Moseley Village developed through the Victorian era as roads were laid out to provide homes for the gentrified people looking for somewhere to live outside of the cramped and noisy conditions of Birmingham. The shopping area with the splendid green and nearby St Mary’s Church offers many visual links back to the Victorian era. The expansion of the area was marked by the opening of the railway station in 1867 and then the addition of St Anne’s Church in 1874. Moseley was a growing commuter belt population.
Moseley and the surrounding areas continued to be developed after 1910, being built upon the once extensive farm land that was predominant in this area. Those days of the nineteenth century were recalled by one Mrs Haden when she was interviewed twenty years ago:
He (Father) was born in 1874 in Woodbridge Road, Moseley on the site of the Police Station. He walked across the fields to Moseley National School. His sister was a teacher at the same school without going to college, at a wage of 18 shillings a week.
He must have walked across the wooden bridge across the station across Church Road, which would have been a country lane and across probably two fields to the school.
The tranquillity of Victorian Moseley was a contrast to the bustle of nearby Balsall Heath as this report in The Dart of 3rd July 1891 explains:
“What a pity that a fine thoroughfare like the Moseley Road should dwindle into such a notoriously common promenade. It is almost worse that Broad Street and the Bristol Road. Every evening after 8 o’clock the people who are to be met there are not the ‘A’ order. Saturday and Sunday evenings it is even worse, the thoroughfare being not very suitable for a respectable person to walk along. It is a great pity, as many ladies would prefer doing their shopping in the cool of the evening, and are prevented in this because they do not care to jostle with the people they would be bound to meet there.”
For more information, click on the links below:
Old Moseley is a description of life in Victorian Moseley.
The Beadle, the Vergers and the Choristers is an article by Rob Brown about some of the characters at St Mary’s Church in Victorian times.
A booklet on Victorian Moseley can be seen on the HLF Project Booklets page
To see the gallery of Victorian postcards click HERE