Sunday, 23 June 2013

Fazeley in Staffordshire

From my volume South Staffordshire Street Names comes this excerpt looking at the origins of every street name in Fazeley, near Tamworth, Staffordshire. Even those who have never heard of the place will have heard of the most famous development here, the theme park of Drayton Manor Park, itself occupying the estate of the former lords of the manor, the Peel family. This name may ring a bell as the man who is often considered the founder of the police force.

Undoubtedly the major influence on Fazeley over the last two centuries has been the Peel family, both directly and indirectly and in a number of ways. While Peel Court takes the family name, Drayton Manor Drive served their estate of that name, Swiss Lodge Drive was named for the style of building found there. Victoria Road and Albert Steet recall the visit to the Peel estate in 1843 by the queen and her consort.

Destination names are also represented by Atherstone Street, Coleshill Road and Coleshill Street, Lichfield Street, and Tamworth Road. Brook End marks the termination of the Bourne Brook, and of course Bourne Avenue refers to the same thing; Broomfield Avenue the club of that name, itself an old field name; Mill Lane led to the old mill, New Mill Lane to the more recent mill on Bourne Brook; New Street was aptly named when it was first developed; and Tame Court takes the name of the nearby river. Marina View is a new development which affords excellent views of the marina. The Anson family were still resident at Bonehill Lodge at the end of the 19th century, hence the name of Anson Court.

Tolson Avenue remembers one of Fazeley's major employers. Wm Tolson Ltd was the mill known to all as Tolson's Old Mill and this road was cut on this land. William Tolson took over the mill from the Peels in the 1830s and, 50 years later, had built his own factory. The huge building on the banks of the canal was, as with the vast majority of Victorian factories, powered by steam. The adjacent canal and the springs not only supplied ample water to drive the machinery, but also provided the perfect artery for transporting goods into Birmingham and beyond.

Buxton Avenue marks the family who include Samuel Buxton, owner of the Bleachworks in 1835, and Dr Thomas Buxton, landowner in 1939. Mayfair Drive marks the location of the Mayfair Garage, demolished in the late 20th century.

The Deer Park Estate has its own theme reflecting the deer found on the former Drayton estate. Deer Park Road, Fallow Road and Reindeer Road speak for themselves, yet others are much less obvious. Sambra Road features the name of a deer native to southern Asia; Rangifer Road features the scientific name for the caribou; Dama Road is the scientific name for the fallow deer; and Mayama Road should have been named Mazama after the deer from South America, however it seems as if someone has written it longhand and it has been misread as a 'y' instead of 'z'.

As with most places there are a number of names which have been coined for reasons unknown and, without records being kept, the origins are a mystery. Beekes Croft, Burlington Court, Tongue Terrace, Victory Terrace, Wrighton Grove and Yorksand have produced a number of suggestions, all of which appear to have been given after the naming of the places rather than the reverse.

I would welcome any suggestions for themes or subjects, or even specific words to examine the origins, meanings and etymologies. I’d be delighted to hear from you.


  1. Just a quick comment to say that on the Deer Park Estate it is Samba Road, not SambRa Road. Sorry to be pedant.

    1. Popped along to have a look - and we were both wrong!