In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Wednesbury like this:
WEDNESBURY, a town and a parish in West Bromwich district, Stafford. The town stands on the South Staffordshire and Great Western railways, near the Birmingham canal, 8 miles NW of Birmingham; was called by the Saxons Wodensbury, after the god Woden; is now popularly called Wedgebury; had a castle, built in 916, by the princess Ethelfleda; was made a parliamentary borough, with one representative, by the reform act of 1867; includes, as a borough, West Bromwich and Tipton; was proposed, in the Boundary Commissioners' report of 1868, to include also Darlaston; is a polling place for South Staffordshire; publishes a weekly newspaper; carries on manufactures of railway ironwork, railway-carriages, patent axle-trees, gas tubes, steam and water pipes, and gun-locks, coach springs, hinges, screws, nails, and every kind of wrought iron-work; is managed by a local board of health, who have offices in the Italian style, built in 1867; and has a head post-office,‡ two r. ...
stations with telegraph, two banking offices, several good inns, a police station, a later English church, restored in 1827 and 1866, two modern churches in the early English style, ten dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a mechanics' institute, a working man's club, with library and reading room, eight public schools, charities £250, a weekly market on Saturday, and fairs on 6 May and 3 Aug. Pop. in 1861, within the town limits proper, 15,298. Houses, 2,793. Pop. within the borough limits, as constituted in 1867, about 92,623.The parish comprises 2,175 acres. Real property, £59,557; of which £8,312 are in mines, £80 in quarries, and £11,987 in ironworks. Pop. in 1851, 14,281; in 1861, 21,968. Houses, 4,057. The manor belonged anciently to the Crown; passed to the Heronviles and the Beaumonts; and belongs now to Sir F. Scott, Bart. and Lady Emily Foley. Coal, iron ore, limestone, potters' clay, and brick clay abound. The head living or St. Bartholomew s is a vicarage, and the livings of St. John and St. James are rectories, in the diocese of Lichfield. Value of St. B., £310;* of St. John, £267; of St. James, £300.* Patron of St. B., the Lord Chancellor; of St. John, Lady E. Foley; of St. James, J. N. Bagnall, Esq. The p. curacy of Moxley is a separate benefice. Lord W. Paget, who died in 1564, was a native.
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 Wednesbury has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Sandwell. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Wednesbury and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Wednesbury, in Sandwell and Staffordshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th May 2013
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