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Jordans Grave - Oscott

Nicholas

master brummie
Hi,

Would anyone have any relevant information on the place / area known as Jordans Grave in the Oscott region please?

I already have the widely available blurb on the site - i.e. stuff that can be found on the net, plus a few general odds and sots from the local archives, etc - but is there any other data on the place to be found anywhere.

I've had the site in my peripheral vision for quite some time now and wonder whether it is the actual name of a grave site (as widely indicated on many of the maps I've seen), or a more general reference to a wider ranging area(?) I wonder if there are any descriptions of the grave itself anywhere?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

All the best for 2010 to all!!

Nick
 

Kevkonk

master brummie
I wonder if Maryvale College, New Oscott College, would have knowledge of this as they have had a long long history in this area and as a College may have accurate records.
 

Kevkonk

master brummie
Found this reference

Thomas Walsh (1818-1826) became Vicar Apostolic of the Midland District, and Henry Weedall became president (1825-40). Under the direction of the pious and courteous Weedall, the man who more than any other created the spirit of Oscott, the institution progressed till the buildings were no longer able to accommodate the number of pupils. Plans of a new college, on the lines of Wadham College, Oxford, were prepared by Joseph Potter, the cathedral architect of Lichfield. A rich and providential bequest, together with the gifts of the clergy and faithful, supplied the means; and in less than three years a stately Gothic pile arose on an eminence two miles from the old college. The new edifice is situated at the extreme north of Warwickshire, some six miles from the center of Birmingham, and was built on a piece of ground overgrown with heather and gorse at the edge of the Sutton Coldfield common. The name of Oscott has been transferred to the new site, previously associated with the name of Jordan's Grave.

https://oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=Oscott
 

Kevkonk

master brummie
Jordans Grave


B73 - Grid reference SP098943




First record 1656


At the junction of the Chester Road and College Road at New Oscott, this is a name of unknown origin. This was an area notorious at the time for highway robberies. It possibly recalls the hanging of a highwayman here. The name appears on a map in William Dugdale's Antiquities of Warwickshire which was published in 1656.




I guess you already have these bits of information from the net. I notice this area is very close to the Gibbet that used to be on the Fosseway.
 

Nicholas

master brummie
Hi KevKonk,

Aye - thanks, but I think I've exhausted the net re. references on this subject, to be honest. Laugh!

I have contacted the College itself over this matter and they deny any knowledge on the subject.

Al the best,

Nick
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
Nicholas there are so many Oscotts in the area. New Oscott Old Oscott Oscott Central etc. We are in the Oscott Ward and have never hear of Jordons grave and tte brother in law lives by the college and has not heard of it either. I wish you luck and hope you eventually find it. Jean.
 

Nicholas

master brummie
Nicholas there are so many Oscotts in the area. New Oscott Old Oscott Oscott Central etc. We are in the Oscott Ward and have never hear of Jordons grave and tte brother in law lives by the college and has not heard of it either. I wish you luck and hope you eventually find it. Jean.

Hi Jean,

I do know where the area known as Jordans Grave actually is..... Oscott College is built on the site. The area stands at the very corner of Chester and College Road. The site is quite well known, historically speaking, and it is logged on a number of old maps of the area concerned.

My main interest in the matter was the contradictory information regarding the site itself, the bulk of which appears completely erroneous. Most historical notes on the site claims it was the grave of a pedlar, or murderer of a pedlar - the crime taking place in 1729. Looking at info. mentioned in another thread started by KevKonk on the forum https://forum.birminghamhistory.co.uk/showthread.php?t=29326 it appears that the 1729 date is tied in with a totally unrelated murder in the area(?) Besides, the name Jordans Grave appears on a map - as KevKonk says above - dating from 1656....... so it couldn't possibly be down to a murder from 1729. It was all of this vague, contradictory data that interested me in the first place....

KevKonk - I think that the denial from Oscott College may have somethnig to do with the fact that they have, over the years, become part of the folklore associated with the alleged grave site. I'd guess that this was something they would most likely want to 'play-down' as much as posssible, perhaps!? Laugh!!

All the best,

Nick
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
Nicholas maybe they are afraid of grave thieves. We are passing the Colledge later and will try to take a photo if we are travelling slowly. Usually are up the Chester road. Jean.
 

Nicholas

master brummie
Nicholas maybe they are afraid of grave thieves. We are passing the Colledge later and will try to take a photo if we are travelling slowly. Usually are up the Chester road. Jean.

Hi Jean

The body itself (according to legend at least) was said to have been dug up and scattered many years ago (by parties unknown, of course!! Laugh!!) I visited the area quite recently - a member of our group only lives a few hundred yards away - during the last day or so of our recent snowfall and took some photos.

Re. spiritual influence on the region: this is how I came to learn of the matter in the first place, many years ago now - because of it's alleged ghostlore. Laugh!! The ghost of Jordan himself is said to haunt the region concerned - reported from the 1950's and into the 70's at least (apparently). He was invariably described as an overly-large man in long, dark cloak. Erdington ghost hunter, Colin Smith, investgated the matter in the mid-70's and appeared on local radio speaking on the subject, etc.

The grounds of Oscott College are (at least, according to the aforementioned Mr. Smith) allegedly haunted. God help any tramp who tries to get in there however, as it seems fastened up tighter than Fort Knox these days!! Laugh!! I had a bit of a dekko during my recent visit, but couldn't find even a slight chink in the Berlin-Wall-esque security..... Laugh!!!

All the best to everyone,

Nick
 
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Kevkonk

master brummie
The ghost of Jordan himself is said to haunt the region concerned - reported from the 1950's and into the 70's at least (apparently). He was invariably described as an overly-large man in long, dark cloak. Erdington ghost hunter, Colin Smith, investgated the matter in the mid-70's and appeared on local radio speaking on the subject, etc.

The above is creepy to learn,
Also the tramp. his was Jim, still about the area, has a beard.......
 

Kevkonk

master brummie
I recall a group of us taking that short cut home from the Oscott Tavern,around 1975, It was the first and last time for me, it was late at night, and we ended up running as fast as we could to get to the bracken which bordered Hurstwood Rd. Eeerie feeling came over us, white figure seen to our right as we got deeper into field, screams from the girls, shouts of 'Run!!!' from some of the blokes.

Others must have used this short cut, must be more on this....
 
M

Muldanian

Guest
I used to live at New Oscott and worked at St. Mary's college, and knew about the legend of Jordan. The story then was that he was a hanged highwayman, who used to hold up coaches on the London and Chester Road. It was said that he was buried at the crossroad of The London and Chester Road and Perry Lane (now College Road). Apparently it was common practice to bury convicted persons and suicides at crossroads. There were stones at the crossroad to mark Jordan's grave until the early 20th century. When working at New Oscott college, I never saw anything supernatural.
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
Its probably not surprising that there is little known of "Jordan's Grave" if it is mentioned as far back as 1656 by Dugdale. From the book "History of the Forest and Chase of Sutton Coldfield" L Braken, writing in 1860, says..."some spots as Welshman's Hill, Jordan's Grave, where tradition fails."

But he does indicate that Gibbet Hill was where a London silk merchant was murdered, and his murderer executed, in 1729. So there is no link to Jordan's Grave.
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
Its probably not surprising that there is little known of "Jordan's Grave" if it is mentioned as far back as 1656 by Dugdale. From the book "History of the Forest and Chase of Sutton Coldfield" L Braken, writing in 1860, says..."some spots as Welshman's Hill, Jordan's Grave, where tradition fails."

But he does indicate that Gibbet Hill was where a London silk merchant was murdered, and his murderer executed, in 1729. So there is no link to Jordan's Grave.
Strange to see the references to ghosts at Oscott College, during the day I would walk to New Oscott and College Road on the College side of Chester Road, at night I would hurry home on the other side always feeling that there was more their than just trees moving in the wind and dark, one or two of the people who lived in the houses facing the College would also claim to have seen ghosts, usually to be told by non sceptics that it was the trainee brothers walking and meditating. Me , if I got off the 107 tonight to walk to Court Lane it would still be on the of the road with houses and I would still walk quickly.
Bob
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
I have a theory that the Chester Road would've been in a slightly different place to the present day one. I don't think here is the best place to back that up as it would be going off topic but if anyone else has any information on this subject I would be very pleased to hear from them.
This map shows Jordan's grave in a slightly different place, it's where I believe the old crossroads would have been. The map is really a hand drawn sketch and as far as I can tell dates back to the very early 1800's. This route also appears to follow the current boundary which would make sense.
 

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Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
An interesting theory that there was a different position for the Chester Road. As Jordan's Grave was supposedly at the junction with the road from Perry Barr then it would be relevant.

On the 1880 map it can be seen that the boundary between Warks and Staffs follows the road from Perry Barr but takes a sharp left just before the junction with the Chester Road and joins it close to the Beggars Bush. Looking at the 1834 map the same can be argued, but with the scale it is difficult to be sure.

The map above shows a road extending beyond the junction and on to Sutton, and this would suggest it was dated after the proposed road of 1827 that would join Jockey Road. The map places Jordan in Warks and looks as if the boundary would take its sharp left on the opposite side of the road?
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hi pen..you are ok to post on here re jordans grave as it is the jordans grave thread:)

lyn
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
Thanks Lyn, it was more the theory of the Chester Road being re-routed that I was thinking was off-topic. It would be lovely to discover proof that it was.

Pedrocut, I had thought that it was earlier than the date you suggest as Goosemoor Lane goes straight on to Chester Road in this sketch and I understand that it didn't turn into Court Lane until after 1801 but I'm really interested to hear anything to the contrary.
There is an old note at the bottom of the map 'this is the place referred to in annexed award' and a more recent note 'with award at Warwick'. So it looks like a trip to Warwick doesn't it? Thanks for the info.

Viv, that's interesting, so far the poor bloke has been a murderer, a victim and now a suicide! The only thing we can be sure of is he's dead - or is he? Was it just someone named Jordan saying 'that looks like a grave' and everyone adopting it as his? I think I've got quite a lot of things to look at as I didn't know that this was what happened to suicides. I knew they had to be buried in unconsecrated ground but not at crossroads. Thanks.

On another note; I have never liked this stretch of the road even before I found out about it's gruesome history of graves and gibbets, and it's quite a family joke that I always turn left onto Monmouth Drive and come home through Boldmere unless I have to go to that part of the road for any reason.
 
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