Hockley

All Saints

Built to attract residents to his new estate of Brookfields, All Saints's Church was erected on a site given by landowner. Sir Thomas Gooch. In 1833 the way to the church from Warstone Lane was 'over stiles by pathways through the fields, where murmuring brooklets crept along, where cowslips grew.'

 

Above: All Saints' Church viewed from the south-east

Image courtesy of Mac Joseph (Ladywood Past & Present - http://www.oldladywood.co.uk) via Ted Rudge's Winson Green to Brookfields website - http://www.ted.rudge.btinternet.co.uk/id36.htm. Do not reuse this image without permission.

 

 

You might also be interested in - A History of Birmingham Places & Placenames . . . from A to Y All Saints - http://billdargue.jimdo.com/placenames-gazetteer-a-to-y/places-a/all-saints/.

 

Press function key F5 to refresh the map.

Above: Archibold Fullarton’s map of Birmingham 1866. Image courtesy of the Mapseeker website - http://www.mapseeker.co.uk/ - use permitted for non-commercial purposes.

All Saints' Church appears on the 1890 Ordnance Survey map available at British History Online - http://www.british-history.ac.uk/mapsheet.aspx?compid=55193&sheetid=10087&ox=3183&oy=1946&zm=1&czm=1&x=394&y=250 .

 

All Saints Church Centenary booklet 1933. Image from the Hibbitt Family website and used with the kind permission of Annie Barnes - See http://www.hibbitt.org.uk/gallery/potpourri/mixed_bag/0058/

 

Part of Birmingham Heath was enclosed in 1798 and laid out as his private estate by Sir Thomas Gooch as Brookfields. His house stood at the top of Pitsford Street, which follows the line of the drive. However, as urban developments in Birmingham drew nearer, Gooch's country estate became untenable and he decided capitalise on the business opportunities offered by the approaching town.

 

Gooch laid out his estate for housing development from the 1830s onwards. At that time an estate of any consequence had a church provided often by the developer, not only to cater for its religious needs but to act as a social focus and, not least, as a sign of the status of the district.

 

Built in 1833 at the corner of All Saints Street and Lodge Road on land given by Gooch, All Saints' Church gave the north-west end of Brookfields its name. Designed by Rickman & Hutchinson the building was an early example of the Gothic Revival in church architecture. Designed by Rickman & Hutchinson, the building was in red brick with pinnacles and stone dressings. The chancel was rebuilt in 1881. Consecrated in 1833, the church was given a parish of its own from that of St Martin’s in 1834.

 

Robert Dent described the district in the early days of its development:

 

The scattered population which had been drawn into the neighbourhood of Soho and Hockley through the enterprise of Boulton and Watt was the next to be provided with church accommodation, by the erection of All Saints' Church, near Lodge Road, in 1833. "When the church was erected," says a recent writer, (J. M. Brindley: Church Work in Birmingham, 1880) "the suburb of Nineveh was far in the country, the nearest cluster of dwellings of any importance was at Hockley, in the neighbourhood of the Old Cemetery [Key Hill]. Farmhouses and cottages were scattered at intervals in the fields and lanes which surrounded the church on all sides.


Looking from the Old Cemetery the church was the one prominent feature in the landscape, its dwarf spires rising above the surrounding trees. From Key Hill a rural lane led up to it, lined with hedgerows, amid which twined the honeysuckle and the wild rose. Cornfields and hayfields were on either side the road. A lane to the left led through the meadows to Birmingham Heath. There was another way to the church from the bottom of Warstone Lane, over stiles by pathways through the fields, where murmuring brooklets crept along, where cowslips grew, and 'ladysmocks all silvery white' might be gathered for the trouble of stooping."


The church, which was erected in the Gothic style of the 13th century, was designed to accommodate about a thousand worshippers, and was consecrated on the 28th of September, 1833, by Bishop Ryder, of Lichfield, who had taken great interest in its erection.


Robert K Dent 1880 Old & New Birmingham - A History of the Town and its People

 

The fabric of the building had deteriorated by the 1960s and the pinnacles were removed for safety. Along with most of the district, the church was demolished in 1966 at a time of major inner-city housing redevelopment and of a low regard for Victorian architecture.

 

All Saints National School was built adjoining the churchyard in 1843, a simple tall gothic building with high narrow pointed windows, its name and date carved prominently across the front. It was the successor of the church's Sunday School and had accommodation for over 600 boys, girls and infants in three large rooms. It still stands, one of the very few old buildings left in the area.

 

Weblinks

For more information about the district see Ted Rudge's website,

Winson Green to Brookfields - http://www.ted.rudge.btinternet.co.uk/id36.htm

  

William Dargue 18.03.2012