Brickfields Estate was the property of Richard Spooner, an eccentric. He was M.P for North Worcestershire, and partner in the Banking house of Attwood and Spooner of Birmingham, which became the nucleus of the Midland Bank. He lived in Glenthorne in spartan simplicity, amd died at Brickfields House in 1864, then very rural. Glenthorne was in Spooner's time an ordinary farm house, and there was great surprise, when at his death, it was found he slept in an uncarpeted attic upon a pallet bed. The house was sold in 1868, and the estate developed as building sites - now St. Barnabas parish.
Spooner enjoyed the reputation of being the ugliest man around. Often when strolling through the Astwood lanes, he would insist when meeting a stranger, that he came back home and 'shared pot luck' with him. He dressed slovenly, and was very outspoken, with a marked extravagance of speech.