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Forum Home > Memorabilia From the past. > Slack Hillock, Rowley Regis.

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The name of course has changed, for it was originally called Sleck Hillock. Now the first mention of this name, is in the 1830s, for there is no trace of the place before this date. There is, on the map for 1804, Gorsty Hill, and Powks Lane, and these names can be found as early as 1749. Prior to this date, and back to 1668, the prominant names are Old Hill, and Haden Cross. The area known as Sleck, or Slack Hillock, was bordered by Waterfall Lane, ( called Heart Fail Hill by the locals ) Tump Road, ( now Beeches Road ) and Gorsty Hill, with the Dudley No.2 Canal at the bottom of the hill. The area has probably been farmed for over 300 years, but the cutting of the Canal in 1800, must have cut off a large section of the land. The farmer at the time, Daniel Wright, wasn't a happy man, and forced the canal company to build a bridge, ( Wrights Bridge ) so that he could still get to his land and his farm house, on the other side. Industrial growth put the farm and the land under increasing pressure, when a large Quarry opened up on Waterfall Lane, and a Mine, called " The Tump Colliery " was sunk at the top of the hill. The spoil from this mine, was then dumped on part of the land he sold, and the name Sleck Hillock, began to used. It's clearly seen on a map of 1836. Now the word  ' Sleck ' was used by the miners to described the small coal and dust, that was left from the hewing of coal, and was simply thrown away and dumped. Hence the name, Sleck Hillock. It doesn't take much, as most genealogy researchers know, to get a name changed, and in this case, it may have down to a journalist, who thought the name made more sense, spelt with a "a", rather than a "e". So we have, in 1852, when the farm went up for sale, Slack Hillock Farm.  The farmer, Joseph Walters, who had taken over the farm following his grandfathers death, had finally had enough, a decision no doubt speeded up by the building of a Railway Line in 1850, on yet more of his rapidly shrinking land. On Monday,the 27th September,1852, Benjamin Wooldrige, Estate Agent and Auctioneer, finally, with a single tap of his gavel, bought an end to Joe Walters farming. The place was little more than a smallholding by now, as the sale catalogue shows. 5 Cows, 2 Horses, 3 Ricks of Hay, Oats, and Wheat, a couple of Carts, Implements, Furniture, and of course the farm house. The buyer, nor the price is listed, but a few years later, we find one William Mills as the owner, and he split the land from the house, turning it into a public house called " The Sportsman ". Mills was a Butcher by trade, but had gone into mining, and the land would come in handy for grazing and feeding the horses used in his pits. John Sturman, who may have arranged the finance for purchasing the farm, which was of a 100 acres, used the place for the same purpose, under the management, untill his death, of his son, Samuel Sturman.  Instead of being mine owners, the family were Corn, Feed and Seed Merchants in nearby Blackheath. Samuel, later on, was in the business of supplying milk from the Cattle he kept on the Farm, and also had a shop in Hackett Street, later Heath Street, and now renamed something else. He sold, seperately, The Sportsman, to Abner Harris, a celebrated footballer, who kept the place until his untimely death. The old farm was a listed building in 1997, but in recent years, fell into decline and disrepair, and was destroyed by a fire a few years ago. With it gone, there's nothing now left to link back to the old Sleck Hillock, and the only reference to it, is in the old Census books. Just another victim of the changing times, and the steady march of progress.

There is more on William Mills and Abner Harris, in the forum topics, as well as a few pictures in the Photograph Albums, and a copy of the Sales Catologue.


A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

June 30, 2013 at 11:52 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 6

Hello. My friend's Nock families lived in Rowley Regis. In 1851 and 1861 they are nailing at Slack Hillock. Then in 1871 they are at Waterfall Lane...Nailing. And the Nock kids, and a waterfall?

February 6, 2014 at 6:46 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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