An exclusive region of Sutton Coldfield which lends its own reputation
to the rest of the town, albeit falsely. Four Oaks borders the Sutton Park and
mainly of private roads and large dwellings. In some cases four oaks must have actually been, illegally, built on park land.
The place known as Four Oaks, as shown on a plan in the Corporation Survey of 1811, consisted of a number of dwellings near what is now the Four Oaks Gate to Sutton Park. There had been a settlement here for several centuries, long before the building of Four Oaks Hall by Lord Ffolliott in the 1700s, but it had never amounted to more than a few farm houses and labourer's cottages. Being such a small settlement, it is hardly ever mentioned in its own right, being included as part of the Quarter of Hill and Little Sutton in manorial records. The Parish Register of burials in the seventeenth century names 13 different Four Oaks families, and there were probably more, as most entries do not specify where the deceased person lived. It seems reasonable to suppose that the pattern of houses scattered mainly on the eastern side of the irregular common space or green originated at the time of expansion and assarting in the 13th century, when so much of the rest of Sutton was being brought into cultivation. The earliest written record of the name so far found is in Latin in the court rolls of the Sutton Court Leet of May 1st 1598, when Richard Turner was fined for failing to restore some land which he had ploughed up on the commons near the grain field upon the Coldfield “ultra quattuor quercos” (beyond Four Oaks). The four oak trees for which the place was named were no doubt venerable old trees in 1598, so it seems likely that the four trees marked on the 1811 Survey map were replacements. There was a local tradition that four trees near Hartopp Road were the original four oaks, and the late Norman Evans identified these trees with the ones marked on the 1811 map. In 1979 three of the trees were still alive, the fourth having died of old age, but they stood on a site which had been sold for housing development. Norman campaigned for the trees to be retained, tree preservation orders were issued, and the three trees can still be seen today.
Lichfield Road at the beginning of Four Oaks heading towards Mere Green. The building was formerly Stoneleigh Mansion
which became the Royal Court Hotel then an apartment block.
Lichfield Road looking back towards town, the other
direction leads to Mere Green.
|Methodist Church Four Oaks|
|Methodist Church Four Oaks|
Not far from Four Oaks is Reod Lege: first record 957AD; Radley-moor: first record 1783
This lost placename, which probably means 'reed clearing', is found in the Charter of (Little) Aston and (Great) Barr of 957 AD. That document set out the boundaries of an early medieval estate which had been granted by an Anglo-Saxon king, Eadred to his minister, Wulfhelm. A stretch of the estate's eastern boundary is described as andlang Bradan Burnan in thaene Broc aet Reod Lege: 'along the Broad Bourne to the Brook at Radley'. The (Broad) Bourne is a stream east of Aldridge; the Brook at Radley runs northwards to cross Blake Street where there was originally a ford. Radley may have been a small settlement or a farm to the north of the ford, possibly on the present site of Aston Wood Golf course.
William Hutton mentions Radley Moor in his 1783 History of Birmingham when describing the route of the Roman road through Sutton Park and beyond:
Ikenield-street, proceeds through Sutton park, and the remainder of the Coldfield; over Radley-moor; from thence to Wall, a Roman station.
The course of the Roman road is now represented by a stretch of Forge Lane at the western end of the golf course. Radley Moor, whose second element, moor means bog or marsh, was probably an area of uncultivated land on the site of the present golf course and beyond. There is a Moor Lane at Footherley to the north. This region surrounds what is now the Aston Woods Golf club.
Four Oaks Spraying Machine Company is now on its own page
The main stream dealerships rip motorists off big style, this is my local garage, actually located by Ryland Road tip. They are the "old" sort of garage
manned not by kids with degrees or years at a Polytechnic, but by mature experienced men who know and care about their work
http://users.powernet.co.uk/bold/Gene/mapsresearch.html Not referral, but of interest