"Kinfare, or, as it is more commonly called, Kinver, is a large and pleasant village, consisting of one long street, with many good houses, on the declivity of an eminence called Kinver Edge, on the west bank of the River Stour, near the borders of Worcestershire, eleven miles S by W of Wolverhampton and four miles WSW of Stourbridge. It was anciently a borough and market town of some importance, but the weekly market has long been obsolete, though the market-house or town hall still remains. Kinver was formerly noted for the manufacture of both coarse and fine narrow woollen cloth, and it has now several forges for the manufacture of bar, rod, and sheet iron, and one of them, at a place called Hyde, is said to be the first rolling and slitting mill in England, being founded by one Brindley, who went into Germany, and there 'acted the part of a fool', until he obtained a complete knowledge of all the machinery used in the iron works of that kingdom.
The parish is intersected by the Stour river and the Staffordshire & Worcestershire canal, and contains about 9000 acres of fertile land and 2207 inhabitants. It consists of two manors; viz. Kinver (including Compton, Dunsley, Iverley-hay, and Stourton), of which John Hodgetts Hodgetts Foley, Esq, MP, of Prestwood Hall, is lord; and Whittington, on the east side of the Stour, of which the Earl of Stamford is lord. These lords are likewise owners of most of the soil, but here are a few small freeholders and copy holders.
Compton is a hamlet of scattered houses, two miles W of Kinver, near the borders of Shropshire.
Whittington, on the opposite side of the Stour, one mile E of Kinver, and four miles SW of Stourbridge, is a small village and ancient manor, belonging to the Earl of Stamford.
Stourton Castle, nearly two miles N of Kinver, on the west bank of the Stour, is a venerable mansion, which was repaired about twenty years ago, and is occupied by James Foster, Esq. The celebrated Cardinal Pole was born in this castle in 1500. His descent was illustrious, being younger son of Lord Montague (cousin german to Henry VII), by Margaret, daughter of George Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]




'A History of Kinver and Enville'
Extract from Victoria County History of Staffordshire, Vol XX
by MW Greenslade
Published 1990, by Staffordshire Libraries, Arts & Archives, Stafford.

'Romantic Kinver and Enville. With Legends and Folklore'
by Frances Elizabeth Campbell
Published 1950, by Model Printers, Stourbridge.

'Kinver and Enville in Old Photographs'
by Bob Clarke & Tony Freer
Published 1996, by Sutton, Stroud, Gloucestershire.

'Kinver and Enville in Old Photographs, A Second Selection'
by Bob Clarke & Michael Reuter
Published 1998, by Sutton, Stroud, Gloucestershire.

'History of the Church of St Peter, Kinver'
by Herbert Grainger
Published 1951, Kinver.

'The Parish Church of St Peter, Kinver. A Short Guide and History'
by Herbert Grainger
Published 1962, by British Publishing Company, Gloucester.

'The Methodist Church, Kinver'
by HJ Haden
Published 1962, Kinver.

'A Short History of Stourton Castle & the Royal Forest of Kinver'
by Capt RM Grazebrook
Published 1919, by Mitchell Hughes & Clarke, London.

'Medieval Kinver and Neighbourhood'
by Frances Elizabeth Campbell
Published 1963, by FE Campbell, Stourbridge.

'Royal Kinver'
by Frances Elizabeth Campbell
Published 1964, by FE Campbell, Stourbridge.




A transcript of the Monumental Inscriptions of the church of Kinver, St Peter, has been published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.




The population of Kinver parish was as follows:
1801 -- 1655
1811 -- 1668
1821 -- 1735
1831 -- 1831
1841 -- 2207

A surname index of the 1851 census of Kinver (Kinfare) parish is included in the Staffordshire 1851 Census Surname index, Volume 13, Wolverhampton, published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

A surname index only of the 1891 census for Kinver is included in the 1891 Census Surname & Folio Index for Dudley, Sedgley & Wolverhampton & District published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.





Church History

"The Church is an ancient fabric, dedicated to St Peter. From the form of an arch over the principal window, Bishop Littleton supposed it to have been erected even prior to the Norman Conquest, but the chapel adjoining the chancel, he ascribes to the time of Henry III, when the Hamptons were lords here, and resided at Stourton Castle. Here are several antique monuments of the families of Grey, Hampton, Hodgett, Foley and Talbot. The perpetual curacy is in the patronage of the Earl of Stamford and JHH Foley, Esq, and incumbency of the Rev Geo Wharton, MA."

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

Postcard of St Peter's Church c1903.



Church Records

Church of England Registers
The register of the parish church of St Peter commences in 1560. The original registers for the period 1560-1904 (Bapts), 1560-1915 (Mar) & 1560-1907 (Bur), (with gaps 1650-52) and Banns for the period 1823-1897 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1655-1880 (with gaps 1755-58, 1762-73, & 1854-55) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.


Description & Travel

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

A transcription of the section on KInver from A Topographical History of Staffordshire by William Pitt (1817)

Conservation Area Appraisals for Kinver  - interesting accounts of the areas, with excellent historical detail, numerous photographs and maps.

You can see pictures of Kinver which are provided by:



The transcription of the section for Kinver from the Topographical Dictionary of England (1859)

The transcription of the section for Kinver from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.

The transcription of the section for Kinver from the Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SO843834 (Lat/Lon: 52.448331, -2.23243), Kinver which are provided by:


Military Records

A transcription of the Muster Roll of 1539 for Kinver

A transcription of the Muster Roll of 1539 for Stourton


Poor Houses, Poor Law

The parish of Kinver became part of Seisdon Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.



Social Life & Customs

Marjorie Willetts unpublished MPhil Thesis entitled "Living on the edge; the social and economic culture of the rock house communities in Kinver from 1700 to 1963" examines in great detail the changing culture of the community that occupied the Kinver rock houses over three centuries.