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The Early History of Stowlawn by Frank Sharman
1. The Name Stow Lawn
Stowlawn within the old manor of Stow Heath,
which covered an area from the centre of Wolverhampton eastwards to
cover the whole of Bilston (but not Bradley). What is now the
Greyhound and Punchbowl pub was the manor house.
Originally, it seems, “stow” simply meant “a place”, so
Stow Heath meant “the place which is a heath”. But by 1066 or so it usually
meant “a place connected with the church”. So Stow Heath would mean “the heath
belonging to or in some way connected with the church”. In this case it must
have been St. Peter’s, as St.Leonard’s was a chapel of ease only.
;“Lawn” comes from the Middle English word “launde”, which
meant a clearing in woodland or pasture land. I do not know how far
back “Stowlawn” goes. It might be a later invention. But if it is
not then it means something like “the pasture associated with the
church”. The name was adopted by the council for its housing estate
but was not invented by them – the land on which it was built had
previously been owned by the
Stow Lawn Colliery Company .
2. Council housing in Bilston before WW2
Between the first world war and the outbreak
of the second Bilston council had built two large estates, the Lunt,
mainly built in the 1920s; and the Villiers estate, mainly built in
the 1930s. These large estates were standard streets of houses
without much in the way of community facilities in them.
|Pre-war council houses
||Pre-war council houses – Lunt Area
“Castle Houses”, 1947
The council also built smaller groups of houses which
included some pretty unusual designs, the houses now known as
“castle houses” from the fact that their projecting staircases had
the appearance of bastions along a city wall. The date at which all
these was built is not established but some of them may have been
pre-war thought most now seem to have been post war. Plans exist
with the name of the Borough Architect on them but it seems likely
that the designs were heavily influenced by Ella Briggs (see
All building came to a halt throughout World War 2 , But at
least very little housing in Bilston was lost to enemy action.
The story continues with The Development
and Construction Committee