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.