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Great Barr Past and Present

This web site is dedicated to presenting past, and present, information on Great Barr. The area is quite loosely defined around the 'B43' post code area but includes Hamstead, Gorse Farm, Newton, Grove Vale, Pear Tree, Scott Arms, Queslett and Pheasey. There are a number of significant historic areas, including the Great Barr Hall estate, Red House Park, Bishop Asburys House and Hamstead Colliery.

The site is organised in two ways. First by geographic area covering each part of Great Barr, and secondly by theme categorising features. Follow the navigation links  to access individual pages.

Astbury cottage

There are also the separate sites covering The Red House, Hamstead Colliery and Great Barr Hall which can be accessed via the 'Other Sites' menu. The Red House is to be sold by Sandewell Council and developed to contain flats , more details about the Red House and Red House Park can be found on the Friends of Red House Park site. Great Barr Hall is under new ownership and ideas for the future are being handled by Lapworth Architects .

Information about Great Barr is continually being added - there is a backlog of historic information to be added, completely new pages will be shown as Recent Additions in the bottom area of this page. Updating the site is a slow process, feel free to email me any problems you find and any contributions or articles are always welcome. I am adding individual pages for every road in B43 and welcome contributions about 'your' roads, why they got their name or any other information or photographs.

This site is very grateful to the residents, past and present, of Great Barr who have provided pictures and information about the area. If anyone can make a contribution to the sites content please let me know at the email address at the bottom of the page.

 Anthony Lewis, webmaster

Please use the menus or search facilities to find the information you require. Any information or pictures you have would be gratefully received, as well as any problems you find with the site. Email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Great Barr

Modern Great Barr covers a wide area comprising parts of Walsall, Birmingham and Sandwell.

In 1851 the area was described such - "Great Barr, three miles SE of Walsall, is a pleasant village, seated on the declivity of the lofty Barr Beacon, which stretches itself out to a considerable extent, and seems like a vast barrier to the country beyond it. The township and chapelry of Great Barr is now a separate ecclesiastical district, and contains 4960 acres and 1087 souls. It includes many scattered houses, and the hamlets of Hardwick, Margaret's Lane, Scott's Arms, Snail's Green, Little Aston and Questlett, extending eastward to the extensive heath of Sutton Coldfield. Lord Leigh is lord of the manor, but most of the soil belongs to other proprietors, the largest of whom is Sir Edward Dolman Scott, Bart, who resides at Barr Hall, formerly called Nether House. Red House, near Snail's Green, is a neat seat belonging to Robert Scott, Esq but occupied by Thomas Bagnall, Esq. On the north side of the chapelry is Aldridge Lodge, the seat of the Rev TB Adams, and near it is a small lake called Bourn Pool, an ancient moated house, and the Hayhead lime works, from which there is a branch to the Wyrley and Essington Canal "
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851 at Genuki]

For the initial focus of the site I have used the boundaries of the B43 postcode to determine the scope although this does exclude at this time most of the Birmingham "Great Barr" as it comprises Newton, Grove Vale, Hamstead, Scott Arms and Pheasey.

The modern area is dominated by the M5 and M6 motorways which join at Junction 8 in Great Barr. The the area is bounded on the south side by the River Tame, on the west by the M5 and the Rushall canal, to the west by the Old Walsall Road, Walsall Road and Queslett Road. To the north the boundary follows the edge of the Great Barr Golf course, Great Barr Park and the Pheasey housing estate.

Crossing the area is the A34 Birmingham Road which links Walsall and Birmingham while intersecting this is the A4041,which links West Bromwich, the Newton Road end, with Sutton Coldfield, the Queslett Road end. Where they meet is the Scott Arms.Apart from being one of the busiest road junctions in Europe this is close to the historical heart of Great Barr.

Three other key aspects of Great Barr have their own pages, Great Barr Hall, Red House Park, Hamstead Colliery.


In developing this site many local books have been referenced.

  • Collins, Fran & Martin (2001) They also server who stand and wait - A history of Pheasey Farms U.S. Replacement Depot, Sub Depot of the 10th Replacement Depot 1942/1945, Brewin Books, Studley Warwickshire, ISBN 1 85858 204 0
  • Dilworth, D. (1976) The Tame Mills of Staffordshire, Phillimore London, ISBN 0 86033 216 8
  • Jones, John Morris, Manors of North Birmingham, City of Birmingham Education Department, ISBN 0 7093 0014 X (or X 2563196, 1984. Parts of this publication and many more by John Morris are reproduced online within the Birmingham Grid for Learning site Here
  • Meachem, Rodger Clive (1989), Victorian Hamstead: Its People, Its Colliery - An Illustrated History, 1870-1910, Brewin Books Limited ISBN 0947731385
  • Price, Terry "West Bromwich People and Places" which has a section including Great Barr.
  • Pugh, R,B. ed. (1964) The Victoria History of the Counties of England, A History of Warwickshire Vol. VII, University of London, Online at British History Online
  • Pugh, R,B. ed. (1976) The Victoria History of the Counties of England, A History of Staffordshire Vol. XVII, University of London, Online at British History Online
  • Stephens W.B. (Editor) (1969) A History of the County of Warwick: Volume VIII - The City of Coventry and Borough of Warwick . Online at British History Online
  • Wilkinson, Christine, and Hanson, Margaret (2003) Birmingham Cinemas,Tempus which has information about the Beacon Cinema