Reader David Evans raised a great point with me the other day, and one I’ve been meaning to raise obliquely for a while here on the blog. David’s point is specifically about Green Lane Woods – formerly known as Goblin Wood, and the area it sits in just on the bend of Green Lane, between Bullings Heath and Shelfield, once known as Goblins Pit.
This is an interesting name, and like many local names, has slipped into disuse. Places like Holly Bank, Castle Gate, Bullings Heath, The Slough and Ogley Square are all sliding into the past, and both myself and local history ferret [Howmuch?] are keen to see these names preserved.
To preserve them, though, it helps to know a little about them and their origin. Anyone have any idea why Goblins Pit was so named? Local mining historian Brian Rollins strongly asserts there was never a mine there – although I wouldn’t discount a lime or clay pit possibly. So what do you folks know about this in particular, or other odd local place names? Do you have any that everyone else has forgotten? David’s Walsall Wood quizzes may help jog the memory here.
It was with the post about old maps this week that David noticed the following:
Your latest post, the old maps link, is fascinating, especially as it shows a ‘Goblings Pit’ along Green Lane Walsall Wood, by the Jockey Meadows.
I would love to know the derivation of this name, whether it is an old spelling of Goblin in the plural, or if Goblings were objects. A pit where objects known as goblings were found…. and if goblings were a spoil, residue, by-product of a process… smelting iron? The odds and ends, slag or speller were left around… Knowing that the verb ‘to gob’ in local slang means to spit, I wonder if the local slang and whatever happened there were linked.
Wikipedia, at least, gives a start and shows this image of a goblin. Perhaps nothing to do with this particular instance, though.
I have in mind scratchings and chitterings, both unusual words in themselves, as the spur to this train of thought, and knowing that nail-making was an important local activity before the days of the coal-mine. I hope that this unusual place, its name and its possible activities from long ago can be clearly and accuratley defined.
I wonder what help your kind blog readers may be able to offer.
with kind regards
So? What do we think, folks? Anything to add? That’s BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, or comment here. Cheers…