Four Oaks, Birmingham


Four Oaks, Birmingham

Four Oaks is a principally residential area in northern Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, England. It is a suburban area adjacent to Sutton Park, approximately 13 kilometres north of Birmingham City Centre. It is bordered by Streetly, Mere Green, Little Aston, Roughley.

History

On the death of the last of the Pudseys of Langley Hall, widow Jane Pudsey remarried William Wilson, a mason and architect who had studied under Sir Christopher Wren. The Pudsey estates were divided by agreement between two daughters, one of whom, Elizabeth, married Henry Folliott, 1st Baron Folliott of Ballyshannon in 1677. Folliott exercised the right granted in the Royal Charter of Sutton Coldfield to enclose up to 60 acres of Common land for a new house and engaged Wilson to design and build a substantial mansion at Four Oaks. Folliott died in 1716; his widow continued to live there until 1744 and in 1751 sold the house and estate to Simon Luttrell, of an important and influential Irish family. He set about remodelling and modernising the house in Palladian style. In 1757 he obtained Parliamentary consent to enclose a further 48 acres of the Common land in Sutton Park, at a rent of £12 a year, to annex to his existing estate and form a deer park. Luttrell became Baron Luttrell of Luttrells Town in 1778 and Earl of Carhampton in 1786. He did not live at Sutton for long; the house being let out to various tenants from 1766 and in 1778 he sold the estate to Rev Thomas Gresley.

On Gresley's death it was sold to Hugh Bateman in 1785 and he in turn sold to Edmund Cradock-Hartopp in 1792. Hartopp developed the estate further and in 1827 persuaded the Corporation to allow a further incursion into Sutton Park in order to create a more pleasing oval shape to his deer park. On this occasion however there was a much greater consideration required; Hartopp agreed to exchange 93 acres he owned adjacent to the Park near the town for 65 acres of Sutton Park and also to build a new entrance to the Park (Town Gate) and a new road (Park Road) linking the new entrance with the town. When in 1868 Hartopp offered the estate for sale it comprised the Hall and Dower House in 87 acres, the deer park convert|123|acre|km2, meadow and arable land convert|209|acre|km2 and 21 acres of water at Bracebridge Pool.

In 1879 the Four Oaks Racecourse Company acquired the estate. Grandstands were built and a racecourse opened in 1881. The optimism of the proprietors was misplaced; the venture was not successful and racing at Four Oaks ceased about 1890.

The estate was then sold for residential development to the Marquess of Clanricarde who laid out roads that were named to commemorate the history and geography of the estate. Invitations to submit building plans for superior residences were issued and building began about 1895 and continued for some 20 years. Many reputable local architects were involved and many of their works are today protected by Listed building status. The neglected and dilapidated Four Oaks Hall was demolished in 1898. The site is now occupied by Carhampton House.

Transport

It is served by Four Oaks railway station on the Cross-City Line from Lichfield to Redditch via Birmingham New Street station.

Four Oaks estate

The private Four Oaks estate is one of the wealthiest parts of the West Midlands conurbation. It is home to some of Birmingham's leading business leaders and also to numerous celebrities and footballers, with most properties selling at more than £1 million. The estate is also home to the [http://www.fotc.co.uk Four Oaks Tennis Club] which was founded here in 1906.

References

*"The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield - A Commemorative History", Douglas V. Jones, 1994, Westwood Press (ISBN 0-9502636-7-2)


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