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Early history | Kings Norton local history | Birmingham City Council

Early history

By the Tudor period Kings Norton Village had begun to develop a trading and manufacturing centre of wool and pottery. Links with burgeoning towns were developed and a market charter was awarded in 1616. The land remained royal during the Civil War and was regularly used by the Royalist Army as a base when travelling through the area.

In the graveyard surrounding the church stands a 15th century timber framed building, the 'Old Grammar School', where in the 17th century Thomas Hall was the headmaster. His library of books is one of the special collections preserved in the Library of Birmingham.

Thomas Hall became curate and Headmaster of Kings Norton in 1640, and was a writer not afraid to express his views on a range of subjects, amongst them women. Thomas Hall was a parliamentarian during the civil war and suffered abuse because of his opinions.

The Saracen's Head next door to the church, now the Parish Office and meeting room, was originally a wool merchant's house, but in more recent times has been a public house and a shop. Kings Norton was mainly Royalist during the civil war and Queen Henrietta Maria came to the area leading a replacement army. The Queen slept in the Saracens Head while the soldiers camped on land behind the Church. Following the visit a room in the Saracen's Head became the 'Queen's Room' and various roads commemorate the visit e.g. Camp Lane.