On investigating the Hadley mainline it was noticed that the sister of an ancestor had married another Hadley. On researching another line another Hadley emerged. On realising that the Hadley’s did not move out of the vicinity for over 300 years curiosity got the better.
The site is definitely in its infancy and it is anticipated that it will be ongoing
as more information is collected or amended. It is hoped it will be a site for everyone connected to the names and locations. It therefore goes without saying that contributions or corrections to any theories or facts will be well received
From the first map in 1882 of the area (see ‘The Property Location ’) it can only give you a glimpse that Rounds Green was a village with a small community just to the East of Oldbury and approximately 2 miles away from the town.
Prior to the Industrial revolution (1750 to 1840 British Industrial Revolution agriculture and manufacturing – first expansion of roads and canals second) the area was surrounded by fields and pastures hence the name Rounds Green. The rural area had few roads and houses.
The 18th century saw farming being replaced with industry. With the introduction of steelworks such as nail making and Iron foundries (1760) and the first canal being built in 1772. Other industries followed such as coal mining and brick making causing quarries and tunnels etc. (With Ezra Hadley, the draper, owning the Blue and Red Brick and tile Manufacturer Globe Brick works in 1900) with main roads Rounds Green, Brades Road, Taylors and Newbury Lane converging.
1782 William Hunt started an edge-tool factory at ‘The Brades’ which linked farming and metal production by manufacturing tools for both farming and building industry. Thomas Hadley (See Bird in Hand) started work there in 1801.
As the years progressed so did Brades Road building development increased towards the ‘The Brades Works’ with Dingle Street and Bath Row shooting off at 90 degrees up the hill. By the time 1820 arrived Oldbury’s population was increasing as people followed the work. To keep up with demand poor quality houses were constructed. This was good business for Thomas Hadley as beer demand also increased. Workers from the foundries were dry mouthed and were regular visitors to quench their thrust after work. Some workers having ‘runners’ to help’, ‘refresh’ them at lunchtimes.
The housing developments of the 1880s began to show their weaknesses with a degrading environment. Twenty years on Dingle Street (where the headmaster lived along with other related Hadleys) and Bath Row had storm water problems. Not only were drains inadequate but, Bath Row in particular, was never properly constructed remaining as a dirt track. Rowley Hill would dispose of its weather down to the road collecting soil on the way and channeling itself through Bath Row down towards Brades Road causing more damage in its wake. Imagine the Hadleys and their neighbours with shovels in hand ‘mucking out’ their properties and backyards.
With Rounds Green’s population and trade increasing, people’s habits were in demand such as education. Hence, the opportunity for Thomas’ son, another Thomas. (See ‘The headmaster’).
Bury Hill Park was given to Rounds Green to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. I envisage the headmaster using this to full advantage for the children of the school. The park broke away from the village with the opening of the Birmingham New Road in 1926. Thomas had died four years previous.