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Kingswinford

"Kingswinford, or Swinford Regis, is a small but pleasant village, with many new houses, three miles WSW of Dudley, and seven miles S of Wolverhampton. It gives name to a very extensive parish, which comprises 7315 acres and 22,221 inhabitants. The greater portion of the population is at Brierley Hill, Wordsley, Brettell Lane, Brockmore, Bromley, Delph, Shut End, and Wall Heath, and there are also in the parish 20 smaller hamlets. In these villages and hamlets are many extensive coal, iron, and glass works, a wire mill, several potteries of stone and coarse glass ware, several large brick and tile yards, and a number of chain and nail makers. Lord Ward is lord of the manor, which comprises the whole parish, and owner of a great part of the soil. The rest belongs to JHH Foley, Esq, Henry Bradley, Esq, Miss Briscoe, J & W Foster, Esqs, Edward Addenbrooke, Esq, Joseph Atkinson, Esq, W & C Wheeley, Esqs, and some smaller owners. The parish is skirted on three sides by canals, and crossed on the north side by a railroad, for the convenience of the coal and iron works, etc.
In the village of Kingswinford stands Bradley Hall, an ancient half-timbered house, encompassed by lofty walls, dated on the front at 1596. To the west is the pleasant eminence called Summer Hill, where there are several good modern houses, and at a short distance is Ashwood, an excellent house created by the late Lord Dudley, and formerly occupied by Sir Joseph Scott. Eastward from the village is Holbeach, the place where Stephen Lyttleton, and others concerned in the Gunpowder Plot, were taken in 1605. About half a mile to the south is Shutt End, a venerable structure, the seat of the Bendys for many generations, and beyond it is Corbyn's Hall, which took its name from the former owners. On the banks of the Stour and the canal, about two miles SSW of Kingswinford, is Prestwood House, formerly the seat of the Hon Edward Foley, and now of John H Hodgetts Foley, Esq, MP, one of the representatives of the east division of Worcestershire. It is a handsome Gothic mansion, placed on the site of one more ancient, built by Sir John Lyttleton, of which the gateway still remains.
Audnam is a hamlet on the Wolverhampton road, one and a quarter miles N by W of Stourbridge, where there are bottle and flint glass works.
Brettell Lane, on the Dudley road, one mile N of Stourbridge, is a long village, with two coarse potteries, a flint glass house, and several iron works.
Brierley Hill formed a chapelry to Kingswinford parish and details can be found on the Brierley Hill parish page.
Brockmoor, a village and district of many scattered houses, about half a mile N of Brierley Hill, gives name to a district parish of more than 3500 souls.
Delph, three miles S by W of Dudley, is a village on the canal, where there is a rise of nine locks. Here are many nail makers, and a large fire brick manufactory.
Shutt End district has several coal and iron works, and the village of Tansy Green, two miles SW of Dudley.
Wall Heath is a scattered village, with a large spade and shovel manufactory, four miles W of Dudley, and one mile NW of Kingswinford.
Pensnett district parish, formed in 1844, from two to three miles WSW of Dudley, includes Bromley, Commonside, Pensnett Chase, etc and upwards of 4000 souls.
Quarry Bank, Mount Pleasant, Crier's Plain, and Thorns, are adjacent hamlets, about three miles S of Dudley, in the district parish of Quarry Bank, which has about 3000 souls.
Wordsley, on the Stourbridge road, about a mile SSW of Kingswinford, and one and a half miles W of Brierley Hill, is a large modern village, and has in its vicinity several glass, coal, and iron works. Wordsley Glass Works, first established by Messrs Bradley, Ensall, and Holt, are the oldest in the county, and there are some old established glassworks at Audnam, now belonging to M & W Grazebrook."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Bibliography

'An Historical Sketch of the Parish of Kingswinford'
by UA Beddall
Published c1885, by U Beddall, Brierley Hill.

'The Story of Pensnett Chase.
Chapters from the Kingswinford History'

by David Reginald Guttery
Published 1950, Brierley Hill.
Reprinted 1967 by Dudley Libraries, Museums & Arts Department.

'The Prentice and the Parson. (The Case of John Duncalf)
Chapters from the Kingswinford History'

by David Reginald Guttery
Published 1950, Brierley Hill.
Reprinted 1967 by Dudley Libraries, Museums & Arts Department.

'The Two Johns (John de Sutton, Baron Dudley & John Bredhill), Patron & Parson.
Chapters from the Kingswinford History'

by David Reginald Guttery
Published 1969 by Dudley Libraries, Museums & Arts Department.

'From Domesday to Doomsday.
Chapters from the Kingswinford History'

by David Reginald Guttery
Published 1967 by Dudley Libraries, Museums & Arts Department.

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Cemeteries

A transcript of the Monumental Inscriptions of the church of Kingswinford, St Mary has been published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
A transcript of the Monumental Inscriptions of the church of Wordsley, Holy Trinity has been published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

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Census

The population of Kingswinford parish was as follows:
1801 - 6,464
1811 - 8,267
1821 - 11,022
1831 - 15,156
1841 - 22,221
1851 - 27,301
1861 - 34,257
1871 - 35,041
1881 - 35,767
1891 - 36,411
1901 - 38,490

A full indexed transcript of the 1851 census of Kingswinford (PRO Ref. HO 107/2036) has been published in two parts (A-Lad & Ladd-Z) by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

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Church History

"St Mary's Church, in Kingswinford village, was the parish church until 1832, and was made a district church in 1846, and a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Lord Ward, and incumbency of the Rev. H Downing, MA. It is a small ancient fabric, with a massive tower, and contains several monumental inscriptions of the families of Corbyn, Scott, Hodgetts, and Bendy.
Holy Trinity Church at Wordsley, is a spacious and handsome structure, built in 1830/31. It was consecrated as the parish church of Kingswinford in 1831, when all the registers were removed to it from St Mary's, which was considered too small for the other church of this large and populous parish. The rectory is in the patronage of Lord Ward, and incumbency of the Rev Chas Girdlestone, MA.
St John, Brockmoor, was built in 1844/45 to serve the new district parish of Brockmoor. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Crown and Bishop alternately, and in the incumbency of the Rev Alleyne Rodgers, BA.
St Mark, Pensnett, was built in 1848/9 to serve the new district parish of Pensnett. It is a handsome cruciform structure, in the early pointed style, with lancet windows. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Lord Ward, and incumbency of the Rev Francis Fowke, MA.
Christ Church, Quarry Bank, was built in 1849 to serve the new district parish of Quarry Bank. It is a neat structure in the early English style. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Crown and Bishop alternately, and incumbency of the Rev W Lamb Cox, MA.
There are Wesleyan chapels at Brockmoor, Brettell Lane, and Mount Pleasant, Primitive Methodist chapels at Quarry Bank and Pensnett, and Independent chapels at Wordsley and Brockmoor."

[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Postcard of St Mary's Church c1904.

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Church Records

Church of England Registers
The parish registers of St Mary, Kingswinford commence in 1603, but as was noted above, Holy Trinity, Wordsley became the parish church in 1832 when the registers were transferred and continued as those for the parish registers. St Mary, Kingswinford became a chapel of ease and commenced new registers in 1832. Thus the early parish register commencing in 1603 is usually shown as Holy Trinity, Wordsley although it was the register of St Mary from 1603-1831, and St Mary is shown as commencing in 1832.

The original registers of Holy Trinity, Wordsley for the period 1603-1945 (Bapts); 1603-1958 (Mar); & 1603-1927 (Bur) , are deposited at Dudley Archives & Local History Service.
The original registers of St Mary, Kingswinford, for the period 1832-1914 (Bapts); 1837-1910 (Mar); & 1832-1944 (Bur) , are deposited at Dudley Archives & Local History Service.
Bishops Transcripts, 1666-1857 for St Mary (with gaps 1693-97, 1709-13 & 1841-44) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1832-1854 for Holy Trinity are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A transcript of the Kingswinford Parish Registers has been published in three parts, Part 1, 1603-1704; Part 2, 1704-1724; & Part 3 1724-1761 (Bapts & Bur), 1724-1759 (Mar), by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

Nonconformist Registers
Original surviving registers of Nonconformist chapels in Kingswinford parish are deposited at Dudley Archives & Local History Service.
A transcript of the Pensnett, Shut End Primitive Methodist Registers, Baptisms, 1845-1887 has been published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

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Description and Travel

The Kingswinford.com site includes a wealth of detail on present day and historical Kingswinford and the surrounding area.

Maps

A map showing the pre-1850 boundaries of Kingswinford Parish

Poorhouses, Poor Law etc

Kingswinford parish became part of Stourbridge Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.

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[Last updated: 10th August 2013, Mike Harbach.  ©1998 - 2013 ]