Walsall Wood: Local government and public services

Page 281

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 lord of Shelfield manor was holding two courts a year by 1317, (fn. 1) and in 1632 he was said to possess view of frankpledge. (fn. 2) Otherwise the evidence shows Walsall Wood and Shelfield as part of Walsall manor. (fn. 3) In the earlier 19th century pinners for Walsall Wood and Shelfield were appointed at Walsall manor court. (fn. 4) There was a pound at Bullings Heath, Walsall Wood, at the east end of Green Lane, in the earlier 1840s. (fn. 5) A small plot at the south-west corner of the green at Shelfield was assigned to the lord of Walsall manor under the inclosure award of 1876 for use as a public pound. A pound still stood there in 1901. (fn. 6)

For parochial purposes the area was a detached part of the township of Walsall foreign until the 19th century. It formed one of the highway districts into which the foreign was divided by 1768. (fn. 7) It was not, however, included with the rest of the foreign in the new borough of Walsall in 1835. Its exclusion led to problems in the administration of the poor law, and the Walsall Improvement and Market Act of 1848 extended the powers of the borough justices to the area for poor-law purposes. (fn. 8) In 1894 it became part of the urban district of Brownhills. (fn. 9)

A sewage works had been built by 1882 to the north of Green Lane near the canal bridge. It passed to the Brownhills urban district council and in 1966 to the Upper Tame Main Drainage Authority. (fn. 10) A gasworks (now demolished) had been built by 1872 on the Wyrley and Essington Canal near Catshill Junction by the Brownhills Gas Co. Ltd., later the Ogley Hay and Brownhills Gas Co. Ltd. (fn. 11) There was a police station at Walsall Wood by 1868 (fn. 12) and a post office by 1880. (fn. 13) From 1904 trams ran to Walsall Wood from the centre of Walsall. Buses were introduced in 1927 as part of a service from Walsall to Lichfield and replaced the trams in 1928. (fn. 14)


  • 1. B.M. Harl. MS. 2131, f. 13.
  • 2. C.P. 25 (2)/485/8 Chas. I East.
  • 3. The whole area was included in the bounds of Walsall manor in 1576 and 1617: S.R.O., D. 1287/1/2, survey of Walsall manor, 1576, m. 10; Willmore, Walsall, 440.
  • 4. See p. 210.
  • 5. W.S.L., S. MS. 417/Walsall, map.
  • 6. S.R.O., Q/RDc 106; O.S. Map 6", Staffs. LVII. SE. (1903 edn., revised 1901).
  • 7. See p. 212.
  • 8. 11 & 12 Vic. c. 161 (Local and Personal), s. 61. The area was also excluded from the Walsall parliamentary borough of 1832: see p. 225.
  • 9. See p. 275.
  • 10. O.S. Map 6", Staffs. LVII. SE. (edns. of 1887 and 1903); Express & Star, 9 Dec. 1965.
  • 11. O.S. Map 6", Staffs. LVII. SE. (edns. of 1887 and 1921); P.O. Dir. Staffs. (1872). It is last mentioned in Kelly's Dir. Staffs. in 1932.
  • 12. P.O. Dir. Staffs. (1868).
  • 13. Kelly's Dir. Staffs. (1880).
  • 14. County Boro. of Walsall, Jubilee of Transport Undertaking 1904-1954 (copy in W.C.L.); W.P.L., announcement of beginning of bus service 18 Apr. 1927.