Willenhall History Society

Street Names - H



Haddon Crescent. Named after Councillor Jack Haddon member of Willenhall Urban District Council from 1964 until 1966.

Haley Street. Once formed part of the ancient highway between Willenhall and Bloxwich until the road was severed by the Wyrley and Essington Canal Company when it constructed its canal through Short Heath in 1794. Before then the road passed via what is now Council Crescent, Haley Street, Ezekiel Lane, Coltham Road and Wood Lane. A more or less straight route.After the coming of the canal the main road was diverted through Lane Head and a short road constructed which was then known as the Straight Lane to link in with the old route, thus avoiding the need for an extra bridge. The name, which was in use in the second half of the last century, is believed to derive from a man named John Haley or Hayley who was a Mines Agent living in the area at that time. The name was not officially adopted by the council until much later when the street was developed by them.

Hall Street. A short street which connects Lower Lichfield Street to Walsall Street, which is so called because it once led to the Hall which stood on the site now occupied by the Public Library and which was for very many years the home of the Wilkes family, who were without doubt one of the oldest Willenhall families. The area between Cheapside and Leve Lane was once a small field or croft known as Hall Croft and was part of the estates of the Wilkes family.

Harlech Road. Named after the Welsh town of Harlech, famous for its castle.

Harper Street. Not named after the famous Harper family of Willenhall as some people no doubt think. The area now covered by the Manor Estate and the Memorial Park once consisted of fields known as "The Harpers", and it was after these fields that the street was named. The area was once part of the estate of the branch of the Leveson family which for many years occupied Moat House which stood nearby until it was sold off about 1763 when the family left the area.

Harrowby Place. Built in the 1930's and named after the Countess of Harrowby on 12th November 1935 to commemorate the opening by her of the new Council Offices on March 20th 1935.

Harry Perks Street. Named after Councillor J.H. Perks who was a member of Willenhall Urban District Council from 1919 until 1937, representing St. Stephens Ward.The street was known as Perks Street until November 9th 1964 when it was renamed to avoid confusion.

Hartill Street. Commemorates the Hartill family who were in Willenhall from early in the 1600's. and played a prominent part in the life of Willenhall for 300 years. One of its more well known members was Jeremiah Hartill who was born at the Neptune Inn which once stood opposite St Giles Church, where his father Isaac Hartill was the landlord. Jeremiah qualified as a doctor and set up practice in Willenhall in 1826. He was later joined by his nephews William Henry in 1861 and John Thomas in 1869. It was Jeremiah who built the large house which still stands at the corner of Walsall Road and Birmingham Street which he named The Manor House. Jeremiah was one of three Willenhall doctors who laboured tirelessly and without regard for themselves to alleviate the sufferings of the people of Willenhall during the devastating Cholera epidemic of 1849. Towards the end of his life he donated œ200 to the vicar and churchwardens of St Giles to found The Jeremiah Hartill Charitable Trust, the income from which was to be distributed among the poor of the town each year. He died at Wednesfield on February 26th 1888 and after his death the medical practice was carried on by his brother Doctor J.T. Hartill until his death in 1913. Doctor John Thomas Hartill was a Justice of the Peace and Medical Officer of Health for Willenhall until his death and his two sons entered the church. The Venerable Percy Hartill and The Reverend Edgar Hartill. The family were also lifelong workers for St Giles church and Miss Alice Hartill, the daughter of Doctor W.H. Hartill, was the first woman J.P. to sit on the bench at Willenhall.

Harvesters Road. All the streets on the Manor Farm Estate have a farming theme giving an indication that they stand on the site once occupied by the Manor Farm.

Harvesters Way. See Harvesters Road.

Hathaway Close. Believed to be named after Anne Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare. The couple were married in 1582 and a few years after their marriage Shakespeare bought a house called New Place on the corner of Chapel Street and Chapel Lane in his native town of Stratford on Avon and the couple took up permanent residence there in 1611 until he died five years later. Prior to her marriage Anne lived at a thatched cottage in the village of Shottery, 2 miles from the centre of Stratford and the cottage, which today is known as Anne Hathaway's cottage, can still be seen today. The cottage, which was badly damaged by a deliberate fire in 1969, has since been restored with great care to its original state.

Hawkeswell Drive. A recent development of Dilloways Lane. The origins of the name are not known.

Hawthorne Road. Named after Councillor Frederick John Hawthorne a member of Short Heath Urban District Council from 1910 until his death in 1932. and chairman of that body from 1916 until 1918. Mr Hawthorne, who lived in Wesley Road, was Manager of the Hilton Main and Holly Bank Collieries Land Sale and Canal Wharves, which were situated in Wesley Road,and his body was recovered from the canal basin on the morning of Wednesday August 10th 1932 after he had gone missing from home on the previous evening. No one knows what really happened but on the previous evening he had set out in the usual way for the basin to make sure everything was in order for the next day. It is thought that whilst trying to step from one barge to the next he may have slipped and fallen in the water, becoming trapped beneath the barges. He was a non swimmer,and was 55 years of age.

Hayes, The. Probably refers to the fact that it was once an area of woodland.

Hazelwood Grove. Takes its name from the Hazel Tree, a small tree of the Oak family which bears nuts.

Heath Road. A road leading from Sneyd Lane onto the Beacon Estate and believed to take its name from the fact that it was part of the Short Heath from which the village of Short Heath took its name. Short Heath once formed part of the enormous Cannock (or Cank) forest.

Heather Grove. Takes its name from the heather which once grew in abundance on Bentley Common.

High Road. This name is one in common use and usually indicates a main road or thoroughfare through a particular district, in this case Lane Head.

High Street. This name is one in common use and usually indicates a main road or thoroughfare through a particular district, in this case Portobello.

Highgrove Close. Named after Highgrove House the home of His Royal Highness Prince Charles.

Highmoor Close. Named after a town of that name in Derbyshire.

Hill Road. The origins of this name are uncertain but it may be that this road, like nearby Vaughan Road was named to commemorate the contribution made by industrialists of that name to the prosperity of the town. Particularly H & J Hill whose foundry once stood in the Walsall Road at the junction with Mill Lane until forced out of business by the recession, and also C & L Hill whose brass foundry once stood on the site now occupied by a trading estate in Stringes Lane. C & L Hill were later part of the Owen group of Companies.

Hillbury Drive. Situated on the Coppice Farm Estate, nothing is known of the origins of the name which is probably fictitious.

Hillcrest Gardens. This street stands at a high point on the Furzebank Estate and the name is an indication of this.

Hilton Road. Named after Hilton Main Colliery which during its lifetime provided employment for a great number of men in the area. The Colliery was opened on September 30th 1924 to replace nearby Holly Bank Colliery which was becoming uneconomic and difficult to work due to geological problems related to the South Staffordshire Fault. The pit was considered one of the most modern of its day but like Holly Bank it eventually suffered from the same problems and became uneconomic. It ceased production on January 31st 1969 and nothing remains today to show where the pit once stood.

Hilton Way. See Hilton Road.

Himley Close. Named after Himley Hall the former seat of the Earls of Dudley and now owned by Dudley Metropolitan Borough.

Hobley Street. Named after Councillor Randle Hobley who was born in 1867 and who lost his father at the age of 10. After the death of his father Randle went to live with his uncle Jeremiah Pratt who was landlord of the old Prince of Wales Inn in Walsall Street. It was there that he learned the rudiments of a trade he was to pursue for the rest of his life. Shortly before his uncle died Randle purchased the pub from him and continued the business, brewing his own beer on the premises. Randle, who was a regular worshipper at nearby St Giles Church, was elected to Willenhall Urban District Council in 1907 and served as Chairman for the year 1924-25. and his election to that office prompted local poet Thomas Bratt to pen the following lines:-

There is a man in Wylnal town

Who's risen up to gain reknown;

He brews some noted home brewed ales,

His pub is called the Prince of Wales.

He's living in his native place,

and is respected by his race.

To show that he has gained reknown

They've made him Mayor of Wylnal town

Four men I saw drinking his beers,

There ages o'er three hundred years.

His ales are brewed from malt and hops-

Not chemicals and mangold tops.

This is the stuff to give 'em lads,

Like some they filled your poor old dads,

Which filled their weary hearts with cheer

While they were drinking home brewed beer.

Next Sunday morn he'll go to pray,

To wash the brewers sins away,

And ask the commons if they will

Just pass for us a Pure Beer Bill.

You'll see the grand procession too;

The band will play for me and you:

And while its passing up and down,

You'll see the Chairman of the town.

Mr Hobley was a man of many parts and in addition to his many other duties he acted as Treasurer to the local Willenhall Pickwick Football Club from 1905 until the war put a stop to their activities in 1916. During that time he acted in tandem with his brother Charles who was licensee of the Shakespeare Inn, the club's Headquarters, and also secretary of the club. Mr Hobley helped to raise funds for the Memorial Clock in the Market Place and during his term of office as Chairman he undertook the task of eliminating the debt of œ1,200 which had accumulated against the Willenhall Nursing Association. He did this by organising sporting events in which he himself took part, in fact he organised and took part in a cycle race for which he won a gold medal and the title "Champion of Town". Mr. Hobley retired from public life in 1934 and died in 1945 at the age of 78.

Hodson Avenue. Commemorates the Rev. Robert L Hodson who came from St. Stephens Cheltenham to be vicar of St Giles in 1925. In 1929 he was appointed Rector and Rural Dean of Wolverhampton and remained there until his appointment as Archdeacon of Stafford and Canon of Lichfield Cathedral in 1935. On St. Michaels Day 1944 he was consecrated Suffragon Bishop of Shrewsbury, by the Bishop of London (acting for the Archbishop of Canterbury who was ill at the time), in St Pauls Cathedral London.He died in 1960 shortly after his retirement.

Hogarth Close. Named after William Hogarth, Painter and Engraver, 1697-1764. famous for his engraving "Rakes Progress". He was considered by many to be the father of English painting, being the first painter of the English school to portray everyday life of the masses. He was born in London on November 10th 1697, the son of a schoolmaster and was apprenticed by his father to an engraver and silversmith, after which he went into business on his own account. He became interested in art and attended art classes in order to improve his knowledge . In 1729 he married the daughter of Sir James Thornhill, the artist, and they ran away together. His engravings became the rage of the times and were most satirical in type. He became Court Painter to George the Second in 1757 and died in 1764 at Chiswick, where he was buried.

Hollowcroft Road. A croft is a small field adjoining a dwelling house or perhaps a small farm. The literal meaning of the name therefore is a small farm in a hollows. The street forms part of the Coppice Farm Estate and the name may thus refer to a farm which once stood nearby.

Holly Close. Named after the Holly Bank Colliery which stood just over the border in Essington but which provided employment for many miners from the Short Heath area during its long existence. The Colliery began life about 1850 as the Essington Wood Colliery and was situated between Bursnips Road and Brownshore Lane it was owned for a time by Samuel Mills who owned the Darlaston Coal and Iron Company, but when that company went into liquidation in 1895 the Holly Bank Trust Company was set up and the colliery became known as the Holly Bank Colliery. The pit was closed when the Hilton Main Colliery, which was opened in 1924 to replace it, came into production but was re-opened during the second world war to help cope with the shortage of coal. It finally closed for the last time in 1952.

Holman Close. Like other streets on this estate commemorates the names of famous artists, in this case Holman Hunt whose most famous work was the painting "The Light of the World".

Holman Road. See Holman Close.

Holmes Road. Named after the Reverend G.J.P. Holmes who was vicar of Holy Trinity Church Short Heath from 1916 until his death in 1948. During his incumbency the Mission Church which once stood in New Invention was closed in 1923. The church school was also closed in 1930 and the buildings utilised as a Church Hall in place of the original building which stood in Church Road. The old church hall was then sold off to a man named Bert Davis of Lane Head. Mr Holmes was a keen radio enthusiast in the early days of radio and built some of the first "cats whisker" radio sets. The present Tall Trees Estate now stands on the site of the old church hall and church Institute.

Honeybourne Way. Takes its name from a small village of the same name near Evesham in Gloucestershire. The street stands on the site of the former works of John Harper & Co Ltd. built in 1927 to replace the original factory in Walsall Road.

Howe Crescent. Named after Councillor John W Howe a member of the old Short Heath Urban District Council from 1928 until 1934, following which he was elected as one of the five members who represented the Short Heath Ward on the enlarged Willenhall Urban District Council. He served in this capacity until the end of the Second World War, when he retired from public life.

Huntington Road. The streets on this estate have names associated with the coal mining industry , in this case Huntington near Cannock home of the now closed Littleton Colliery.

Hunts Lane. It is thought that the name is derived from the fact that many years ago a local hunt met here. Prior to this the local name for the lane is believed to be "The Mets".

Willenhall History Society Website 29/1/00