Shard End

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Shard End
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Shard End
Location within the West Midlands
Population26,794 (2011.Ward) [1]
  Density 41.1 per ha
OS grid reference SP157889
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district B34
Dialling code 0121
Police West Midlands
Fire West Midlands
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
West Midlands
52°29′47″N1°46′31″W / 52.4963°N 1.7752°W / 52.4963; -1.7752 Coordinates: 52°29′47″N1°46′31″W / 52.4963°N 1.7752°W / 52.4963; -1.7752

Shard End is an area of Birmingham, England. It is also a ward within the formal district of Hodge Hill. Shard End borders Castle Bromwich to the north and Kingshurst to the east which are situated in the northern part of the neighbouring [[Metropolitan Borough of Solihull also locally as Shard End

Birmingham City in the English Midlands, 2nd highest population of UK cities

Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, and the most populous city in the English Midlands. It is also the most populous metropolitan district in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 1,137,123 inhabitants, and is considered the social, cultural, financial, and commercial centre of the Midlands. It is the main local government of the West Midlands conurbation, which is the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,897,303 in 2017. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 4.3 million. It is frequently referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city".

Hodge Hill

Hodge Hill is an area 4 miles east of Birmingham City Centre, England. It is also a council constituency, managed by its own district committee.

Castle Bromwich suburb situated within Solihull in the English county of the West Midlands

Castle Bromwich is a suburb of Birmingham situated within the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull in the English county of the West Midlands. It is bordered by the rest of the borough to the south east, North Warwickshire to the east and north east; also Shard End to the south west, Castle Vale, Erdington and Minworth to the north and Hodge Hill to the west – all areas of the City of Birmingham. It constitutes a civil parish, which had a population of 11,857 according to the 2001 census, falling to 11,217 at the 2011 census.




Before the end of World War II, Shard End was completely rural with the only buildings being farmhouses, farm outbuildings and tithe cottages.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Shard End's most infamous resident was Abraham Thornton, son of the owner of Shard End Farm (then part of the Coleshill estate). He was charged with the murder of a local girl, Mary Ashford, in 1817. The events of the trial led to the abolition of two ancient legal rights – the right of a close relative to demand another trial although the defendant had been acquitted, and the right of a defendant to defend himself by challenging the relative to a duel. The duel did not take place and Thornton left the area soon after his second trial to travel to the US.

Coleshill, Warwickshire town in Warwickshire

Coleshill is a market town in the North Warwickshire district of Warwickshire, England, taking its name from the River Cole, which it stands on. It had a population of 6,481 in the 2011 census and is situated 11 miles (18 km) east of Birmingham.

During World War I, much of the woodland between Shard End and Kingshurst had been cut down to help with the war effort. The Birmingham and District Association of Boy Scouts were able to buy a patch of land at a bargain price and set up a permanent camp there. This land was half way between Kingshurst and Shard End. It was called Yorkswood and opened in 1923. There were five camp fields, covering an area of 25 acres (10 ha). The total site was over 200 acres (81 ha). The site benefited from permanent washhouses and latrines, a swimming pool, a training centre and headquarters, guesthouse, warden's hut and other huts. A small brook from a fresh water spring ran past the camp and Cock Sparrow Farm was about 100 yards (91 m) away to provide fresh milk. The entrance to the camp was flanked by a series of griffin statues. These had come from the roof of Lewis's Department Store in Birmingham when it was being renovated. After the camp closed in 1972 they were placed upon the Yorkswood housing estate (Kendrick Avenue and nearby roads) in Shard End, built upon the site of the camp. Yorkswood takes its name from the nearby Yorks Wood, an eleven hectare forest dating back hundreds of years.

The Scout Association scouting organisation in the United Kingdom

The Scout Association is the largest Scouting organisation in the United Kingdom and is the World Organization of the Scout Movement's recognised member for the United Kingdom (UK). Following the origin of Scouting in 1907, the association was formed in 1910 and incorporated in 1912 by a Royal Charter under its previous name of The Boy Scouts Association.

Kingshurst village in the United Kingdom

Kingshurst is a post-war housing estate and civil parish in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull, in the West Midlands. It lies about 9 miles (14 km) east of Birmingham city centre. The Smith's Wood area of Solihull borders it to the north and east, Fordbridge to the south and the Shard End area of Birmingham to the west.

Yorks Wood is a Local Nature Reserve in Kingshurst, Solihull, England. It is an 11 hectares ancient wood of predominantly oak trees. The River Cole is located south of the wood and located within Kingfisher Country Park.

In the inter war years the Midland Sand and Gravel Company operated a mine on what is now the Norman Chamberlain Playing Fields, off Packington Avenue. During World War II, this gravel pit was used to store and repair third-line tanks. After the war the area was landscaped to become the playing fields. The old gravel pit was allowed to fill with water from a natural spring to form Shard End Lake and has become a leisure facility.

Tank Tracked heavy armored fighting vehicle

A tank is an armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat. Tanks have heavy firepower, strong armour, and good battlefield manoeuvrability provided by tracks and a powerful engine. They are a mainstay of modern 20th and 21st century ground forces and a key part of combined arms combat.

Shard End Lake lake in the United Kingdom

Shard End Lake is a man-made lake in the Shard End area of Birmingham, West Midlands, England. The lake was created out of an old quarry and is located to west of Yorks Wood. It is managed by Kingfisher Country Park.

The new estate

A plan of the new housing estate was produced at the end of 1945 and compulsory purchase orders were issued in 1946. Building of the estate started in the late 1940s and was added to in stages producing some variety in the housing. As usual, communal facilities lagged behind the building of the housing. Nine tower blocks were constructed in the ward.

As a result of the construction of the estate, plans for a new church were drawn up. In 1954, construction of All Saints Church, [2] a traditional Church of England church, began and construction was completed in 1955. Designed by F J Osbourne, it was the first new church to be built in Birmingham after World War II. On 1 November 1955, the Lord Bishop of Birmingham, Leonard Wilson, consecrated the church. This was followed by a visit by Queen Elizabeth II two days later. Nikolaus Pevsner, an architect and writer, disapproved of the building calling it "a very ugly church". [3]

Shard End Library opened in 1967 and was the first in Birmingham to use plastic membership cards instead of the traditional cardboard tickets. Some of the housing deteriorated in later years, but has improved as tenants have bought their homes.

Development in the 1970s

After the estate of the 1940s had been constructed, a large swathe of green land remained along the River Cole valley, this was called 'The cow fields' although there was no evidence they were ever used for pasture. This rare open space in a city provided valuable recreation space for the new and young population of Shard End.

During the late 1970s, however, this tract of land was almost completely built upon and the area lost much of its charm. Since the building of this development, and a sharp decline in employment levels during the 1980s, Shard End has seen a marked increase in the problems typical of urban areas in large cities.

Shard End 1990s

All Saints Church (Anglican) is situated in Coneyford Road. It was opened by the Queen in 1955. It has the distinction of being the first Church of England church to be built and consecrated after the war, anywhere in the country. There is also a Methodist and a Baptist church.

Shard End has its own community Centre on Packington Avenue, on the opposite side of the road to the Police Station. At one time, this station had the largest meeting room in the police sub division. There is a shopping area, crown post office and surgery on Shard End Crescent. Cole Hall Farm was derelict for a number of years but has now been converted into a pub. There are four primary and two secondary schools.

The River Cole, a tributary of the River Tame, runs through Shard End, into Kingshurst. It forms the heart of the Kingfisher Country Park.

The local library hosts the Shard End Local History Group once every month.

In January 2005, work on replacing a derelict petrol station with a community centre began. The building is a result of a partnership between Birmingham City Council and GOWM. Thomas Vale Construction are building the community centre. [4]

Shard End today

In January 2013, work was completed on All Saints Square aiming to improve a deprived area of the city, housing a new Library, Birmingham City Council office and Shard End Post Office, alongside a number of other businesses. The development includes a large onsite car park with local bus services running through the area.

The project included the construction of a number of new homes and apartments undertaken in partnership with Barratt Developments and Greswoulde construction.


According to the 2001 Population Census there were 23,154 people living in Shard End with a population density of 3,817 people per km² compared with 3,649 people per km² for Birmingham. The area is not an ethnically diverse community with ethnic minorities representing 7.9% (1,820) of the ward's population compared with 29.6% for Birmingham in general.


The area is served by Lea Hall railway station on the Coventry to Birmingham New Street line with occasional services to Walsall via Aston railway station. It is served by the number 55 bus route.

Notable people

Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra grew up in a council house at 368 Shard End Crescent in Shard End. [5] The lyrics to the ELO song "All Over the World" mention Shard End along with cities like London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo. Roger Taylor (drummer of Duran Duran) also lived at 350 Shard End Crescent until the age of 11 and attended Timberley Lane School.

The artist Geoff Bunn also grew up in the area.

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  1. "Birmingham Ward population 2011" . Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  2. All Saints Church
  3. Brief history of All Saints Church
  4. Advantage West Midlands: Success Stories – Shard End Community Centre Archived 3 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Brumbeat: The biography of 'The Andicaps'