I WAS pleased to see some pictures of Portway Hall, Rowley Regis, before its demolition in the 1970's.
It's so sad that these fantastic houses disappear from our area and in some cases we have no photographs of the buildings to see how they looked. This has happened to me in my research and is so frustrating.
During tracing my partner's family tree of Davis (his mother's side of the family) we discovered that his 3x great grandfather Joseph Davis and his family lived at Portway Hall around the 1860s and 1870s.
Sadly we have no documentation as we were given the information by a local historian who contacted us to say he had found an indenture naming Joseph Davis as living at Portway Hall, Newberry Lane, and we lost touch with him before he could show us the indenture.
We have got a census entry for 1861 showing him living on Newberry Lane (spelt like this in the census) but no mention of Portway Hall. They had two servants living with them which suggests it was a big house, a groom and gardener and a house maid. Joseph's wife's name was very strange Sobrieska (known as Soby) and some of his children also had unusual names Elijah, Hagar, Tamar, Keturah among them.
The Davis family were Black Country mine owners / mine agents and lived in some fantastic houses but only a few remain. In 1841 he was a Coal Master. living at Oak House, West Bromwich. In 1851 he was living on Bromley Lane, Kingswinford, no house name given.
1861 - Coal Master, Newberry Lane (employing on average 40 men and boys). We think he lived at Portway Hall.
In 1871 he was living at Cawney Hill House off the Oakham Road. His son Elijah was living close by in Springfield House. Both have gone but I would love to see photographs of them.
Joseph died in 1877 but his son Elijah lived in 1881 at Lutley Grange in Lutley then on to Rock, Worcestershire, in Oaklands and Bliss Villa.
I wonder if any readers have more information on Portway House or the Davis family. Kind regards.