Wednesbury is a market town in England's Black Country, now part of the Sandwell metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, near the source of the River Tame. At the 2011 UK census the town has a population of 37,817.
Wednesbury is one of the oldest parts of the Black Country. The ending "-bury" comes from the old English word "burgh" meaning a hill or barrow. So "Wednesbury" may mean "Woden's Hill" or "Woden's barrow". It could also mean Woden's fortification, although the former description is often accepted.
Medieval Wednesbury was very small, and its inhabitants would appear to have been farmers and farm workers. In 1315, coal pits were first recorded, which led to an increase in the number of jobs. Nail making was also in progress during these times. William Paget was born in Wednesbury in 1505, the son of a nail maker. He became Secretary of State, a Knight of the Garter and an Ambassador.
In the 17th century Wednesbury pottery - "Wedgbury ware" - was being sold as far away as Worcester, while white clay from Monway Field was used to make tobacco pipes.
By the 18th century the main occupations were coal mining and nail making. With the introduction of the first turnpike road in 1727 and the development of canals and later the railways came a big increase in population. In 1769 the canal banks were soon full of factories as in this year, the first Birmingham Canal was cut to link Wednesbury's coalfields to the Birmingham industries.
The borough of Wednesbury was partitioned in 1966, with the majority being absorbed into West Bromwich, and small parts in the County Borough of Walsall. West Bromwich amalgamated with Warley in 1974 to form the present-day borough of Sandwell in the West Midlands .