Place:Stourbridge, Worcestershire, England

Watchers
NameStourbridge
Alt namesBedcotesource: Family History Library Catalog
TypeUrban district, Borough (municipal)
Coordinates52.4575°N 2.1479°W
Located inWorcestershire, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inWest Midlands, England     (1974 - )
See alsoHalfshire (hundred), Worcestershire, Englandhundred of which the parish was a part
Dudley (metropolitan borough), West Midlands, Englandmetropolitan borough covering the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Stourbridge is a large town in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, in the West Midlands of England. Until 1974 it was a part of Worcestershire. Stourbridge was a centre of glass making, and today includes the suburbs of Amblecote, Lye, Oldswinford, Pedmore, Wollaston, Wollescote and Wordsley. These places joined Stourbridge at different dates during the 20th century. NOTE: Wikipedia also mentions Norton which was a part of Oldswinford.

The population, as recorded in the UK Census of 2001, was 55,480. Stourbridge is located about 13 miles west of Birmingham, at the edge of the industrial Midlands, located between Kidderminster and Dudley. Stourbridge takes its name from the River Stour, which flows through the town and for centuries formed the border between Worcestershire and Staffordshire.

Civic history

Stourbridge was in the ancient parish of Oldswinford, Worcestershire, but the manor of Bedcote (which was probably co-terminous) was a separate manor. This perhaps led to Stourbridge being a separate township for Poor Law and other purposes, distinct from Amblecote (which being in Staffordshire was separately administered) and the rest of Oldswinford. In 1834, the "Stourbridge Union" was formed consisting of Kingswinford and Amblecote in Staffordshire, and Stourbridge, Oldswinford, and most of the parish of Halesowen in Worcestershire, though not Romsley, Hunnington, or Oldbury.

The town obtained a Board of Improvement Commissioners under an Act of 1825. A further act of 1866 divided it into three wards and allowed the neighbouring hamlets of Amblecote, Wollaston and Lye to accede to the town if they wished. The Improvement Commissioners were replaced by an Urban District Council in the 1890s. The town subsequently obtained a charter as a municipal borough. This later absorbed Lye and Wollescote Urban District Council in 1933, and much of Amblecote in 1965. Since 1974, it has been part of the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley.

The border between Worcestershire and Staffordshire was moved a couple of miles north in 1966, when Amblecote Urban District (previously in Staffordshire) was incorporated into the Borough of Stourbridge. This arrangement lasted eight years until the ascent of the Local Government Act 1972 in 1974, when Stourbridge was amalgamated into the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley and became part of the wider West Midlands county.

Wikipedia also includes a summary of the glass-making industry in Stourbridge and the surrounding area.

The map of Worcestershire circa 1944 labels the civil parishes in Stourbridge area of Worcestershire.

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 Stourbridge. 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.