- Writing for the VCH
- VCH Explore
Staffordshire Vol XX
Edited by:M.W. Greenslade
First Published:1 January, 1984
The volume covers the south-west corner of Staffordshire, bordering on Shropshire and Worcestershire and including the Tettenhall and Amblecote portions of the new county of West Midlands. The area was part of Seisdon hundred and includes the village of Seisdon in Trysull parish where the hundred met. Most of it lay in Kinver forest. Stourton Castle in Kinver parish was built in the 1190s as a royal hunting lodge and became the home of the keeper of the forest. The area, watered by the Stour and its tributary Smestow brook, remains largely agricultural, with mixed farming and also market gardening for the nearby Black Country towns. There are three great houses, Enville Hall, Patshull House, and the Wodehouse at Wombourne, all at one time having fine gardens. By the 19th century business men working in Wolverhampton were coming to live in Tettenhall and Codsall, and in the 20th century Kinver, Pattingham, and Wombourne too have rapidly expanded as residential areas. By the late 18th century Tettenhall was the goal of excursions from Wolverhampton, and Kinver Edge has at-tracted visitors from the neighbouring towns for the past century. Rock houses cut into the sandstone of the Edge remained occupied until the mid 20th century. There were several early industries, notably ironworking along the rivers. Kinver had a flourishing iron industry from the 17th to the 19th century, and clothworking too was important there in the 17th and 18th centuries. There was an iron industry in Wombourne from the 16th century until the closure of Richard Thomas & Baldwin Ltd.'s Swindon works in 1976. At Amblecote glassmaking has been important since the early 17th century when Lorrainer glassmakers were attracted there by cheap coal and excellent fireclay.