"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]