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Quinton: A short history

Windmill Farm, Ridgacre Lane, Quinton


Quinton lies around five miles west of the city centre along the Hagley Road West. Originally it was a small village, also known as "Ridgeacre", and was home to a mixture of small farms and nail-making industries. It now stretches to the borders of Halesowen, Warley and Harborne.

In 1894 a map showed Quinton as being along High Street and Bissell Street, whilst the agricultural land around it was known as Ridgeacre. Farms included, Red Hall Farm, near to where Quinton Library now is; Windmill Farm along Ridgeacre Lane; Ridgeacre Farm by the junction of Quinton Road West and Ridgeacre Lane; Four Dwellings Farm where Four Dwellings School is and Mopbeggar Farm near to Moats Meadow.

The early 1900s

Quinton was not part of Birmingham in 1900, but work, services and transport, tied the population to Birmingham. On November 9th 1909, Quinton became part of Birmingham.
In a speech, the Lord Mayor, Sir George Kendrick said that Quinton had "green fields and tree-clad hills" everywhere. However, this was soon about to change! Only residential homes were planned for the area. This was due to the gentry of Edgbaston not wanting unpleasant odours from factories reaching them, as the wind blew from Quinton to Edgbaston!

The mid 1900s

During these years lots of housing developments started as the city expanded outwards. 366 homes were built on the Tennal Hall Estate on the Harborne border.
A further 525 were built to the south and to the west there were 828.
Between 1945 and 1957, 737 homes were built on the Quinton Estate. Quinton's "green fields and tree clad hills" were becoming less and less.

The late 1900s

The landscape of Quinton was to change drastically when, in the 1960s, the M5 motorway and the feeder road, the Quinton Expressway, ploughed a great gash through the area. Work started in 1964 and 30 houses were demolished. The Quinton section was completed between 1967 and 1970 and is mostly sunken, so it can't be seen from the old village. Where once there was the sound of nail bashing , there was now the roar of motorway traffic!

Today, the area is still residential. Most of its green spaces have disappeared, although some do remain. Quinton Meadows (a site of importance for nature conservation), borders the M5 and the new business park recently built on some of the Meadow land. The recreation ground still remains - a small patch of land near the M5.

Quinton has come a long way since those days of isolated farms and a small village centre.

Photographs of Quinton

A selection of Local Studies archive photographs of Quinton :

1900 - 1939

1940 - 2000


The following books were referred to for the text.

Bernard Taylor - Quinton (Images of England) (2002)

Anthony N. Rosser -The Quinton and Round About, Volume 1(1998)

Anthony N. Rosser -The Quinton and Round About, Volume 2 (1999)

They are available for reference in the Archives and Heritage service in Birmingham Central Library.

You may also search for lending copies of books on the Library Catalogue.You can use "Quinton" as a keyword , in the Keyword Search.


Do you have any memories of life in Quinton you'd like to share? Have you any old photos of the area or the people, you could send in for us to accompany your memories? Please fill in the form below to contribute.

Quinton Library

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