Handsworth  Staffordshire


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Handsworth like this:

HANDSWORTH, a town, a township, a parish, and a sub-district, in West Bromwich district, Stafford. The town stands contiguous to Warwickshire, on Hockley Brook, near the Birmingham and Wolverhampton railway; is suburban to Birmingham, and averagely 2½ miles NNW of the centre of that borough; partakes of the industry and general character of Birmingham; is the seat of the famous Soho manufactory; and has a post office‡ under Birmingham, and two stations with telegraph, the one called Soho, the other called Handsworth-Smethwick, on the Birmingham and Wolverhampton railway. ...

The township bears the name of Handsworth-with-Soho. Pop. in 1851, 7, 047; in 1861, 10, 398. Houses, 2, 003. The parish includes also the hamlet of Perry-Barr, and comprises 7, 680 acres. Real property, £48, 532. Pop. in 1851, 7, 879; in 1861, 11, 459. Houses, 2, 179. There are five livings, -H. ST. Mary, H. ST. James, H. ST. Michael, Birchfield, and Perry-Barr; and the first is a rectory, the others vicarages, in the diocese of Lichfield. Value of St. Mary, £1, 500;* of St. James and PerryBarr, each £200;* of St. Michael, £300; of Birchfield, not reported. Patron of St. Mary, the Rev. J. Peel, D.D.; of Perry-Barr, Lord Calthorpe; of the others, the Rector of Handsworth. St. Mary's church was ancient, but has been mostly rebuilt; includes a recent chapel, with a statue of Watt, by Chantry; and contains a bust of Boulton by Flaxman, and several old monuments. St. James' church was built in 1840; and had assigned to it, in 1854, a definite territory, the pop. of which, in 1861, was 3, 691. St. Michael's church was built in 1858, at a cost of about £6, 000; and is in the decorated English style. Birchfield church was built in 1864. There are chapels for Independents, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics, a convent of sisters of mercy, a middle school, national schools, and charities £1 99. The convent is a large edifice in Hunters lane, and the chapel connected with it is very elegant. The middle school was built in 1862, at a cost of £3, 200.—The sub-district is conterminate with the parish.

Handsworth through time

Handsworth is now part of Birmingham district. Click here for graphs and data of how Birmingham has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Handsworth itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Handsworth, in Birmingham and Staffordshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 30th July 2021

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