A Brief History of Wordsley

Wordsley sits on the A491 road about half way between Kingswinford and Brettle Lane.

Wordsley Church

The site on which Holy Trinity Church stands was donated by The Earl of Dudley and church construction began in 1829. The architect for Holy Trinity Church, Wordsley was Louis Vulliamy. Holy Trinity Church was consecrated in 1831.

Kingswinford Church was closed between 1831 and 1848 for renovations and reconstruction, so Holy Trinity Church became the Kingswinford Parish church. In 1842, the National School was built next to Holy Trinity Church, and this building now serves as the Church Hall. In the 1960's, the church sold off a lot of it's land for housing development. The housing development was given the name Rectory Fields.

Other sites of interest in Wordsley include Wordsley Hospital, Wordsley School of Art, Wordsley Hall, Dadfords Warehouse, Stuarts Glass Works and Webbs Seed Warehouse. Many of these have now disappeared but, if you look hard enough, evidence of Wordsley's past still remains.

Wordsley Hospital, Clock Tower

Wordsley Hospital was built in 1861 to serve the Union Workhouse. The Union Workhouse, which was administered by the Board of Guardians, took in inmates from a wide area. It became The Stourbridge Union Workhouse and in 1837 3,950 pounds was spent on site improvements. During WW1 part of the site was used as a military hospital and in WW2 an American Army plastic surgery unit was located here. With the creation of the National Health Service a large range of hospital services developed on the site.

However, in 2005, the hospital closed and all services were transferred to the expanded Russells Hall Hospital near Dudley.

Wordsley Hospital

Wordsley School of Art

Wordsley School of Art was opened in 1899 following a campaign by local glass manufactures to better educate their employees. At first only the left side of the school was built. The other half was opened in 1909. 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. It has since been demolished however the Broadfield House Glass Museum salvaged the granite plaques, which were laid when the two separate parts of the building were completed in 1898 and 1906..

Main Entrance

Wordsley Hall was once the home Ben Richardson, a leading Wordsley glass manufacturer. Located in Brierley Hill Road the Hall is still standing but is now a retirement home.

Wordsley Manor is located on the right hand side of High Street, travelling south, just before the canal bridge. The owners, Firmstones, sold off a lot of the land for building which meant they lost their drive and main entrance. The entrance is now in now in Meadowfields Drive which is just off Kinver Street.

The house was built in the 1790's. In the 1930's Mr Firmstone converted part of the attics into a cinema, which the people of Wordsley used to visit, the cinema is still there! He also installed a Christie Cinema Organ, which is also still there but not currently playable, which was used for radio broadcasts during the War years. The manor has been extensively restored by his son who now lives there with his family.

William Webb & Sons, founded in 1861, was a large concern and the lands associated with the production and cultivation of seeds exceeded some 17,000 acres, mainly at Wordsley and Kinver. Webb's, described in an 1889 catalogue as "The Queen's Seedsmen", gave local names to their seeds which included such names as Wordsley Wonder, Kinver Gem, Electric light, Culverwell's Telegraph (peas), Kinver Monarch, Wordsley Queen and Stourbridge Glory (potatoes). The Hop Warehouse is all that now remains of this Wordsley seed manufacturer. More recently Wordsley Garden Centre sat on part of the original site but this has now closed and the land redeveloped.