©  COLIN BAKER   2007                                                                                     

James Cartland was a successful Birmingham brass founder with a brass foundry in Constitution Hill Birmingham making hardware, trivets, etc. it was a company which the family ran from c1823 until closure around 1955, he bought The Priory in 1845. Originally it was surrounded by an estate of nine acres but in 1880 he brought the adjacent Kings Heath House and increased the estate to 57 acres.

James Cartland died in 1888. He committed suicide shooting himself in the wake of bankruptcy. He had been a generous benefactor giving both time and money to the Kings Heath Institute and the Parish Church of All Saints and a new reredos (an artistic decoration) at the back of the altar was erected to his memory. When, four years later his wife Ann died, the family erected not only the wrought iron screen but also an alabaster memorial to their memory.

In 1889, his son James Bertram Falkner Cartland inherited the property, and in 1900 he married Mary Hamilton Scobell. The family then left The Priory and moved to a rented farmhouse near to the town of Pershore. He was killed in action during WW1 on the 27th May 1918 as a Major in the Worcestershire Regiment. 

They had 4 children, 3 of which survived to adulthood.


Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland b 9th July 1901 went on to become the famous writer of romantic novels. She published a total of 732 books, and left behind 160 unpublished novels when she died on 21st May 1999 aged 98. In 1991 she was made a Dame of the Order of the British Empire


John Ronald Hamilton Cartland b 3rd January 1907 was Conservative MP for Kings Norton 1935-1940. He became a Major in The Worcestershire Yeomanry who died on the 30th May 1940, of wounds received in action.


James Anthony Hamilton Cartland b 4th January 1912 became a Captain in the Lincolnshire Regiment he was killed in action on 29th May 1940, the day before his brother John died.


(Seems May was a bad month for the Cartlands)


The site of The Priory is now occupied by King Edwards Camp Hill Schools, only the Lodge remains today.

This card dated 1908 describes the view as “ The Avenue of trees leading to The Priory, residence of Major Cartland from The Lodge on Vicarage Road”

The Lodge and The Avenue of trees today