Laurels and the setting Sun


The rRising Sun remains in surprisingly good condition, but is fading now somewhat.

An interesting query for the researchers amongst us comes in from reader and Brownhills Resident Joe Lloyd. Joe asks a question several of us have been asking for a while – who owns the Rising Sun, the derelict pub on the A5 near the island?

Joe is quite right that the pub is historically significant, but also asks interesting questions about the history of the cottage where he lives.

Joe asked:

Hi bob

I live in laurel cottages (next to the rising sun) and I have been researching the cottages, but cannot find much at all.

I know the pub dates back to circa 1630 but the architecture of my house I believe would be later – I was interested to find a picture in one of your blogs of the old chapel taken from wilkin road as it shows the cottages and the rising sun.

The 1901 census shows the Heath family living here – a family of miners. I would love to see the Rising sun bought back to life it is in a sorry state and is so significant historically to Brownhills – I don’t know who owns it but intend to investigate further.

Just wondered if you were aware of anyone who knows anything about the history of my lovely little house

Kind regards
Joe Lloyd

Can you help Joe illuminate the history of Laurel Cottages, or indeed, throw any light at all on the sad fate of the Rising Sun? Please, comment here of email me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.


This chapel was demolished to make way for the Rising Sun island;Laurel Coattages and the Rising Sun (net the familiar gables) are in the background. Taken from ‘Memories of Brownhills Past’ by Clarice Mayo & Geoff Harrington.

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16 Responses to Laurels and the setting Sun

  1. woodlandway says:

    Hi gang. Interesting. On the same topic last year I’m fairly sure that one of the replies posted was from the current owners family of the pub. The blog entry could be 6 months or so by now though.

  2. Pedro says:

    In White’s Directory of 1834 it records Rising Sun as with James Thacker.

    For the record Norton Hall was at this time owned by John Hawkes Esq, obviously his ancestral home.

    Phineas Cooper was woodman, Thomas Hand gamekeeper, John Stokes Esq at Wyrley Grove.

    Farmers were Edward Adcock, Joseph Lindop, Robert Parker, Sl Sylvester and Mary Walker.

    Fleur-de-lis was William Smith, Holly Bush Charles Mann, Turks Head JohnWebb (and butcher)

  3. Andy Dennis says:

    Just a quick reply. I’ve found Laurel Cottages in the 1901 Census – I will do some more research, but watch this space …
    Obviously, the deeds would tell much of the story.
    Joe, if you want to communicate privately, I’m sure Bob will pass on you email address.

  4. Andy Dennis says:

    Laurel Cottages, Nos 49, 51 and 53Chester Road North.

    A row of three adjoining houses near to the Rising Sun. The style suggests mid-late Victorian. They are not shown on the 1880s OS mapping. They are not specifically identified in the 1891 census, but it appears someone was living there. I believe they must have been built in the late 1880s.

    In the 1901 census is a clear sequence of occupants reflecting the houses shown in the background to the picture of Rehoboth Methodist Church. There were three households listed at Laurel Cottages – heads: Arthur Holland, accountant clerk at colliery; Samuel Clarke, colliery carpenter; and William Heath, miner. Then William Taylor and Charles Seedhouse, both miners and the Rising Sun, manager John Glover.

    In 1891 the licensed victualler was John Broadhurst and there are four households recorded between the Rising Sun and Hussey Arms: Aaron Pailin and William Boulton, both miners (presumably occupuying the two houses between the inn and Laurel Cottages), then William Smith, cow keeper, then William Hall, colliery labourer. There are no missing records or records of empty property. However, there were no houses in Chester Road between Laurel Cottages and the Hussey, so, presumably, William Smith and William Hall occupuyed Laurel Cottages?

    In 1911 the Rising Sun was managed by Joseph Tideswell, who was also on a police pension. Next are two records for Nr. Rising Sun for Charles Seedhouse and John Mason, then two (only) for Laurel Cottages: William Ball, colliey electrician, and William Green, miner.

    Kelly’s Directories for 1896 and 1904 list John Broadhurst at the Rising Sun.

    I recall that Lichfield Diocese owns some land in the area, but whether they still do I have no idea.

    Hope this helps.

    • Pedro says:

      Andy you say…

      “I recall that Lichfield Diocese owns some land in the area, but whether they still do I have no idea.”

      This had me looking back to the Cannock Chase Mining History Society publication for W Harrison ltd. They say that the Cathedral Pit was set on land owned by the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield, and speculate that this may have given rise to its name.

    • Andy,

      My oh my, that’s remarkable stuff. Thank you so much.

      Cheers old chap – and to all contributors who take time to make thi blog such a great community.


    • Kerry says:

      My uncle owned two of those houses he use to keep is sand lorry at the back he owned the sand quarry walf lane also my great great grandmother Owens the two houses opposite

  5. tkevcro says:

    Does anybody remember it being derelict in the sixties?
    Any pictures of then?

  6. Rob S says:

    I had heard that the building now belongs to Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries. It was bought from Burtonwood Brewery after extensive development of the Crown opposite made for too much competition and the Rising Sun went into decline. It could explain why nothing has happened to it for some years now. W & D wouldn’t want any competition on their doorstep now would they? This information only came to me second hand. However, it could put some tenacious researcher on the right path.

  7. Andy Dennis says:

    Looks like W&D might have deliberately let it run down. Still, it’s quite an asset to keep boarded up. Surely, a clever town planner could secure permission for residential.

  8. Russ Martin says:

    I was the last licencee of THe Rising Sun before it was taken over by W & D .What a fantastic pub it was when burtonwood brewery owned it.When W&D took over they wanted everything onb the menu pre paked and frozen.That is why it went in to decline.had I had the opputunity to lease the pub then I feel sure that it would still be trading today.I Feel sure that eventually the pub will be torched therefore leaving land to be built on.If you would like any more information then please email me.
    Russ Martin lIcencee from 2001 to 2005

  9. Lee says:

    Russ was a cracking landlord of the Sun and it when into decline very quickly once he moved on very sad to see it in its current state and fear its gone forever!!

  10. Julie Alexander says:

    Might be a stupid question. In fact its a ridiculous question but who owns it, how bad was the damage and could it be lived in as a house? Currently living in a caravan. Need somewhere to live and want to get somewhere big enough I can live my dream and foster children of families who would otherwise get split up. Can only do a peppercorn rent especially if I need to gradually spend on making it habitable. Long term other dream is I love to bake. Visited a new place in Wiltshire a few months ago. A tea\ coffee shop especially for people who loved dogs. Its doing well and its great sitting on comfy sofas your dogs can join on and have a cuppa cake and a chin wag, two menus even. One for humans and one for dogs. Ie cup cakes versus pup cakes. Seeing a cake with a hotdog sticking out of it was great.
    So eventually part business too.f

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