Chester Road enters Sutton Coldfield near the railway bridge by Chester Road Station, and continues within the Sutton boundary as far as the Beggar’s Bush. Until the early nineteenth century this stretch of road ran across an expanse of bleak heathland known as the Coldfield, and it had been little better than a rough track until taken over by a Turnpike Trust in 1761. From the Beggars Bush to Queslet Road it marked the boundary between Sutton and Perry Barr. The only dwellings on or near Chester Road were a few cottages at the end of Green Lanes, and the Beggar’s Bush was literally just a bush.
Commons were under threat of enclosure - that is, being transferred to private ownership by Act of Parliament and converted into farmland - in1800, and the commons in the adjacent parishes of Erdington and Perry Barr had already been enclosed when the Sutton Coldfield Act was passed in 1824. Soon the heathland on either side of Chester Road belonged to private owners who set about the costly business of hedging and fencing their property and turning the barren land into fertile fields. This naturally involved the employment of labourers, but having title deeds to the land also presented the opportunity to build houses. By 1841 the census shows that there were thirteen dwellings in “Old Chester Road and Baldmoor Lake”, seven of them occupied by farm workers, the rest by artisans.
When the commons were enclosed most of the land to the north of Chester Road became the property of the Rector of Sutton, W.K.Riland Bedford, while the strip of land to the south, lying between Chester Road and the Erdington boundary, was divided into nine plots. The Enclosure of Sutton commons, where 3,332 acres of land were set out in 840 plots to be allotted to about 200 proprietors, was the work of a Commissioner, and the surveying and assessment work was very costly. To defray his expenses the Commissioner was allowed to sell some of the plots by auction, and 916 acres were in fact sold. The nine plots to the south of Chester Road were sold in this way.
Some of these plots were bought by Erdington men who already owned adjacent land on the Erdington side of the boundary, but the ten-acre plot extending from College Road to Court Lane was purchased by Richard Fowler. Over the boundary on the Erdington side of this plot Oscott College was under construction (opened in 1838), and Fowler was probably acting on behalf of the college, as the new lodge, on the corner of College Road and Chester Road, was built shortly afterwards on this plot.