early 60s, when I was in the council's Architect's Department, I was
involved with a small development off the Cannock Road and was
responsible for selecting the name of this short road. At that
time all new names were vetted by Bill Meredith in the Surveyor's
Department. I had a special interest in Badger Hall, Shropshire,
which had recently been demolished. So this road was named after
Badger Hall and the adjacent village. (It has no connection with
the animal of the same name).
BANTOCK AVENUE, Birches Barn Estate
Albert Baldwin Bantock 1862-1938, was the second son of Thomas Bantock.
He lived in Merridale House (now called Bantock House), which he
bequeathed to the town, together with the park of 43 acres. He was the
owner of a carrier business founded by his father in 1858. Baldwin
Bantock was Mayor three times 1905, 1906 and 1914.
BARNFIELD ROAD, Stow Heath
Named after Barnfield Colliery, over the site of
which it was built.
BAYLISS CLOSE, Green Lanes
Norman Bayliss was the Personnel Officer at Rubery
Owen in Darlaston, a Labour councillor in Bilston and later Alderman and
BECKETT STREET, Bilston
Tom Cope's "Bilston Enamels of the 18th Century"
says: The Beckett family was engaged in the enamelling trade for
longer than any other in Bilston and there is still a street in the town
known as Beckett Street; it was near one end of this street that the
family owned or rented land".
BELL STREET, City Centre
Formerly called Bellcroft Street or Hollow Lane
BENNETT'S FOLD, City Centre
in medieval times was spelt in various ways and is supposed to derive
from Benedict. It may be that the simple explanation of the
derivation of this name is that someone gave this name to what was
otherwise just a numbered court because that name was local usage,
deriving from an inhabitant of the court. For instance in 1802
there were two Bennetts, both locksmiths, in property near here.
BERRY STREET, City Centre
The late John Roper, local historian believed that the name was a
corruption of ‘Bury’ referring to the line of a possible Saxon defensive
work encircling Wolverhampton: the street’s location and proximity to
the town centre would support this view. Whether the town at that time
was important enough to have a defensive system is open to debate but it
was important enough to have one of the finest Saxon preaching crosses
in the country suggesting a sizeable community.
BHYLLS LANE, Castlecroft
The Bhyll farm is shown on the 1842 Penn Parish Tithe map, and in the
early 19th Century it was farmed by Mr William Jones. The
best-known owner was Mr John Clarkson Major who was Mayor of
Wolverhampton 1875/6. A Yorkshireman, he was a manufacturing chemist who
entered local politics. As Chairman of the town’s Health Committee he
oversaw the first real and dramatic improvement in the provision of an
adequate clean water supply and good drainage for the central area of
The Bhyll was renamed Bellencroft at the beginning of the 1900s and thus
gave its name both to Bhylls Lane and Bellencroft Gardens.
The name Bhyll probably derives from a Welsh word ‘pel’ a ball, in the
sense of a hillock. The ground drops away steeply towards Castlecroft
BIRCHES BARN ESTATE, Penn Fields
Twenty-one acres of land were acquired by Wolverhampton Corporation in
August 1919 from a company called Birches Barn Estates whose Chairman
was Thomas Francis Waterhouse of Penn Hall. They had purchased this land
from the executors of Mr Joseph Rowan Cartwright JP and on it were built
A further acreage was purchased from the Trustees of the late William
Walford. This lay to the north west of a line drawn approximately
between Little Birches and Downham Place.
Before it was sold off for housing,
all the land belonged to Birches Barn farm. The farmhouse still
stands, the oldest house in Birches Barn Road.
The name appears as Barndeleye
in 1327, suggesting "burnt leah". But in 1654 the name appears as
Birch-his-barn suggesting "the barn of a man called Birch" or a
rationalisation of Birches-barn, the barn in the birches.
Birches Barn Road seems to be part of a
very old line of road, running from Bilston, along Millfields Road and
Goldthorn Hill, and then on to Finchfield and Compton, by passing
BILBOE ROAD, Bradley
Named after Ben Bilboe, the first labour
member of Bilston Council and later Mayor of Bilston. He was seen
as a firebrand socialist. During one election he gave an
inflammatory speech outside the police station in Mount Pleasant and was
arrested. He spent polling day in the police cells, from where he
was duly elected.
BIRMINGHAM NEW ROAD
This road was the brainchild of G. H. Sankey of the Bilston firm of
Joseph Sankey and Sons Ltd. He promoted the idea over many years and
eventually got it built as part of the creation of jobs in public works
during the great depression. At its Wolverhampton end it ran along
what had been Green Lane.
BLOSSOM'S FOLD, City Centre
The prebend house of the
Prebend of Wobaston abutted this fold. Two of the Prebendaries of
Wobaston in the 14th century were called "de Blastom" or "de Blaston",
and legal documents in 1609 refer to the Prebend house lying between Tup
Street and "Blassom's Foulde". This proviodes the derivation of
BOND STREET, St John’s Square
Named after an early Organist of St. John's church, William Bond, d.1814.
BOWDLER ROAD, All Saints
Said to be named after Henry Bowdler,
sometime Mayor of Wolverhampton and a very right wing Conservative.
He was a sweet manufacturer with a factory in All Saints. He lived
in Tettenhall Road.
BRENTON ROAD, Penn
Best known for not being named after a burnt (brent in Anglo
Saxon) village (ton). (see Geoffrey Hancock's History of
BRICKKILN STREET, Penn Fields
Many other streets in the Black Country with this
name spell it as two words. Here it always seems to have been
spelled as one word, complete with two Ks in the middle. It always
used to be pronounced "Bricklin" by most people. Now everybody has
been told this is "wrong" and a lot of people now call it "Brickiln" and
some even try "Brick Kiln".
In Isaac Taylor's map of 1750 it appears as Brickhill
Lane, and a brick kiln is shown a short way to the south of it.
BROAD STREET, City Centre
Taylor’s map 1755 shows this street as Rotton’s Row or Lower
Litchfield Street. When
the Birmingham Canal Navigation reached the western side of the town
this street became the chief means of access to the wharfs and was
renamed early in 1800s as Canal Street. In the late 19th
Century it became Broad Street.
BUNKERS HILL, BUNKERS HILL LANE, Bilston
This area of Bilston is commonly said to have taken its name from the
battle of Bunkers Hill in Charlestown, Boston Massachusetts which took
place June 17th 1775, during the War of American
Independence. This is surprising since the English lost this
battle. Robert Baugh’s map of Shropshire 1808 shows the area as Birnkers
Hill. But who was Birnker?