Willenhall History Society

Street Names - M



Magness Crescent. Named after Councillor Frederick V Magness who served on the Willenhall Urban District Council from 1946 until 1966, following which he went on to represent the people of Willenhall on the Walsall MBC for a number of years. He served as chairman of the Willenhall Urban District Council for the years 1954-56. and was awarded the CBE for his services to local government in the New Year Honours List for 1964. In addition to his public work,Mr Magness was also a director of the family firm of E.R. Magness Ltd. Bakers and Confectioners with shops at 160, Walsall Road and also 12, Lower Lichfield Street. They also owned the Round House Restaurant for some years. This is know known as "Ye olde Toll House".

Malthouse Lane. Now a narrow alley leading from Stafford Street to Upper Lichfield Street, but once contained houses and people. It was named Malthouse Lane because of its close proximity to an old malthouse which once stood nearby in Upper Lichfield Street. It was in this malthouse that the former Lichfield Street Baptist Church first held its services after the church was formed in 1848 and until a new chapel was opened in 1862. The first Minister was Joseph Davies who lived in New Road. The Baptist church ceased holding services there in 1977 and the church is now used by the New Testament Church of God.

Malvern Close. Named after the town of Malvern in Worcestershire.

Manor Close. Takes its name from the estate on which it stands which has always been known as " The Manor". No doubt a reference to Moat House, for many years home of the Leveson family which stood nearby and was sometimes referred to as the Manor House.

Manor Farm Drive. Takes its name from the Manor Farm which once stood nearby.

Marden Close. There are towns of this name in the counties of Kent, Hereford, Wiltshire, Surrey and Sussex. The Close quite obviously derives its name from this source.

Maree Grove. Named after a Loch in Ross and Cromarty, Scotland which is twelve miles long.

Market Place. The place where Willenhall's outdoor market takes place. For many years the market took place only on Saturdays and when this was increased to three times a week recently (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) there were many who thought that it would never take off but contrary to this belief, it actually brought new life to the Market Place on what were previously quiet days. The Market Place was once a continuation of Wolverhampton Street and the name Market Place did not appear on the population census for the first time until 1851. This may give some indication as to when markets first began to be held in Willenhall. Unlike many towns, Willenhall's market was not the result of any ancient charter but grew from common usage.

Marston Street. Nathaniel Marston came to Willenhall from Leeds in 1890 to take up a post with the Willenhall School Board as a teacher at the Short Heath Board School. His prowess was such that after 6 months he was offered the post of Head Master at Walsall Road Board Schools, a post that he held for 37 years until his retirement in 1927. He was elected to the Willenhall Urban District Council in 1907 and served as Chairman of that body for the year 1918-19. On his retirement on 11th October 1927 he left the district to spend his remaining years in Exmouth where he died in 1941.

Martin Drive. Named after N.D. Martin Willenhall's last Engineer and Surveyor before the amalgamation with Walsall in 1966. Mr Martin took over the post following the retirement of G.A. Waite on July 18th 1940 and stayed until Willenhall was amalgamated with Walsall. On 19th October 1964 Mr Martin received a gift from the council to commemorate 25 years of continuous service.

Meadow Lane. No doubt this was a reference to the fact that the whole of this area was once Meadowland.

Meadow Grange Drive. A street situated on the Coppice Farm Estate, but nothing is known of the origins of the name.

Memorial Close. Stands near to Willenhall's Memorial Park and the war memorial to the men of Willenhall who gave their lives in three wars, The Boer War and the First and Second World Wars. The first stage of the War Memorial consisting of an Obelisk of portland stone was unveiled on September 30th 1920 by Lord Dartmouth and this was followed on June 4th 1922 with the dedication of the name tablets containing the names of all the men who lost their lives by the Reverend H.P. Hyatt. The Park which began in 1917 with the setting up of the War Memorial and Town Development Committee took 6 years to bring to fruition and a lot of hard work in raising the necessary funds, towards which a grant of œ7,145 was received from the Unemployment Grants Committee which was set up to provide employment for ex servicemen who were paid the princely sum of œ1 per week to work on the scheme. The park was opened on Saturday September 30th 1923 by Mr T Kidson the Chairman of the War Memorial Committee. In the six years of its existence the Committee had raised the magnificent total of œ10,043 towards the cost of œ10,003. The œ40 which was left over being used to provide seats for the bandstand. The park was the town's pride and joy and much time and money has been spent over the years in order to enhance its beauty but alas today it stands just a little bit neglected.

Menai Close. Named after the Menai Straits which joins the Island of Anglesey to the Welsh mainland.

Meranti Close. This street stands on the Coppice Farm Estate adjoining Milestone Way. Nothing is known of the origins of the name.

Mere Close. This road which is situated on the south side of Pool Hayes Lane takes its name from the pool or small lake which once lay to the north of the Summer Hayes School. The pool was filled in some years ago to facilitate the development of the area.

Midacre. Likes its neighbouring streets, Eastacre and Westacre, stands on an area which for many years was known by the old field name of the Long Acres. The names retain something of the character of the old name. See also Long Acres.

Middle Avenue. A short street situated off Westfield Road and part of a recent development on what used to be known as the Long Acres. The name is probably a reference to its position in the centre of the development.

Middle Gardens. In reality this is little more than a narrow alley which leads from Lower Lichfield Street to Clemson Street which once contained houses but is no longer habited, the houses having been demolished under a clearance order dated 1964. The road still consists of the original sets, and parts of the original footpath can still be seen, as well as small sections of the old cast iron kerb. The street probably takes its name from the fact that it stands on what used to be known as "Middle Piece".

Miles Meadow Close. Named after the Miles Meadow Colliery, part of the Pool Hayes Colliery which operated from 1889 until about 1908.It stood on the north side of the Lichfield Road where the Coppice Farm Estate now stands.

Milestone Way. Named after the nearby Milestones Inn.

Milford Avenue. Like other streets on this estate takes its name from a local beauty spot, Milford on the edge of Cannock Chase.

Mill Lane. Named after a windmill which once stood near the junction of Mill Lane and Lucknow Road.

Mill Street. This street once linked Birmingham Street with the Walsall Road but has since been closed to through traffic and the original buildings have been demolished and replaced with a modern development of flats. The name is a reference to Willenhall's two windmills which once stood nearby on Rose Hill.

Millichip Road. Named after Henry J.G. Millichip, member of Willenhall Urban District Council and chairman for the two years 1944-46. He was also a County Councillor and was awarded the O.B.E. for his services during the Second World War, when he played a leading role in the town's Civil Defence Services. Mr. Millichip was first elected to the council in 1934 at the second attempt, having failed to secure election at the first attempt in 1931, and continued until the end of the Second World War when it is believed that he left the area.

Milton Close. Named after John Milton poet and writer 1608-1674. He was born in Cheapside London the son of John Milton. He married Mary Powell the daughter of Royalist parents in 1642 but she died in 1652. He then married Catherine Woodcock in 1656 but she survived only until 1658 and he then married for a third time to Elizabeth Minshull who survived him. Milton, who became blind in later life, lost his fortune when he was arrested following the restoration. During the Commonwealth he served as Latin secretary to the Council of State. He died of "Gout struck in" and was buried with his father in St Giles Cripplegate London.

Minerva Close. Named after Minerva, who was the mythical goddess of wisdom.

Mitre Close. "Mitre" was once used as a trade name by the Holly Bank Colliery Company, the name no doubt originating from the Old Mitre Inn which was situated near to the colliery and which was used by the Colliery for paying out its workforce. The cellars of the Inn were also used as a mortuary for Essington people who died sudden deaths, many of them the result of accidents at the pit. Local legend has it that the Old Mitre got its name from the fact that the Bishop of Lichfield once left his mitre behind after a stay at the Inn and afterwards the diocese gave permission for the Mitre to be used as a sign for the Inn.

Moat Street. The street stands where once stood the Moat House and grounds. The grounds covered an area extending from Leveson Street in the North to Wood Street in the South and from Stafford Street in the west to Cemetery Road in the east. For many years it was the home of a branch of the Leveson family who were lords of the Manor of Stowheath for centuries. The house and grounds were surrounded by a moat and also had a lake. The last Leveson to occupy the house died in 1752 and in 1763 the house was sold to Thomas Hincks a prosperous Willenhall Maltster.By 1800 the house had completely disappeared. The grounds and moat remained until the Wolverhampton and Walsall Railway Company constructed its line through it in 1872 removing all traces of the house and the grounds were swallowed up by development.

Monmer Close. See Monmer Lane.

Monmer Lane. There has been more debate over the question than many people are aware. Some say it was originally called "Mumper," and not "Monmer,"George Borrow, the Gypsy scholar, who describes the spot in his books, says it was known in his day as "Mumper's Dingle", the name Monmer being a corruption of "Momber" - a common pronunciation to-day - and "Momber" a corruption of "Mumper." According to Professor Knapp, "Mumber" was the name given in years gone by on the Admiralty map, and that its true meaning was " a great bog." The Gypsies and other people of their class, changed the word into one more familiar to them, -"Mumper", which signifies the low stream. Mr. Duigan, of Walsall says "Monmere" as he spells it, is derived from "Monemere," and "Monmere-feld." These are Celtic revivals; Monmere being a common name in Ireland for a bog, or great bog, and Moneem meaning a little bog. Thus it may be seen that Monmer Lane derived its name,most likely from its being low lying and swampy when the land was open and undrained.

Morgan Close. Named after a factory which once stood nearby in Ashmore Lake called Morgans who carried on business as Drop Forgers until operations ceased in the recent recession.

Moore Road. Named after Doctor Gerald J Moore a local doctor who practiced in the New Road for many years. In addition to being a doctor he also served on the Urban District Council for a short time until he resigned in December 1940.

Morfital Lane. Now part of Gipsy Lane and consisted of that part from the junction with Walsall Street to the first railway bridge leading to William Harper Road. The lane then continued over the railway bridge and ran parallel with the railway line where Rose Hill Gardens stands today,to join up with Rose Hill at the bottom of the railway bridge. The name is believed to be derived from the Mopplesford Hills which stood nearby on the site where The Rose Hill housing estate now stands.

Moseley Road. This road forms part of Willenhall's boundary, with one side of the road only being in Willenhall and the other side being in Wolverhampton. Many years ago the road was known as Throttle Goose Lane but how this name originated is not known. The name may possibly be from the Moseley district of Birmingham, or Moseley Old Hall which sheltered King Charles for a short time after the battle of Worcester. Moseley means mossy or marshy ground.

Mount Road. Takes its name from a pit mound which once stood nearby and which was known locally as Hospital Hill because Willenhall's Isolation Hospital once stood here. In 1894 Willenhall was in the grip of a Small Pox epidemic and this was causing problems, due to the fact that it was difficult to isolate patients suffering from the disease in the small, overcrowded houses which then formed the bulk of Willenhall. On May 12th 1894 the Local Board of Health decided to set up an Isolation Hospital in Portobello using Messrs Ward's casting house as a base and adding other wooden structures for additional wards. A Horse drawn ambulance was also provided for the conveyance of patients to and from the hospital. The total cost was estimated at œ1,320 made up as follows, cost of building œ520, cost of furnishing œ300 and Maintenance was estimated at a further œ500. It is not known exactly when the hospital closed but it is believed to have been some time in the 1920's when the responsibility for such cases, which by now had diminished considerably, had been taken over by the County Health Authority.

Moxhull Road and Moxhull Gardens. Named after the district of Moxhull near Water Orton in Warwickshire.

Myrtle Close. Named after the Myrtle, an evergreen shrub.

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