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.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Redditch has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Redditch. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Redditch and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Redditch in Worcestershire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 28th May 2016
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