|Clayhanger is one of the oldest settlements in
the area and has a history going back more than 600 years. It was mentioned after the
death of Thomas, Earl of Stafford in 1391 when a list of property and land he owned was
made. It was referred to as 'Land in le wastes and le conyngre (Warren) in a area of
Waleshale (Walsall) called Clayhanger. The name Clayhanger comes from a Anglo-Saxon word
meaning 'a slope on clayey soil', although there is no slope now as Clayhanger is an area
of rough drained pasture land which is quite flat.
The name of Clayhanger was also mentioned in the Court Rolls of 1617. In 1775 there were only a 5 or 6 cottages shown on Yates' map. When the 1841 Census was taken there were only 62 persons listed in the village most of which were Colliers or Labourers. The village grew very slowly and has always been somewhat isolated from the surrounding towns and villages, Clayhanger Lane being the main road in and out of the village running from the north end where it joins the Pelsall Road to the South end where it meets Lindon Road and becomes Clayhanger Road.
Major housing developments have taken place during the late 1990's and continues today providing housing for commuters, the housing is mainly at the north end of the village and is slowly moving across towards Brownhills High Street. Also several shops and a large super store have been built, Clayhanger may not be the isolated village it has enjoyed for the past 400 years.
CHURCH STREET which runs across the North end of the Village, here could be found the 'George and Dragon' and 'The Church of the Holly Trinity'. This street was called Caddick Street at one time, after a family of land owners who lived at a large house at the end of the street called, 'Rose Villa'. The third street that joined Church St to Bridge St was,
HIGH STREET was laid out by 1875 on an enclosure map of the time it was then called Caddick Road, there were no houses on the Street then except one at the junction with Church Street, where in 1881 the grocer shop of George Howdle who was married to farmers daughter Charlotte Arblaster could be found. His descendants still own the shop in the village which is now a butchers.
THE GEORGE AND DRAGON
Clayhanger's only pub, (although there was a beer house listed in 1881 round the corner in
Bridge St where John Lloyd was the Landlord, this was later to become, Clayhanger Working
Men's Club, which closed down in the early 1960's). The George and Dragon was also called
the Royal George Inn at one time and has been on its present site since at least 1871,
(although the present building dates from about 1900). In 1881 the Licensee was Samuel
Marklew who was also a coal miner at Walsall Wood Colliery.
In 1901 the Dragon was run by Arthur Poxon.
was most probably
built before 1834 and was approached via Church Street. As stated above the villa was at
one time the home of the Caddick Family who were land owners and farmers in the mid
1800's, They owned the farm and buildings where the Hussey Arms is now situated on the
Chester Road. The old Walsall Wood railway ran adjacent to the property. By 1902 the
cottage had been re-named Caddick House and in 1841 the owner was John Caddick who was a
Mine agent.. The house was demolished in the early 1960's and the name was given to Rose
Drive which was a new housing development.
THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY A mission was established (probably in a cottage) here by 1872 and the Church of the Holy Trinity was built in 1879.
THE OLD PUMPING STATION.
The Clayhanger pumping station, showing the Engineers House and the pump house. The buildings stood half way across the spot, which was an area between Clayhanger Lane and the footbridge which goes over the canal by Brownhills Market. Mr Samuel Wheale was the last Engineer to be in charge there, he held the position from 1921 until 1956 when the pump house closed.
THE CLAYHANGER FLOODS
The photo above shows the floods which were a regular feature of Clayhanger when i lived there in the late 50's, the photo was taken from the railway bridge just below the junction of Bridge street and High Street. This area of Clayhanger from the bridge up to the canal bridge on Clayhanger road was a virtual marsh land with several pools and bog land which as soon as rain fell would overflow and flood the area under the railway bridge and up Bridge street causing many houses to be constantly flooded and damp.
Clayhanger Brickworks was one of two brickworks in the area, the other one being close to the Walsall Wood Colliery where Maybrook road runs now.
The brickworks was most probably established in the 1790's to provide bricks for the building of the Wyrley and Essington canal. It was built next to the canal by Clayhanger bridge on Clayhanger road. It was a working brickyard in 1887 and was clearly shown on the OS maps of that time. When it was established it was on the same level as the canal but the house that stands on the site today has sunk well below the canal level due to subsidence.
The house next to the brickyard was called, 'Clayhanger Court', and in 1881 was occupied by Thomas Clark (excavator) and his wife Mary. There were 3 labourers employed at the yard in 1881, 'James James', who had moved to the area from Norfolk. 'John Anslow' a local man who lived with his wife and 4 children in Clayhanger Road in a row of houses called, 'Snapes Buildings'. There was also, 'Josiah Ward', and his wife Emma, they lived in the village in Bridge Street.
The following photos and information kindly supplied by the Jones family.
CLICK HERE TO READ >>A BRIEF HISTORY OF ERNEST JONES AND THE GENTLESHAW SAND COMPANY.
The brick works eventually closed as the pit filled with water and became unworkable, this became known as Clayhanger Pool. The brick works were converted into 2 houses, Nos. 17 & 19 Clayhanger Road, (now Nos. 3 & 5 Bridge Street). Mr Ernest Jones moved into no.17 in 1923 and ran his haulage business from there , taking bricks from Aldridge Brickworks to Birmingham. Later, with his three sons, Dennis, Edward and Leonard, he expanded the business into sand and gravel & established the, GENTLESHAW SAND COMPANY. They built a thriving business and operated a fleet of Bedford & Leyland Comet lorries which were a common sight travelling the roads in the area.. The Company built a new workshop over the canal bridge which was later taken over by Bourne Tools Ltd who manufacture injection moulding tools, they are due to vacate the premises in October 2003 as the Company stops the manufacture of tools.
CLICK HERE >>>>>>GENTLESHAW
GOTO>>>A BRIEF HISTORY OF ERNEST JONES AND THE GENTLESHAW SAND CO.<<<PAGE
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