Goblin it up…

Following the large – and welcome – interest in Goblin’s Pit/Wood/Coppy Wodd/Coppice Woods in Green Lane, Walsall Wood, I thought I’d trawl the mapping record to see what I could find. This section of the 1:50,000 scale pre 1884 first edition is where the name was first legitimised for me.

This 1:50,000 digital issue of the 1884 first edition is great to study, but very inaccurate in places. The naming record here is excellent. Notice ‘Goblins Pit Farm’.

I went trawling for other usage, but could find none other than that highlighted in these two posts. Interestingly, on all large scale (and subsequent small scale) mapping, the wood is unnamed, even on modern Ordnance survey vector media. However, the 1884 1:2,500 plot does show something interesting, highlighted by Andy Dennis’s wonderful contribution in the comments yesterday. There were, indeed, other dwellings near the wood.

I can find no record of a pit, mine or excavation, and revisiting Brian Rollins work, ‘Coal Mining in Walsall Wood, Brownhills and Aldridge’, he actually says the following in the introduction:

For instance, there was no ancient coal mine at Goblins Pit Farm or Goblins Pit Wood in Green Lane, Walsall Wood, the coal measures here are overlain by hundreds of feet of Etruria Marls. No doubt there were surface excavations but only in the marls and probably to spread on the fields before the days of fertilisers to help regenerate the soil. These depressions exist in many fields and are called ‘Borrow Pits’.

Which just goes to show my memory isn’t quite what is was…

1884 1:2,500 scale draft of the Bullings Heath/Goblin Pit area. Note the additional buildings, not extant today.

I overlaid the map segment on Google Earth to show where the cottages would be today. If anyone wants a copy of the whole overlay, drop me a line and I’ll post it up.

Where the cottages were, to the south of those remaining today, there now seems to be scrub. Wonder if there are any remnants, and why they were lost?

So we’re none the wiser, really, but we’ve learned a bit more about the Bullings Heath area… and goblins. You clearly can’t have enough of the little fellas.

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12 Responses to Goblin it up…

  1. Mick P says:

    These overlays that you do are superb, Bob. And they make you realise how accurate those old maps can be.

  2. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    thanks for creating and publishing the super overlay and for the old map…to the rear of the cottages are four holes(?) each having a sort of stretched letter s ..does this indicate that they were surveyed for the 84 map? I’ve seen this “s” on other maps and wonder what it is.
    Perhaps one of the long-gone cottages was the thatched cottage where Derry lived, before he embarked on his adventures by wagon-train to Utah!
    kind regards
    David

    • I really ought to do an article on reading these maps. Sorry, I’m so used to them I assume everyone is.
      I believe the holes are pools – themselves possibly marl holes – and the scroll you describe is an indicator that the two areas joined over the line are together in the overall enclosure measurement. So area 490 – behind the list cottages, appearing to be an orchard – is 1.201 acres in size, including the two ponds. Likewise,where the track runs southwest to northeast in 318 south of Grange Farm, the 4.464 acres include the track, too.
      I think it was probably the cottage where the elders lived from description (see Andy’s comment)

      Something mental coming on this later…

      Best wishes

      Bob

  3. pedro says:

    Found in a number of Newspapers a Planning Application by South Staffs Railway to create an extensive Railway network with Branch Lines. The route mentions hundreds of places, but locally of interest, from the Newbury Herald Sat Nov 15th 1845…

    …Birchills, Ryecroft, Cart-bridge, Coalpool, Shaver’s End, Moss Pit Green, Sheffield, Sheffield Common, otherwise Birches Green, Four Crosses, Cole Heath, High Heath, Goblin’s Pit, Goblin’s Pit Wood, Walsall Wood, Sheffield and Walsall Wood…

    I assume that the line did not come to fruition?

    All the best Peter

    • Hi Pedro

      No, it didn’t. That’s really, really interesting. I’ve heard this mentioned before, but I’m having difficulty imagining the route. That’s something to research, I think. Wonder id Dave Creswell is in the house?

      Cheers for all your wonderful research

      Bob

  4. pedro says:

    Since found that the Bill did not come through Parliament. It may have been in opposition to GWR.

    History may have been different if it had gone ahead!

    Regards Peter

  5. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    wow! Thanks to Pedro and to yourself . It does make you stop and think, doesn’t it! Yet another piece of (nearly lost ) local history .
    kind regards to both of you,
    David

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