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The aim of this site is to collect  information in the form of History- Personal Stories- Photographs- Maps  to tell the next generation THE WAY WE WERE

HISTORY

OF

BROOKFIELDS

BIRMINGHAM

Historically Brookfields was part of Birmingham Heath, a great expanse of western Birmingham which included Winson Green and Rotton Park. Unlike much of the heath, though Brookfields was fertile and had a brook running through it's fields. The area was owned by the Gooch family and no development was indicated on Pigott Smith's map of 1824-5. However in 1833, All Saints Church was opened to serve as a centre for what was 'already becoming a very large populated district' (Robert K Dent). Six years later the map of the Society for the Diffusion of Usefull Knowledge still showed the brook as well as a number of streets which it seemed were intended to be laid out locally. Non of them were named, but amongst them can be picked out the lower part of Camden Street, New Spring Street, George Street and Hingestion Street.                                                                  Up to this date  the development of Brookfields had focused upon providing housing for middle-class people. They fled in the 1860's and 1870's, probably because although the district was to the west of Birmingham it lay downwind of industrial Smethwick. This flight was accompanied by the emergence of new streets and the building of back-to-back houses for the poorer working-class folk . These houses  were cleared in the 1960's. Indeed, folk in Hingestion Street especially, were amongst the last brummies to live in back- to -back housing.                                                                      New homes have replaced the majority of  the old homes but unfortunately the use of the name Brookfields is slowly dying out.                                                                                               Adapted from Carl Chinn's  "One Thousand Years of Brum"  1999

WHERE IS BROOKFIELDS 

BROOKFIELDS the  area it covered as defined by Ted Rudge                                         Interpreting the area Brookfields covered or covers will in some peoples understanding differ to that of mine however from the start I make it clear the following is my interpretation of the area based on local knowledge over the years 1940 to 1961. If you think I am not correct in any detail please email me with your correction.
Starting at Western Road down one side of Spring Hill to the Library on the corner of Icknield Street, then turning left down Icknield Street to the railway bridge at Pitsford Street, left up Pitsford Street over the junction into Western Road all the way to Dudley Road. Back down Western Road along All Saints Road turning left into Lodge Road taking in only the left hand side until opposite Norton Street is reached. All that is within the roads thus described is in my opinion Brookfields.

However Ken Grinnell's Brookfields boundary differs to mine. Ken says where it states that "at  bridge in Icknield street, left up Pitsford street accross junction to Western Road", this should say accross junction to Crabtree Road, up Crabtree Road to Brookfields Road (culdisac on right) up (right hand side of Brookfields Road and back down other side) then continue up Crabtree Road to junction with New Spring street and Western Road , then along Western Road to Dudley Road and Spring hill.
I believe the area along Allsaints Road is called Allsaints where the church (Allsaints church) and the school (Allsaints school) have been demolished.  I am fairly sure I am correct,
Ken Grinnell, Email: kgrinnell55@hotmail.com16/01/04

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