A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 17, Offlow Hundred (Part). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.
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THE GROWTH OF THE TOWN.
The chief settlement in the parish until the 19th century was Lyndon to the south of All Saints' Church. The church itself can be traced from the earlier 12th century (fn. 1) and the name Lyndon from the earlier 14th; (fn. 2) the name Lyne was also used. (fn. 3) The open fields lay in that part of the parish, (fn. 4) and a market was held there in the early 18th century. (fn. 5) By the later 18th century the main part of the village lay around the junction of the present Hargate Lane and the present Lyndon Street and extended southeast to Mayer's Green. (fn. 6) East of the village there was a road running from the church to Mayer's Green via the present Church Vale (formerly Sot's Hole) and Dagger Lane. (fn. 7) At the north end of Dagger Lane stands Hill House, built in the earlier 16th century. (fn. 8) The avenue of trees along the east side of Dagger Lane was added from the Hill House estate when the road was widened in the late 19th century. (fn. 9) Dagger Hall at the junction of Dagger Lane and Salter's Lane occurs by 1667 but was demolished in 1894-5. (fn. 10) Hallam Street, now the main link from Church Vale to the Mayer's Green area, was originally a footpath running as far north as Little Lane; it was made into a road about the mid 1850s and had been extended to Church Vale by the 1880s. (fn. 11) There was settlement at Mayer's Green by the 1680s, (fn. 12) and by 1723 numerous cottages were being built as encroachments on the green. (fn. 13) Hall End west of the church was an inhabited area by the end of the 16th century. (fn. 14) Heath End south-east of the junction of the roads from Tipton and Wednesbury existed by 1723 when the Cross Guns inn there is mentioned. (fn. 15) To the south of Mayer's Green at Virgins End the Virgin inn is said to have been built in 1768, (fn. 16) while at Overend by the main road there was considerable settlement by the 1780s. (fn. 17)
As a result of the inclosure of the Heath in 1804, the centre of West Bromwich eventually shifted south-west from Lyndon to what became the High Street stretch of the Birmingham-Wolverhampton road. There was no immediate rush to take up building sites, (fn. 18) but by 1816 new streets had been laid out on the north-east side of the road—Lombard, New, and Bratt Streets. (fn. 19) Christ Church between High Street and Bratt Street was begun in 1821. (fn. 20) The development of High Street, however, was piecemeal. Although many houses had been built along the main road by 1818, building was still very scattered. (fn. 21) By 1834, however, High Street had 'many well-stocked shops . . . giving to the whole the air and bustle of a market town'. (fn. 22) There were also a house and foundry near Christ Church built some ten years before by James Roberts. (fn. 23) The southern end near the Bull's Head inn around what is now Dartmouth Square seems to have been one of the first main areas to develop, a process which had begun by 1818. The Bull's Head itself existed by the 1750s and was then called the Boot inn. In 1834 the Dartmouth Arms (by 1835 the Dartmouth Hotel) was opened on the site of the Bull's Head and became a centre for official, business, and social meetings; Dartmouth Square became the normal place for outdoor meetings. (fn. 24) By 1856 High Street was built up on both sides from Dartmouth Square to Christ Church and extensively so from Sandwell Road to Carter's Green. The area between New and Bull Streets had also been developed, but on the other side of High Street opposite Christ Church the area of the Lodge estate was developed only after 1867 when the estate was sold. (fn. 25) In 1868 High Street was a busy thoroughfare, broad, straight, well-paved, and flanked by stuccoed buildings. It had the appearance of 'some smart country town . . . But to dispel such bright imaginings, it is only needful to turn a few yards up any of the side streets . . . Painted stucco and elegant shop fronts give place to smoke-dried habitations, or dusty foundry walls, and parasols disappear in favour of huge fustian bonnets, in which the nymphs of the mine delight to deck themselves when clad in their work-a-day gear'. (fn. 26) With the opening of the town hall on part of the Lodge estate in 1875 the new centre of West Bromwich may be considered to have received official recognition.
The old centre too continued to expand. In particular the later 19th century saw the development of a residential area south of Mayer's Green in the south-western part of Sandwell Park. (fn. 27) When the 4th earl of Dartmouth left Sandwell for Patshull in 1853, there were already plans for developing the estate. Although Lord Dartmouth died later the same year, by 1854 a scheme had been prepared for the development of the south-west corner of the park down to the Birmingham road both for middleclass houses and for commercial purposes. Development did not in fact begin until the 1860s and was on a smaller scale. The main feature was the layingout of the Beeches area as a residential district by G. B. Nichols, a West Bromwich architect and surveyor. In 1867 his plans were approved by the highway committee of the improvement commissioners and Lord Dartmouth sold him 21 freehold plots. Herbert Street was described as a new street in 1869, but Beeches Road was still being constructed in 1884, while houses in Legge Street are dated 1885 and 1887, (fn. 28) a terrace in Nicholls Street 1886, and a house in Herbert Street 1887. A well-to-do district resulted; its large houses have now been taken over by West Indians. In 1877 Lord Dartmouth gave 56 a. of the Sandwell estate in the area to the improvement commissioners for a public park; it was opened in 1878 as Dartmouth Park and extended eastwards by the gift of another 9½ a. in 1887. The land was at first held on a 99-year lease at a nominal rent, but in 1919 the 6th earl and his son Viscount Lewisham gave the freehold to the borough as a memorial to the local men who had served in the First World War. (fn. 29)
The first main development in the central part of the town in the 20th century was around Lyndon. The Tantany housing estate was begun by the corporation in 1920 with the laying-out of 95 a. on garden-city lines. (fn. 30) There is also extensive private housing of the period between the World Wars both to the south in the Cronehills area and eastward from there across Hallam Street to Dagger Lane. There is further private housing of the same period between All Saints Street and Vicarage Road and along Heath Lane; to the south of it is a council estate built since the Second World War. In 1969, after the clearance of the Pitt Street and Queen Street area, work was begun on a new town centre. The first section, the Sandwell Centre, was opened in 1971 and consists of a covered shopping precinct, a bus station, and a multi-storey car-park. The scheme is being carried out by the borough council and the National Coal Board Mineworkers' Pension Fund; the architects are the John Madin Design Group. (fn. 31) By 1970, when the stretch of the ring road from Birmingham Road to Carter's Green was begun, there had been extensive clearance along its route north-westward from the Mayer's Green area. (fn. 32)
The Sandwell area in the south-east corner of the borough is still open country. It was there that Sandwell priory was founded in the late 12th century on the site of a hermitage. A park was laid out, probably in the mid 18th century when Sandwell Hall had become the Dartmouths' home. (fn. 33) In 1767 Richard Jago praised the beauty of the park in verse, contrasting it with 'the smoky scene', (fn. 34) and a century later it was thankfully commended as the 'one healthy lung of this great manufacturing parish'. (fn. 35) In 1947 the corporation bought the remaining 1,367 a. of the Sandwell estate, mainly to preserve it as open country. (fn. 36) Although the northern end of the M5 motorway, opened in 1970, (fn. 37) runs through it, much of it is occupied by the Sandwell Park and Dartmouth golf-courses, and the wild character of the part around the site of the hall is being preserved. (fn. 38)
The northern part of the parish remained open country until the 20th century; in 1970 a few farms still existed in the area extending northwards from Sandwell. At Hall Green stands the medieval manor-house. By the 13th century the area round it was known as Whisty. By at least the mid 16th century there was a house at Whisty which was evidently distinct from the manor-house; it was presumably the Whisty House at Hall Green which was stated in 1828 to have been recently demolished. There was still a field called Big Whisty on the south side of Hall Green in the mid 19th century. (fn. 39) The modern suburb of Stone Cross on the Walsall road east of Hall Green is named from a wayside cross which occurs in the early 17th century and still stood in the later 18th century; the base survived as part of a signpost until c. 1897. (fn. 40) Friar Park in the northern tip of the parish was an estate belonging to Halesowen abbey in the Middle Ages; its modern name was in use by the end of the 16th century. (fn. 41) In the later 18th century most of the settlement in the northern area of the parish lay around Charlemont, Bird End, and Wigmore. (fn. 42) On the Tame at Bustleholm the 17th-century ironworks was still in production. (fn. 43) Further south the 16th-century works known as Bromwich forge was also still working, and in 1784 seven people there owed suit at the manor court; the forge ceased to work c. 1830. (fn. 44)
In the 20th century housing estates have covered much of the northern area. In the Charlemont district there is one of the earlier council estates in the town, 53 a. developed on garden-city lines in the 1920s. (fn. 45) There is also private housing of the period between the World Wars. The Charlemont Farm council estate, with multi-storey flats a prominent feature, and the private Bustleholm Mill estate date from the 1960s. (fn. 46) West of Walsall Road there are council estates of the period between the wars off Marsh Lane and on either side of Westminster Road. (fn. 47) The large Friar Park council estate is of the same period, and more recently some light industry has been established in Friar Park Road. The Crankhall Lane (West) estate to the north of Friar Park was built in the 1930s by Wednesbury borough council on part of the land acquired from West Bromwich in exchange for the Delves in 1931; (fn. 48) it has been extended since the Second World War. The Yew Tree council estate at the Delves was completed c. 1966. (fn. 49) Further east the parts of Hamstead and Great Barr added to West Bromwich in 1928 and 1931 have been developed with council and private estates dating from before and after the Second World War. (fn. 50) During the war a munitions factory was built on the east side of Walsall Road near the boundary; in the early 1970s the buildings were used partly as dwellings and partly for industrial purposes. (fn. 51) A recent feature of the Bustleholm area is the intersection of the M5 and M6 motorways with a striking system of fly-overs and sliproads.
Finchpath occurs in the 1420s as a hamlet on the West Bromwich bank of the Tame by the bridge into Wednesbury, (fn. 52) but the settlement apparently existed much earlier. The name Finchpath was already attached to the bridge in the earlier 13th century, (fn. 53) 'the mill of Finchespath' (apparently on the Wednesbury side of the river) occurs in 1255, (fn. 54) and there was coalmining there by 1309. (fn. 55) The Golde family was living there in 1332 and probably by the later 13th century. (fn. 56) The area called Finchpath originally extended as far south as Black Lake (Nether Finchpath) and west to Harvills Oak, (fn. 57) and in the 1780s a district still known as Finchpath was populous. (fn. 58) By the mid 18th century the area at the top of Holloway Bank (or Finchpath Hill) (fn. 59) was becoming known as Hill Top, (fn. 60) and at the end of the century it consisted of 'a large street' of small houses and also 'several good gentlemen's houses'. (fn. 61) One of these was Finchpath Hall opposite the end of Hawkes Lane, the home of James Keir; the house had been divided into two by 1901 and was demolished to make way for shops in 1938. (fn. 62) Another was Meyrick House, the home of Joseph Hateley, a solicitor, in the earlier 19th century. It was bought by the corporation in 1896, and in 1897-8 a police station and a reading room (now a branch library) were built on the site. The grounds were laid out as the 5-acre Hill Top Park, which was extended by another 4 a. c. 1960. (fn. 63) By the mid 19th century the area immediately west of the main road at Hill Top was developing, (fn. 64) and mining and especially iron-working had become established. (fn. 65) As early as 1799 Edward Elwell had converted a flour mill on the main road into a foundry, and he built up a successful hollow-ware business there; he lived at Five Ways House, Black Lake. (fn. 66)
The development of the area south and east of Hill Top dates mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries. Black Lake to the south was the name of a plot of land by the end of the 14th century (when it occurs with 'Whytelake') (fn. 67) and the name of a house or cottage by 1502. (fn. 68) Early in the 18th century the Presbyterians built the Old Meeting there. (fn. 69) By 1820 there was continuous settlement along the west side of the main road at Black Lake and more to the south in the Carter's Green area around the junction with the road from Tipton. (fn. 70) The name Carter's Green was in use by 1764. (fn. 71) Hateley Heath to the east of Hill Top occurs from the later 15th century as a piece of common land within the triangle formed by the present Wyntor, Allerton, and Jowett's Lanes, and a cottage there was mentioned at the end of the 16th century. (fn. 72) By the 1740s there was an iron-foundry there. (fn. 73) Ridgacre to the south, apparently an inhabited area in the earlier 14th century, (fn. 74) was densely wooded until the earlier 19th century. (fn. 75) In fact the new mines and ironworks of the whole district east of the main road and the canals serving them produced an industrial landscape which persisted into the 20th century. (fn. 76) The area is now occupied largely by council estates, notably one built between the World Wars on the triangle of the former Hateley Heath and two large estates to the north and south built since the Second World War. For the one on the north side of Witton Lane over 30 a. of derelict pit mounds were cleared in 1954-5. (fn. 77) There is also some private housing dating from the period between the wars in the Coles Lane area and at Black Lake and council housing built both before and after the Second World War to the east of Old Meeting Street. The small council estate on the west side of Old Meeting Street was completed in 1961. (fn. 78)
Golds Green in the north-west of the parish may take its name from the Golde family. (fn. 79) It was the scene of mining by the 1760s, and the Balls Hill branch of the Birmingham Canal was opened to serve the pits in 1769. (fn. 80) Since the late 18th century the district has also contained several ironworks, notably the Golds Hill works of John Bagnall & Sons; the closing of that works in 1882 caused a decline in the population of the district. (fn. 81) The area to the south-east known as Harvills Hawthorn was originally called Harvills Oak. The name Harvill is thought to be a corruption of Heronville, since the Heronvilles, lords of Wednesbury, acquired land in West Bromwich from the Goldes in the 14th century. (fn. 82) A tree called 'Harvyls Oke' is mentioned in 1531, (fn. 83) and Harvills Oak was the name of an inhabited district along the road from Hill Top to Golds Green by the mid 18th century. (fn. 84) That part of the road was coming to be known as Harvills Hawthorn by 1816, (fn. 85) although in the 1850s the northern stretch of Dial Lane was still called Harvills Oak. (fn. 86) By the 1830s the area was becoming industrialized, particularly with collieries and boiler factories, (fn. 87) and it was at the end of the Balls Hill branch canal that in 1897 John Brockhouse opened his spring and axle works, now the principal works of the Brockhouse Organization. (fn. 88) There is some council housing at Harvills Hawthorn built before the Second World War, but the main features of the area are the two large council estates built after the war. The earlier was planned in the 1930s when 53 a. of derelict land were bought as the site, but the war delayed building. The first house was finished in 1946, and the estate was completed in 1948. (fn. 89)
Swan Village to the south, the area around the junction of Swan Lane, Phoenix Street, and the Tipton road, takes its name from the Swan inn. The inn occurs in 1655 when it was held by Richard Sterry, (fn. 90) but it probably existed by 1635. (fn. 91) Stabling and coach-houses were among the amenities which it advertised in 1801. (fn. 92) The present building dates only from c. 1860. (fn. 93) Mining and iron-working became established in the neighbourhood in the early 19th century, (fn. 94) and the Birmingham & Staffordshire Gas Light Company built its works at Swan Village in 1825. (fn. 95) A station on the new BirminghamWolverhampton railway was opened there in 1854. (fn. 96)
The south-western part of the parish was originally known as Greet, probably taking its name from the gravel of the area. (fn. 97) A mill at 'Grete' existed by the late 12th century, (fn. 98) and 'Grete' persisted as the name of part of the parish for at least another four centuries. (fn. 99) Great Bridge, where the main road crosses the Tame into Tipton, was originally Grete Bridge, (fn. 100) 'Great' being used by the end of the 17th century: (fn. 101) in the early 16th century the Tame in that area was known as Grete Brook. (fn. 102) There was settlement on the West Bromwich side of the bridge by the mid 16th century, (fn. 103) but much of the district now known as Great Bridge is in Tipton. Greets End near Great Bridge occurs in 1713. (fn. 104) Greets Green, the area around the junction of the roads from Great Bridge and Swan Village, is mentioned in the mid 16th century, (fn. 105) and in 1777 there was still a 'common or waste . . . commonly called Greets Green'. (fn. 106) Near by was the Dunkirk estate, the home of the Rider family by the late 16th century; (fn. 107) Ryders Green to the north-west (fn. 108) presumably took its name from the family. Another early estate was that held by the Hillary family in the 14th century, which later centred on Greet mill in what is now West Bromwich Street. (fn. 109) Cop Hall in the Sheepwash area south of Great Bridge existed by the early 17th century and was the home of a John Turton in 1685. (fn. 110) Two cottages occur as encroachments on the waste at Sheepwash in 1723. (fn. 111)
Settlement in the south-western part of the parish was still scattered in the later 18th century, (fn. 112) but in the earlier 19th century extensive mining began there. (fn. 113) At Great Bridge there was iron-working by 1818; (fn. 114) by the middle of the century there were also several ironworks along the Birmingham Canal, notably the Union Furnaces established after Philip Williams & Co. bought the Union Farm estate in 1827. (fn. 115) From 1852 the ironworks were also served by the Stour Valley Railway running alongside the canal. (fn. 116) The extensive Crown Works of Braithwaite & Co. Structural Ltd. on the Balls Hill branch canal south of Ryder Street originated in the mid 19th century when Riley, Fleet & Newey started their structural engineering business there. (fn. 117) Tubemaking had started at Great Bridge by 1861, and the first part of the large Wellington Tube Works was opened on the Broadwaters branch canal in 1872. (fn. 118) By the mid 19th century brickmaking became important in the Greets Green and Albion areas. (fn. 119) The industrial expansion was matched by a great increase of population. Greets Green and the Sheepwash area (including New Town) were developing by the 1830s, (fn. 120) and by the mid century Grout Street and adjoining streets had been built up. (fn. 121) In 1851 the population of the Greets Green area was given as 6,000. (fn. 122) The Dunkirk estate included several cottages, with adjoining brew-houses and piggeries, by 1853. (fn. 123) In that year part of the estate was put up for sale as building land, and the property was advertised as a good investment because of the fast increasing demand by miners and others for houses. It was also stated that more of the estate would soon be divided into small building plots by a Birmingham building society. (fn. 124) In 1853 and 1854 building land to the north of the main road between Swan Village and Great Bridge was advertised for sale by the society; mention was made of new streets there in 1854. (fn. 125) William Street to the south of the main road was described in 1855 as newly laid out, (fn. 126) and Fisher Street further west apparently dates from 1859. (fn. 127) Development continued; thus when St. Michael's mission church was opened in Bull Lane in 1881, in place of an earlier mission in Wood Lane, it was said to have been built for some 2,000 people, mainly brick-workers. (fn. 128) Farley Park in Whitehall Road was presented to the borough by Reuben Farley in 1891; it was extended from 5 to 8½ a. in 1955. (fn. 129) Another open space is formed by the playing fields north of Greets Green Road. When the corporation bought the 58-acre site in 1922, it consisted of pit mounds; unemployed labour was used to level it, and it was opened as playing fields in 1926. (fn. 130) There is council and private housing off Oldbury Road dating from the period between the World Wars. The Cophall council estate west of Whitehall Road was begun in 1959 after the clearance of about 100 slum houses, some of them back-to-back. (fn. 131) A council estate was still being built in the Sheepwash area in 1970.
Much of the area eastward from Greets Green to the present town centre was still part of the Heath in the later 18th century. (fn. 132) A notable early building, however, is the Oak House in Oak Road, the nucleus of which dates from the later 16th century. (fn. 133) The Parliamentarians are said to have thrown up an encampment on the Heath near what is now Oak Lane during the siege of Dudley castle in 1644. (fn. 134) By the later 18th century there was some settlement at Ireland Green (the area around the present Gads Lane), Cutler's End (now Lambert's End), and Old End (the present Richard Street area). (fn. 135) To the east was the Lodge estate centring on a house that was originally a warrener's lodge. The estate was sold in 1867 and the house demolished in 1868. The District Hospital was built on part of the estate in 1869-71. The corporation bought another part and erected a group of public buildings there in 1874-5. (fn. 136) The rest of the estate was developed as a residential area; several new streets were laid out, including Lodge Road, but most of the development took place towards the end of the century. (fn. 137) The Guns Village area north of Dartmouth Street (a street formerly known as Danks Hill) (fn. 138) and the area between Oak Road and Moor Street had some buildings by the 1830s and were extensively built up by the 1880s. (fn. 139) The large Hambletts council estate to the north of Wood Lane dates mainly from the 1930s, (fn. 140) while the small council estate to the east at Lambert's End was completed in 1960. (fn. 141) The first streets between Oak Road and Bromford Lane were appearing by the beginning of the 20th century, (fn. 142) and in the Westbourne Road and Margaret Street area there is some of the first council housing in the town, dating from the early 1920s. (fn. 143) Further west still, off Brandon Way, there is council housing built since the Second World War.
By 1775 there was settlement along the edge of the Heath around the present Moor Street, and the name Lyng was in use for the area. Sams Lane too was already in existence, linking the area with Spon Lane. (fn. 144) Further south in Bromford Lane is Lyttleton Hall Farm, where there was probably a house by the early 17th century. (fn. 145) By the mid 19th century several streets had been laid out in the Lyng area as far south as Sams Lane, (fn. 146) but most of the housing in Bromford Lane dates from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (fn. 147) In the 1960s the Lyng was cleared by the council and redeveloped with houses, maisonettes, multi-storey flats, a shopping centre, and an old people's home; the parish church and the school were rebuilt. The first phase of the scheme won a Civic Trust commendation in 1967. (fn. 148) Immediately to the south is private and council housing of the period between the World Wars, and beyond is a council estate of the mid 1950s belonging to the borough of Warley. (fn. 149)
An area named Spon in the south of the parish existed by 1344 when William atte Sponne held land in West Bromwich. (fn. 150) Spon Brook is mentioned in 1585, (fn. 151) Spon Heath in 1633, (fn. 152) Spon Lane in 1694, (fn. 153) and Spon Coppice in 1695. (fn. 154) By the later 18th century the Spon Lane area was one of the more populous parts of the parish. There was much settlement along Spon Lane itself, particularly the eastern side, and also eastwards along the Birmingham road; it was in the latter area that the Salters built their first works in the 1770s. (fn. 155) A number of foundries were built along the Birmingham Canal at the southern end of Spon Lane. In the early 1790s Archibald Kenrick built a foundry east of Spon Lane Bridge, leasing the site from John Houghton, clerk to the Birmingham Canal Co., who was building Houghton Street and a canal wharf. By 1798 there was a brassworks between Kenrick's foundry and Spon Lane. William Bullock established another foundry west of Spon Lane in 1805, and in 1830 Samuel Kenrick opened the Summit Foundry to the east of Archibald Kenrick's works. (fn. 156) By 1837 Kenrick's Village had been laid out around Glover Street to the north of the Kenrick foundries, and Trinity Road (then Garden Street) was being built. (fn. 157) The southern part of the Spon Lane area in fact developed as a very self-contained community. (fn. 158) The area around Glover Street became known locally as Monkey Green; its development was financed by a building society, and it has been suggested that this may account for the name, 'a monkey on the house' meaning a mortgage. (fn. 159) A new church was opened on part of Spon Coppice near the northern end of Trinity Road in 1841, (fn. 160) but most of the streets around it date from about the end of the century. (fn. 161) Kenrick Park east of Kenrick's Village originated in the gift of 19 a. to the borough in 1895 by J. A. and William Kenrick, part of it land transferred to the borough from Smethwick in 1897; by the early 1960s it was 25 a. in extent. (fn. 162) In his English Journey J. B. Priestley described a visit to Grice Street on the west side of Spon Lane in 1933 under the name 'Rusty Lane'; it presented 'a picture of grimy desolation' unparalleled in his experience. (fn. 163) There is private housing of the period between the World Wars at the southern end of Trinity Road, and the 1960s saw council redevelopment around Glover Street, notably with multistorey flats. (fn. 164) The ring road too has been built through that part, and the M5 motorway runs along the borough boundary.
Roebuck Lane in the south-east of the parish running into Smethwick from the Birmingham road existed by the later 18th century (fn. 165) and probably much earlier. A house called the Roebuck at the north end existed in 1684 and was demolished c. 1855. (fn. 166) Also at the top of Roebuck Lane, and on its western side, is the house called Springfields. By 1795 it was the home of Archibald Kenrick. After his death in 1835 his son Archibald lived there; it was rebuilt probably about that time. The younger Archibald was still living there in 1850, but it subsequently became the home of W. Bullock, an iron-founder like the Kenricks. By 1860 it had been bought by Thomas Bache Salter, who moved there from Spon House, and it remained the Salters' home until c. 1906. (fn. 167) In 1970 it was the social club of G. Salter & Co. Ltd. By 1836 there was a large house to the south of Springfields called Oakley; it was owned by Timothy Kenrick, son of the elder Archibald Kenrick. (fn. 168) It was demolished c. 1960. (fn. 169) The western side of Roebuck Lane was occupied in 1970 by private housing built mainly in the period between the World Wars. The northern part of Roebuck Lane now ends at the M5 motorway on the borough boundary. Roebuck Street was laid out as Park Village in the 1850s; (fn. 170) by 1970, however, the street was given over to light industry. The area around Grove Crescent between Roebuck Lane and Roebuck Street was formerly occupied by the Grove and its 4-acre estate; the property was sold in 1892 and built over. (fn. 171)
The area east from Roebuck Lane to the borough boundary has been developed mainly in recent years and as an industrial estate. An ancient tree known as the Three Mile Oak formerly stood on the north side of the main road near the boundary; by the 1830s it had disappeared, but the name was preserved by the near-by inn and toll-gate. (fn. 172) Street House at the corner of Halford's Lane and the Birmingham road occurs from 1661. In 1818 it was the home of Joseph Halford, who later moved to Charlemont Hall. Between c. 1833 and c. 1846 Henry Halford, an iron merchant, was living there. It was rebuilt about that time and by the 1850s was known as the Hawthorns. It was made into the Hawthorns Hotel in 1903 to serve the patrons of the Hawthorns football ground on the opposite side of Halford's Lane. (fn. 173) The ground had become the home of West Bromwich Albion Football Club in 1900. (fn. 174) Halford's Lane takes its name from the Halford family, being earlier known variously as Street House Lane, Bowling Alley Lane, and Brasshouse Lane. (fn. 175) There is a motorway access point where the M5 passes under Birmingham Road; the classical stone gateway of Arch Lodge, formerly an entrance to Sandwell Park, has been preserved on the roundabout. A new road was opened from the roundabout to the southern part of Roebuck Lane in Smethwick as part of the southern ring road. The borough boundary with Smethwick was altered in 1966 when the Albion area on either side of Halford's Lane, until then in Smethwick, was taken into West Bromwich instead of becoming part of the new borough of Warley; the railway line then became the boundary. (fn. 176) A small area including a stretch of the M5 motorway and a portion of the ring road around the junction with Roebuck Lane was transferred to Warley. (fn. 177)