• Welcome to this forum . We are a worldwide group with a common interest in Birmingham and its history. While here, please follow a few simple rules. We ask that you respect other members, thank those who have helped you and please keep your contributions on-topic with the thread.

    We do hope you enjoy your visit. BHF Admin Team

The Custard House Blake St

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Hobmoor road seems to have come into existence between 1868 and 1872, as can be seen from this extract from the 1872 directory for the same length of road. The laurels seem to be in about the same place.
Mike
 

db84124

Brummophile
I'll never cease to be amazed at what the members of the Forum are capable of !!! Where on earth did you find these, Colin? If only the word "wood" on the third map (Map 15) were "orchard", we would be a step in the right direction to solving this enigma. Let's all keep up the excellent work! David
 

db84124

Brummophile
The Custard House, Blake Lane

Good morning all,
As I wrote in Post #53, a few days ago I sent a letter to the hon. secretary of the Small Heath Local History Society who very kindly passed it on to her daughter, Dr Chris Shelley. Yesterday I received a lengthy reply to my enquiry regarding the origin of the strange pub name “The Custard House” from Dr Shelley and I have had her permission to post her interesting reply in its entirety; please see the attachment.

There are two or three things which I would like to discuss with Dr Shelley but due to my heavy family commitments during a hectic February, I am unable to ask her opinion on a number of observations at present. I will willingly leave Dr Shelley’s additional information in your capable hands for discussion and comment.
Hoping to be in touch shortly – best wishes, David


View attachment The Custard House (improved).doc
 
Last edited:
C

colin walker

Guest
Brill db
i think that explanation sounds perfect and matches all the findings that keep coming up.
colin
 
C

colin walker

Guest
Thinking about the custard house pub as would have been an orchard. They probably grew the costard cooking apple as these were very large apples and with the rib down them . i think if i,m not mistaken these were more widley availble than the bramleys we tend to get today.
 

db84124

Brummophile
Re: The Custard House, Blake Lane

Yes, Colin, you're quite right. We established in Post #34 that "the (Martin's Custard ) apple is (was?) much grown in the orchards conterminous with Northamptonshire and Leicestershire". Please see :
https://web.ukonline.co.uk/suttonelms/martins-custard.html
If the custard apple was so diffuse in Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, why not in Warwickshire?. In fact “conterminous” means “bordering” so Warwickshire would be a county in which the custard apple was “much grown”.
The doubt we're working on now is the true position of the original Custard House. I don't believe the orchard was in Blake Lane - although I personally, in the late '50s, can well remember there having been apple trees in the pub's "garden". I think it's beyond doubt that the pub took its name from a tavern which was in the same position on at least two 19th century maps. I believe the original Custard House was 300 yards away, in the corner between Yardley (now Yardley Green) Road and Hobmoor Road and its name was “recycled” when the first Custard House was demolished in about 1900.
It's likely that the Custard House near the corner between Yardley Road and Hobmoor Road in turn took its name from the Custard House Farm; or did it? Why wasn't the farm called simply “Custard Farm”? Having thought this through, I think it's far more likely that the Custard House Farm was named after a house which had been called the “Custard House” even before the farm bore the name.
So now – for the above logic – I maintain that the name was reused several times:

Custard House [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]→‪Custard House Farm→Custard House (corner)→Custard House Tavern→Custard House (pub)[/FONT]

We know that the building wasn't on the corner between Yardley Green Road and Hobmoor Road because in 1883/84 the house which occupied that position was called “The Laurels”.
Kind regards, David
 
C

colin walker

Guest
Hi david
If you look at the maps i posted . the area was split on blake lane. The border came up new bridge road ( yardley fields) and then turned right and split blake lane into two seperate areas.
So the first custard house pub would have been in little bromwich. And i believe little bromwich was given to a lords dughter from castle bromwich. These were all related to the original lord Bermingham from the 1400s. I have been tracing them but they do not show blake lane or hobmoor road as any importance . up until 1850 it was all farms but then the lord of the manor started selling because industrial birmingham was getting close.
colin
 

col h

master brummie
Havent got a clue what the connection might be, but istnt the top of Blake la/ Green La the highest point for miles around ?
 
C

colin walker

Guest
Yep i think it is 200m above sea level Thats why they built the old chest brach there.
 

db84124

Brummophile
I believe you're right, Colin. My father, who knew the Bordesley Green, Small Heath, Little Bromwich area exceptionally well - virtually house-to-house (not, he wasn't a burglary!!) - often said what you have just stated. And from my cycling days, I remember the stretch of Yardley Green Road between the Methodist Church (Blake Lane) and the Samson and Lion (Blakeland Street) was always a relief to reach because it was a gentle roll in any direction you wanted to go from there.
Wealthy people who could afford prime positions for their homes often chose the highest point for its imposing location and commanding view. We already know the old Custard House was a very important landmark simply because it was included on several 19th century maps.
Let's please keep “pooling” all available information as the smallest of clues could jog the memories of other Forum members. We have already got far, far further than previous efforts in cracking this strange name. David
 

Leslie

New Member
Thursday was a great night upstairs in the 1980s. The disco was great I made a lot of good friends.:encouragement:
 

deb kiely

proper brummie kid
i have just come across this thread.i have been looking into family history and found a copy of a lease agreement from mary haden spinster to john tonks farmer of a  messuage and land called the custard house farm near a place called the green lanes dated 24th september 1789,the tonks mentioned would be family members.i also found a lease agreement to do with another family member thomas tonks farmer of green lanes who leased part of his land for an addition to yardley church yard dated 24th may 1833.soz if i bore just get carried away.it may be the wrong custard house.Deb
 

db84124

Brummophile
Re: The Custard House, Blake Lane

Hello there, Deb,
I don't think it is a different "Custard House". It's such an unusual name that I think it must be the one on the Bordesley Green/ Small Heath border.
Here's a map of the area in 1890; you can see the Custard House (Custard Ho) at the junction of the four named roads. The present Custard House pub in Blake Lane - not Street, as in the original title to the tread - is entitled "Custard House Tavern".

1890  Birmingham - Warwickshire.jpg

I have also encircled "Green Lane Farm" to illustrate the intense farming carried out in this part of what is now Birmingham until the end of the 19th century.
In the area beneath the writing "Little Bromwich", there are now the three streets called Second, Third, and Fourth Avenue. First Avenue is just off the left-hand side of the map.
"Yardley church yard" would probably refer to Yardley Old Church (St Edburgha's), which is little more than 1½ miles away down the Yardley Green Road.
Thank you for contributing to and, hopefully, bringing to life this fascinating thread.
David
 

Dbgraham51

proper brummie kid
Hi David,
We were there at the same time!, I lived off the Hobmoor Road (Fosbrooke Road) between 1953-1965.
I always used the Custard House and played snooker there 3 times a week, me and my mate Jimmy Cooke used to go out with the gaffers daughters, but sadly he had a heart attack one
Sunday morning and died, we never saw them again.
Small world eh.
Hi, do you recall someone who worked at Bennetts Butcher Shop and often drank at the Custard House?
 

Dbgraham51

proper brummie kid
The Custard House, Blake Lane




That's the one, John. Just 50 yards up the road from where I lived between August 1957 and September 1967.
Hope you're well, David
Are you aware of someone from Bennett’s Butchers that frequented the Custard House formamdrink?
 
Top