Stirchley, West Midlands

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Stirchley is a southern area of Birmingham, England. Close to the districts of Kings Heath, Bournville, Selly Park, Cotteridge and King's Norton. Stirchley is a popular residential area for young professionals and families but sections are dilapidated.

The area is served by Stirchley Library.

History[edit]

Toponymy[edit]

Stirchley was probably previously known as Streetly, and has also been known as Strutley and Stretley.[1] Stirchley can mean either Cattle meadow or street cleaning, the first reference to Stirchley was probably "Strutley Street" in 1658, at the time Stirchley was an agricultural area with not much more than two mills. By 1836 there was a railway and canal. [2]

Pershore Road[edit]

Pershore Road runs through Stirchley starting at Cotteridge, there is a shopping centre at Cotteridge and there are individual shops and shopping centres lower down Pershore Road, a large part of Pershore Road is lined with houses and shops built between the 1890s up to the mid 20th Century and many side roads have similar houses. Part of Pershore Road was originally a Roman Road but in the Nineteenth Century a Turnpike trust decided to develop this road as a turnpike road and build new sections. Early maps show a well called Hazels Well which explains the name of Hazelwell Road, a road joining Pershore Road that follows the old Roman route. Stirchley Park is a small park between Hazelwell Road and Bond street. There is mown grass with a few mature trees, other trees more recently planted and a few benches, a wall by the park has Graffiti. The entrances to the park are not obvious and the park is frequently overlooked. [3]

Where Pershore Road joins Hazelwell Road and Bournville lane there is the Three Horseshoes public house which already existed in 1836, there is also a large Cooperative store and a Cooperative Funeral home these were originally the Ten Acres & Stirchley Street Cooperative Society which first opened in 1875.[2]

Bournville Lane Baths[edit]

On 25 June 1911, Bournville Lane Baths were opened to the public by King's Norton and Northfield Urban District Council. These were the second baths constructed by the council with the other being located on Tiverton Road, Bournbrook. Later that year, the baths were taken over by the Birmingham Baths Committee. The baths contained one swimming pool with a spectators' gallery, private baths for men and women and a small steam room. In the winter months, the swimming pool was floored over and the room was used as a hall. The private baths service was discontinued after the baths were taken by the City of Birmingham Baths Department shortly after opening. An unusual feature of the baths was a system of aeration and filtration of the water, which was obtained from the council's mains supply and continuously filtered. This was one of the first uses of such a system in swimming baths in the country and it was later introduced and installed in all baths in all local authorities. Swimming baths usually obtained the water from deep wells constructed beneath the premises.[4]

These baths are a grade II Listed building but are now closed and tumbledown. As of 2012 Plans are now in place to refurbish the baths as a community centre. This funding is not secured and would be dependent on securing outside funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund which means that the development of the baths is uncertain.

Pictures of the current state of the baths can be viewed here [5] and here.[6]

Church of Ascension[edit]

The Church of Ascension, the first church in Stirchley, began construction 1898 on Hazelwell Street. Construction was completed in 1901 and it was consecrated by the Bishop of Coventry on 30 October 1901. It was designed by W. Hale as a chapel-of-ease to St. Mary's Church in Moseley. A parish was assigned to it in 1912 out of the parishes of St. Mary's, Moseley and St. Nicolas, Kings Norton. On 1 December 1927, a church dedicated to St. Hugh of Lincoln serving the Dads Lane Estate, was opened in Pineapple Grove.

On 29 October 1965, the Church of Ascension was destroyed by fire and was demolished. A new church, designed by Romilly Craze, was constructed next to St. Hugh's and was consecrated by the Bishop of Birmingham on 14 July 1973. Surviving features from the original church, such as some of the stained glass, the Stations of the Cross, the altar silver, the processional crosses and the vestments, were used in the new church. St. Hugh's closed as a church once the Church of Ascension was completed as the two became one single church. The church building became the church hall for the Church of Ascension. A new vicarage was built on land behind the church in 1992.

The Church of Ascension is now a large building with an octagonal main church, and a church hall. There is also a chapel, and a large organ on an upper balcony in the main building.

Pineapple Farm estate[edit]

Pineapple Farm council estate was developed in the 1920s and 1930s in the east of Stirchley and from 1923 was served by a primary school, which opened initially with space for 400 pupils, at a site on Allen's Croft Road. However, an annex was opened at Hazelwell Parish Hall in 1930 to accommodate growing pupil numbers, before the main site was finally expanded to create a 14-class (two-form entry) 5-11 school in 1952. The school buildings were replaced in 2007, by which time they were all between 55 and 84 years old.[7] During World War II, a number of bombs aimed by the German Luftwaffe at local factories fell on the Pineapple Farm estate, resulting in eight deaths, account for all but three of the 11 air raid fatalities at Stirchley during the war.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maxam, Andrew (2004) Stirchley, Cotteridge & Selly Park on Old Picture Postcards: Reflections of a Bygone Age, (Yesterday's Warwickshire Series; No. 21); Introduction ISBN 1-905408-01-3)
  2. ^ a b Linda Crew
  3. ^ The Making of Stirchley ParkStirchley Park
  4. ^ Moth, J., (1951) The City of Birmingham Baths Department 1851 - 1951
  5. ^ http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=41895
  6. ^ http://www.stirchley.co.uk/stirchley-baths2011.html
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]

Images of Stirchley, Linda Crew, 21, Stirchley, Birmingham, B30 3BN, available at level 4 of the reference section of The Library of Birmingham

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 52°25′34″N 1°55′19″W / 52.426°N 1.922°W / 52.426; -1.922