- Sutton Coldfield
infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Sutton Coldfield
region= West Midlands
metropolitan_county = West Midlands
population= 105,452 (2001 Census)
post_town= SUTTON COLDFIELD
postcode_district = B72 - B76
static_image_caption=Sutton Coldfield Town Hall
Sutton Coldfield (Audio|en-uk-SuttonColdfield.ogg|pronunciation) is a town within the City of Birmingham, in the West Midlands of England. Sutton (as it is often abbreviated to) is located about convert|8|mi|km|0 from central Birmingham, in the northeast of the city, and has a population of about 105,452. It forms part of the
West Midlands conurbation.
Local Government Act 1972came into force in 1974, Sutton Coldfield was a municipal boroughin its own right and part of Warwickshire, with the title of "Royal Town". Many signs still record this fact.
The earliest known human developments in Sutton Coldfield are found in
Sutton Park. Several earth mounds have been discovered in the park dating to pre-Roman times. Amongst these mounds are cooking sites, identifiable from the charred and cracked stones within them. The Sutton Park fire of 1921 uncovered more mounds and broken stones, leading to excavations by the Birmingham Archaeological Society in 1926 and then publishing their report on their findings in 1927. Flint arrowheads have also been discovered within Sutton Park by German prisoners-of-warduring World War II, who were allegedly allowed to take them back to Germany. Another set of flint weapons were uncovered by a gardener in Thornhill Road. The first signs of a developing settlement are also located in Sutton Park, near Blackroot Pool. Noted first in 1904 by Midgley, they were described as earthworks "untouched by the plough".
A preserved section of
Icknield Streetis located within the park, showing the presence of Romans in the area. The preserved length runs for 1.5 miles through the park. It is believed that Roman soldiers may have encamped on Rowton's Hill in Sutton Park, as the name denotes "the camp on the hill". There has been little archaeological work on the road though a short trench was dug in February 1936 and another in May 1936. Amongst the finds in the trenches and in other areas of the park were Roman coins from the reigns of Constantine Iand Diocletian.
Upon the Roman departure to protect the empire on the mainland in the 5th century, the area of Sutton Coldfield, still undeveloped, passed into the kingdom of
Mercia. It is during this period that it is believed Sutton Coldfield may have developed as a hamlet and also received its name. A hunting lodge was built at Maney Hill and became known as Southun or Sutton; "ton" meaning townstead to the south of Tamworth, the capital of Mercia. Middleton is situated between the two. "Coldfield" denotes an area of land on the side of hill, that is exposed to the weather. It may also denote a place where charcoal burning took place. As a result of the hunting lodge at Maney Hill, the area developed into a hamlet. In 1071, Sutton Coldfield, along with the rest of Mercia, passed into the possession of the Crown, resulting in Sutton Chase becoming a royal forest.
At the time of the
Domesday Book, Sutton was rated at eight hides making it larger than all surrounding villages in terms of cultivated land. A manor was established in Sutton Coldfield at what became known as Manor Hill during Norman times. The manor was given to Henry I's son, Earl Roger, in exchange for the manors of Hockham and Langham in Rutland. As Sutton Forest was no longer in the possession of the Crown, it was renamed Sutton Chase. After Earl Roger's death, in 1153, a survey of his possessions was carried out by Pope Alexander who notes Sutton as being of 3 hides. It is also noted that this was given to the Priory of Trentham.
The Sutton manor prospered, as did the developing village. In 1300, Guy,
Earl of Warwick, was granted a charter to hold a marketon each Tuesday and an annual fair on the eve of Holy Trinity, in Sutton Coldfield. The market town further prospered, though not at the rate the nearby market town of Birminghamdid. It was decided that Sutton needed a chapel, and so the free chapel of St. Blaize was constructed within the grounds of Sutton manor. The chapel survived up until Tudor times, when it was destroyed.
Another church was built on a hill, 400 feet above sea level. The first incumbent was ordained in 1305. This was to become Holy Trinity Church, and it became the local parish church. During the 14th century, Sutton Coldfield had also acquired other buildings such as
New Hall Manor, Peddimore Halland Langley Hall, all of which were moated. New Hall has been expanded and altered, though part of the original structure remains, Peddimore Hall has been completely reconstructed with the current building dating to the 17th century, and Langley Hall has been completely demolished though parts of Langley Hall Farm and the moat remain. The oldest house in the Sutton district is The Grove, a cruck-framed building, though its history is unknown.
In 1419, Sir
Ralph Bracebridgeobtained a lease for his lifetime on the Manor and Chase of Sutton Coldfield, from the Earl of Warwick. Sutton Coldfield became an important training location for English soldiers during the wars between England and France. Butts were constructed across the town for archery training, and marks can still be seen in the sandstone wall on 3 Coleshill Street where archers sharpened their arrows. It is believed that 3 Coleshill Street is of medieval origin despite having a Georgian façade. Bracebridge is remembered as having dammed Ebrook to form Bracebridge Pool in Sutton Park. He used this pool for fishing, and occasionally allowed the local residents to fish there too.
Wars of the Rosesput an end to the period of prosperity that Sutton Coldfield was undergoing. It fell into decay and poverty became widespread. The Earl of Warwick was killed in the war, and the manor of Sutton Coldfield was passed into the possession of the Crown. The markets and fairs in the town ceased, and the town depopulated. Having lost its importance, the Sutton manor was demolished, with the building materials being reused in the construction of a mansion at Bradgate in Leicestershire.
It was during this period that John Harman grew up, working at Moor Hall Farm. He studied at
Magdalen College, Oxford. He formed a friendship with Thomas Wolseyand started a career in the church, beginning with his appointment as chaplain at the free chapel of St Blaize in Sutton. Harman continued to be promoted and developed a position working for the monarchy. In 1519, Harman was appointed Bishop of Exeterand changed his surname to Vesey, thus becoming John Vesey. Vesey used his position within the church, and the substantial wealth that came with his status, to help Sutton Coldfield out of the period of depression. He revived the markets, introduced paving of the roads, founded a grammar school and constructed 51 large stone cottages around Sutton Coldfield for the poor. One of his most well-known actions was to convince his friend King Henry VIII to give the hunting land in Sutton Coldfield to the residents. This was to become Sutton Park. Vesey died at Moor Hall in Sutton Coldfield in 1555. His actions helped regenerate Sutton Coldfield, and parts of his legacy remain. Some of the stone cottages still exist, the grammar school exists today as Bishop Vesey's Grammar Schooland his additions and improvements to Holy Trinity Church remain. He is remembered through various places being granted the name Vesey, including the Birmingham City Council ward Sutton Veseyand the memorial gardens adjacent to Holy Trinity Church, Vesey Gardens.
Sutton Coldfield continued to expand and grow wealthier following the death of Vesey. The town was barely affected by the
English Civil War, though it is known that it was visited by both Parliamentary and Royalist soldiers. Following the civil war, Sutton's royal charter was renewed. In 1668, Sutton Coldfield sustained extensive damage when the dam holding back Wyndley Pool collapsed following a heavy storm. The water flooded into Sutton Coldfield destroying many homes. The flooding also caused Bracebridge Pool to break its banks on July 24, however, this did not cause as much damage.
Another man who rose to prominence in the area was William Wilson who married a local landowner. He was responsible for the design and construction of Four Oaks Hall and the Moat House, his home. The Four Oaks estate was built by Lord Ffolliot, an Irish peer. During this time, the Sacheverell family became proprietors to New Hall. After becoming unpopular in Birmingham, they had moved to a new residence at New Hall and preached at the local parish church.
At the turn of the 18th century, Sutton Coldfield was introduced to industry. The manufacture of blades, gun barrels, spades and spade handles as well as the grinding of knives, bayonets and axes, further helped the town prosper. Mills were set up along the pools in Sutton Park and on the banks of Ebrook. A cotton spinning machine was tested at Powells Pool Mill (demolished in 1936) by John Wyatt with the help of
Lewis Paul. These mills were not the first in Sutton Coldfield, as there had been windmills at Maney Hill and Langley Hall, but these were the first mills constructed for industrial purposes in the town. It has been claimed that the first all-steel garden fork was produced in the town. Pools that had been drained during the 17th century for rich meadow land were recreated in the 18th century, as well as new pools such as Blackroot Pool and Longmoor Pool.
Sutton Coldfield's economy witnessed a boom in that the residents were now experiencing new luxuries, such as seafood. Products for sale in the town were 10% more expensive than in the neighbouring villages. In 1791, following the
Priestley Riotsin Birmingham, William Hutton, whose home had been attacked by protesters, travelled to Sutton Coldfield to stay for the summer. Rioting was supposedly due to spread to Sutton Coldfield. It was believed that John Horsfall's home at Penns, in the south of Sutton, was a target for the protesters and so cavalry arrived to protect it. No rioting took place. Despite this, Hutton was forced to move to Tamworth when local residents objected to his arrival, fearing his presence would encourage the rioters to come to the town.
The first census of Sutton Coldfield took place in 1801. It recorded that the town had a population of 2,847. The following census of 1811 recorded that this had risen to 2,959. This was partially down to the construction of barracks to the east to accommodate the Edinburgh and Sussex Militias, the 7th Dragoon Guards and a Brigade of Artillery. In 1813, the Sutton Coldfield Corporation announced they would open all springs in the town to the public in the belief they may have healing properties. The proposals were fulfilled in 1815 and all springs became popular. However, the claimed healing properties of the springs was not witnessed, except for at Rowtons Well which was quickly recommended by the Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital.
In 1817, Sutton Coldfield was the focus of national attention when a young woman named Mary Ashford was found murdered on Penns Lane. The male she was with that evening was traced and charged with her murder. The trial became known as
Ashford v. Thorntonwhen the defendant, Abraham Thornton challenged William Ashford to a duel claiming trial by combat. Ashford refused and Thornton was released. Soon after, trial by combat was abolished by Parliament.
During the 1820s, schools were founded throughout the town by the Corporation. The Corporation also constructed
almshouses on Mill Street and in Walmley. In 1836, George Bodingtonacquired an asylum and sanatorium at Driffold House (now the Empire cinema), Maney where he researched pulmonary disease. In 1849, the original royal charters were sent to London to be translated from Latin as a result of the skins on which they were written beginning to deteriorate. In 1859, William Morris Grundy, a wealthy local landowner, died leaving behind an estate worth £25,000. His home, at what is now the Royal Hotel on the High Street, looked over a hill and a sandstone barn constructed by Bishop Vesey. This belonged to Grundy until his death. The land was sold off in plots to developers who built homes along there. Some of the land was sold to the Midland Railway Company for £4,000 when it was discovered that it was to be part of their proposed new line. In 1862, Sutton Coldfield received a railway station; Sutton Coldfield railway station. The Sutton Park Linewas then opened in the 1870s. The "Sutton Coldfield and Erdington News", Sutton Coldfield's first newspaper, began printing in 1869. Sutton Coldfield received a water supply in 1892 when tapped water was brought to the town from Shenstone. By then, the town already had a gas supply which was provided by the Sutton Coldfield Gas, Light and Coke Company.
Sutton Coldfield's growing population was reflected in the creation of several new parishes during the 19th century and the construction of new town halls. The census of 1881 revealed that the population had increased from 4,662 in 1861 to 7,737. It was claimed that the arrival of the railways in the town were responsible for the population increase.
In the 20th century, Sutton Coldfield continued to grow. The areas on the fringes of the district remained rural up until the end of World War I. As witnessed nationally, there was a house construction boom in areas such as
Boldmere, Walmleyand Four Oaks. Again, the population increased rapidly. During World War II, Sutton Park and areas of Walmley were used as prisoner-of-war camps, housing German and Italian prisoners. After the war, Sutton witnessed a major redevelopment. The Parade in the town centre was almost completely demolished for the construction of a large new shopping centre named Gracechurch. In addition, shopping centres in New Oscott, Wylde Greenand Mere Green were constructed causing considerable objection as many local landmarks were lost to the developers.
In 1974, Sutton Coldfield became part of Birmingham, to the objection of local residents, when the metropolitan county of the West Midlands was formed. More recently, Sutton Coldfield has undergone changes. Areas of the town centre have been pedestrianised and the Gracechurch Centre, now The Mall, has been improved. Construction of a large development along Brassington Avenue is currently underway and construction of nearby apartment buildings is complete.
In 1528, a charter of King Henry VIII gave the town the right to be known for ever as "The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield" and to be governed by a warden and society. The charter was secured by Bishop John Vesey. This unreformed corporation survived until 1885, when it was replaced by a
municipal borough. Although the title "Royal Town" was still used, the municipality created in 1885 was not itself a Royal Borough. The town and borough were ceremonially part of Warwickshireuntil 1974, when it was amalgamated into the City of Birmingham and the metropolitan countyof the West Midlands. The formal Mayoral chains of office are now on display in Birmingham Council House.
Sutton Coldfield forms the Sutton Coldfield parliamentary constituency, the largest Parliamentary Constituency in Birmingham whose
Member of Parliamentsince 2001 has been Andrew Mitchell(Conservative). Within the City of Birmingham metropolitan borough, it comprises the wards of Sutton Four Oaks, Sutton Trinity, Sutton Veseyand Sutton New Hall. Sutton Trinity ward was created in June 2004, at which time the other three wards' boundaries were changed. From 5 April 2004, it has been a council constituency, with many local services managed by a district committeemade up of all Sutton's councillors.
The town borders
Erdingtonand Kingstandingin Birmingham, Streetlyin Walsall, the district of North Warwickshireand Lichfieldand Tamworthin Staffordshire. The area in general is regarded as one of the most prestigious locations in the West Midlands and Central England; a 2007 report by the website Mouseprice.com placed two Sutton Coldfield streets amongst the 20 most expensive in the United Kingdom. [ [http://www.mouseprice.com/articles/Street_Rankings_2007_National.aspx "Street Rankings 2007 National Report"] , "Mouseprice.com", accessed 17 September 2007] [Lucia Adams and Michael Moran, [http://property.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/property/article1580816.ece "The ten most expensive places to live in Britain... and ten budget alternatives"] , " The Times", 30 March 2007, accessed 17 September 2007] [Anne Ashworth, [http://property.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/property/article1512088.ece "Why modest pensioners may be lumped in with London super-rich"] , " The Times", 14 March 2007, accessed 17 September 2007]
The northern stretch of the Birmingham city
sandstoneridge culminates at Sutton Coldfield. Plants Brookrises in the area of Streetly and flows through Sutton Park and directly beneath the town centre before culminating at Plantsbrook Nature Reserve in Walmley Ash.
Shopping and retail
The main shopping centre is the [http://www.themall.co.uk/my-mall/sutton-coldfield/index.aspx Sutton Coldfield Mall] , which was built in 1974 as 'The Gracechurch Shopping Centre'. It has recently changed its name after being bought by the
The Mall Companyand the Gracechurch name will be removed altogether in 2008. [cite web|url=http://icsuttoncoldfield.icnetwork.co.uk/news/localnews/tm_headline=re-branding-the-mall%26method=full%26objectid=19989122%26siteid=52630-name_page.html |title= Re-branding The Mall|publisher=icSutton Coldfield|date=2007-10-18|accessdate=2007-10-22] The Mall complex also includes a multi-story car park. As a result of investment, the appearance of the shopping centre was improved in 2006 which included the installation of a glass roof above one of the walkways and the removal of a public square to form a cafe and extra retail units. There are now plans to construct a food court above Bishop's Court in the shopping centre. [cite web|url=http://icsuttoncoldfield.icnetwork.co.uk/news/localnews/tm_headline=food-court-idea-for-gracechurch%26method=full%26objectid=19953945%26siteid=52630-name_page.html |title=Food court idea for Gracechurch|publisher=icSutton Coldfield|date=2007-10-11|accessdate=2007-10-22] The shopping centre is home to three bronze sculptures that depict, respectively, a boy and a girl on rollerskates, a boy with a dog, and a boy and a girl playing leapfrog. The sculptures are to be moved to Rectory Park. [cite web|url=http://icsuttoncoldfield.icnetwork.co.uk/news/localnews/tm_headline=statues-claimed%26method=full%26objectid=19989136%26siteid=52630-name_page.html |title=Statues claimed|publisher=icSutton Coldfield|date=2007-10-18|accessdate=2007-10-22]
A second shopping centre was named the Sainsbury Centre until Sainsbury's closed their store; ["Sainsbury's quits shopping centre", Birmingham Evening Mail, February 27, 2001] the name was later changed to "The Red Rose Centre". The centre has its own multi-storey car park with access from Victoria Road.New Hall Walk is a row of shops built behind The Parade in the late 1990s. The company that manages the site also manages several of the shops on the Parade built at the same time. It has its own large outdoor car park. Opposite the Red Rose Centre, behind New Hall Walk, is a single floor, indoor market facility known as the In Shops. The exterior of the building was improved in 2005.
There are several local shopping parades serving the suburbs of Sutton, including "The Lanes" Shopping Centre in Wylde Green, at Walmley, at New Oscott (local shops and a large "out of town" style development similar to New Hall Walk called Princess Park), and at Boldmere Road.
Sutton Coldfield is home to
Sutton Coldfield Town F.C., which was founded in 1879. Golfis a major sport in the town, which is home to numerous golf clubs and courses. In the south of Sutton Coldfield is Walmley Golf Club and Pype HayesGolf Course. There are also Aston Wood Golf Club, Moor Hall Golf Club, Sutton Coldfield Golf Club, and Boldmere Golf Club. Nearby is The Belfry, a hotel with a renowned golf complex whose Brabazon course has hosted the Ryder Cupseveral times.
Sports facilities, including
swimming pooland 400mathletics track, are located at [http://www.leisure.birmingham.gov.uk/sites/Wyndley/wyndley.htm Wyndley Leisure Centre] (which is undergoing a major refurbishment), on the edge of Sutton Park. This was opened in 1971 by Ethel E. Dunnett. The nearby youth centre was opened in September 1968. Parts of Rectory Park is leased to Sutton Cricket Club and Sutton Town Football Club.
Places of interest
The area is home to
Sutton Park, one of the largest urban parks in Europe and the largest outside London. It has an area of 2224.2 acres and is used as part of the course for the Great Midlands Fun Run, sponsored by the Sutton Coldfield Observer. The park is a national nature reserveand a Site of Special Scientific Interest. New Hall Valley, which separates Walmley and Maney, is the location of New Hall Valley Country Parkwhich was opened formally on August 29, 2005. It has an area of 160 acres and within it is [New Hall Mill] http://www.newhallmill.org.uk which is one of only two working watermills in the West Midlands. The mill is privately owned but is open to the public several times a year. There are also several nature reservesincluding Plants BrookNature Reserve, in Walmley, and Hill Hook Nature Reserve. On the border between Sutton Coldfield and Erdington is the extensive Pype HayesPark and adjacent golf course, with the park falling within Tyburn ward but the golf course in Sutton New Hall.
Sutton Coldfield has been an affluent area in the past leading to the construction of manors and other large houses. Several have been renovated into hotels such as the New Hall Hotel,
Moor Hall Hotel, Moxhull Hall Hotel, and RamadaHotel and Resort Penns Hall. Peddimore Hall, a Scheduled Ancient Monumentnear Walmley, is a double moated hall used a private residence. Demolished manor houses include Langley Hall, the former residence of William Wilson and Four Oaks Hall, designed by William Wilson. William Wilson is also known to have designed Moat House and lived in it with his wife, Jane Pudsey. It is Grade II* listed. [IoE|216596]
There are two
conservation areas in Sutton Coldfield. The High Street, King Edward's Square, Upper Clifton Road, Mill Street, and the northern end of Coleshill Street are protected by the High Street conservation area, which is part covered by an Article 4 Direction. At the centre of the conservation area is Holy Trinity Church, which is fronted by the Vesey Memorial Gardens, created in memory of Bishop John Vesey. The High Street conservation area was designated on November 28, 1973 and extended February 6, 1975, August 14, 1980 and again on July 16, 1992. It covers an area of 16.95 square kilometres (41.87 acres). [ [http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/ELibrary?E_LIBRARY_ID=396&a=1119878671343 Birmingham City Council: High Street, Sutton Coldfield Conservation Area map] ] Beyond the railway bridge, which crosses the Sutton Park Line and separates the Lichfield Road and High Street, is the Anchorage Road conservation area which protects buildings such as Moat House by William Wilson. The conservation area was designated on October 15, 1992 and covers an area of 17.57 square kilometres (43.41 acres). [ [http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/ELibrary?E_LIBRARY_ID=383&a=1119873536569 Birmingham City Council: Anchorage Road Conservation Area map] ]
Holy Trinity Church is one of the oldest churches in the town, having been established around 1300. The church has been expanded over time, notably by John Vesey, Bishop of Exeter who built two aisles and added an organ. [ [http://www.htsc.org.uk/history.html Holy Trinity Parish Church: History] ] His tomb is located within the church. [ [http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/GenerateContent?CONTENT_ITEM_ID=64765&CONTENT_ITEM_TYPE=0&MENU_ID=260 Birmingham.gov.uk: Bishop Vesey's Monument] ] Outside of Sutton town centre, there are numerous other churches, many of which are listed buildings. In Four Oaks is the Church of All Saints which is a Grade B locally listed building. It was built in 1908 and designed by
Charles Bateman, whose Arts and Crafts are seen in the building. [IoE|216546] Another church in Four Oaks which is of a mixed Arts and Crafts-Gothic style is Four Oaks Methodist Church, built between 1907 and 1908 to a design by Crouch and Butler. It is Grade II listed. [IoE|216604] The Methodist Hall attached to it is also Grade II listed. [IoE|216605] In Mere Green is the Church of St Peter, also by Charles Bateman, which was built between 1906 and 1908. The building is Grade II listed. [IoE|216608] Also designed by Charles Bateman is the Church of St Chad near Walmley. This was built between 1925 and 1927. The side chapel was built in 1977 to a design by Erie Marriner. It is Grade II listed. [IoE|473081] St Johns Church, built in 1845 to a design by D. R. Hill, is located on the Walmley Road in Walmley. It is the parish church for Walmley and is of a Norman architectural style. It is Grade C locally listed. [IoE|216629] In Maney, near Walmley, is St Peter's Church which began construction in 1905, although the tower, which was designed by Cossins, Peacock and Bewley, was constructed in 1935 and the building is Grade II listed. [IoE|473088] Located on the border of Sutton town centre is Church Hall, a former Roman Catholic Chapel, built around 1834. The building is now used for offices and is Grade II listed. [IoE|216598]
[http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/suttoncoldfieldlibrary Sutton Coldfield Library] , opened in 1974, is located in the town centre above the Red Rose Centre. It also contains the Sutton Coldfield Reference Library, which holds a large collection of newspapers and magazines with all Sutton Coldfield based publications such as
Sutton Coldfield Newsand Sutton Coldfield Observerbeing held permanently. [ [http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/GenerateContent?CONTENT_ITEM_ID=70061&CONTENT_ITEM_TYPE=0&MENU_ID=260 Birmingham City Council: Newspapers and Magazines held in Sutton Coldfield Reference Library] ] The Town Hall, a relic of Sutton Coldfield's former status as a municipal borough, now serves as a theatre, conference, and function venue.
[http://www.goodhope.org.uk Good Hope Hospital] provides main hospital services to the town, including accident and emergency facilities. Another hospital in Sutton Coldfield is Sutton Cottage Hospital, which is operated by the Birmingham East and North Primary Care Trust. [ [http://www.nhs.uk/ServiceDirectories/Pages/Trust.aspx?id=5PG&v=1 NHS Birmingham East and North PCT: Hospitals] ] It opened in 1908 and the buildings were designed by
Herbert Tudor Bucklandand Edward Haywood-Farmer. [ [http://pastscape.english-heritage.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1060879 Pastscape: Sutton Coldfield Hospital] ]
On Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield is served by a police station,
magistrates court(both opened in 1960) and fire station (opened 1963). On the opposite side of the road is Sutton Coldfield College, which is the main collegeof further educationfor the area. Also located on the north-eastern outskirts of the area is Sutton Coldfield transmitting station, the first television transmitter to broadcast outside the London area.
Linked by regular and fast services from
Sutton Coldfield railway stationon the Cross-City Lineto the centre of Birmingham, Sutton is mostly a commuter dormitory town for people who work in Birmingham. The 1955 Sutton Coldfield rail crashoccurred here, when an express train entered the very tight curve through the station much faster than the speed limit of 30 mph. The Sutton Park Linealso crosses the town roughly perpendicular to the cross-city line (crossing at a point out of easy sight near the former Midland Road station), but lost its passenger services and stations in the 1964 "Beeching Axe". It retained a loading bay at the adjacent Clifton Road Royal Mail sorting office for a time, but now remains as a freight only line.
Roman road Icknield Streetcuts through Sutton Parkto the west of the town. The town is bypassed to the north by the M6 Toll, the first toll motorway in the UK, accessible from Sutton by junction T2 at Minworth (co-located with the M42 junction), T3 and T4 (interchanging with the A38 at the south and north ends of their 5-mile parallel run), and T5 at Shenstone. It also has easy access to the M6 proper to the south, via junctions 5 (Castle Bromwich), J6 (Gravelly Hill, or "Spaghetti Junction") and J7 at Great Barr; and also the M42 in the east, via junction 9 near Minworth. The A38 itself used to run through the centre of the town (literally, using the since-pedestrianised line of the Parade), but now uses the dual carriageway bypass to the east. The former route of the A38 is now the A5127Lichfield Road, branching from the southern end of the Aston Expressway on the Birmingham Middleway ring road, and continues to provide a major connective route running between and on slightly altered paths through the centres of Erdington, Sutton and Lichfield.
The Parade in the town centre is the main destination and terminus for numerous
National Express West Midlandsbus services in and through Sutton Coldfield. The resultant congestion and perceived danger, from heavy (and almost exclusively) bus traffic on the repurposed and poorly sighted Lower Parade and Lower Queen Street coming into conflict with pedestrians (including children from several local schools) crossing between the Red Rose Centre and the other shopping areas, has led to calls for a dedicated bus centre to be built external to the town centre. This would be built as part of the controversial Brassington Avenue development, with an elevated walkway across the ring road providing access to the main shopping areas.
Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girlsis on Jockey Road (A453). Bishop Vesey's Grammar School, its male equivalent, is on Lichfield Road (A5127/A453) in the centre of the town adjacent to Sutton Coldfield College. The Arthur Terry Schoolis on Kittoe Road in Four Oaks in the north of the town near Butlers Lane station. The John Willmott Schoolis on Reddicap Heath Road in the east of the town. Opposite the school is [http://www.fairfax.bham.sch.uk Fairfax School] . The Plantsbrook Schoolis on Upper Holland Road near the centre of the town in Maney. The Bishop Walsh Catholic Schoolis next to the Sutton Park Lineand New Hall Valley Country Park; the school is 10 minutes from Wylde Green. All these schools are for ages 11-18.
There are also a number of primary schools located in the town. [http://www.whitehousecommon.co.uk Whitehouse Common Primary School] in the
Whitehouse Commonarea, [http://web.deanery.bham.sch.uk/ The Deanery Primary School] , Holy Cross Infant and Junior Catholic Primary School, and Walmley Primary School serving the Walmleyarea. [http://www.shrubberyschool.co.uk/ The Shrubbery School] , established in 1930, is a private primary school located on the fringes of Walmley and Hollyfield primary located on hollyfield rd founded in 1907.
[http://www.highclareschool.co.uk/default.asp?id=1 Highclare School] , founded in 1932, is a primary and secondary school located on three sites in the Birmingham area. Two of the sites are located in Sutton Coldfield, with the other being located in nearby
Erdington. The Sutton Coldfield facilities are on the Lichfield Road in the Four Oaks area and in the Wylde Greenarea to the south, which houses the nursery.
St Nicholas Catholic Primary School in Jockey Road is a voluntary aided catholic
primary school. Established in 1967, there are currently about 210 students. The school is oversubscribed and has exceptional academic standards. [http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/reports/pdf/?inspectionNumber=276931&providerCategoryID=4096&fileName=\school\103\s5_103475_20060404.pdf "St Nicholas Catholic Primary School"] , Ofsted, 4 April 2006] [ [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-144923180.html "School gets good report; Sutton Coldfield: Primary is judged 'outstanding'"] , Tony Collins, Birmingham Mail, 25 April 2006]
A number of famous people were born or have lived in Sutton Coldfield including:
Scott Adkins- actor
George Bodington- GP and pulmonary specialist
Colin Charvis- Welsh international rugby unionplayer
Derek Dauncey- World Rally Team Manager, Mitsubishi Ralliart Japan
Cat Deeley- television presenter
Rory Delap- footballer
James Fleetwood- later Bishop of Worcester.
Apache Indian- Reggae Singer
Kate Gerbeau(née Sanderson) - television presenter
Emma Griffiths- MTV presenter, former model and wife of Matt Willisfrom Busted
Mark Kinsella- Aston Villa and Charlton Athletic Footballer, Irish National Team Captain.
Anna Kumble- British pop star, better known as Lolly
Rasmus Hardiker- actor
Alan Jerrard- Holder of the Victoria Cross
Mike Jordan- racing driver
Arthur Lowe(1915 - 1982) - Comic actor. Ashes scattered at Sutton Coldfield Crematorium
Sir Michael Lyons- Chairman of the BBC Trust
Paul Merson- former footballer and ex Walsall manager
Ken Miles- racing and sports car driver
Mike Nattrass- Member of the European Parliamentfor the West Midlands region for the United Kingdom Independence Party(UKIP) [ [http://www.crewe-nantwich.gov.uk/pdf/YC4344_Statement_Of_Nominated_Parliamentary_Crewe&Nantwich.pdf "Parliamentary Election for the Crewe and Nantwich Constituency - Statement of Persons Nominated"] . "Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council". Retrieved 21 May 2008.]
Alfred Owen- proprietor of Rubery Owen
James and Oliver Phelps- actors, play the Weasley twins in the Harry Potterseries of films
Natalie Powers- singer, member of Scoochwho represent Britain at the Eurovision Song Contest 2007with " Flying the Flag (for You)"
Tom Ross- Capital Gold Radio Presenter
Jane Sixsmith- international hockey player
John Benjamin Stone- four times Mayor
* James Sutton "
Darius Vassell- footballer
* James Vaughan - Everton footballer
Dennis Waterman- actor, "Minder" used to live in Sutton
Arnold Horace Santo Waters- Holder of the Victoria Cross
Peter Weston- Influential British Science fiction fanand winner of multiple Hugo Awards
Baruch Harold WoodOBE, (B.H.) - chess master, writer and organiser
William F WoodingtonARA - painter and sculptor
* John Wyatt - inventor and engineer
Dorian Yates- six times Mr Olympia Bodybuilding World Champion Adventure SoftPublishing operates from within the town; they have produced the successful Simon the Sorcerer seriesof games.
Sutton Coldfield News
The Gentleman's Magazine" (Vol. XXII), page 270, Sylvanus Urban, 1790
*"Sutton Coldfield, 1974-84: The Story of a Decade: a Look at Life and Events in the Royal Town", Douglas V. Jones, 1984, Westwood Press Publications (ISBN 0-948025-00-X)
*"Sutton Coldfield: a history & celebration", Alison Reed; Francis Frith Collection, 2005 (ISBN 1-84589-218-6)
*"Sutton Coldfield under the Earls of Warwick", Christine Smith, 2002, Acorn (ISBN 1-903263-71-9)
*"The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield: A Commemorative History", Douglas V. Jones, 1984, Westwood Press Publications (ISBN 0-9502636-7-2)
*"A Short History of the Town and Chase of Sutton Coldfield", W. Midgley, 1904, Midland Counties Herald
* [http://www.suttoncoldfield.org.uk Sutton Coldfield Community Portal & Sutton Email Service ]
* [http://www.bcen.net/suttoncoldfield Sutton Coldfield Community Network]
* [http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/suttoncoldfield Birmingham City Council's Sutton Coldfield pages]
* [http://www.suttoncoldfieldatoz.com History of Sutton Coldfield. Selective A to Z]
* [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/mapsheet.asp?compid=55141&sheetid=8807&gazid=29762 1889 Ordnance Survey map of Sutton Coldfield town centre]
* [http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=52.56366329542782&lon=-1.8274154087147294&zoom=13 Complete street level mapping of Sutton Coldfield at OpenStreetMap.org]
* [http://www.madeinbirmingham.org/walmley.htm Walmley]
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