Willenhall History Society

Street Names - F



Fairlawn Close. and Fairlawn Way. Both these streets stand on the Allens Rough Estate which was developed during the 1960's. The name has no special significance but the estate was built on the site of the Allens Rough Colliery.

Falcondale Road. The name itself is fictitious but is based on the Falcon, a name given to various small or medium type raptorial birds or hawks trained for sport.

Farbrook Way. Named after the Farbrook Farm which once stood between Sneyd Lane and the old mineral railway line near where the Sneyd Comprehensive School stands today.

Farmbridge Rise. Farmbridge Road. Farmbridge Way. The name is believed to be derived from a footbridge which once spanned the Bentley Canal providing access from the nearby County Bridge Farm, which stood near to the Willenhall Coachcraft, and the fields on the other side of the canal.

Farmhouse Road. All the houses on the Manor Farm Estate have a farming theme indicating that they stand on the site once occupied by the Manor Farm.

Farmhouse Way. See Farmhouse Road.

Fawley Close. Named after a town of that name in Hampshire, famous for its oil refineries.

Fenn Rise. Named after Samuel Fenn who together with his cousin and partner John Fereday once farmed the 129 acre Pool Hayes Farm which stood where the Pool Hayes School and the Summer Hayes housing estate now stand. Both men were unmarried according to the census of 1881 and employed 5 men and 1 boy. They were also proprietors together of a nearby colliery. Recent information (2015) from Karen Joynes suggests that this road is more likely to be named after Samuel Fenn Snr. who is listed in the 1871 census as living at Pool Hayes Farm, employer of 30 men and 4 boys at the farm and colliery. 

Fibbersley. Nothing is known as to the origins of this name which is no doubt of great antiquity. Believed to have been part of the parish of Wednesfield until 1895 when, together with Lane Head, Sandbeds and Lucknow it became part of the Short Heath Urban District Council. A 1764 Sutherland Map shows the fields between Noose Lane and Waddensbrook Lane as being known as Longer Moors, and it was on this site that the Fibbersley Colliery stood in the early part of this century. Also near the junction of Fibbersley and Broad Lanes there stood for almost a thousand years the "Horestan" or Hoar Stone, an erratic boulder which marked the boundary but is now lost. The name may be an indication of the one time owner of fields.

Field Street. The name merely indicates that the street stands on a site that was once a field.

Fisher Street. Named after the Rev. George Hutchinson Fisher M.A. vicar of St Giles from 1834 to 1894. Fisher was the son of a Headmaster of Wolverhampton Grammar School and gained his M.A. at Christ College Cambridge in 1832 following which he came to Willenhall to assist the notorious Rev.William Moreton as curate in his declining years. On the death of Moreton in 1834 Fisher succeeded him as vicar from 1834 until his death in 1894. In those days it was the practise for the incumbent to be decided by a poll and Fisher's election was a stormy one with the result being contested in the Court of Chancery for 3 years before the election was confirmed. He was described as a fine reader and speaker and a model of correct elocution in his delivery of church ritual. On completion of 50 years service, a presentation was made to him of a silver service and his portrait in oils to acknowledge his 50 years of service to all classes of the community. He was also known for his outstanding and selfless service during the Cholera epidemic in the town. The Rev. Fisher became Chairman of the Willenhall Bench until he retired to the country in 1888. He died in 1894 and is buried at Stretton near Penkridge.

Five Fields Road. Stands on an area once known as the Five Fields for obvious reasons. Older people in Willenhall will remember that during the early part of the Second World War an Anti Aircraft battery was based on the site as part of the system set up around the Midlands to protect vital industrial areas. When the siren sounded to warn of an air raid the guns would open up, the floor would shake, and the windows and doors rattle for a considerable distance around. Shrapnel would rain down on the streets putting at risk anyone who happened to be out at the time. Whether they had any effect on the German aircraft is not known but they certainly boosted the morale of the people in those difficult days. The battery only stayed for a short time as the site was completely unsuitable, being heavily waterlogged in the winter months.

Five Oaks Road. Named after a firm of builders of that name who built many of the houses in the area.

Fletcher Road. Named in honour of Mr William Fletcher J.P. by Willenhall Urban District Council in 1937. Mr Fletcher's father Abel Fletcher began the firm of that name in 1870. William Fletcher in addition to being a Justice of the Peace served as a member of the Short Heath Urban District Council from 1901 until 1928 when he retired from public life, and during that time he served as chairman for two spells from 1908-10 and 1925-27.

Fletchers Lane. Named after the Fletcher family who owned land in the area.At a Court Baron for the Manor of Stowheath held on May 29th 1781, the lords of the Manor of Stowheath, at the request of the Chapelwardens and Overseers of the poor of the liberty of Willenhall, being the principal Inhabitants of Willenhall, granted and delivered to Joshua Fletcher and Catherine his wife, all those three Closes or parcels of land, containing together five acres, or thereabouts, theretofore enclosed from the waste or common land called Shepwell Green, within the liberty of Willenhall for their natural lives and the life of the survivor, with remainder to the heirs and assigns of the said Joshua Fletcher for ever, subject to the payment of 20s on St. Thomas's day yearly and for ever, to the Chapelwardens and Overseers of the poor for the liberty of Willenhall, to be then paid or applied to or for the use of the poor of the said liberty of Willenhall yearly and every year for ever on St. Thomas's day aforesaid at the vestry of the said chapel, according to their discretion, it being the interest of œ20, œ10 thereof being given by one John Tomkys and the other œ10 thereto given by one George Welsh to and for use of the poor. This payment was distributed on New Year's Day among the poor of the liberty in small sums not generally exceeding 6d to each individual.

Forest Gate. A short road leading from the Lichfield Road on to the estate of that name. The name is probably a reminder of the fact that the area once formed part of the huge Cank (or Cannock) Forest which covered the area.

Forge Road. An unadopted street which runs off Sandbeds Road and gets its name from the Willenhall Furnaces whose works once occupied the site stretching from the Bentley Canal in Charles Street across to Sandbeds Road and Forge Road. The furnaces were built in 1855 by Messrs Fletcher and Solly but they were joined later by Mr Urwick who provided much needed capital. There were three furnaces which stood 45 feet high and also two Calcine furnaces in which the lime was burned to mix with the ore in order to make iron. Nearby was an engine house which contained a 150 hp condensing beam engine which provided the blast for all three furnaces. Most of the basic materials were mined locally, chiefly at pits in and around Little London and the firm built a tramway which was at first worked by horses to transport the coal and lime to the furnaces in Sandbeds. By 1862 however the horses had been replaced by a small four wheeled engine and this was followed by another in the following year. The firm were continually in trouble with the local authority over the constant smoke and noise to residents at their level crossing in Temple Bar. By 1872 the Wolverhampton and Walsall Railway had arrived and the firm was then able to construct a standard gauge siding leading from the Station in Stafford Street to the Sandbeds and for a time the firm prospered and must have provided employment for a good number of men from the locality. In 1875 the firm went public under the title Willenhall Furnaces Limited and at their peak were producing 500 tons of iron per week. At the start of 1881 however, things were looking less than rosy with a slump in the iron trade, and most of their mines becoming "Drowned out" and the demand for iron worldwide decreasing. With the pits no longer producing anything the engines were reduced to transporting slag to the tip and by April 9th of that year the last furnace ceased production and the firm went into receivership. The plant was dismantled and sold and today nothing remains to remind us of this once prosperous part of the town's industrial past.

Frederick William Street. Named after Frederick William Harper, son of John Harper,the first chairman of the firm of that name. When the firm was formed into a Limited Liability Company under the chairmanship of his father, Frederick became a director along with Mr James Slater JP. of Bescot Hall. Shortly after the death of his father Frederick had the family home at Bruerton House Bilston demolished and replaced by a more modern house. It is this house which today houses Bilston's Museum and Art Gallery.

Froysell Street. Named in honour of Doctor Joseph Froysell who, together with Doctors Hartill and Oakley, laboured tirelessly during the Cholera epidemic to relieve the suffering of the poor of the town. He was born in Leominster in 1807, trained at St. Thomas hospital London where he became a Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries in 1831. He was also apothecary to Moorfields Hospital. In 1860 he became a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh). He came to Willenhall and set up practise in the Market Place before the Cholera epidemic, during which he laboured tirelessly and without thought for himself. In 1860 he left Willenhall for nearby Wolverhampton where he continued to practise until his death in 1869.

Furzebank Way. The name Furze is defined in the dictionary as "A green prickly shrub or Gorse" and refers to the type of plant which covered Bentley Common in the days before it fell to the developers to be obliterated and redeveloped for housing. Until the post war housing boom Bentley Common stretched from the Walsall Road across to Lane Head without interruption but the whole area is now covered by vast housing estates of which Furzebank Way is part.

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