Mere Green

Mere Green Roundabout, straight on for Shenstone, Little Hay and Lichfield; right for the superstore and Tamworth (eventually); left for four Oaks and then Little Aston & then Walsall. The famous Sutton Coldfield TV transmitter is just ahead. I can recall, when a youngster on the Wirral, when the TV would lose a programme and a sign would appear on the screen apologising and stating that there was a problem with the Sutton Coldfield transmitter!! 

Thanks to David Wilcox who sent me this postcard pic of the Barley Mow, Mere Green. It would have stood
where the Italian Restaurant is now on the left above (white building).

Belwell Lane, Mere Green up to Four Oaks Road

Mere Green 2011 above and Mere Green Road in 1908

In 1667 this area is recorded as Mare Fields and in 1821, Mare Green. A small settlement is shown but not named on the 1834 Ordnance Survey map; the place name is recorded in the 1841 Census as Meere Green. Shards of 2nd Century Roman pots have been found in the area. and close by was found the potter's rubbish pit which contained a quantity of waste pottery that included broken and misshapen tankards, jars, bowls, dishes, lids, cheese presses and mortars.

On Mere Green Road stands a house bearing a plaque which reads Corporation School erected AD 1826. This was the Mere Green Charity School set up for 50 children and built by a local man, Solomon Smith. He also leased a pair of cottages to the first master and mistress of the school, Mr & Mrs Daniel Aulton. The school and its gardens were built on the site of the Mere Pool, with only a small water-filled pond remaining. Also on Mere Green Road is St James', Hill parish church, the work of two Birmingham architects. The original small church with its west tower was designed by D R Hill in 1834 in a simple gothic style and built in rendered brick. (Hill went on to build St John's at Walmley as well as the Borough Lunatic Asylum and prison at Winson Green.)

I recently came into possession of some slides taken around the time when the Gracechurch was being built.
Here are the slides relevant to this page. They have never been online before and are owned by me. (C)

Bromwich is the owners name

It was not so long back that these premises, and around the corner were thriving retail businesses, then the buildings were bought out then the owner went bankrupt so they sit, and sit, and rot. Of course a very large superstore to the rear does not help local business does it?

Once the Lucas Electronics Factory, now gone, I think this has probably moved to Ulan Bator or India where labour is cheap and profits LARGE! The only remaining building here now is the former security lodge. (right).

St James Church

Mere Green But long ago

Mere Green Road 1908


The Sutton Coldfield tv transmitter situated at Mere Green. I can clearly recall in the 60s a card on the screen that the Sutton Coldfield transmitter was broken, and would be repaired as soon as possible. I was on Merseyside at the time!!

Fox & Dogs 1915. Gent in the image is Andrew Bullock, Landlord.

There were two small farms in this rural area, one of 7acres (c3ha) and another of just 1 acre; a grocer/ market gardener lived here and an agricultural labourer and his wife. The area remained rural until after World War 2, and is now considered part of Mere Green. The Fox & Dogs Inn is shown on the 1889 Ordnance Survey map, was rebuilt in the second half of the 20th century, has been much extended and is still a thriving pub to this day.

Foxes have always been the enemies of livestock farmers. 'Official' hunting of foxes began in the Middles Ages when deer were hunted by royalty and by the nobility for sport and for food from the Middle Ages and other people were given or bought permission to hunt other animals considered to be detrimental to deer hunting. These ‘beasts of the chase' included rabbits and hares, wild cats, badgers and squirrels and also foxes. The earliest recorded hunt with hounds was in Norfolk in 1534 when farmers were hunting foxes with dogs to protect their livestock. Packs of trained hunting dogs were in existence by the late 1600s.

During the 18th century dogs and horses were bred specifically for hunting. During the 19th century shotguns were improved and used for shooting game and for killing foxes for both pest control and for sport. As pheasant hunting became popular gamekeepers hunted foxes almost to extinction in some areas. This caused those who hunted foxes for sport to create coverts where foxes could breed in safety until their time came to be hunted. During the 20th century fox-hunting as a sport was always controversial. The Hunting Act of 2004 outlawed hunting with dogs in England and Wales.  (Nobody should hunt animals for fun!)