My Postcode History – DY5 4LJ

Tiled House Lane, Pensnett
(Matthew Whitehouse, © Wolverhampton City Council)

How old is my street? … and how do we know?
Tiled House Lane DY5 4LJ is a part of a street of Council-built semi-detached houses dating to the 1920s or early 1930s. We know this because they were not there in 1920 (the first map below) but had appeared by the time of a 1938 map (the second).

The Ordnance Survey maps for 1920 (top) and 1938 show that the council houses were built on the site of the ‘Tiled House’ which gave the area its name

Tiled House Lane itself was there long before the modern houses, but the crescent and cul-de-sacs of the current development were, when they were built, part of Kingswinford – then a Rural District on the edge of the Black Country.  Actually, as the map shows, the new development looked out over former colliery and industrial land.

Kingswinford was brought into an expanded Brierley Hill Urban District in 1934 and our municipal housing must have been (at least partly) built by then as a document from that year refers to 120 properties at Tiled House owned by the Council.

What was there before?
The long snake of new houses and gardens was built on the site of ‘The Tiled House’ – which gave the lane its name. The building seems to have been demolished in the 1920s but may have been there (in some form) for 250 years or more.  The same ‘Tile-house’ is mentioned for example in a history of Staffordshire in 1686 (see image).

So how did it come by its name? It may be that several hundred years ago it was known as The Tiled House because of its unusual construction (other houses having thatched roofs). However an alternative (and we think more likely) explanation is that it was named ‘Tile House’ for its connection to the trade in ceramics.

Less than 1km north of Tiled House Lane ceramic tiles have been in production for more than 200 years

We do know that The Tile(d) House had been occupied for centuries by owners of local industrial and mining operations.  In the 1600s it was steel production, in the 1700s glassworks and forges, and in the 1800s ironworks and collieries.  However we also know that the area is rich in clay and that, at least by the 1600s the occupants of the House were familiar with using kilns.  We may never actually know, but links with tile and brick making might originally have given the House its name.

Wherever its name came from we know that the remains of the last Tiled House lie somewhere under houses 44-46 and 55-60 (i.e. close to where the photo at the top of this page was taken).

Mullett Park, now home to grazing horses and rusting goal posts, is a high platform of Victorian colliery spoil. A visable legacy of the area’s industrial past, it is a survivor from the time of The Tiled House (Matthew Whitehouse, © Wolverhampton City Council)

What else links the area to the story of the Black Country?
As well as the The Tiled House itself, much of the legacy of the area’s industrial past has disappeared, but at least one feature survives.  The piece of green space behind the houses – Mullett Park – has an unusual profile, being raised high above the level of the street.  This is because it is actually a flattened pit mound.

Can you add to this story?
We would welcome any more you could add to the story of DY5 4LJ. It could be ancient history or something you know which happened recently. If you know something add it in the comment box below.

Where can I go to find out more?
> Search for more about Tiled House Lane and Pensnett on Black Country History, the catalogue of local museums and archives
> visit your local public archives – for Pensnett it is Dudley Archives & Local History Service
> Go to Tiled House Lane in Google Maps
> explore the Black Country landscape on one of these heritage trails

Go back to the ‘My Postcode History’ page

This briefing has been generously supported by English Heritage. Thanks to Matthew Whitehouse for his photos, and to Ben Artingstall for his help in researching this page. Advice was also provided by colleagues at Dudley Archives and Local History Service and Wolverhampton Historic Environment Service.

10 responses to “My Postcode History – DY5 4LJ

  1. My Grandfather lived in Tiled House Lane, in the in the crescent part in the middle of the estate. He took on the property brand new in around 1931/2 being rehoused there from slum dwellings on the site that now is Dell Stadium. My mother was around 18 months old at the time and grew up there with her siblings (3 more were born there after) The house had gas and electric lighting, 2 coal ranges, a coal fired wash-boiler, with also linked to the hot bath tap. Under the kitchens of Tiled House Estate council houses was soft water well , 6 feet deep fed by downpipe from roof harvesting rainwater accessed by sink hand-pump. This system was phased out by the construction of the cul de sac next to the nursery Bridgend Croft. There are a dozen or more designs of house on the prewar majority stock of dwellings on the estate all in the Arts And Crafts style the same of which are found in Glynne Avenue Kingswinford, and Ashwood Avenue Wordsley

  2. Thanks Simon, this is a great story and a nice piece of social history. The comments on the house designs and comparisions with other local streets are really useful too.

  3. yes my pleasure, some of my best childhood memories are of at my grandads (no 72) and my aunts (no 137 Tiled House Lane) and several other cousins etc living on the estate …in those days it was a close knit loving community where everyone looked out for each other

    Another fine example of Arts and Crafts cottages is Stream Park at the bottom of Bromley Lane adjoining Stream Road ..50 parlour type cottages the construction of which began during the 1914-18 war probably one of the councils earliest developments in the area? again all the dwellings benefitted from the underground soft water wells, a mix of red brick and rendered finishes, georgian-bar timber casements on the majority except the two blocks of four- bedroomed.. which had sliding sash windows, twin in the main rooms like Rookery Park, Brooklands and Gorsty Avenue Stream Park”s sister estate..Grove Park is at Wallheath and is made up of a mix of the identical 5 house designs

  4. Simon, thanks again. We are wondering if the link between all these houses might be that the were all designed by the architect A. T. Butler (1872-1952). We know that he worked for Kingswinford RDC between the wars and they seem to have a lot of features that crop up in his other work (like the Cradley Workers’ Institute for example).

  5. maybe you are right i would love to know more myself …am interested in finding out now!

  6. have found out now Albert Thomas Butler did have to do with the designs of some of these cottages …especially at Stream Park and Grove Park …his specialities on them were the diagonal angled central chimney stacks , dormers and circular windows

  7. Thanks very much Simon. Would love to have more detail.

  8. There is a photo of Tiled House in Ned Williams’ book ‘Brierley Hill in Old Photographs: Brockmoor, Bromley and Pensnett’.It’s the only one i have found but if anyone knows of others it would be great to know.

  9. yes I think it was demolished in the late 1920s ready for the construction of the council estate….

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