Until relatively recently the parish of KINGSWINFORD was one of the largest in the Black Country, a vast area that covered not only Kingswinford itself but also Wall Heath, Wordsley, Pensnett, Brierley Hill, Brockmoor and Quarry Bank. The extensive coal, iron-ore and fireclay deposits meant that with the industrialisation of the area both the glass and brick-making industries became well-established. Over the years as Brierley Hill grew larger so the ancient manor of Kingswinford was split up and separate parishes were established.
Today Kingswinford boasts an excellent shopping centre and has one of the few regular open-air markets in the area. It also has the Broadfield House Glass Museum and, down the road in Wordsley, is the Red House Cone which are just about all that remains of the once-important glass industry.
Close by, the small village of Wall Heath became famous following the Gunpowder Plot after which a number of those involved in the unsuccessful plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament were tracked down to Holbeche House on the outskirts of the village. Wall Heath has always been known as being a centre for entertainment - back in Victorian times there were the Yew Tree Pleasure Gardens, in the 1980s there was Christopher’s Night Club and until recently there was the Kingfisher Country Club (now Hickory’s Smokehouse).
Down the road towards Stourbridge is Wordsley which, for many years was the centre of the glass industry with companies such as Stuart Crystal being based there. Another major employer was Webbs Seeds which had several thousand acres of land stretching between Wordsley and Kinver on which to produce the seeds that were sent across the world. Holy Trinity Church at Wordsley took over the mantle of Parish Church for Kingswinford from St Mary’s after the latter was believed to be in danger of collapsing (it wasn’t).
In addition to distributing to households throughout the area, each month copies of VILLAGE VOICE are left at the libraries and health centres in Kingswinford, Wall Heath and Wordsley plus many of our regular advertisers also have copies available.
We are always interested in receiving suggestions for editorial features - just drop us a line, give us a call or send us an email. Similarly if you have any old interesting photographs of the area please get in touch.
Kingswinford / Wordsley / Wall Heath
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