Since I seem to be having a tad of a catch-up today, I thought I’d share some interesting bits I’d noticed from the old maps I shared with readers last week. In idle moments I’ve been perusing them quite closely, and I’ve noticed some intriguing things.
Here, at what is now Castlefort, on the Walsall Wood – Aldridge border, the ancient hill fort looks far more intact than today. What interests me in particular are the two areas designated ‘Castle Gate’ (where Holly Lane joins Castlehill Road) and ‘Woodcote’. Reader [Howmuch] remembers reading that the lane here was once a tollway or gated road. Wasn’t one of the late 80’s housing developments here initially called Castle Gate, or am I imagining things? Notice also that in the North East of the map, the edge of the name ‘Upper Stonnall’ is partially visible. When marketing the new houses I mentioned, the marketeers, to much local derision, claimed their development to be in ‘Upper Stonnall’, a term that had fallen out of use years previously.
The road system has changed hugely around the Roman settlement at Wall, or Letocetum, to give the hamlet it’s older name. The old A5 Watling Street, prior to the dual carriageway upgrade and realignment, was the road that came through Wall village itself past the Trooper pub. If you scan to the very western edge of 1948 sheet SK00, following the path of the old A5, note that the map records ‘Roman Coins Found’ which I’ve never seen on a map before. If you’re interested, that’s the field on the corner of Ashcroft Lane crossroads, bound by the village and the new A5.
Here, at Anglesey Bridge (sometimes now apparently incorrectly called ‘Middleton Bridge’ – advice welcomed, please) there was an old quarry just over the Lichfield Road. This later became Sandfields caravan park, whose former origins can be observed by the hollow it sits in when viewed from the canal. On the southern side of the road, where Grasmere Garden Centre stands today, a short tramway existed to carry sand and spoil to the basin at the former canal junction, presumably for barge loading. It’s shown on both 1948 and 1951 maps, and I’d be interested if anyone remembers it existing, and if so, what powered it? It’s recorded also on 1902 maps of the area, but due to the curious way these maps were assembled it’s perfectly possible that it had long since gone by the time they were published.
If you spot anything of interest, please share it here. Cheers.