895. The permanent church was opened in 1902 and completed in 1904. A new chapel was built in c1915. The Sisters managed a maternity home in Raddlebarn Road which is now St Mary’s Hospice.

St Stephen’s, Selly Hill, was designed by Martin and Chamberlain in the decorated style and Consecrated in 1870. A parish was assigned out of St Mary in 1892. St Stephens New Hall has been licensed for worship since 1929.

St Wulstan’s mission church was consecrated as St Wulstans in 1906

The Society of Friends Meeting on the Bristol Road was in a brick building, seating 200, opened in 1927. Christian Society Meetings for worship are said to have been held in the Workman’s Hall, Selly oak from 1879, and in 1892 there was a Sunday evening congregation of 170 at Selly Oak meeting in a building seating 200.

The Workman’s Hall was a temperance club on the ‘British Workman’ model, built on the initiative of a group on Unitarians in 1871.

Wesley Hall, a wooden building seating 150 on the Pershore Road, Selly Park, was opened by the Wesleyans in 1920 and cost £2,033. In 1940 three ancillary rooms were in use, of which one was built as a school hall. The congregation had previously met in an annexe of the council hall. Attendance in 1920 was estimated as 50, of whom 30 were church members. In 1932 membership was 38. The hall ceased to be registered for public worship in 1956.

Lime Kilns[edit]

The archaeology report following an excavation identifies that the limekilns were built shortly after the Dudley 2 Canal was opened in 1798. A map of 1828 showed five lime kilns within a single block on James Whitehouse’s Wharfs on the Worcester to Birmingham canal. There was some rebuilding during the 1850s and they were redundant by 1870s. The two eastern kilns were truncated by the railway. Older kilns may be buried beneath those that were excavated. The block of kilns would have dominated the landscape at the time and were designed to satisfy an obviously large demand. They were on a direct route to Birmingham’s first gasworks opened in 1818 at the terminus of the Worcester-Birmingham canal.

They represent one of the earliest industries established in Selly Oak area which are associated with the Industrial Revolution This is early evidence of a large scale industrial process taking place in Selly Oak and of great significance for Birmingham. They are the only ones of their type excavated in Birmingham.

Other items found during the excavation revealed post-medieval pottery: Cream-wares dateable to 1760-1780 predate the lime kilns although it wasn’t always possible to excavate below the existing structures. Red sandy-ware also suggests a late C18th date.[28]

In 1822 the canal company approved the takeover by William Povey of the coal and lime business already established on the wharf by a Mr. James. The tenancy was transferred to James Whitehouse of Frankley in 1836. He lived on the wharf, carrying on a business in coal and lime and also keeping a shop until the 1870s [29]

On the Dudley Canal site of the Birmingham Battery and Metal Co Ltd there are Indications of further lime kilns beside William Summerfield’s wharfs that have not been excavated.

Industry[edit]

William Bradley’s Sal-ammonite works were damaged by a hurricane when the chimney fell into the works in 1839. Bradley went bankrupt and his premises were bought by Sturges Chemical Works.[30]

The Birmingham Battery and Metal Co Ltd began in 1836 in Digbeth from where they moved to Selly Oak 1871. A large part of the factory area was turned into a retail business park in c1990 and the works closed in c1990 and the buildings were demolished. Only the offices building remained thought by most to be a statutory listed building. There was local shock when this significant landmark building was also demolished. The company was founded by Thomas Gibbins in 1836 and became a limited company in 1897. Joseph Gibbins (1756-1811) was a banker and button maker from South Wales. He was a partner of Matthew Boulton in establishing the Rose Copper Mine. His son, Thomas Gibbins (1796-1863), took over the management of the business. 1n 1884 the very tall chimney was erected and became a local landmark.[31] The Birmingham Battery and Metal Co Ltd used steam engines at Digbeth to work its battery hammers for making hollow-ware. A gas works was built on the site to power the engines driving the five large and several smaller rolling and tube mills, as well as provide lighting. This gas engine was sold in the 1920s, and the steam engines were gradually scrapped from 1908 onwards until by 1926 the factory was all electric. The company also had its own wells and during a drought supplied the canal company with water. The Gibbins family donated the land for Selly Oak Park and Selly Oak Library.[32]

Boat builders: 1820s John Smith, James Price; c1850-70 William Monk; 1870-1894 William Hetherington followed by Edward Tailby until 1923. Matthew Hughes and Sons until the 1930s.[33]

The 1884 First Edition OS map shows a brickworks on the site of the Birmingham Battery and Metal Company Ltd.

W Elliott & Sons, Metal Rollers and Wire Drawers were established in 1853 on the site of Sturges Chemical Works. They were Incorporated in 1862 as Elliott’s Metal Company Ltd. In 1866 Charles Green‘s business was bought. In a major expansion plan in 1928 they were taken over by ICI Metals Group and in 1964 transferred to Kynock Works at Witton.[34] There products included rolled brass and copper sheet, drawn brass and copper wire, brass and copper tubes. There was significant production of an alloy known as Muntz metal, a patent of George Frederick Muntz, used for sheathing the hulls of wooden ships. They also made telegraph wire for the post office. The management included Neville Chamberlain from 1897-1924. During the war they made munitions and also millions of rivets for army boots.[35]

Goodman and Co Builders Merchants acquired Edward Tailby’s wharf to add to the land they had near the railway bridge from 1905. They transported bricks, slates, sand, cement, and other building materials from their wharf basin. They also supplied domestic fuel and coal. The canal arm was filled in around 1947 and used to extend the builder’s yard which continued to operate until 2000. In 1879 it supplied the materials for the Birmingham Council House[36]

Guests Brass Stamping, formerly part of Guest, Keen, and Nettlefolds, was taken over by Birmingham Battery and Metal Company Ltd.

Architects drawings for a new frontage for the Premier Woven Wire Mattress Company Ltd onto Harborne Lane were dated 1947. It is known that the premises were destroyed by fire.

Selly Oak is thought to have mechanised the nailing trade using wrought iron.

Map evidence shows that Oak Tree Tannery was established functioning between 1840-1884 but as yet there is no indication of when it may have started and when it finished operating.

Sturges Chemical Works founded by John and Edmund Sturge, brothers of the more famous Joseph Sturge, occupied a site in Selly Oak from 1833 to 1853. On the 1839 Tithe Map and apportionments it is described as a vitriol works and yard. The land was owned by Henry Baron and James Rodway.[37]

The brothers founded a company, making dyer’s solutions, at Bewdley in c1822. They increased their range of products to citric acid, used in the making of soft drinks, and textile processes as well as other fine chemicals in a highly purified state. After John died Edmund took Arthur Albright into partnership and began making phosphorus at the Selly Oak works.[38]

Television[edit]

The BBC Drama Village is situated in Selly Oak, together with the Mill Health Centre where the BBC's daytime soap Doctors is filmed.

Redevelopment[edit]

Selly Oak itself was blighted for a large part of the 20th century by a road-widening scheme for the Bristol Road (A38). In the latter half of that century, many historic buildings were demolished around the Bristol Road at the heart of old Selly Oak. However, plans for significant regeneration of the area were confirmed in 2005. A new 1.5 km stretch of road was opened in August 2011 to alleviate the heavily congested Bristol Road through both Selly Oak and nearby Bournbrook, with improvements to public transport and other facilities in the district. The scheme includes a new canal aqueduct to carry the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and a new railway bridge on the Cross-City Line, and allowance has been made for the reopening of a small part of the Selly Oak to Lapal and Halesowen canal (Dudley No. 2 Canal) to enhance the area and provide a focal point. This scheme is paving the way for the University of Birmingham accommodation scheme, with the second phase (demolition) starting in March 2013. Compulsory evictions are set to start in January 2013.

Notable buildings[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Maxam, Andrew (2004) Selly Oak & Weoley Castle on Old Picture Postcards: Reflections of a Bygone Age, (Yesterday's Warwickshire Series; No. 20); Introduction ISBN 1-900138-82-4)
  2. ^ VCH Worcestershire Volume 1: Pall Mall 1901 reprinted 1971 p279
  3. ^ Morris, John (general Editor) Domesday Book 16 Worcestershire (Chichester 1982) 23, 1; 23, 5
  4. ^ Greenway, Diane (Translated by) Henry of Huntingdon: The History of the English People 1000-1154 (OUP 2002) P46
  5. ^ Willis Bund, J W and Amphlett, J (editors): Lay Subsidy Roll for the County of Worcester c1280 (WHS 1893) https://archive.org/stream/laysubsidyrollfo00greauoft#page/16/mode/2up
  6. ^ http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/taxatio/db/taxatio/printbc.jsp?benkey=WO.WO.DR.02
  7. ^ Eld, Reverend F J: Lay Subsidy Roll for the County of Worcester 1 Edward III (WHS 1895) https://archive.org/stream/worcestersubedward00greauoft#page/n5/mode/2up
  8. ^ Maxam, Andrew (2004) Selly Oak & Weoley Castle on Old Picture Postcards: Reflections of a Bygone Age, (Yesterday's Warwickshire Series; No. 20); caption 25 ISBN 1-900138-82-4)
  9. ^ Dowling, Geoff; Giles, Brian; and Hayfield, Colin (1987) Selly Oak Past and Present: a Photographic Survey of a Birmingham Suburb. Department of Geography, University of Birmingham; p. 2
  10. ^ Baker, Anne; Butler, Joanne; and Southworth, Pat (2002) 'How Did The Oak Get Into Selly', in: Birmingham Historian, Issue 23, October 2002, p. 7 Birmingham & District Local History Association ISSN 0953-0909
  11. ^ Leather, Peter, 'Old Oak Gives Up Secrets', Birmingham Evening Mail, 7 June 2001, p. 9
  12. ^ The Statutes at Large, of England and of Great-Britain: From Magna Carta to the Union of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. VIII, p. 831 (1811)
  13. ^ Page, William and Willis-Bund, J. W. (eds) (1913) Victoria County History of The Counties of England: a History of Worcestershire, Vol. III., p. 194 Institute of Historical Research, University of London
  14. ^ Leonard, Francis W., The Story of Selly Oak Birmingham, p. 2 (St Mary's Parochial Church Council, 1933)
  15. ^ Butler, Joanne, Baker, Anne and Southworth, Pat, 'Back to roots: Dates don't support Selly witch theory', Birmingham Evening Mail, January 2001
  16. ^ Snape, John 'Plan of the Intended Navigable Canal from Birmingham to Worcester', 1789
  17. ^ 'Putting the oak in Selly Oak', Birmingham Evening Mail, 29 March 1985
  18. ^ 'From a great oak - a little sapling is set to grow', Birmingham Evening Mail, 14 October 2000
  19. ^ Stevens, W B (Editor): VCH Warwick Volume VII: The City of Birmingham (OUP 1964)pp 512, 527, 530, 534, 537, 538, 542
  20. ^ Stevens, W B (Editor): VCH Warwick Volume VII: The City of Birmingham (OUP 1964)pp430-2
  21. ^ Butler, Joanne; Baker, Anne; Southworth, Pat: Selly Park and Selly Oak (Stroud 2005) pp88-91
  22. ^ Stevens, W B (Editor): VCH Warwick Volume VII: The City of Birmingham (OUP 1964 p349
  23. ^ Pearson, Wendy: Selly Oak and Bournbrook through time (Stroud 2012) pp76-781
  24. ^ a b Maxam, Andrew (2004) Selly Oak & Weoley Castle on Old Picture Postcards: Reflections of a Bygone Age, (Yesterday's Warwickshire Series; No. 20); caption 19 ISBN 1-900138-82-4)
  25. ^ White, Reverend Alan: The Worcester and Birmingham Canal – Chronicles of the Cut.(Brewin p311
  26. ^ White, Reverend Alan: The Worcester and Birmingham Canal – Chronicles of the Cut(Brewin) p311
  27. ^ Stevens, W B (Editor): VCH Warwick Volume VII: The City of Birmingham (OUP 1964) pp354-485
  28. ^ HEAS: Archaeological Excavation at Goodman’s Yard, Selly Oak, Birmingham, Project 2521, Report 1255, BSMR 20726 (Worcestershire County Council 2004)
  29. ^ White, Reverend Alan: The Worcester and Birmingham Canal – Chronicles of the Cut ( Brewin 2005) p308
  30. ^ Pearson, Wendy: Selly Oak and Bournbrook through time (Amberley 2012) p30
  31. ^ Pearson, Wendy: Selly Oak and Bournbrook through time (Amberley 2012) p13
  32. ^ Stevens, W B (Editor): VCH Warwick Volume VII: The City of Birmingham (OUP 1964) p207
  33. ^ White, Reverend Alan: The Worcester and Birmingham Canal – Chronicles of the Cut (Brewin 2005) p319
  34. ^ Stevens, W B (Editor): VCH Warwick Volume VII: The City of Birmingham (OUP 1964) pp133, 159-60, 191
  35. ^ White, Reverend Alan: The Worcester and Birmingham Canal – Chronicles of the Cut ( Brewin 2005) pp292,293
  36. ^ White, Reverend Alan: The Worcester and Birmingham Canal – Chronicles of the Cut ( Brewin 2005) p310
  37. ^ Tithe Map and Apportionments of Northfield Parish, Worcestershire 1839
  38. ^ Stevens, W B (Editor): VCH Warwick Volume VII: The City of Birmingham (OUP 1964) p129

Bibliography[edit]

  • Briggs, Asa (1952). History of Birmingham, Volume II, Borough and City 1865-1938. OUP. 
  • Butler, Joanne; Baker, Anne; Southworth, Pat (2005). Selly Oak and Selly Park. Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-3625-2. 
  • Dowling, Geoff, Giles, Brain and Hayfield, Colin (1987). Selly Oak Past and Present: A Photographic Survey of a Birmingham Suburb. Department of Geography, University of Birmingham. ISBN 0-7044-0912-7. 
  • Manzoni, Herbert J (1952). Report on the Survey –Written Analysis. Birmingham City Council. 
  • Maxam, Andrew (2004). Selly Oak and Weoley Castle on old picture postcards. Reflections of a Bygone Age. ISBN 1 900138 82 4. 
  • Maxam, Andrew (2005). Stirchley, Cotteridge, and Selly Park on old picture postcards. Reflections of a Bygone Age. ISBN 1 905408 01 3. 
  • Pearson, Wendy (2012). Selly Oak and Bournbrook through time. Amberley. ISBN 978 1 4456 0237 0. 
  • Pugh, Ken (2010). The Heydays of Selly Oak Park 1896-1911. History into Print. ISBN 978-1-85858-336-5. 
  • Stevens, W B (Editor) (1964). VCH Warwick Volume VII: The City of Birmingham. OUP. 
  • Thorn, Frank and Caroline (1982). Domesday Book 16 Worcestershire. OUP. ISBN 0 85033 161 7. 
  • Tithe Map and Apportionments of Northfield Parish, Worcestershire. 1839. 
  • White, Reverend Alan (2005). The Worcester and Birmingham Canal – Chronicles of the Cut. Brewin. ISBN 1 85858 261 X. 

External links[edit]