B36 - Grid reference SP156899
Known as Wheatley Green in the 18th century, this is now a triangular location in Castle Bromwich at the junction of the Chester Road and Water Orton Road. The name derives from the Old English for 'wheat clearing', hwaete leah, and is probably medieval.
The most common cereal crops grown in the Middle Ages were rye, oats and barley grown on light gravelly and sandy soils which give a higher yield than clay. The land around here must have been more suitable for growing wheat,a crop which brought a higher price than other cereals. However, there was certainly poorer land in area of the green itself.
Whateley Green was the site of the medieval pound for stray farm animals; a map of 1864 shows the pound as well as stocks and a whipping post.
The Sadler family who owned the neo-classically designed Whateley Hall had an increase in their rent to the Bradford estate for enclosing land 'from the waste' to increase the area of their pleasure grounds. Whateley Hall lay close to the green and the lodge still survives. Whateley Green is known locally as 'Conker Island' for obvious reasons.
William Dargue 25.02.09
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For 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps of Birmingham go to British History Online.
Map below reproduced from Andrew Rowbottom’s website of Old Ordnance Survey maps Popular Edition, Birmingham 1921.
Click the map to link to that website.