Wednesfield in 1817


Description from A Topographical History of Staffordshire by William Pitt (1817)


Wednesfield is a hamlet, about two miles north-east from Wolverhampton, on the western verge of the hundred. It is memorable as the scene of a battle between Edward the Elder and the Danes, in the year 910, of which Dr. Plott gives the following account:

"King Edward, with an army of West Saxons and Mercians, overtook the retreating Danes at the village of Wednesfield, and overthrew them in a bloody battle, wherein he killed Eowills and Halfden, two of their kings, and Ohtea and Scurfer, two of their earls, and nine other noblemen, of which great slaughter there are no remains but a low in a ground called South Low-field, which once had a wind-mill set upon it; another field is called North Low-field, doubtless from lows in it, since removed; and such was likely Stowman's-hill, on the road betwixt Wolverhampton and Walsall, half a mile SW of Nechels." Stowman-low or Hill, has been since removed to mend the roads, and nothing remarkable discovered.

The parish of Wednesfield was a common-field within the last half century, and a gate on the road at the end of the manor was called Wednesfield-gate. The Wyrley and Essington Canal passes through the whole length of Wednesfield liberty, close by the church and moat-house, and is an accommodation for lime, coal, and manure. On digging into the earth about Wednesfield, the stones are often found encrusted with hard shells, a proof that they increase in bulk by the petrifaction of the surrounding matter.

In 1811, Wednesfield contained 1248 inhabitants; namely, 702 males, and 546 females. The principal manufacture is traps of all sizes and kinds, and among others man-traps.

The Church is a neat structure of brick and stone, erected in 1760, chiefly at the expense of Mrs. Martha Gough. It cost £2000.: the patronage is in Mr. Gough, and the present minister is the Rev. John Clare.