Tame Valley timeline

Prehistoric

The Tame Valley has a long history of settlement with archaeological finds dating back to prehistoric flints found at Coleshill and a prehistoric pit and gully discovered at Middleton. Palaeolithic, or old stone age, hand axes were found at Middleton and Water Orton, left behind by the family groups who

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Roman times

Following the discovery of the remains of an ancient settlement at Grimstock Hill, Coleshill, an archaeological dig revealed evidence of a Romano-Celtic settlement on the site from the middle of the 1st Century to the 4th Century AD. The sites of huts dating from the late Iron Age or early

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Kingdom of Mercia

Kingdom of Mercia

After the Roman Legions left Britain in the latter part of the 4th Century, much of the land cleared for farming would have reverted to heath and scrub. The clay soils made paths impassable in winter but the river would have provided a permanent route from the coast. It is

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Medieval and post medieval times

Medieval and post medieval times

Following the Norman conquest in 1066, the majority of land was taken over by Norman lords and their Saxon owners dispossessed. A few Saxon Lords kept their land if it was known that they had not fought at the Battle of Hastings. A number of towns and villages in the

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16th & 17th Centuries

16th & 17th Centuries

Coleshill from Whitacre – Painting by C R Stanley, 1861 The 16th Century brought many changes, including improved education, and Jethro Tull’s seed drill. There were many tradespeople in towns such as Coleshill and Tamworth, many operating from houses. Blyth Hall, near Blyth End, was built in this post medieval

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Industrial Revolution

Industrial Revolution

Robert Peel’s factory at Fazeley (Chris Harris) By the early 18th Century, improved livestock breeds and alternative methods of crop rotation meant that farming was more prosperous. The Enclosure Act of the 18th Century established the pattern of blackthorn and hawthorn hedges that we see today, altering the landscape by

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Building the canals

Building the canals

The industrial revolution produced great changes within the Tame Valley landscape. The Coventry Canal runs from Fradley Junction near Lichfield to Coventry and was built to transport coal to Coventry and, via the Oxford Canal, to London. A number of engineers, including James Brindley, and companies were involved in its

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Coming of the railways

Coming of the railways

The Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway was opened on 12 August 1839. Built by Robert Stephenson, the line from Derby passed through Tamworth and Kingsbury station (now demolished) on its way into Birmingham. Additional stations were added at Water Orton and Forge Mills (now Coleshill station) in 1842. The Kingsbury Branch was built

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19th & early 20th Centuries

19th & early 20th Centuries

Extraction of coal in the north of the area changed the landscape especially round Kingsbury, Piccadilly and Hurley, with pit wheels on the skyline but it brought employment to the area, and provided fuel for the industrial revolution. The abundance of clay especially around Dosthill resulted in a proliferation of

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Sand & gravel extraction

  The landscape of the valley was drastically altered in the 1930s by large-scale sand and gravel extraction. Sand and gravel are used in the production of concrete. From the 1930s onwards, concrete became an increasingly popular building material. Huge quantities were used during the Second World War to construct

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War defences

War defences

Take a stroll along the western bank of the River Tame at Tamworth and you might make a surprising discovery. Hunkered down in the grass by the edge of the riverbank, in the shadow of Tamworth Castle, is a squat, hexagonal, concrete bunker. This pillbox dates from the early 1940’s,

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Post war

Post war

In the 1960s and 70s many older buildings throughout the Tame Valley were demolished to make way for modern developments, for example, the 17th Century Park Hall eventually falling victim to the railway and the M6 and the Green Lane, an ancient ridgeway passing from Castle Bromwich to Coleshill, buried

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