In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Walsall like this:
Walsall, parl. and mun. bor., market town, and par., Staffordshire, 8 miles NW. of Birmingham and 123 from London by rail - par., 8182 ac., pop. 58,453; parl. bor., 7478 ac., pop. 59,402; mun. bor., 6929 ac., pop. 58,795; 3 Banks, 3 newspapers. Market-day, Tuesday. The par. consists of the 2 townships of Walsall Borough and Walsall Foreign, pop. 7652 and 50,801; the bor. extends into Rushall par. Walsall is an ancient place, but has risen into importance only in modern times. Situated on the margin of the South Staffordshire coal-field, it has great advantages for carrying on the iron manufacture, and it produces saddlers' ironmongery, saddles, harness, and all kinds of leather goods. ...
It has also numerous iron and brass foundries, tanneries, and corn mills; while in the vicinity are extensive coal mines and limestone quarries. It has several spacious streets and good public buildings, including the Guildhall (1867), Agricultural Hall (1868), and Cottage Hospital (1878). Walsall was made a mun. bor. in the time of Henry IV., and a parl. bor. in 1832; it returns 1 member to Parliament.
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 Walsall has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Walsall. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Walsall and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Walsall in Staffordshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 28th February 2015
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