Quinton Village Heritage Trail

Together with the Oracle number 82 was included a leaflet “Quinton Village Heritage Trail”. This was something your society felt was needed to explain to some members where the buildings were located. A few still there today but sadly a few that are missing, demolished to make way for the building of houses and shops etc. The committee hope that you will take advantage of this leaflet to explore our Quinton Village as it remains today. Over the next few pages I will recreate the trail and if you have any questions then please feel free to use the telephone or email addresses at the front of the Oracle in contents.

Hagley Road West, The Old Birmingham to Halesowen Turnpike Road showing the Tollhouse and the Primitive Methodist Chapel

We begin at the Reel cinema (item 1) shown in the photograph below as the Danilo. The Danilo was built on land where Apsley House once stood (see number 1).

The cinema opened its doors to the public on Bank Holiday Monday, August 7th 1939. The entertainment showing that day was ‘Charlie Chan in Honolulu’ starring Sidney Toler. The supporting programme, which of course was always a feature of cinemas in those days, was Jane Withers in ‘Always in Trouble’. In the week ahead James Mason appeared in ‘I met a Murderer’. Ticket prices at the time were 6d; 1/- and 1/6 and with the opening of a new attraction for the area the Saturday afternoon Matinee was introduced. A weekly serial began on August 12th with Episode One of ‘Blake of Scotland Yard’.

The cinema has changed its name on several occasions being known as Essoldo, Classic, Cannon, ABC, Odeon and finally Reel.

We will now take you on a tour of Quinton’s historical buildings, some sadly no longer there. Please refer to the map below to discover their locations.

Historical sites in Quinton

A map of the Quinton Village with numbers 1 – 12 showing the locations of the significant buildings in Old Quinton, some sadly no longer there.

1 . APSLEY HOUSE -The home of Edwin Danks from c. 1874, the land with an area of approximately four acres was on the Birmingham and Hales Owen Turnpike Road. Edwin Danks was a magistrate and Netherton boilermaker; he had a coachman named James Cutler both men were prominent figures in the Methodist movement in Quinton.

2. AMBROSE FOLEY’S PREACHING HOUSE c. 1786-1878. Stand in front of Asda and look across to the Classic Fish Bar, this was the location of the Preaching House. On the same site was the Hagley Road Wesleyan Chapel (next page), after the preaching house was demolished in 1878 to make way for the new building.

3. TOLLHOUSE (left) - Turnpike, octagonal building situated on the corner of Hagley Road West (Quinton Hill) and College Road and dated c. 1877, Demolished in 1946. In present day the site is occupied by a fish & chip shop and a betting office.

4. HAGLEY ROAD WESLEYAN CHAPEL – Situated right alongside the Tollhouse opened on 8th April 1878 but closed in 1935 following its merger with the Primitive Methodists. The building became the Quinton postman’s sorting office (below), and remained so until 1948.

5. QUINTAIN GREEN – The house is demolished but was on the site of the Asda supermarket. Also known as Quinton Farm or Monckton House. Ambrose Foley, a well-known resident of Quinton, resided in the farmhouse, which was rebuilt in 1750. John Wesley visited the house in 1782 and did preach there.

6. MONCKTON FARM BARN – The first Primitive Methodist Meeting House. Situated at the junction of Monckton Road and Hagley Road by Kingsway.

7. BOURNE COLLEGE - Situated on a 19-acre site off Spies Lane, the college was built in 1882 primarily for the sons of Primitive Methodists, although later entrance to boys of other denominations was allowed. It was named after their founder, Hugh Bourne.

The increasing provision of state secondary schools caused the numbers to decline and forced the closure of the college in 1928.

8. QUINTON HALL - A residential home for elderly men, administered by Birmingham Corporation. The home was on the same site as Bourne College and in fact the original buildings were rebuilt and restyled and re-opened in 1931.

The building was demolished in 1978 and residential homes were built on the site. One of the roads, Hoosen Close, was named after the headmaster of Bourne College, T J Stewart Hooson (above).

9. PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHAPEL - Situated on the corner of College Road and opened on 18th November 1888. It was demolished in 1967 due to compulsory purchase for the construction of the M5 Motorway.

10. NAILERS COTTAGE - 497 Ridgacre Road (now Ridgacre Road West), situated on the corner of High Street and Ridgacre Road West. The cottage has various internal features of mention. The windows in the rear of the property were taken from the Tollhouse and the glass in those windows is believed to be the original glass. The photo shows John Round Snr. Standing at the gate with the front door behind in its original position.

The cottage as it looks now with the rendering removed

11. QUINTON PARK - A recreational area situated at the rear of Meadow Road, now greatly reduced in size due to the construction of the M5 and building development. The area is now known as Quinton Recreation Ground. Below is another view of the extended park showing the path from Goodrest Avenue to Meadow Road.

12. CHRIST CHURCH - Also Quinton Parish church

Situated in Hagley Road West (previously called Quinton Hill), the church was built in 1840 at a cost of £ 2066. It is a red-stone building in early English style. Lord Lyttelton gave the land to the church in 1841.

As far back as 1086, there was a grange in the Convent of Hales called Ridgacre. For many years following, Quinton or The Quinton, as it is sometimes known, was called Ridgacre or many other similar sounding names such as Rugacre, Rugaker or Rugeacre etc. However, it was also called such names as Queynton, Quenton etc.In 1844 Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary describes Quinton as,” an ecclesiastical district formed out of the parish of HalesOwen, in the county of Salop, 2¼miles (N.E.) from Hales Owen and 4¾ miles (W. by S.) from Birmingham. Quinton is on the Kidderminster and Birmingham turnpike road. The surface of the land is elevated; the soil, clay and gravel, and the scenerypleasing. Two small coal-mines are in operation but the inhabitants are mostly employed in nail making and agriculture.” The nailers traded as small cottage industries and the nail-factor, a man by the name of Samuel Dingley, would deliver raw materials and then collect the finished article, paying out only a few pence to the nailers as recompense for their labours. The population had increased to 2274 by 1851, when Quinton was described as an extensive parish comprising the townships of Cakemore, Ridgacre, Warley Salop and Warley Wigorn; and wholly an agricultural district. With the exception of Beech Tree Lane, few of the roads were sound and following rain or snow; the walker was left to negotiate quite deep pools of water. The tipping of a large quantity of loose stones into the holes was the only method of repair available; this would cause the additional hazard of an uneven surface for the walker to encounter. Most people used to walk, as public transport was very limited. The urbanisation of Quinton was long delayed because for many years it had remained a rural spot dominated by farms, of which World’s End Farm; Four Dwellings Farm; Redhall Farm; Ridgacre Farm; Windmill Farm; Lower Ridgacre Farm; Mopbeggar Farm and Ivy House Farm were just a few. In recent times the character of the area has been dramatically changed by road developments, with the M5 and the Quinton Expressway (opened in 1970) cutting through the heart of the old village.

Quinton has changed dramatically through the years. However, the place that remains is still fairly serene and peaceful and the folk that live there, as in the past, are warm, friendly and welcoming.

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