History in Finchfield

This page is intended to shed some light on the history of Finchfield and the surrounding area. There are few books or documents freely available that contain any information relating to this district, so I have begun collecting interesting data and information...

Map of Finchfield circa 1887 Map of Finchfield circa 1919 Inter War Map of Finchfield
The above plans are large documents and may take some time to load using slower connection speeds
  • During the Crimean War Washington House was used as a hostel for Belgian refugees
  • The development of the western suburbs of Wolverhampton was mostly that of agricultural land sold off in greater or smaller blocks, the builder who purchased the land would erect whatever class, style and density of housing he thought would sell most profitably. There are other instances of the gardens and grounds of gentlemen's residences being sold off and used for housing. A small scale example of this would be Fern Leys and a larger one would be the estate built in the grounds of the Spinney, as can be identified in the maps above. Bantock House and Park is, of course, a notable example of where this did not happen
  • A Major Kenneth Hutchinson Smith was resposible for the re-erection of The Buttermarket, Shifnal, at No.3 Castlecroft Gardens, The Buttery as well as other houses in Castlecroft Gardens. Use the link below to find more information on this and other Finchfield related subjects

http://www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk/about-wolverhampton-archives/

  • History of Tettenhall, follow this link to read some interesting information on the neighbouring areas around tettenhall.

http://www.tettenhall.co.uk/

 

Beeches Lock New Inns
Click on the above images for a larger picture
  • Bantock House and Family - In 1867 Thomas Bantock a well known Industrialist (descendants of Benjamin Bantock b 1792 Preston St Mary, Suffolk) purchased the house, on the triangle of land bordered by Finchfield Road, Broad Lane and Bradmore Road, Wolverhampton. The original name of the house was Merridale Farm and this appealed to Thomas who was a keen gardener.

    The family residence was later renamed "Bantock House" and was lived in by Thomas and Mary Ann Bantock (nee Dickens), with their son and seven daughters.

    Thomas died in 1895, leaving the property (Bantock House) to his son, Albert Baldwin Bantock. This Bantock was also, naturally, an industrialist and a local power broker, being a councillor for many years and Mayor of Wolverhampton three times. He was later elected an alderman and is usually known as Alderman Bantock. Some interseting information regarding the gardens at Bantock House can be found at this link http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/catalogue/adsdata/arch-327-1/dissemination/html/Bantock.html

Below - Bantock House and Park (click on the picture below to open more pictures of the park)

A view of Compton seen from The Holloway. You can see a steam train running along the railway track towards the upper right of the photograph.

Click on the image to see a larger picture

Another view of Compton showing the Meccano Bridge across the canal along the railway track.

Photograph courtesy of 'Wolverhampton in Old Photographs' Facebook page.

  • Below - Bantock Gardens, which received the Civic Trust commendation in 1966. The commendation commented "This scheme made good use of a very attractive and well wooded site. The flats are well grouped and the landscaping excellently handled."
  • In 1955 Merridale Court was opened, consiting of eight blocks of low rise flats containing 156 dwellings. The flats came complete with drying and laundry facilities and a resident superintendent.

Below - Programme for Official Opening of Merridale Court

 

For a large selection of photographs of Wolverhampton, from the 1960's, 70's and 80s visit the link Lady Wulfrun

Claire Pendrous has put to together a formidable selection of images of Wolverhampton, Shropshire and many other areas. She is something of an expert on differing forms of transport.

Claire has very kindly given permission for these two images to be included on this site. The Last Wicket, the bar at the Castlecroft Hotel will no doubt bring some fond memories of a quiet pint and a game of crib, whilst the snowy scene of the No 43 bus at Finchfield Road shows what winters used to be like.

OurPlaceOurPlan.org have compiled a draft Character Study that includes some interesting information relating to Finchfield, which can be accessed through this link http://www.ourplaceourplan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/DRAFT-CHARACTER-STUDY-CHAPTER-11-FINCHFIELD-SEPT-2013.pdf

I have to point out that this is not my work and I don't necessarily agree with all of the information; for instance the area designated as Finchfield seems to omit many roads and streets that are very obviously in Finchfield. However, it is a pretty comprehensive piece of work.

An almost unrecognisable view today of St Mark's church and Chapel Ash in 1966, before the ring road had been constructed and when Darlington Street still joined up with Salop Street (on the left). [photo courtesy of 'Wolverhampton in Old Photograhps']

 

A very early picture of the Mermaid Inn at Wightwick, on the Bridgnorth Road. The picture shows the steepness of Wightwick Bank and relatively 'rural' environs of the surroundings. [picture courtesy of 'Wolverhampton in Old Photograhps']
Another picture of the New Inn [courtesy of 'Wolverhampton in Old Photograhps']