The Borough of
Dudley, located 10 miles or so west of Birmingham in the centre of
England, comprises the towns and districts of Dudley, Stourbridge,
Halesowen, Kingswinford and Sedgley.
founded in 1160
by Cluniac monks
The district was
one of the early centres of the Industrial Revolution, based on the
mineral wealth of the area: its coal, iron ore, limestone, and
fireclay. The riches of coal - or perhaps the smoke from the factory
chimneys in the 18th and 19th centuries! - gave rise to the name
'The Black Country'.
still has an important manufacturing base, today it is well known
for its historic castle and zoo, its nationally known open air
museum and shopping centre, real ales, and numerous tourist and
To find out more about Dudley, why not follow this link:
Council's comprehensive site
. . . and for
all the news, sport, business, leisure and property in the
district, why not visit the award-winning web site of the best
regional newspaper in Britain -
the Express & Star
and social history of the area can be experienced in the Black
Country Living Museum, which recreates urban streets, a chapel,
factories, coal mine and canals as they were in byegone days.
Country Living Museum website
|Dudley Zoo has
a large and most varied collections of animals. The paddocks and enclosures surrounding the castle make
an unusual setting for lions and bears, giraffe and meerkats,
and a host of other exotic creatures.
Dudley Zoo website
An Anglo-Saxon prince,
Dudo, is reputed to have built a castle on the hill in AD 700
and led to the present name of the town Dudley.
Dudley was a prominent market town, and from Dudley Castle the
barons ruled over a sizeable proportion of the West Midlands.
Dudley Castle's C14 tower was severely
damaged during the English Civil War
The castle was
visited by Queen Elizabeth I and was inhabited until 1750 when it
was gutted by a devastating fire. During the civil wars the castle
was a royal garrison, but it was beseiged in 1644 and finally
captured in 1646 by the republican 'Roundhead' troops, who
demolished much of the 14th century keep.
Red House Cone, former Stuart Crystal Glassworks,
of Amblecote, Wordsley and Brierley Hill have been centres of
the crystal glass industry since French glassmakers arrived in
the early 17th century. The White House Cone Museum of Glass, opening soon, will display a world class collection.
At the south of
the borough is the town of Stourbridge. The first locomotive to
be run in the USA, the 'Stourbridge Lion', and the first to be
run in the Midlands, 'Agenoria', were built at Foster, Rastrick & Co's Foundry in Stourbridge in 1829.