From the Barley Mow, we go up Workhouse Lane, now Wakeley Hill and enter Cuckoo Lane, now Mount Road. Just beyond Muchall Road was Muchall Farm.

It is likely that this part of Penn was named after the Muchall family who owned land in the area. In 1613 Andrew Muchall and his wife Margaret along with John Muchall and his wife Margery bought two dwelling houses with outbuildings, two gardens, 4 orchards, 60 acres of arable land, 15 acres of meadow and 42 acres of pasture from Thomas Bradeley, all for £100.

Muchall Farm

In 1843 and 1851, Muchall Farm was run by Joseph Shepherd. In 1881 James Lakin lived there. The farm was part of the Lloyd Estate until it was sold in 1901. At that time, it was farmed by Mr. Randle Jeavons who rented it from the estate. The farm had a dairy herd and fields used for pasture and arable crops. It sold for £2,850.

The farmhouse. From the 1901 sale brochure.

The location of the farm. In what is now Mount Road.

From the 1901 sale brochure.

From the 1901 sale brochure.

The farm was later run by F. H. Jeavons, followed in the 1920s by T. H. Richards and then his wife. In the 1940s and 1950s it was run by W. Chetter.

Courtesy of Lawson Cartwright.

Muchall Grove

William Thacker who died in 1854, owned Muchall Hall and the surrounding land. After his death the estate was sold. Most of the land on the northern side of the hall was purchased by Charles Clark, one of the co-founders of T. and C. Clark & Company Limited, founded in 1795 and based at Shakespeare Foundry. It grew to be one of the largest iron foundries in Wolverhampton.

Charles Clark became mayor of Wolverhampton in 1860 after being a member of the Corporation since its formation as a municipal body. He became a Councillor, Alderman, and later Chief Magistrate.

In about 1860 he built Muchall Grove which became his home. Sadly he only lived there for a few years. On the 29th January, 1863 he died. A diary found in a deed box in St. Bart's Church has the following entry: 'This morning Mr. Charles Clark of Muchall Grove, J.P. and alderman of Wolverhampton put a period to his existence in a fit of temporary insanity; to the great grief of his family and sincere regret of his friends. As a sincere well wisher to the working classes, his loss will be greatly felt in the district'.

After Charles Clark's death the house was purchased by ironfounder Edward Thomas Wright. By 1881 the house had been purchased by Stephen John Thompson, who lived there with his wife Louisa, daughter Ethel and son Stephen. By 1904 Mrs. Thompson was living alone, so presumably her husband had died. In 1908 the house was put-up for sale.

A plan of the ground floor of Muchall Grove, based on a plan in the 1908 sales brochure.

In Kelly's 1912 Staffordshire directory, Mrs. Thompson is still listed as living there, as she is in the 1915, 1925 and 1927 Wolverhampton Red Books. In the 1930 Wolverhampton Red Book, the house is listed as being occupied by Mrs. MacIntyre. Muchall Grove was purchased by Wolverhampton Council in 1945 for use as a civil defence establishment. In 1962 the house was demolished to make way for an old people's home.

Muchall Hall

Muchall Hall was a grand house on the corner of Mount Road (previously Cockoo Lane) and Manor Road. It is marked on Yates' map of 1775, but is not named.

In 1815 the house was bought by William Thacker, who was a solicitor. It is listed in William Pitt's Topographical History of Staffordshire, published in 1817 as belonging to William Thacker and Mr. Burne. It is listed in William White's 1851 History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire as belonging to Robert Thacker. After Mr. Thacker's death in 1854 the house and the estate were sold. The house was purchased by Richard Warner who lived there with his wife Sarah and their son, Richard Weston Warner. In 1878, Richard Warner died. By 1896 the house was occupied by Edward Hickman, J.P. who is listed in Kelly's 1896 and 1904 Staffordshire directories. In Kelly's 1912 directory the house is listed as being occupied by Albert Edward Thompson.

The rear of Huchall Hall.

By 1925 Alan H. Twentyman was living there. Members of his family occupied the house until it was eventually demolished. In 1954 the occupants were Elizabeth B. Twentyman and Dennis C. Williams, and in 1961 the house was occupied by Mrs. A. Twentyman and Dennis C. Williams.

In 1961 the house and 6 acres of land, were sold for £16,500. The house was then demolished.

Members of the Twentyman family outside what is believed to be the front of Muchall Hall. Courtesy of Lawson Cartwright.
To complete this journey through Upper Penn we shall take a look at the area known as 'The Butts'. It was once part of the estate belonging to Thomas Higgins Burne who owned Penn Villa, now called The Woodlands. After his death, some of the estate including an acre of land at 'The Butts' was sold at auction, on 31st July, 1861.

Part of the area was acquired by Miss Harriet Sparrow who established St. Catherine’s Convalescent Home for woman and children, on the site in 1873. By 1885 the older houses on the northern side of what is now Butts Road had been built. In the 1881 census Butts Road is named as Home Lane, presumably named after St. Catherine’s Convalescent Home. The name Butts Road doesn't appear on maps until just before World War One. It is marked as such on the 1913 Ordnance Survey map.

Wakeley Hill before the houses were built. Courtesy of Lawson Cartwright.

Wakeley Hill was previously known as Workhouse Lane, because Upper Penn Parish Workhouse was housed in Ivy Terrace, as listed in the information that came with Penn tithe map, produced in 1843. It is listed as the workhouse and garden, under the control of the Penn Parish Officers of William Bradney.

Penn became part of the Seisdon Poor Law Union, formed in 1836 which initially used an existing workhouse at the junction of Redhouse Road and Wrottesley Road in Tettenhall. In 1856 to 1860 the Seisdon Union Workhouse was built near Trysull.

Church Hill and the junction with Wakeley Hill. Courtesy of Lawson Cartwright. The old workhouse was in one or more of the cottages on the right.

To finish, we return to Penn Road at the bottom of Church Hill with an old view of the Rose and Crown. From an old postcard.

Parson and Bradshaw's Staffordshire General and Commercial Directory for 1818, lists three pubs on Penn Road. One of them is the Rose and Crown. At that time, the landlord was Josiah Bedard, who was also a blacksmith. The other pubs are the Roebuck, run by J. Hancock and the Fox and Goose, run by James Allen, who was also a wheelwright.

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