Local History

For a Quick Search for articles  – see the Index of Buildings and Places and the Moseley People page

The Society has an active and enthusiastic History Group which carries out research on local history topics and organises talks, walks and visits.  The Group has built up an extensive Collection of  archived and catalogued documents, photographs and artefacts relating to Moseley’s history, which are used in our research.  For more details, visit the About the History Group page and the Moseley History Collection page.  To contact us send an email to our new email address –  moseleyhistory@gmail.com(Please use this new address in future although any mail sent to our old Exchange address will be temporarily forwarded on.)  There are many opportunities for further interesting research and we welcome new volunteers.  To find out more or to join our group, click here.

Next event in the Moseley Society Programme

On Thursday 10th January 2019 at 7.30 there will be a talk entitled ‘Discovering the Building Stones of Birmingham – a journey back into the depths of time’ by John and Julie Schroder.  The talk, which is based on a guided walk, will reveal how fossils are clearly visible on a number of the buildings in Birmingham City Centre, even on the latest developments such as Grand Central. For example, you will be shown a picture of Birmingham Town Hall, focussing in on a small section and a magnified fossil of a coral – which is one of many that can be seen on close scrutiny. 

As usual, the meeting will start at 7.30 in the Orange Room at Moseley Exchange, 153 Alcester Road.  The entrance is through the arch by the Post Office and there is a lift. Refreshments will be served and donations towards costs will be welcomed.  Members are encouraged to bring guests.

 Click here to read the full Moseley Society Programme for 2018 – 2019 .

Recent Additions to the website

New –  Hannah Williams has recently chosen to do a history project on Percy Jeeves as part of her school’s commemoration of the 1918 Armistice. Click to see a picture of Hannah displaying her project and a close-up of Hannah’s project on Percy Jeeves. Well done, Hannah! You can also read the History Group’s story of Percy Jeeves the cricketer who played for Moseley Cricket Club and who was killed on the Western Front in 1916.

New –  Three new additions describe the stories of Major Percival Thomas Priestley RAMC, the great-great-great nephew of Joseph Priestley, Second Lieutenant James Mennie and Lance-Corporal George Frederick Lane.  Previous articles about men killed in action in 1918 and commemorated on the St Mary’s war memorial relate to Lieutenant Grahame Heath, eldest son of George Heath, founder of George Heath Motors, and Gunner Albert Edward Eaton .  Click to read these articles or see the web page on men killed in 1918.

New – Other recent additions include an article on Captain Roger Cholmeley MC and an  updated article on  “Jack the war hero and Dora his widow who became a Lady – a Moseley tale of love”  by Jim Hone.  Click to view.  There is also a piece about  Andrew Franklin CVO, a British diplomat in China, who bequeathed much of his impressive collection of Chinese ceramics and art to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and who was exposed to considerable danger due to being stranded in Germany during World War 1 as a consequence of his mother visiting her German family at the outbreak of war.

New –  A spreadsheet listing the 198 men from Moseley killed in World War 1 who were commemorated on the ten Moseley War Memorials and the Wintersloe School Roll of Honour, with photographs of those memorials, plus a Schools’ Educational Package providing useful references for teachers planning projects for schoolchildren to commemorate the anniversary of Armistice Day.  See the World War 1 Project page.

New – An article on the origins and  history of Toc H (click to view), founded to provide fellowship and support for soldiers during World War 1, and the role it has subsequently played in Moseley and Birmingham over the past century to help the disadvantaged in British society.

New – A new article on the history of Wintersloe School is available to view (click to read). The group has started a project on the history of Wintersloe School and is interested in anyone who would like to help or who can provide further information.  For more information, visit our Projects  page.

New Acquisitions

The History Group has recently received a generous donation of seventeen books about the history of Birmingham with many references to Moseley including photographs. Click here for details of these new acquisitions.


Mappa Moseley project by Andy_Underscore

Andy_Underscore has been carrying out some very interesting work digitising the 1838 tithe maps of the Kings Norton Parish, including the land use and names of the land parcels as they appear in the accompanying tithe book (both of which are available to view in Birmingham Library).  The map is still work in progress but the eventual aim is to map the entirety of the Parish of Kings Norton (of which Moseley, Kings Heath, Stirchley, Cotteridge were all part of before they became part of Birmingham).  To find out more about this project visit https://andyunderscore.com/maps/


History Group’s appearance on BBC Midlands Today

On Thursday 29th June  Linda and Graham Richards from the USA visited the History Group to present us with a photograph of Second Lieutenant William Furse which Graham bought in a Stratford-on-Avon antique shop 15 years ago.  BBC Midlands Today were there to film the event which was broadcast on that evening’s news programme. Click HERE   to read more.

Donation of bills and receipts

We have received a donation of bills and receipts from the 1940s-1960s for shops in Moseley and Kings Heath which belonged to Margaret Gilbert of School Road and which shed interesting insights on the period. For example there are many bills/receipts for George J Mason Ltd., Grocers & Provisions, a shop many of you might remember.

Along with these we have been given a Book of the Minutes of the National Council for Women Birmingham Branch for 1945-6 to 1954 which also contains lists of Officers of the Council.

We have catalogued these items, but we are looking for someone interested in doing some further research on them.




 The History Group is currently running a project on World War 1 and has started a new project on Wintersloe School   If you would like to join in or read more, visit our Projects  page.

The History of Moor Green Allotments web page, resulting from a previous History Group project, provides a link to the official booklet on the history of the allotments, a timeline and web articles showing how allotments developed over the past 250 years, together with an account of the 40th Anniversary Celebration Show at Moor Green Allotments on  3rd September with the Lord Mayor as guest of honour.

Blood’s Map of Birmingham and its Environs (1857) is available to be viewed on the Brief History of Moseley page.

The Birmingham Historic Landscape project is an online source that provides a dynamic representation of how land use in Birmingham has changed over the centuries, overlaying historic maps on to the present day street pattern.  For further information see a presentation on Mapping Birmingham’s Historic Landscape from our evening talk on Tuesday 6th October and   Brief Instructions on how to use Birmingham Historic Landscape mapping system.  You can  access the Birmingham City Council Historic Landscape Characterisation web page (with links to all the mapping pages) by clicking here.


The History of Moseley

Between 1850 and 1910 Moseley developed from a rural village centred around Moseley Hall and St Mary’s Church into a fashionable suburb with fine Victorian houses, many built in the arts and crafts style.  To read more see a Brief History of Moseley.

Articles on Moseley and its history have been organised under three pages:  Buildings and Businesses, Moseley People and Moseley Life and Memories.  Click to read more.