“Peace!!” wrote Sarah Holbeche under the heading June 14th 1814 in her diary, “Great rejoicings, ox roasted at Ley Hill (then all open common), bread let down in heaps from carts, my first parasol, alas! Proving how heavy the storm by its green dye running upon the bread.”

Ley Hill Common, which lay to the west of Lichfield Road opposite the Halfway House pub, was enclosed in 1824. Lichfield Road was a turnpike road, and was improved in the 1820s when a new road was cut north of Mere Green, by-passing Hill Village. Vehicles had been accustomed to call at the Barley Mow in Hill Village Road to rest the horses, but this was inconvenient if the new road was to be used, and other arrangements were made.

At Ley Hill the landowner, Robert Glover, built a range of four stables which he leased in 1833 to Cornelius Stovin, a Birmingham coach proprietor, for £30 per annum, so that his coaches could have a change of horses there. There used to be a stage marker at Ley Hill, “Lichfield seven miles, Birmingham eight miles” - a stage coach would normally change horses every ten to fifteen miles, a distance known as a “stage”, but the hilly route from Birmingham to Lichfield necessitated shorter stages. By 1856 there was an inn at this point, known as the New Inn, which had stables and coach-houses, and the stables just down the road had been converted into a row of cottages.

Ley Hill Common came into the possession of the Hartopps of Four Oaks Hall after enclosure, and a farmhouse was built there called Ley Hill Farm. Ley Hill farm survived its lands being cut through by the railway in 1882, but was demolished for housing when Irnham Road was laid out. All that remains of Ley Hill are the New Inn or Halfway House (now rebuilt) the neighbouring Ley Hill House which became Ley Hill Surgery, and the converted stables known as Ley Hill Cottages.

Ley Hill Cottages in Lichfield Road.