Wordsley


Wordsley

Infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Wordsley
latitude= 52.483
longitude= -2.150
map_type= West Midlands
population = 14,661 (2001 Population Census)
population_density = 43.4 per ha
metropolitan_borough= Dudley
metropolitan_county= West Midlands
region= West Midlands
constituency_westminster= Dudley South
post_town= STOURBRIDGE
postcode_district = DY8
postcode_area= DY
dial_code= 01384
os_grid_reference=
Ambulance= West Midlands Ambulance Service

Wordsley with Buckpool is a village now forming the south suburbs of Kingswinford in the West Midlands, England. Wordsley still retains its rural character due to the fact that it abuts open countryside (the "green belt"). It is administered as part of the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley.

History

Previously, Wordsley lay in the far south of the historic boundaries of Staffordshire and, with neighbouring Amblecote, it was one of several villages just north of the River Stour that formed the border with the county of Worcestershire to the south. It formed part of the extensive manor of Kingswinford.

A convert|610|mi|km|0|lk=on|adj=on long-distance footpath runs nearby. The path follows the escape of the future Charles II during the English Civil War. He is said to have stopped at an inn in Wordsley about 3rd or 4th of September 1651, and taken bread and beer.

There were numerous glassworks in Wordsley from 1776 until 1930, making artisan-created cut-glass items such as vases, glasses and objets-d'art. The famous Portland Vase was cut in Wordsley. One of the most famous glass designers was a Wordsley man, William Jabez Muckley. Another was John Northwood, and his son Harry C. Northwood who [http://wheeling.weirton.lib.wv.us/people/hallfame/1994nort.htm helped establish glassware in the USA] . Yet another who established glassware in the USA was John Northwood's friend, Frederick Carder. One of the most accomplished glasscutters was George Woodall, whose campaign led to the building of the Wordsley School of Art. The 'Red House Glassworks', a 100-foot high glassmaking cone, survives and has recently been restored. Lead-crystal cut-glass from Wordsley's heyday is now rare and collectable. Glassworking continued in the area, albeit at a reduced scale, until the 1990s.

Wordsley was the headquarters of the Royal seedsmen, Webbs of Wordsley. Their grounds covered thousands of acres.

Places of interest

The church is Holy Trinity Church, Wordsley which was consecrated in 1831, replacing St. Mary. Construction had begun 1828 following the donation of land from the Earl of Dudley. The building was designed by architect Louis Vulliamy. This replaced the ancient parish church at Kingswinford, which was reopened in 1846, initially as a chapel of ease.

Much of the historic fabric of the village has been subject to demolition over the decades. Victorian terraced housing, shops and glassworker cottages - now so valued elsewhere - were replaced en masse by large housing estates built either in the 1960s modernist style or the 1990s Barratt style. Village buildings that were formerly highly notable fine relics of the Victorian and Edwardian era, such as the Wordsley Hospital and the Wordsley School of Art, have recently been - or are to be - demolished. Wordsley Hospital closed in 2005, with its functions being transferred to other hospitals within the Borough. The site is scheduled for demolition in 2006 and will become a new housing estate - though it is hoped that the historic clock tower may be saved.The clocktower and a few other buildings are indeed going to be saved and incorporated into the future housing development.(Source:- Express & Star) The fine Wordsley School of Art, built in 1899 had fallen into disrepair and was demolished at the end of 2000. The first instructor at the school was Frederick Carder, a glass designer. The building had not been used since the Community Association moved to new premises at The Green. The Broadfield House Glass Museum salvaged two granite plaques which were laid down when the school was completed in 1898 and extended in 1906." [http://archive.halesowennews.co.uk/2001/1/4/57072.html Plaques saved] " - Halesowen News, 4 January 2001 (Retrieved 14 July 2007)] The school's site remains empty and overgrown. In 2006, a row of dilapidated shops at the junction of High Street and Brierley Hill Road were cleared, and plans were announced to widen the often congested road system at this point. It is planned to build new homes on the cleared site and an adjacent closed local authority car park. [" [http://selbournehomes.com/news_2006.asp All systems go for Selbourne in Wordsley] " - Selbourne Homes, 16 March 2006 (Retrieved 14 July 2007)] There is concern that this, and other major homes schemes in the area, will lead to much increased traffic problems on the High Street.

Stuart's Glass Works, another notable building, came under pressure from sales of cheaper imported glass and the business there closed in March 2002. The Stuart's site is earmarked for residential development, which will incorporate some of the historic buildings such as the old flour mill. The glass making centre has know been knocked down, and waiting for a new housing development. ["A cut above the rest; INTERIORS Jo Ind looks at the Black Country's contribution to glassware in the past century." - Birmingham Post, May 31, 2000] The historic Red House Cone is now preserved as a museum and visitor centre with a craft centre.

Transport

The A491 road passes through Wordsley, being originally a prehistoric track.

National Route 54 of the National Cycle Network passes a mile to the south-east.

The navigable Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal passes a mile to the west, and the Stourbridge Canal just to the west, descending in a flight of locks that passes beside the Red House glass cone.

The nearest rail station is Stourbridge Town, just under two miles from Wordsley, which is the only station on the Stourbridge Town Branch Line, a branch off the main Birmingham to Worcester via Kidderminster Line.

Culture and arts

Wordsley is noted for having an unusually large number of artistic groups operating in the music, theatre and arts sectors. Wordsley is home to the Dudley Music Centre, a respected local facility for the teaching and performance of music. There are two major theatre groups operating from Wordsley: Wordsley Amateur Dramatics Society, and G.I.S.T. The contemporary poet Gary Bills was born at Wordsley Hospital, and attended Lawnswood Primary School and The Buckpool School.

Education

Wordsley is home to The Wordsley School Business & Enterprise and Music College which was previously known as The Buckpool School. The school is located on Brierley Hill Road next to Buckpool Nature Reserve. It was also next to "The Swan" pub, which has recently been demolished.

couting

Wordsley is home to two scout groups - 1st Wordsley Scout Group and 2nd Wordsley Scout Group.

Notable residents

Famous people born in Wordsley include professional snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan and poet Gary Bills. They were both born in the local hospital.

References

*Hill, Stan. (2005) "Wordsley Past & Present".
*Ellis, Jason. (2002). "Glassmakers of Stourbridge and Dudley, 1612-2002." Xlibris.
*Richards, John. "The Wordsley Brewery & Company Limited, Wordsley, Staffordshire." in "Brewery History", 99 (2000), pages 7-12.

External links

* [http://www.wordsleyteamparish.org.uk/ Wordsley Parish]
* [http://www.wordsley.dudley.gov.uk/ The Wordsley School]
* [http://www.1stwordsley.co.uk/ 1st Wordsley Scout Group]


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