In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Redditch like this:
REDDITCH, a town and a township-chapelry in Tardebigg parish, Worcester. The town stands at the boundary with Warwickshire, and at the terminus of abranch 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 Catholicchapel, 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. Pop. 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.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Redditch in Worcestershire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 23rd March 2017
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