earliest record of Kingshurst is in documents from the late
13th/earth 14th centuries, when it is referred to as part of the
Manor of Coleshill. there was a Kingshurst
Hall from about this time. The Hall had its own park and farmlands
and tenant farming was administered from here.
Townsend's failing health led to the Hall falling into a state of
disrepair. All plans to salvage it came to nothing due to a lack
of funds. In 1960, Walter was moved to a house in Castle Bromwich
and in 1962 the Hall was demolished. The photo on the right was
taken by Peter Lloyd in 1956
Hall and The
Digby family were Lords of the Manor of Coleshill, they managed it
from afar, and the Hall itself was tenanted. Records show that in
1610 the tenant of Sheldon Hall, one William Bull, moved across
the river Cole to tenancy of Kingshurst Hall in 1610. Sheldon Hall
still stands, just across the Solihull/Birmingham border in Tile
Cross and is now a Pub/Restaurant.
the tenancy later moved to the York family, who gave there name to
the small area of the original Kingshurst Hall Park which remains
1700 and 1720 Kingshurst Hall was rebuilt. The new Hall was a
large red brick building with a tiled roof, reached by a brick
bridge over its moat. By 1885 the tenancy had moved on to the
Townsend family and passed eventually to two brothers, George and
Walter Townsend. They ran the Farm, but George died in 1950, by
which time Birmingham City Council had taken ownership and were
then planning the development of Kingshurst for housing. In 1480,
Simon Mountford had declared that trees
planted on 'The Knobbe' at Kingshurst Hall should never be
touched. This is the mound that stands beside Stonebridge
Crescent today, And the trees are still there now.
now marginally across the Solihull/Birmingham border, Babb's Mill
was part of the Kingshurst Hall estate and was also tenanted in
the last century by members of the Townsend family.
building is of uncertain age, but is probably the second mill on
the site, there having been a mill on the site from the 13th
century. Its name comes from John Babb, miller there in the 16th
century. Originally an additional course was built to feed the
Mill Pool and the river itself ran parallel, but now the river
Icel. follows the 'new' course beside the mill.
of corn from the estate continued there until the early 20th
century. In the 1920s it was converted to cottages. The Mill Pool
was drained in the Second World War. Today an old millstone is
used as a doorstep.