We do not have an actual date for the building of these houses but they are on the 1795 map.
The current owner Colin Simms has painstakingly worked to restore and refurbish the nine houses over the last 30 years. He purchased the first house, number 42, in 1979 and has rescued the others one at a time. His work was acknowledged by English Heritage who gave a grant to support the refurbishment of the frontages of the houses. The houses have nine interconnected walled gardens that he has grown and developed over the years and contain vines and a huge fig tree. They are an absolute splendour and it is like being in a ‘secret garden’.
He has the original deeds and documents that show the first owner to be Sir William Stratford Dugdale (great–grandfather to William Dugdale who was Chairman of Aston Villa Football Club from 1975-1982).
Sir William Dugdale of Merevale Hall owned most of North Warwickshire at that time. In 1862 he signed the lease of the houses and land to his son-in-law Arthur Wellesley Peel (youngest son of Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel). The houses were occupied by generally upper middle class families and an example of one occupant is the Reverend Pearse who paid £22 for his annual rent in 1875.
Currently the houses are occupied by students from the Birmingham School of Acting which is part of Birmingham City University, and Colin who lives at number 30. He is willing to talk to people by prior appointment and he can be contacted on 07717 597 457.
Colin Simms arrived in Birmingham to go to university during the 1960s when Birmingham was demolishing many of its older houses. He felt that much of the demolition should not have been happening as some amazing history was disappearing.