The Adams families of Bromford Forge

The Adams families of Bromford Forge

The Bromford crossing of the River Tame is just north of the junction of Bromford Lane with Bromford Road. In Old English brom ford means broom ford, a name first documented in 1285 in Latin as stagnam de Bramford, the waters of Bromford. A bridge here is first documented in 1317.

Bromford Mill was the mill of Erdington manor mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. It must have been rebuilt a number of times, but continued to grind corn for 500 years until c1600 when, as Bromford Forge, it became the last mill in Birmingham to be converted from corn milling to iron processes. As red as the rising sun at Bromford was an old Warwickshire saying used until the end of the 19th century. Possibly air pollution from the forge here contributed to exceptionally red dawns.

In 1774 Roger Holmes bought the mill and involved Mathew Boulton to improve two iron mills on the site. The Birmingham to Wolverhampton canal had now opened with access to the works for transport. In 1780 Holmes converted Bromford Mill into a water powered wire mill and full production started.

John Wright & Richard Jesson took over the mill in 1800, and expansion of the company began with the making of wrought iron. It must have been about then that Thomas Adams was involved.

The mill is shown on the 1834 Ordnance Survey map as Bromyard Forge. The implication of yard in Old English is that of a house within an enclosed cultivated plot. Since Thomas Adams is described on the baptismal register entry of his son Henry as of Bromford Forge, it would appear that there was housing for the forge's workers on or near the site.

In addition to the family of Thomas and Elizabeth Adams at Bromford Forge, The Aston register mentions other Adams families at Bromford, who may be related.

Joseph and Mary Adams
daughter Ann, baptised 25 December 1792, aged 1 month 5 days
son Thomas, baptised 2 March 1794, aged 5 months
Adam and Phoebe Adams
daughter Eliza, born 8 November 1807, baptised 27 December 1807
Benjamin and Mary Adams
daughter Mary Ann, born 6 August 1809, baptised 8 October 1809

The 1851 census of Curdworth War (HO107/2062 f389 sn54) lists John Adams, born 1832 at Bromford Forge, a servant to the Lanker family.

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