Here’s one for the Knaves Castle/The Fault/The Fort inquisitors out there. It’s been a while since I raided the mapping archives, so I thought I’d go rooting through the cartographic record, and see if I could find ‘The Fort’. Sadly, no luck, but the maps are interesting anyway.
First up, here’s how the area looks today, from Google Earth – a dense mix of largely postwar estate housing and open heathland. I always think of this area as being called ‘Newtown’, but other than being recorded on recent maps, I have now idea where the name originated, or who with. I see the name appears here on the 1962 plan, buried amongst the maisonettes of Castle Street. Anyone know any more about that?
Sorry about the rough way these maps render – click on them and they’ll become clear.
As usual, comments, catcalls and corrections welcomed. Comment here, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.
The approximate area covered in Google Earth. Note the setates nound by the canal – that line retains Brownhills from spreading east. It’s like a frontier, sometimes. Click for a larger version.
Ordnance Survey 1884 1:2,500 draft. Note the area is really densely populated, probably as thickly as anywhere in Brownhills at the time. Note Knave’s Castle, and every single well seems to be marked. Click for a larger version.
Ordnance Survey 1902 1:2,500 draft. The Fault appears, although the 1884 didm’t record the street names here. Note that as in the 1884, there appears to be Knave’s Castle the antiquity, and a building bearing the same name. Interesting also is Craddock’s Building, an odd name. Click for a larger version.
Ordnance Survey 1919 1:2,500 draft. I see Craddock’s Building is now Watling Street Farm – it was, of course, obiterated by the construction of Brownhills Comprehensive School. Knave’s Castle the building still exists with a small orchard, but the antiquety is no longer drawn, and marked ‘Site Of’, which suggests it was flattened for farming. Click for a larger version.
Ordnance Survey 1938 1:2,500 draft. Much development has taken palce, and The Fault is now Castle Street. A nascent Deakin Avenue is forming, leading to Watling Street Farm. The antiquity is no longer marked, and has been overbuiltt, but the name still persiats in the nearby building. I’m also interested in Sutton Road Wharf. Why Sutton Road? There’s no road bearing that name near here? Click for a larger version.
Ordnance Survey 1962 draft. Knave’s Castle – the building – still recorded, and later preserved in the street name ‘Knave’s Castle Avenue’. I’m interested in the ‘Works’ marked just west of Howdles Lane, off the track from the Watling Street, also the building opposite it on the south of Watling Street. Also note the “Castle Club’. Click for a larger version.