|Memories of Fazeley, written by Joseph T. Hunter in August 2008 when he was 88 years old.
The Listed Houses of FazeleyThere are very few listed houses in Fazeley. The few that we have are situated in Coleshill Street, numbered 2, 59 and 61 and are of the late Georgian period, listed grade 2 and are built of red brick.
Coleshill Street Number 61 is opposite St Paul's Church, which is also listed grade 2. It was built of random rubble with aslar dressings in 1853 -55 and was commissioned by Sir Robert Peel P.M.
Not many yards along from the church stands a very interesting building 'Fazeley Cottage', an early mid 19th century stuccoed residence with a castellated appearance.
Going south towards Drayton Bassett, one meets the Bourne Brook which rushes towards the River Tame and is the village (or should I now say town) boundary. A little further along the road was the Toll House which projected over the footpath, lived in by a Mrs Walker, but unfortunately demolished by a lorry, with no casualities. Fazeley had three hump backed bridges over the canals, the one in Lichfield Street is listed grade 2 was built in 1789, but in fact a new bridge was built in August/September 1939.
When war was declared on September 3rd 1939, the kiln fires at Kingsbury ( then Whateley) Brick and Tile were immediately put out as an air raid precaution . I had an uncle (bricklayer) and cousin ( tile presser) and they obtained employment building the bridge.
The Junction House, listed grade 2, as the name implies, stands at the junction of the Coventry and Birmingham and Fazeley canal. When the canals were being built by Brindley, the Coventry canal ended at Fazeley. The money had run out and fresh capital was sought. When the canals were finally completed, you could travel from the Mersey canal to the Thames at Oxford.
In my time, the house was occupied by Mr Gadsby and his wife. With a few small fields and two or three milking cows, they made a meagre living from selling milk. Many a time when our family ran short of milk my mother sent me with a jug and a penny to get a pint of milk.
In recent times a canal employee lived there as it was owned by British waterways. Then it became empty and was vandalised and is now boarded up, but it was sold by auction at Birmingham a short time ago. I always thought that with repairs and modernisation what a grand Bed and Breakfast establishment it would make.
One of the few other buildings that I know of is the Old Mill, which I have discussed in a previous chapter. That has been completely refurbished in recent times with government money.
The Yew Tree House along the Tamworth Road is a very old building and could have been a toll house for the north of the village.
Last of all is the second Rose Cottage in the village, a delightful detached cottage a few yards from the Plough and Harrow. In earlier times it was called the Charity Cottage because it dispensed bread to the poor. A building now sadly demolished was the Aquaduct Lodge which stood close to the aquaduct where the Coventry canal crossed the river Tame many feet below.