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).
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.
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).
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
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.