Cotteridge and its churches before 1911 by FE Hopkins
Cotteridge House

This was situated between Cotteridge Road and Hudson’s Drive. It was built in the late 17th century. In 1792 it was offered for sale, described as “a compleat country villa”. It had a sixty-acre working farm, barns, stables, cowhouses, pigsties, poultry pens and a dovecote. It was said to be “about four miles and a half from Birmingham, and half a mile from the Parish Church of Kings Norton (to which there is a good foot road), upon an Eminence commanding a pleasing prospect.”

In 1840 a tithe map was drawn up for Kings Norton. It tells us that Cotteridge House was owned by William Spurrier, but tenanted by William Martin.

The census of 1841 says that two farmers named Willitts lived there with a governess and four servants as well as the wife and five children of one of the farmers.

In the Kelly`s directory for 1892, Cotteridge farm was farmed by Frederick Morris. In 1894 he is not mentioned and the farm seems to have been built on in the great expansion of house building in 1895-1900.

Breedon House

This stood where Cotteridge School now stands. The grounds ran parallel with Pershore Rd almost to the canal.

In 1840 the house was occupied by the owner, John Lane Snow. There were two cottages, (now 1771 and 1773 Pershore Rd). One was empty and the other was tenanted by John Lewis.

In 1841, Breedon House was only occupied by a labourer and his wife, John and Sarah Green. Breedon Cottage was occupied by a cooper (barrel-maker) called Richard Lewis and Breedon House Cottage was occupied by a farmer, Richard Parsonage.

In 1861, Breedon House was occupied by the Baldwin family who were paper makers.

By 1871 there were three Breedon Cottages and Haye House which still stands opposite the Breedon Bar pub, bearing the date 1862.

By 1881, there is a Breedon Lodge, which still stands, just past Dell Rd, at 1653 Pershore Rd.

By 1895 part of Breedon House was the Maisonette Dairy Company.

Then in 1900 the “Board Schools” were built on this site.

High House

This appears in the census of 1861.It lay south of the railway line and east of Pershore Rd South. Its entrance avenue of trees is still visible in the Factory Centre.

The Rookery

This was on the site of the present Cotteridge Social Club.

Watford House

This was on the corner of Pershore Rd South and Middleton Hall Rd, where the row of shops and flats from Sophie’s Choice to Kings Norton Station now stands. It was the last residence of George Dawson, the famous preacher and reformer, who died there in 1876.

Cinemas

Cotteridge had a “Picture Theatre” in 1913 at the end of Hudson’s Drive. There was also “The Savoy”, at the Breedon Cross, opposite the pub. The factory which stands there now is called The Savoy Works.

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By 1900, when there had been a huge development of housing in Cotteridge, other services were also arriving. There were four doctors and the Medical Officer of Health and the Sanitary Inspector were at 39 Watford Rd. Before 1911 there was a constable of the Worcestershire County Police at 108 Rowheath Rd (after this time Cotteridge became part of Birmingham). The Kings Heath Volunteer Fire Brigade had a sub-station at 1 Holly Rd.

All Change

In 1892 there were about twenty houses with about 100 people in Cotteridge, according to a pamphlet about St Agnes Church. By 1902, this had changed to about 868 houses, with a population of about 4,300.It goes on to say that “The School Board has already provided a handsome school for 600 children, at a cost of £12,000, and there is every prospect of a further steady development of the district, which will shortly be supplied, under the Local Urban District Council, with a tram service direct to Birmingham.”

However, some people found life hard. In 1907 and 1908, a soup kitchen was opened in St Agnes Hall because there was much seasonal unemployment and wages of 18 shillings(90p) per week and rents of 5 shillings(25p) per week made life difficult for married men with families.

Transport

The Worcester and Birmingham Canal was cut in the 1790s, and the Pershore Turnpike Rd was made along old lanes.

In 1840 the first railway arrived, from Birmingham to Gloucester with a station where it crossed Lifford Lane. In the 1870s the Birmingham West Suburban Line (cross-city line) came through Selly Oak and Bournville, following the canal through Lifford to meet the Gloucester line by Kings Norton station.In 1884 the short stretch by the present Cotteridge park was opened.In the 1960s the old loop round Lifford was removed. Between 1840 and 1884 there were 3 different Lifford Stations shown on the maps below.

In 1902 the electric trams came from John Bright Street to the Cotteridge Tram Terminus. This was where Beaumont Court now stands, where Cotteridge bus depot was for many years after the demise of the tram.

The map of 1913 does not show a road linking Watford Rd to Linden Road, so this must have been developed for the introduction of the Outer Circle bus route around 1920.

Lifford Hall

The oldest building in the area is Lifford Hall, in Lifford Lane. Previously, Lifford was a much more prominent area than Cotteridge, but now the roles are reversed.

Cotteridge and its churches before 1911
FE Hopkins

One Response to “Cotteridge and its churches before 1911”

  • Reg Baldwin:

    Could anyone please tell me more about Haye House? I am working on this lovely house at the moment.
    Many thanks, Reg.

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