History of The Grove at Handsworth Wood in Birmingham in the county of Warwickshire. Research is augmented with photographs, details of licensees, stories of local folklore, census data, newspaper articles and a genealogy connections section for those studying their family history.


The Grove
The Grove

Some History of this Pub
The first photograph below shows The Grove Hotel in the mid-1930's when Handsworth Wood was slightly more rural in character than it is today.

The Grove Hotel at Handsworth Wood [c.1936]

The building has two date stones showing that it was constructed in 1891. The pub was shown as the Grove Tavern on a map published in the previous year so the rebuild would perhaps indicate an elevation in status for the hostelry. John Evans was in charge of the pub when it was rebuilt, though I do not think he owned the property as he later had to work as a wire drawer.

The Grove at Handsworth Wood [2013]

The Grove Tavern had previously been run by John and Martha Corser, a couple from the Shropshire village of Morville. They were able to employ two servants and a nurse, suggesting that they enjoyed good trade at the pub.

In his early days at the Grove Tavern John Evans was both a gun finisher and a licensed victualler. By 1891 he and his wife Alice had twelve children living on the premises. In the Edwardian period the family were living in Acock's Green where John Evans worked as a wire drawer.

The Grove at Handsworth Wood [2013]

Throughout the Edwardian era the Grove Hotel, as it was then known, was kept by Alfred and Emily Kendrick. They managed a mini-army of servants, barmaids and a groom at the busy hostelry. Born in Wednesbury around 1850, Alfred Kendrick had previously run the Talbot Inn at Queen Street in West Bromwich. He later married Tipton-born Emily and worked for a period as a travelling salesman. Alfred remained at the Grove Hotel following the death of his wife. He was succeeded by Ernest Aspinall who, along with his wife Sarah, had earlier managed the Billesley Arms on Wheelers Lane.

The Grove at Handsworth Wood [2013]

In 2013 the building, some 122 years old, looks essentially the same as it did between the wars. There is a bus stop right outside the pub, replacing the tram service that used to operate out here.

The building had retained two of its massive lanterns, probably a legacy from its days being operated by Ansell's Brewery Ltd. The Grove had previously been owned by T. Cooper and Sons Ltd., a brewery based in Burton-on-Trent.

The Grove at Handsworth Wood [2013]

Piara Singh Paul invested in The Grove and installed a giant barbecue inside the pub in 1998. He was running the pub with his son Manjit. In 2013 The Grove was divided into traditional bar and extensive restaurant.
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Brummagem Boozers

Licensees of this Pub
1864 - J. Knight
1867 - Thomas Woolley
1872 - John Edward Corser
1881 - John Evans
1892 - John Evans
1901 - Alfred Kendrick
1914 - Alfred Kendrick
1915 - Ernest Howard Aspinall
1947 - 1954 John Peter Sheppard
1954 - 1958 Joseph James Fellows
1958 - 1959 Dennis Raymond Beale
1959 - 1963 Frank Henry Shaw
1963 - 1964 Frederick Hewitt
1964 - 1965 Stanley Francis Green
1965 - 1965 Ernest Samuel Broxton
1965 - 1968 Walter Victor Teare
1968 - 1968 Edward Patrick Duggan
1968 - 1970 Dennis Ryan
1970 - 1971 Patrick Keane
1971 - 1972 Roger Gordon Green
1972 - 1977 Michael James Foley
1977 - 1983 Eugene Patrick Barker
1983 - 1988 James Anthony Barry
1988 - 1990 Lawrence John Cosgrove
1990 - 1990 Alan Ivan Levy
1990 - 1991 Keith Harold Breakspear
1991 - 1992 David Laurance Dunn
1992 - 1992 Martin Kirwan
1992 - 1995 Bernadette Clarke
1995 - 1996 Richard Andrew Miller
1996 - 1998 Mayit Singh Paul
1998 - Piara Singh Paul

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Genealogy Connections
My Great Grandfather William Henry Barker managed The Grove in Handsworth in the 1930's. I have some pictures of the pub and the staff who worked there if you are interested, and would like to add them to the site.
Mrs. S. Hunt  Birmingham  22nd July 2013

Yes please, I would love to add these to the site for the benefit of other visitors to these pages.

If you have a genealogy story or query regarding The Grove you can contact me and I will post it here in addition to including your message within the website pages for Birmingham Genealogy.

Inn Sign
Inn Sign of The Grove at Handsworth Wood [1984]
The image of the Ansell's inn sign above was taken in 1984 whilst the image below dates from 2013.
Inn Sign of The Grove at Handsworth Wood [2013]

Links to other Websites
Aston Brook through Aston Manor
Birmingham City Council
Birmingham History Forum
Birmingham Places and Place Names
Carl Chinn Archive
Handsworth History
Ladywood Past and Present
Perry Barr and Beyond
Winson Green to Brookfields

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Work in Progress

Newspaper Articles

Handsworth Wood - Map Showing Grove Tavern [1890]

William Bartram
"Having contemplated this admirable grove, I proceeded towards the shrubberies on the banks of the river, and though it was now late in December, the aromatic groves appeared in full bloom.
William Bartram

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Ansell's World Cup Beer Mat [1966]

Ansell's Special and Nut Brown Beer Mat [1959]

Ansell's Light Knights Beer Mat [1963]

Ansell's Beer Mat [1960]

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Beer and Pipe Smoker

Bar Parlour Stained Glass

Ansell's Bittermen - You Can't Beat 'Em

Beer Mat for Good Old Ansell's Mild

Advertisement for Ansell's - The Better Beer

Ansell's Bitter

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Public Bar Stained Glass

Woman Serving Beer

Brewery Buildings