Calthorpe Estate


45.1. Map 1

Sir Henry Gough, second baronet, inherited the Edgbaston Estate in 1774 and was the last lord of the manor to live in it. He left in '83 and died 15 years later as Lord Calthorpe, his title taken from his Norfolk property. It was he who, by refusing to allow industry beside the Worcester Canal, established the special character of Edgbaston.

All succeeding heirs, absentee landlords and adopted Gough-Calthorpes though they have been, have maintained this 'semi-rural oasis in the heart of an industrial city'. They have done it with restrictive leaseholds which prevent the use of buildings or land for industrial or commercial purposes. Other would-be Edgbastons about the Borough failed for lack of these. By 1834 the north-east corner of the parish was already covered with elegant terraces leading to separate houses that were country mansions in all but location.

East of Chad Hill, and north of Westbourne Road and the line of Carpenter Road, the street-plan was nearly complete as now, and many of the rows and villas still stand. There was development in the Bristol - Wellington - Sir Harry's Roads triangle, and 'Edgbaston Castle' a late folly in the form of a ruined fortress fragment had been built.

Most of the street-names thereabout are derived from the Calthorpe family or their geographical associations - thus Augustus, Charlotte, Elvetham, Frederick, George, Gough, Norfolk, Sir Harry, Somerset. St. George's Chapel was built by Lord (George) Calthorpe in 1838 and enparished in '52. Edgbaston was a favoured district because although so near to the reeking town it was usually free from smoke and smell - thanks to the pre-vailing south-westerly wind.