Place:Redditch, Worcestershire, England

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NameRedditch
TypeTown, Urban district
Coordinates52.317°N 1.933°W
Located inWorcestershire, England     (1894 - 1974)
Also located inHereford and Worcester, England     (1974 - 1998)
Worcestershire, England     (1998 - )
See alsoHalfshire (hundred), Worcestershire, Englandhundred of which the parish was a part
Redditch District, Hereford and Worcester, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area 1974-1998
Redditch District, Worcestershire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area from 1998 onward
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Redditch, is a town and local government district in north-east Worcestershire, England, approximately 15 miles (24 km) south of Birmingham. The district had a population of 84,300 in 2011. In the 19th century it became the international centre for the needle and fishing tackle industry. At one point 90% of the world's needles were manufactured in the town and its neighbourhoods. In the 1960s it became a model for modern new town planning.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The first recorded mention of Redditch ("'Red-Ditch'", thought to be a reference to the red clay of the nearby River Arrow) is in 1348, the year of the outbreak of the Black Death. During the Middle Ages it became a centre of needle-making and later prominent industries were fish-hooks, fishing tackle, motorcycles and springs, the last of which was notably undertaken by Herbert Terry and Sons. Redditch was designated a new town in 1964 and the population increased dramatically from 32,000 to around 77,000. Housing developments such as Church Hill, Matchborough, Winyates, Lodge Park and Woodrow were created to accommodate a large overspill from the industrially expanding Birmingham. Redditch was built as a "flagship" town using new methods and new town planning: all the main roads (mostly new dual carriageways as well as a ring road for the town centre) were banked to reduce noise to the new housing estates, and the whole of Redditch was landscaped.

By the 21st century needle-making and other traditional industries had been replaced by modern light industry and services, with Redditch also functioning as a dormitory town for Birmingham. The automotive retailer Halfords and engineering giant GKN both have their headquarters in Redditch. Manufacturer of precious metal contacts Samuel Taylor Ltd has manufacturing plants within the town. Following the redevelopment of the flagship Kingfisher Shopping Centre in 2002 Redditch is undergoing an economic and cultural renaissance.

The town is home to several historical sites. The National Needle Museum and the ruins of Bordesley Abbey are located in the Abbey Ward district, and the remains of a medieval moated settlement called Moons Moat are within the Church Hill estate.

end of Wikipedia contribution

Redditch District was formed from Redditch Urban District in 1974. It was first located in the county of Hereford and Worcester, and then, since 1998, in Worcestershire again. Before 1894 it was a town and chapelry within the parish of Tardebigge.

A nineteenth century description

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Redditch from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"REDDITCH, a town and a township-chapelry in Tardebigg parish, Worcester. The town stands at the boundary with Warwickshire, and at the terminus of a branch railway, 1 mile W of the river Arrow, and 6 E S E of Bromsgrove; has, of late years, undergone great extension; carries on a vast manufacture of needles, fish-hooks, and similar articles; is a seat of petty-sessions and county courts; and has a head post-office, a railway station, two banking offices, two chief inns, a police station, a church, five dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a literary and scientific institute, a mixed national school, Wesleyan schools, a fair on the first Monday of Aug., another fair on the third Monday of Sept., and races on Whit-Monday and Whit-Tuesday. The railway goes 4¾ miles northwestward, into junction with the Midland system at Barnt-Green; was authorized in 1858, on a capital of £35,000 in shares, and £11,500 in loans; was opened in Sept. 1859; and was leased, in 1865, to the Midland. The church was built in 1855, at a cost of £7,463; is in the decorated Gothic style; and consists of nave, aisles, and raised chancel, with tower and spire. Bordesley abbey occupied a site in the neighbourhood; and a chapel of it was the only place of worship for Redditch till 1807.
"The chapelry comprises 1,835 acres. Real property: £17,265; of which £601 are in the railway, and £100 in gas-works. Population in 1851: 4, 802; in 1861: 5, 441. Houses: 1,110. The property is much subdivided. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Worcester. Value: £300. Patron: Baroness Windsor."

Research Tips

  • Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Revised: Worcestershire illustrates the parish boundaries of Worcestershire when rural districts were still in existence and before the West Midlands came into being. The map publication year is 1931. The map blows up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. Maps in this series are now downloadable for personal use.
  • British History Online has a collection of local maps from the Ordnance Survey 1883-1893. Rural areas are included, but these may be especially useful for investigation the suburbs of large towns.
  • GENUKI makes a great many suggestions as to other websites with worthwhile information about Worcestershire as well as leading to a collection of 19th century descriptions of each of the ecclesiastical parishes.
  • The Midlands Historical Data project produces searchable facsimile copies of old local history books and directories of interest to genealogists. It specialises in the three counties of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire, working closely with libraries, archives and family history societies in the area. Digital images are made freely available to participating organisations to improve public access. Free search index on its web-site to all its books. In many cases payment will be required to see the extract.
  1. organization charts of the hierarchies of parishes within hundreds, registration districts and rural and urban districts of the 20th century
  2. excerpts from a gazetteer of circa 1870 outlining individual towns and parishes
  3. reviews of population through the time period 1800-1960
  • More local sources can often be found by referring to "What Links Here" in the column on the left.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Redditch. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.