On the Crestacre

Readers will no doubt recall that one of my earliest obsessions on the blog four years ago was the ‘lost’ isolation hospital, owned by Brownhills Urban District Council, and marked on early maps in Barracks Lane, just atop Springhill, on the Brownhills/Ogley Hay border.

Periodically, we’ve discovered more and more about it, with readers finding some great material on the subject.

1948 sheet SK00 in Google Earth. It records the Barracks Lane Isolation Hospital, and suggests it was actually the house to the rear of the site. By 1951, the record had been removed.

1948 sheet SK00 in Google Earth. It records the Barracks Lane Isolation Hospital, and suggests it was actually the house to the rear of the site. By 1951, the record had been removed.

A couple of weeks ago I had this message for Liz Wellington, who grew up in what us kids would have called ‘The White House’, now known as Crestacre, in recent years reclad in modern red brick.

Liz said:

Hi Bob,

I have just read about Crestacre and I wished to fill you in on the history as that is where I grew up. The Bungalow next to what was the ‘The White House’ was the old Isolation hospital with the White House being the nurses home.

The White House however from around 1700 was a Soldiers Barrack, hence Barracks lane. It housed the Soldiers who took the place of the local Police during that time. It has also been an Ice Cream Factory before it became a residential property.

The outbuildings were brought in a Farm Sale to house the Tractors on the farm, although they are from a military site. My Dad has since retired and so the farm was sold.

Prior to the red brick the arches now filled in could be seen from the road. These ran through the kitchen where the old gates were.

For those the who like the paranormal the house boasts an array of bumps in the night and there was always something spooky going on there!

I hope this information is of help to you.

Kind Regards


Thanks to Liz for that fascinating account.

The question of the naming of Barracks Lane has never been, to my mind, sufficiently nailed. I’ve heard the suggestions that there was a barracks here, but I’ve never seen anything concrete to prove it. We’re clearly getting a bit closer. Has anyone any additional ideas on this?

I bet Kate Cardigan from Lichfield Lore will be interested in the question of the huts.

Ice Cream factory? Linked to Selwyn Smith or the Pelari family, by any chance? We do know that Selwyn Smith’s horse, apparently called ‘Yoyo’ who was killed in the air raid that struck Brownhills, was kept in fields not too far away.

Thanks to Liz for reawakening an old topic that was never resolved, and please, if you have anything to add, BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, or comment here, please.

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Crestacre is a rambling site with many outbuildings. Mapping lines up and appears to suggest the bungalow was indeed the hospital. Image from Bing! Maps.

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5 Responses to On the Crestacre

  1. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob

    I was led to believe that Barracks came from the old word for barley…..
    The corrugated tin bungalow was the home of three sisters, Misses Franklin post WW2, and it had a large wooden “conservatory/ greenhouse” running the length of the building..
    a big thankyou to Kate, please!
    kind regards

  2. David Evans says:

    oops, Liz.

  3. Hello! Really interesting thanks. Just a thought on Barracks Lane. With the agricultural nature of the site, it couldn’t be a reference to hay barracks could it? According to good old wikipedia another name for them is Dutch Barn.

  4. Barry Carpenter says:

    I’m more of the belief that the barracks where more to do with the building of the railway then anything else. The navies where housed in “Barracks” while the work was completed!

  5. Pingback: Ain’t nobody here but us chickens | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

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