Erdington

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Erdington constituency shown within Birmingham
Erdington is an area five miles northeast of Birmingham city centre, England. It is also a council constituency, managed by its own district committee. The formal council constituency the smaller ward of Erdington, and the wards of Tyburn (formerly Kingsbury), Stockland Green and Kingstanding, although most of Kingstanding ward lies outside the historical boundaries of Erdington.

History

Erdington Manor

Erdington had its own manor house, Erdington Hall, which was protected on three sides by a double moat on the fourth by the River Tame. It had developed from a small fortified homestead constructed by an Anglo-Saxon named Eardwulf in the area of Bromford.[1] Demolished in the 17th century, it stood on a hill at the junction of what is now Wheelwright Road and Tyburn Road. The double moat was drained in the 18th century by Sir Charles Holte. Up until 1912 stood another building which was demolished for the construction of the Tyburn Road, though a small section did remain until World War I.

Other moated properties included one at Fern Road, one at the junction of Moor End Lane and Berkswell Road, and another that surrounded a large farm called Pipe Orchard, the site of which can be seen in the Erdington Grammar School playing fields.

Middle Ages

Erdington developed as a village as a result of settlers travelling up the course of the River Tame from Tamworth in the 9th century. The settlers also established communities in what is now Minworth and Curdworth. It is also believed that the Roman track 'Ridgeway', now Chester Road, also provided a source of people looking to settle. Evidence to support this comes from the early nucleus of the village which was located a very short distance from the path.<ref name="DVJ" />

The Earls of Mercia had possession of the village at the time of the Norman conquest. At this time, Edwin, grandson of Lady Godiva, owned the property and he resisted all attempts by the Normans to gain possession of Erdington. However, he failed and as a result was executed in 1071. The earldom was then passed to William I who placed the manor and village in the possession of William Fitz-Ansculf, a powerful baron of Norman heritage who lived at Dudley Castle. He then gave the manor to a man named Peter de Erdington.[2]

Erdington was mentioned in the Domesday Book under the name Hardintone and was under the possession of Peter. It had arable land for six ploughs, a mill and five acres of meadows and woodland. It was valued at 30 shillings and was one mile in length and half a mile in breadth.

As a result of Erdington's close proximity to Sutton Coldfield and more precisely, Sutton Forest, strict Norman laws were placed upon the village forbidding the hunting of wild animals and the keeping of sheep, as a result of Norman beliefs. However, tenants were permitted an allowance of timber from the forest, though, with limitations to protect royal game. Erdington remained within the precincts of Sutton Forest until 1126, when Henry I exchanged the Manor of Sutton, with forest, for two manors in Rutland belonging to Roger, Earl of Warwick. The forest became a chase and the laws placed on the woodland were relaxed.<ref name="DVJ" />

The mill mentioned in the Domesday Book was located in Bromford, where it stood close to the manor house at a loop in the river, at which a straight channel was cut to facilitate the milling of corn. The mill was owned by the lord of the manor and the tenants were obliged to grind their corn there. Erdington was connected to Bromford via Bromford Lane, which still exists today in the midst of a 1960s council estate.

In the 15th century, a chapel was constructed on the side of the manor house for the residents of Erdington. However, attendance was low and the chapel fell into decay. The residents were then urged to travel to the parish church in Aston, however, again the attendance was low. A south aisle was therefore added to the church and became known as the Erdington chantry.<ref name="DVJ" />

The Black Death plague affected Erdington severely as indicated by the 14th century local records. Henry de Pipe, owner of the Manor of Pipe (now Pype Hayes Hall), suffered the loss of all but one child and his wife. Henry married another woman, Maud, who was the daughter of George de Castello of Castle Bromwich. However, after soon discovering that she was pregnant with a child conceived with another man, he died.

Tudor period

It was around the 1500s in which the area of Gravelly Hill began to become mentioned in documents. John Leland described the area as being "by sandy ground, better wooded than fertile of wheat... the soil is sandy and good for conyes." This indicates that the area had a big population of rabbits (conyes) and it is known that it remained as a rabbet warren for a while as it was deemed unsuitable for cultivation. At the foot of Gravelly Hill was the River Tame which was spanned by Salford Bridge. Salford Bridge was first mentioned as Shrafford Brugge during the reign of Henry III. It was originally a footbridge, however, in 1810, it was improved for the crossing of vehicles. The word Shrafford was of Saxon origin meaning "the ford by the caves". These caves were cavities in the nearby Copeley escarpment. The caves were artificially enlarged and survived World War II. During the war, they were converted into air raid shelters. After the war they were completely destroyed for the construction of the Gravelly Hill Interchange.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, new families resided at Erdington Hall. The Dymock's moved in and were a prominent family, with several members being knights. However, their strict rule which consisted of unpopular manorial laws made them unpopular amongst the residents of Erdington.

English Civil War

As the English Civil War erupted, Erdington was expanding rapidly through the purchase of land for agricultural purposes. In 1643, Birmingham was plundered by the Royalists. After his victory in Birmingham, Prince Rupert passed through Erdington and Sutton Coldfield with his troops on their way to Lichfield.<ref name="DVJ" />

18th and 19th centuries

In 1759, a turnpike act was passed for the Chester Road and another act was passed in 1807 for a road that passed through Erdington village from Birmingham. This resulted in Erdington being a stop-off location for stage coaches which passed along the Chester Road to Chester from London. In 1783, the Birmingham-Fazeley Canal was completed. It passed along the southern boundary of Erdington at Tyburn. Planning requests included that the canal should not pass within 500 metres of Pype Hayes Hall.<ref name="DVJ" />

By the mid-1700s, Erdington had a population of under 700 and within its boundaries were 52 roads, one forge, 40 farms, 96 cottages, two smithies and a shop. By 1832, it had a population of 2,000.

Erdington broke from Aston in 1894 to become an urban district. Administrative offices were established at the Rookery on Kingsbury Road, which have since become Rookery Park.<ref name="DVJ" /> In 1911, the urban district council of Erdington and that of Aston Manor were absorbed into the growing city of Birmingham.

Erdington shopping centre formed the core of the area with most of the older housing being located close to it. The railway alongside also attracted the development of many Victorian and Edwardian houses.

Etymology

Though referred to as Hardintone in the Domesday Book, it is widely accepted that the name comes from a reference to a fortified homestead established by Eardwulf in Anglo Saxon times, with 'ton' or 'tun' being an Anglo-Saxon suffix for a settlement of that period. This homestead developed into a large house in the area of Bromford and became Erdington Hall.

However the name "Yenton" also applies to the possible corruption of "Yerdington", an enclosure, which could apply to a moated homestead.<ref name="DVJ" />

Places of interest and facilities

The Spaghetti Junction is situated on the southern edge of the district and on the border of Aston and Gravelly Hill. It incorporates Salford Bridge, which was mentioned in a deed in 1490.

Erdington is served by Erdington Library, which was opened in 1907 as a Carnegie library. The Erdington Historical Society meets at the Library on the second Monday of every month. Josiah Mason College is a college for adult education and is part of Sutton Coldfield College.

Fort Dunlop, former home of Dunlop Tyres, is a relic of Erdington's industrial past. It was redeveloped from 2005 to 2006 by Urban Splash into offices and a leisure facility. Nearby is the The Fort Shopping Centre. The area surrounding Fort Dunlop is used by logistics companies and also features showrooms operated by several car manufacturers, including Birmingham's only Lamborghini dealership.

The main shopping area for Erdington is Erdington town centre. It consists of Erdington High Street which is the main focus of the shopping centre. There is also a market located on Barnabas Road and another market, Wilton Market, on Sutton New Road. Erdington town centre is now a Business Improvement District.[3] Also on the High Street is Erdington Parish Church, and nearby on Sutton Road is The Abbey Church. The Parish Church was severely damaged by fire on the morning of 4 October 2007.[4] Also nearby, on Mason Road, is Erdington Baths which were constructed by the Birmingham Baths Committee.

Pype Hayes Park and Pype Hayes Hall, the former home of the Baggot family, are located in the northern area of the district at the border with Walmley. The Old Green Man on Bromford Lane (now known as the Lad in the Lane) is one of the oldest public houses in Birmingham.

Erdington is served by the Good Hope Hospital in neighbouring Sutton Coldfield. Erdington is also served by the John Taylor Hospice and by Highcroft Hospital. Highcroft Hospital was a former Poor Law institution, then a Psychiatric hospital. There was a social stigma to being treated there. Other large psychiatric institutions in Birmingham have been broken up.[5] Some of the old Highcroft Hospital grounds have been used for new housing. The main hospital itself has been renovated into luxury apartments and has been named Highcroft Hall.

Location

Erdington itself borders the traditionally working class areas of Aston, Perry Barr and Hodge Hill, and the affluent and spacious districts of Sutton Coldfield, Minworth, Castle Bromwich and Water Orton (North Warwickshire). It is located approximately five miles north east of Birmingham City Centre.

The borders of Erdington are:
  • Boldmere via the Chester Road
  • Stockland Green which borders with Witton at the end of Marsh Hill. (Erdington claims Witton Lakes they border Erdington along with Wyrley Birch to separate it from Kingstanding)
  • The Yenton and Chester Road form the border from Wylde Green
  • Following Chester Road down all the way to the Tyburn House Public House would end the Erdington constituency as Castle Vale (formerly Castle Bromwich and the Aerodrome) is further down
  • New Oscott past Oscott College
  • Walmley (Eachelhurst Road)
  • Moving back would be the Tyburn road which intersects Kingsbury Road and leads right back to Spaghetti junction on the border of Aston & Gravelly Hill.
  • Minworth at the North Eastern end of Kingsbury Road heading towards Kingsbury Village and the Warwickshire border.
Erdington also includes Pype Hayes. This was formerly a working class area of Council Houses built between World War I and World War II. These houses had to be demolished due to problems with the concrete used in their construction. Pype Hayes is now an area with modern houses, some are owner occupied, others belong to Housing associations. One tower block, Sorrel House, was retained and refurbished.

Lyndhurst estate

On the Sutton Road, numbers 44-108 were demolished in 1957 for the construction of the Lyndhurst Estate. Number 44 was retained as it was an old building considered to be of interest. The demolished houses were detached post 1840 Victorian villas.[6] Constructed on the site was six tower blocks and numerous low rise maisonettes. The tallest of these, Harlech Tower, was 16 storeys and at the time it was the tallest tower block in Birmingham, though many taller blocks were later built. In 1961, the estate won the Civic Award for Housing for the retention of the original trees from the villas and the architectural qualities of the tower blocks which included an exposed concrete frame, a sweeping staircase and a false upper storey to hide the laundry facilities on the roof.[7]

The Lyndhurst estate is now the focus of a redevelopment scheme in Erdington. The low rise maisonettes will be demolished as well as Harlech Tower. Modern residential properties will be built on the site and the money raised from this will be used to refurbish the remaining tower blocks.

Geography

Brookvale Park Lake is a park in Erdington that was formally a reservoir until the steadily encroaching city made the water unfit for human consumption. it was briefly converted into an outdoor pool until that was also abandoned after health and safety concerns.

Population

At the time of the 2001 Population Census there were 23,853[8] Yentonians, as residents of Erdington are traditionally known. The term, "Yentonian" is hardly known or used in 21st century Erdington. The area where Chester Road crosses Birmingham Road and Sutton Road is called "The Yenton".

Erdington's most famous resident was Josiah Mason, the philanthropist whose bust now stands at the centre of the roundabout at the junction of Chester Road and Orphanage Road, so named because he founded an Orphanage there in 1860.

Transport

Enlarge picture
The bridge at Erdington, showing the old LMS lettering.
Erdington railway station is on the Birmingham Cross-City Line.[9] Chester Road station, the next station on the same line, lies on the Sutton Coldfield border, with Gravelly Hill station being located towards the south of the district.

Important roads that access the area include A38 (Birmingham to Derby road), A5127 (Gravelly Hill) and the A47 Spine Road.

In the southern area of the district is the Birmingham Fazeley Canal which helped develop that area as a major employment sector. The River Tame added to this and with the introduction of the Birmingham - Derby railway line, the area became a prominent industrial area.

Politics

Erdington has long been dominated by the Labour Party. There was much surprise when Conservative Robert Alden won a seat in Erdington ward de-seating the Labour candidate Susannah McCory in 2006. Again in 2007 McCory lost to the Conservatives this time to Gareth Crompton whom replaced the retiring long serving Labour councillor Renee Spector. The other seat in the ward is still Labour held by Jilly Bermingham.

Birmingham Erdington is a constituency, its Member of Parliament is Siôn Simon. In addition to Erdington, the constituency includes the wards of Kingstanding, Stockland Green and Tyburn all outside the traditional Erdington boundaries.

Erdington has adopted a Ward Support Officer with the current holder of the title being Alison Nicholls.

Cricket clubs

Erdington boasts two cricket teams in its Ward; Highcroft and Great Barr Unity (formed in 2003 following the merge of Highcroft Cricket Club and Great Barr Cricket Club)[10] and Erdington Court.[11]

Rock music

It was formerly home to the famous rock music venue, Mothers (previously the Carlton Ballroom), which from 1968 until it closed in 1971 played host to bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and The Who.[12] The resident band were Erdington locals The Moody Blues and the DJ was John Peel. The club was located opposite St Barnabus Church on the High Street above a furniture store.

References

1. ^ Douglas V. Jones (1989). The Story of Erdington - From Sleepy Hamlet to Thriving Suburb. Westwood Press. ISBN 0-948025-05-0. 
2. ^ William Hutton (1836). The History of Birmingham. J. Guest. 
3. ^ Birmingham.gov.uk: Erdington Business Improvement District
4. ^ BBC News story about fire
5. ^ History of Highcroft Hospital (.ppt file)
6. ^ Frank E. Joyce (1977). Metropolitan Development and Change: West Midlands - A Policy Review. University of Aston in Birmingham with Teakfield Ltd for the British Society for the Advancement of Science. ISBN 0566001934. 
7. ^ Bigger is Better? Local authority housing and the strange attraction of high-rise, 1945-70, Phil Jones - Urban Morphology Research Group, University of Birmingham, 2002
8. ^ Erdington ward information on Birmingham council website
9. ^ Rail Around Birmingham: Erdington Station
10. ^ Highcroft and Great Barr Unity Cricket Club: About us
11. ^ Erdington Court
12. ^ Mothers in Erdington

Further reading

  • Douglas V. Jones (1985). The Story of Erdington. BIGinINK Ltd. ISBN 0948025050. 
  • Mike Green (1991). Erdington, Birmingham. Stylus Pubns.. ISBN 1856201627. 

External links

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  • Tyburn is a ward in Birmingham, England formerly known as Kingsbury.

    It is part of the Erdington formal district and comprises Castle Vale, and the south-eastern part of Erdington.
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    Stockland Green is an area of Birmingham, England.

    It gives its name to a ward which is part of the Erdington formal district, and which comprises the south-western part of Erdington including areas such as Stockland Green itself and Gravelly Hill.
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    Kingstanding is an area in north Birmingham, England.

    It gives its name to a ward in the Erdington formal district. Kingstanding ward includes the areas; Perry Common, St. Mary's College, Witton Lakes and parts of Kingstanding Circle, Wyrley Birch and New Oscott.
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    manor house or fortified manor-house is a country house, which has historically formed the centre of a manor (see Manorialism). The term is sometimes applied to relatively small country houses which belonged to gentry families, as well as to grand stately homes,
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    Eardwulf is an Anglo-Saxon male name. It may refer to:
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    Curdworth

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    Norman conquest of England began in 1066 with the invasion of the Kingdom of England by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy), and his success at the Battle of Hastings resulted in Norman control of England.
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    Godiva (or Godgifu) (fl. 1040-1080) was an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry in England in order to gain a remission of the oppressive toll imposed by her husband on his tenants.
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    William I of England (William the Conqueror; c. 1028 – 9 September 1087) was a medieval monarch. He ruled as the Duke of Normandy from 1035 to 1087 and as King of England from 1066 to 1087.
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    Dudley Castle is a ruined castle in the town of Dudley, West Midlands, England. Dudley Zoo is located in its grounds. The location, Castle Hill, is an outcrop of Wenlock Group limestone that was extensively quarried during the Industrial Revolution, and which now along with Wren's
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    Domesday Book (also known as Domesday, or Book of Winchester) was the record of the great survey of England completed in 1086, executed for William I of England. The survey was similar to a census by a government of today.
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    Earl of Warwick (pronounced "War-ick") is a title that has been created four times in British history and is one of the most prestigious titles in the peerages of the British Isles.
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    Pype Hayes Hall is a former mansion house in the Pype Hayes area of Erdington, Birmingham, West Midlands. It was formerly in the historic county of Warwickshire before being transferred into the new county of the West Midlands along with the rest of the city.
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    John Leland (September 13 1506 – April 18 1552) was an English antiquary. He has been described as 'the father of English local history'; his Itinerary introduced the shire as the basic unit for studying the history of England—an idea that has been influential
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    Warren may refer to:

    Animal husbandry and related

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    Salford Junction (grid reference SP095901 ) is the name of the junction where the Grand Union Canal and Tame Valley Canal meet the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal north of Birmingham, England.
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    Henry III
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