Victoria Road

Victoria Road was one of the earliest roads in Acocks Green to be developed, on one side at least. However, most of the Victorian houses on the northern side have now been replaced by flats. The 1875 Cook Estate map extract below shows the houses present at that time, and Hyron Hall Farm, which was listed on Victoria Road but was later swallowed up by municipal housing around Starcross Road. Hyron Hall Farm had a moat, later reduced to a pond.

Tithe Map extract, 1843
Tithe Map extract, 1843
Cook Estate map 1875
Cook Estate map 1875
1888 O.S. map extract
1888 O.S. map extract
Hyron Hall Farm (Birmingham Libraries)
Hyron Hall Farm (Birmingham Libraries)
Hyron Hall farmyard (Birmingham Libraries)
Hyron Hall farmyard (Birmingham Libraries)
Victoria Road, c. 1905
Victoria Road, c. 1905

 

The 1871 census of victoria Road shows Zaccheus Walker, retired iron merchant, at Iron (Hyron) Hall. At the time he was having Fox Hollies Hall rebuilt in an Italianate style. There are a number of other people of some status: John Sanders, a gas fittings manufacturer; Joseph Fordred, a draper master; John Fletcher, a jeweller; William Neale, a jeweller; Joseph Fry, a leather factor; Samuel Brame (?), a gold chain manufacturer; Robert Smith, an accountant; George Bowen, a manufacturer of silver and plated ware; Jonas Bowen, an electro plate master; and Joseph Dixon, a clerk at the Bank of England. George and Jonas Bowen appear in a directory of 1864, listed under Warwick Road, but this could mean they were in the first houses built on Victoria Road. These would be numbers 13 and 15. Henry Phillips at the Oaklands on the corner of Victoria and Shirley Roads is listed on both at different times: in 1864 at Warwick Road and 1868 at the Oaklands, so that house may also be of that age.

 

Looking at the housing on the road, the even numbers are the most straightforward. Numbers 8 to 42 appear during 1928 and 1929. 

 

Number 1, Weddington Cottage, is now seen  as on the Warwick Road. Number 3 (Eagle House) has been altered. Number 5 (Camden House) occupied a wide plot, and was replaced by Everene House in 1964. Number 7 (Fairleigh) and number 9 (The Cedars) were replaced by Louise Court in 1966. Numbers 5 and 7 were lived in by the Gaskins, well-known jewellers. Number 11 (Osborne House) remains, and is a nursing home. Number 13 (Thornlea) and number 15 (Ashbourne) were replaced by Digby Court by 1968. Number 17 and 19 (Southbourne) remain, as do number 21 (Coniston/Augusta Villa) and 23 (Melbourne House/Augusta Villa). Number 25 (Arley House) was on a wide plot and was replaced by Warwick Court around 1963. Number 27 (Beaufort House)  was on a wide plot and was replaced by Elizabeth Court in 1977 after a period as a doctor's surgery. Number 29 (Maycroft House) and number 31 (Treflach/Hurstbourne) remain. Numbers 33 and 35 were replaced by Paget Court around 1984. Number 37 (Sunnycote), probably early 20th century, remains as a marriage guidance business. For a while it was a nursing home. The entrance to Archbishop Ilsley Catholic secondary school (now called a Technology College) is west of number 37. In the mid 1950s, faith education began to receive government money in "Special Agreement" schools. Building here started in 1955, and the school opened in 1957. It has been extended several times, and has a 17 metre swimming pool. Number 39 (Mynaco?) appears to have been removed for a wider access route to the school. Numbers 41 and 43 (Woodlea and Ingledene?) were replaced by Jubilee Court in 2003. Number 45 (Ingledene?), a house with grounds stretching to Botteville Road, was replaced by numbers 45 to 49 around 1935. These are Dare's houses. The numbering is difficult to marry up with the names here, as three names are in the directories but there are four numbers.

 

Across Botteville Road were Tranmere, Glenmaye, Ivy Dean (?) and Normanhurst in 1903. These correspond most likely to 51 and 53 (a pair), 55 and 57. By 1925 Mr Crabbe the builder was at a new house he had built, number 65. Numbers 55 to 57 disappear around 1966 and by 1970 blocks of more than one home appear at these numbers and at number 59. Around then numbers 71,73,75,77 and 79 also appear on part of the grounds of the Oaklands.

 

Hyron Hall Farm was replaced by municipal housing after 1928. Mr Crabbe built a short row of private houses opposite his home, and was thereby not obliged to look at council houses from his front windows. Locally there was a debate on whether Crabbe's houses were better than Dare's!

 

It is now possible to see the sequence of large-scale O.S. maps online at www.old-maps.co.uk. For this road enter the co-ordinates 412306 and 282905, and choose the 1:2,500 maps up until 1952-4 (there is no map at this scale for the 1930s). Use the enhanced zoom and the plus and minus buttons to change how close you wish to see the houses. The map can be dragged by using click and hold as normal.