In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Wolverhampton like this:
Wolverhampton, parl. and mun. bor. and manufacturing town, par., and township, Staffordshire, on an eminence, 12¾ miles NW. of Birmingham and 125 miles from London by rail - par. (containing Bilston, Wednesfield, Willenhall, &c.), 17,499 ac., pop. 131,587; mun. bor. and township, 3390 ac., pop. 75,766; parl. bor., comprising also the townships of Bilston, Wednesfield, and Willenhall, and the par. of Sedgley, 18,888 ac., pop. 164,332; 5 Banks, 7 newspapers. Market-days, Wednesday and Saturday. ...
Wolverhampton stands on the summit of an eminence, amid a network of railways and canals. It is of ancient origin, and had a religious house of the 10th century, but it remained small and obscure until recent times, when it increased rapidly in population and wealth; it is now the largest manufacturing town in the county, and is known as the Metropolis of the Black Country. Situated in the heart of the great midland mining district, with extensive beds of coal and ironstone in its vicinity, it possesses enormous iron foundries, where articles of every description of ironware are produced. Steel, brass, tin, papier mbche, and japanned wares are also extensively made, with galvanised ironware, chemicals, colours, varnishes, &c. Wolverhampton has long been noted for its locks and keys. It possesses many fine public buildings, among which are the collegiate church of St Peter, and a Catholic chapel designed by Pugin. Congreve and Abernethy were educated at the grammar school (1515). Wolverhampton was made a parliamentary borough in 1832, and a municipal borough in 1848. It returns 3 members to Parliament (3 divisions - viz., West, East, and South, 1 member for each division); its representation was increased from 2 to 3 members in 1885.
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 Wolverhampton has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Wolverhampton. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Wolverhampton and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Wolverhampton in Staffordshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 23rd May 2013
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