I have a Hanch

Here’s something odd I spotted today in Walsall, that I’d never noticed before. Cycling back from Caldmore on a samosa mission, I noted I was riding down Lysways Street. Near the Birmingham Road end, I noticed there was a Hanch Place. So what? I hear you ask…

Slightly northeast of Longdon Green, not far from Lichfield is a small hamlet, called Hanch. There’s quite a notable hall there – Hanch Hall. Running back to Longdon Green is Lysways Lane,  which passes Lysways Hall. What’s the connection between Highgate in Walsall, and a small hamlet a couple of miles nortwest of Lichfield?

I have no idea. Are there any other connected references in the street names of this area of Walsall?

Henry Thorold, in his 1977 Shell Guide to Staffordshire, has this to say about Hanch (under the entry for Longdon, which encompasses Longdon, Upper Longdon and Longdon Green, as well as Hanch and Beaudesert):

[Speaking of Longdon Church] The church has a Norman nave (with curious 19c roof). Norman S door. and Norman chancel arch, Victorian N transept, Perp S chantry chapel built by John Stoneywell, abbot of Pershore and native of Longdon. Monument by Edward Stanton to Thomas Orme of Hanch Hall (1716).

I can’t see any Orme references on the map of Highgate. The name Stoneywell will be interesting to to Kate of Lichfield Lore: Was the man named after the place, or the place named after the man? Henry goes on to say:

Hanch Hall, a mile to the E, has a grand early-l8c S front with pediment. facing the meadow, from the road only the large Victorian additions are visible. The lane from Longdon Green passes Lysways Hall, an 18c house now cut in two by the demolition of its centre.

So I have absolutely no idea. Anyone got any theories? BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

Gorgeous Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Pathfinder mapping of the Hanch area. Why are these names also given to roads in Highgate, Walsall? Click for a larger version.

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19 Responses to I have a Hanch

  1. pedro says:

    Hanch Hall, Grade II* Listed Building a link, click to enlarge…


    For listing details see here…


  2. I actually went up Lysways St today – I’ve never connected the two, how silly! Do you think it could be this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Charles_Forster,_1st_Baronet
    I see his wife was called Elizabeth Emery. We looked at a house on that street once!
    Also, Stoneywell apparently was a well with a big stone in it and I read that people were afraid that if it was moved their cattle would become sick. I think he was named after the place but I might be wrong 😉

  3. Hi Bob
    Its brilliant that you’ve done something about Caldmore – thank you.
    I’m not sure, but I think that it could have something to do with the diocese of Lichfield, but not sure how. I live in Doveridge Place, there was also a Doveridge Hall which again seems to come under the diocese of Lichfield – the houses in Doveridge Place were originally built by the church, and when the previous owner tried to get more information about the history of the houses, she had to go to the record offices in Lichfield. Interestingly one of the owners of Doveridge Hall in 1892 was Frank Addison Brace of Brace, Blyth, Windle and Co, harness manufacturers of Walsall.

  4. D.Evans says:

    HI Bob
    Caldmore Green does not seem to have lost the former Perks grocers shop front from the 1930s..its now called Caldmore,has the arched front..family connection…opposite the Old White Hart.. I wonder what a Rutter was!

  5. ziksby says:

    Rutter probably refers to J S Rutter, vicar of Walsall in the 1830s

  6. Andy Dennis says:

    I suspect the connection goes back another generation to Charles Smith Forster of Lysways Hall, who married an Elizabeth Emery – note Emery Street lower right of photo. In 1851 Elizabeth, bankers widow, was at Lysways. At the same time a John Forster, magistrate for Staffordshire and landed proprietor, lived at Hanch. (Census)

    Charles Smith Forster was a banker, mayor and the first (Tory) MP for Walsall, which became a Parliamentary Borough in 1832. (British History Online – http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=36196)

  7. Ann says:

    Charles Smith Forster MP (1784-1850) is prob therefore associated with Forster Street. Very interesting –

  8. Pedro says:

    Chas Foster Esq was Lord Mayor of Walsall in 1800.

    In 1812 a perpetual Magistrate.

  9. pedro says:

    In 1890 the William Harrison Company Limited was formed, and one of the preference shareholders was a Arthur W Hutton of 23 Lysways Street, Walsall.

    He was an Engineer.

    (William Harrison Company limited, by Mick Drury, 2006)

  10. Andy Dennis says:

    Arthur W Hutton was son of Thomas Hutton, who married Mary Anne Harrison, sister of William Bealey Harrison. The censuses say he was enginerring manager of iron & tube works (my conflation). In 1891 he lived at 23 Lysways Street and later The Elms, Sutton Road, then Rosemary Hill Road, Sutton Coldfield (1911). Another researcher says he was “employed as a manager for John Russell and Company Limited, engineers of Alma Tube Works, Pleck Road, Walsall.” This in connection with a son, John Barnabus Hutton, who was employed at the wonderfully named Cyclops Works in Pleck, and was killed at the battle of Loos in October 1915.)

    • Pedro says:

      Nothing against Lysways Street, but Rosemary Hill Road via Sutton Road shows another who is going up in the world!

  11. pedro says:

    At the funeral for WB Harrison (the Captain) in 1912, among the floral tributes were some from the Staff at the following concerns…

    John Russell and Co, Walsall
    Alma Tube Works
    Cyclops Works, Walsall
    Old patent Tube Works, Wednesbury
    Belmont Works, B’ham
    Russell and Co, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and London

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  14. Danny johnson says:


  15. Jane McCartney says:

    Could there be a Stokes Family connection. There was a business association between Brace and Stokes the Phoenix Bark Tannery in Wallsall. Addison may have been involved also. The Stokes family homes were Hanch Hall when Stokes was I think the town Clerk, and later at Longdon Green Rugeley at
    a house named Brooklands? I think?.

  16. Ian Hughes says:

    In the 1960s the Hall belonged to one of the Cutlers (of Pearce and Cutler, the Birmingham Glaziers) lived there He was affectionately known as Old Cutter. I cannot recall his first name, He had an adopted daughter Pearl, who was my Mothers Bridesmaid. I used to stay at the hall quite regularly in about 1962, sleeping in a spooky four poster bed. Pearl married someone called Ath? possibly with surname Blanche. one was MOH for Staffordshire and the other the schools dentist for Staffs. Apparently Old Cutters GGF worked for Chance Glass, and was appointed Clerk of Works for Chance at the glazing of the Crystal Palace.

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