Norbury Avenue and 

 Gorsewood Farm

Above:  The 1843 Tithe Map of Pelsall

The Stanley farm (Gorsewood Farm) is listed as numbers 150,151,152,153 and 154 on the Tithe map above

The short road leading off Old Town Lane towards the farm was once known as Stanley's Lane

Gorsewood, The Stanley Family Home

Photograph courtesy of Mr and Mrs Atkins

In the early 19th century, the place we know as Norbury Avenue today was fields owned by the Stanley family who owned Gorsewood Farm as seen above.

Around a hundred years ago or more, farming in Pelsall was one of the largest occupations next to mining.

Many farming families in Pelsall were large and very well known and respected within the community.

Perhaps one of the best known farming families back in the 1800's were the Stanley's.

Back in 2004, when publishing the Pelsall Times magazine I was contacted by Mrs Atkins who was a direct descendent.

Mr and Mrs Atkins had a very keen interest in the history of their ancestors and were able to give me a fascinating insight into the Stanley family.

William Stanley was Mrs Atkins' Great Great Grandfather.

William was born in 1842.  By the time he was 39 he was the head farmer of a staggering 58 acres employing one man and one boy.

Married to Betsy, William had 3 boys and 6 girls. The boys were called Herbert, Cyril and Arthur and the girls were called Ada, Annie, Emily, Maria, Jane and Nellie 

Messrs Rowley and Stanley with two family members

Photograph courtesy of Mr and Mrs Atkins

Four of the Stanley girls, unfortunately their names are unknown

Photograph courtesy of Mr and Mrs Atkins

William Stanley's home was known as Gorsewood, it was a typical three story farmhouse as readers can see in the photograph.

The farm was situated almost opposite to where Pelsall Village School is today.

In its day as a working farm there used to be a pool situated just behind where Pelsall Surgery stands today.

The Stanley's used to sell some of their goods in a grocery shop.  At this time there used to be a row of terraced houses which stood more or less where Pelsall Surgery stands today.  The end house nearest the farm was owned by William and Tilly.  The frontage of their house was used as a greengrocers shop.

Having done considerable research into their family history, Mr and Mrs Atkins discovered that William and Tilly had three children, Hilda, Arma and Charlie.

Arma continued the family tradition in that he too became a farmer having a vegetable farm in Lichfield.

George Stanley who married Maria had five children, unfortunately Mr and Mrs Atkins only knew the names of three children, Thomas, Mary and Margaret.

Thomas Stanley again carried on the family tradition and had a small holding at Blakedown, Kidderminster.

Martha and Emily married two Wooton's and live at Newtack, Great Wyrley.

Annie married a Snape and Jinny married a Challenor and lived at Noddy Cottage in Church Road, Pelsall.

Nellie Stanley married one of the Rowley's and Ada married Joseph Follows.

Mr Stanley to the left in his latter years seen with a relative to his right

Photograph courtesy of Mr and Mrs Atkins

In the 1930's and 40's the Stanley's fields were used to host village fairs and wakes.

Norbury Avenue came into being in the late 1940's as the first phase of houses started to be built, these were private houses.

By around 1952 the second phase of houses which were council houses were built and completed on the opposite side of the road.