BADGER DRIVE, Springfield

In the early 60s, when I was in the council's Architect's Department, I was involved with a small development off the Cannock Road and was responsible for selecting the name of this short road.  At that time all new names were vetted by Bill Meredith in the Surveyor's Department.  I had a special interest in Badger Hall, Shropshire, which had recently been demolished.  So this road was named after Badger Hall and the adjacent village.  (It has no connection with the animal of the same name).

(Keith Cattell)

BANTOCK AVENUE, Birches Barn Estate

Albert Baldwin Bantock 1862-1938, was the second son of Thomas Bantock. He lived in Merridale House (now called Bantock House), which he bequeathed to the town, together with the park of 43 acres. He was the owner of a carrier business founded by his father in 1858.  Baldwin Bantock was Mayor three times 1905, 1906 and 1914.  

(Peter Hickman)


Named after Barnfield Colliery, over the site of which it was built.

(Roy Jones)


Norman Bayliss was the Personnel Officer at Rubery Owen in Darlaston, a Labour councillor in Bilston and later Alderman and Mayor.

(Tom Larkin)


Tom Cope's "Bilston Enamels of the 18th Century" says:  The Beckett family was engaged in the enamelling trade for longer than any other in Bilston and there is still a street in the town known as Beckett Street; it was near one end of this street that the family owned or rented land".  

(Reg Aston)

BELL STREET, City Centre

Formerly called Bellcroft Street or Hollow Lane  

(Peter Hickman)


Bennett in medieval times was spelt in various ways and is supposed to derive from Benedict.  It may be that the simple explanation of the derivation of this name is that someone gave this name to what was otherwise just a numbered court because that name was local usage, deriving from an inhabitant of the court.  For instance in 1802 there were two Bennetts, both locksmiths, in property near here.

(Anthony Perry)


The late John Roper, local historian believed that the name was a corruption of ‘Bury’ referring to the line of a possible Saxon defensive work encircling Wolverhampton: the street’s location and proximity to the town centre would support this view. Whether the town at that time was important enough to have a defensive system is open to debate but it was important enough to have one of the finest Saxon preaching crosses in the country suggesting a sizeable community.

(Keith Cattell)

BHYLLS LANE, Castlecroft

The Bhyll farm is shown on the 1842 Penn Parish Tithe map, and in the early 19th Century it was farmed by Mr William Jones. The best-known owner was Mr John Clarkson Major who was Mayor of Wolverhampton 1875/6. A Yorkshireman, he was a manufacturing chemist who entered local politics. As Chairman of the town’s Health Committee he oversaw the first real and dramatic improvement in the provision of an adequate clean water supply and good drainage for the central area of the Town.

The Bhyll was renamed Bellencroft at the beginning of the 1900s and thus gave its name both to Bhylls Lane and Bellencroft Gardens.  

The name Bhyll probably derives from a Welsh word ‘pel’ a ball, in the sense of a hillock. The ground drops away steeply towards Castlecroft Lane  

(Peter Hickman)


Twenty-one acres of land were acquired by Wolverhampton Corporation in August 1919 from a company called Birches Barn Estates whose Chairman was Thomas Francis Waterhouse of Penn Hall. They had purchased this land from the executors of Mr Joseph Rowan Cartwright JP and on it were built 174 houses.

A further acreage was purchased from the Trustees of the late William Walford. This lay to the north west of a line drawn approximately between Little Birches and Downham Place.  

(Peter Hickman)

Before it was sold off for housing, all the land belonged to Birches Barn farm.  The farmhouse still stands, the oldest house in Birches Barn Road.

(David Clare)

The name appears as Barndeleye in 1327, suggesting "burnt leah".  But in 1654 the name appears as Birch-his-barn suggesting "the barn of a man called Birch" or a rationalisation of Birches-barn, the barn in the birches.

(David Horowitz)

Birches Barn Road seems to be part of a very old line of road, running from Bilston, along Millfields Road and Goldthorn Hill, and then on to Finchfield and Compton, by passing Wolverhampton altogether.

(Frank Sharman)



Named after Ben Bilboe, the first labour member of Bilston Council and later Mayor of Bilston.  He was seen as a firebrand socialist.  During one election he gave an inflammatory speech outside the police station in Mount Pleasant and was arrested.  He spent polling day in the police cells, from where he was duly elected.

(Tom Larkin)


This road was the brainchild of G. H. Sankey of the Bilston firm of Joseph Sankey and Sons Ltd. He promoted the idea over many years and eventually got it built as part of the creation of jobs in public works during the great depression.  At its Wolverhampton end it ran along what had been Green Lane.

(Frank Sharman)


The prebend house of the Prebend of Wobaston abutted this fold.  Two of the Prebendaries of Wobaston in the 14th century were called "de Blastom" or "de Blaston", and legal documents in 1609 refer to the Prebend house lying between Tup Street and "Blassom's Foulde".  This proviodes the derivation of the name.

(Anthony Perry)

BOND STREET, St John’s Square

Named after an early Organist of St. John's church, William Bond, d.1814.  

(Peter Hickman)


Said to be named after Henry Bowdler, sometime Mayor of Wolverhampton and a very right wing Conservative.  He was a sweet manufacturer with a factory in All Saints.  He lived in Tettenhall Road.

(Margaret Bowdler)


Best known for not being named after a burnt (brent in Anglo Saxon) village (ton).  (see Geoffrey Hancock's History of Tettenhall).

(Peter Hickman)


Many other streets in the Black Country with this name spell it as two words.  Here it always seems to have been spelled as one word, complete with two Ks in the middle.  It always used to be pronounced "Bricklin" by most people.  Now everybody has been told this is "wrong" and a lot of people now call it "Brickiln" and some even try "Brick Kiln".

In Isaac Taylor's map of 1750 it appears as Brickhill Lane, and a brick kiln is shown a short way to the south of it.  

(Frank Sharman)


Taylor’s map 1755 shows this street as Rotton’s Row or Lower Litchfield Street.  When the Birmingham Canal Navigation reached the western side of the town this street became the chief means of access to the wharfs and was renamed early in 1800s as Canal Street. In the late 19th Century it became Broad Street.  

(Peter Hickman)


This area of Bilston is commonly said to have taken its name from the battle of Bunkers Hill in Charlestown, Boston Massachusetts which took place June 17th 1775, during the War of American Independence.  This is surprising since the English lost this battle. Robert Baugh’s map of Shropshire 1808 shows the area as Birnkers Hill.  But who was Birnker?  

(Peter Hickman)


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