"West Bromwich is a populous parish, lying between Wednesbury and Handsworth, and containing a long chain of villages and streets, which form one widely-spread town extending from the vicinity of Wednesbury, on the Birmingham road, to within three and a half miles NW of Birmingham, and three miles E of Dudley. This parish forms one of the busiest scenes in the South Staffordshire mining and manufacturing district, and extends over about 6000 acres with a population of 34,581 inhabitants.
The Earl of Dartmouth has a seat, called Sandwell Park, at the east end of the parish, and is lord of the manor and owner of about a third of the soil. The rest belongs to a number of freeholders, the largest of whom are the Rev SC Jervoise, Bt, and TC Jervoise, and Stephen Dorsett, Esqrs.
The Birmingham and Wolverhampton turnpike passes through the whole length of this populous parish, and is one of the busiest and best roads in England, and has for many years been under the able management of Mr James Frost, of Wood Green. Less than sixty years ago there were only eight houses between Great Bridge and the Bull's Head, a distance of two miles, which now forms one continued street of buildings, with various cross streets branching from it.
Bromwich Heath, the central and most populous part of the parish, was, about fifty years ago, an open common, but is now covered with good streets, the largest of which, High Street, is a mile in length, with many neat villas, good houses, inns, and well stocked shops, giving the air and bustle of a market town.
The other principal assemblages of houses and streets are Swan Village, Hill-Top, Spon Lane, and Great Bridge, the latter of which is partly in Tipton parish, and Spon Lane is partly in Smethwick hamlet, where there are extensive Glass Works.
The smaller suburbs, formerly detached, but now joined by continuous streets to the main town, are Carter's Green, Gold's Green, Greet's Green, Church Vale, Church Field, and Lyndon, the latter of which is half a mile S of the church, and is suposed to be the most ancient hamlet in the parish.
The ancient and well preserved half timbered house called Oak Hall, was for many centuries the residence of the Turton family. Sandwell Park, the seat of the Earl of Dartmouth, is at the SE corner of the parish, in a romantic valley, enclosed by a high wall and thick plantations. The mansion is a stuccoed building, standing on the site of a priory of Benedictine monks. After the dissolution, this monastery was granted to Cardinal Wolsey, and afterwards passed to the family of Legge, one of whom was created Baron Dartmouth, in 1682, and another, the Earl of Dartmouth and Viscount Lewisham, in 1711. The latter titles have descended to the present owner, the Rt Hon William Legge, FR & AS, who is colonel of the Staffordshire militia, and vice-lieutenant of the county."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
'A History of West Bromwich (with pedigrees)'
by Mary Willett
Published 1882, by Free Press Co, West Bromwich.
'A Short History of West Bromwich'
by West Bromwich Public Libraries
Published 1964, by West Bromwich Public Libraries.
'A History of West Bromwich'
by FW Hackwood
Published 1895, by Birmingham News & Printing Co, Birmingham.
'A History of West Bromwich'
by GC Baugh, MW Greenslade & DA Johnson
Published 1987, by Staffordshire Libraries, Arts & Archives, Stafford.
'West Bromwich - A History'
by Edward Chitham
Published 2009, by Phillimore & Co, Chichester.
'West Bromwich Yesterdays. A Short historical Study of the City of a Hundred Trades'
by RD Woodall
Published 1959, by Norman A Tector, Sutton Coldfield.
'West Bromwich Before the Industrial Revolution'
by D. Dilworth.
'Memories of West Bromwich'
by Alton Douglas & Dennis Moore
Published 1990, by Beacon Broadcasting, Wolverhampton.
'From Little Acorns Grow. 150 Years of West Bromwich Building Society'
by Carl Chinn
Published 1999, by Brewin Books, Studley.
A transcript of Monumental Inscriptions of West Bromwich Wesley church has been published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
The population of West Bromwich parish was as follows:
1801 -- 5,687
1811 -- 7,485
1821 -- 9,505
1831 -- 15,377
1841 -- 26,121
1851 -- 34,581
1861 -- 41,795
1871 -- 47,918
1881 -- 56,295
1891 -- 59,538
1901 -- 65,175
A surname index only of the 1851 census for West Bromwich is included in the 1851 Staffordshire Census Surname Index Vol 15, Parts 1 & 2, West Bromwich published in two volumes by the Birmingham and Midland SGH.
Church of England History
For Anglican church history see individual Parishes
Nonconformist Church History
"In the parish are 16 dissenting chapels. Six of them belong to the Wesleyans, in High Street (built in 1835), Hill Top (1850), Swan Village, Spon Lane (1840), Greet's Green (1834), and Lyndon (1835).
The New Connexion Methodists have a neat chapel in Swan Village, built in 1851, and the Primitive Methodists have small chapels at Gold's Green, Swan Village, Whitton Lane, and Queen Street.
Here are three Independent Chapels, Ebenezer Chapel, at Carter's Green, built in 1839, now under the ministry of the Rev W Dyer, Mare's green Chapel, built in 1808, now under the ministry of the Rev BH Cooper, BA, and Salem Chapel, in Sheepwash lane, erected in 1839, where the Rev J Hart is now minister.
The Baptists have two Chapels, one in Sanwell Road, erected in 1810, and now under the ministry of the Rev CH Marster, and another in Dartmouth Street, built in 1835."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
St Michael (& the Holy Angels from 1877), Roman Catholic Church, in High Street, was built in 1832, in the Early English style, with a lofty turret at each angle.
It was reconstructed in 1876-7 in brick with stone dressing, in the Early English style, and consists of a chancel, nave, and aisles. In 1911 a tower and spire was added.
The Catholic Apostolic Church, in Victoria Street, was built in 1870, in red brick, in the Early English style, consisting of a nave, chancel, baptistry and a bell turret.
Church of England Registers
For Anglican church records see individual Parishes
Nonconformist Church Registers
The original registers are deposited at Sandwell Community History & Archives Service (SA), Staffordshire Record Office (SRO), or the Public Record Office (PRO) as indicated below:
High Street, West Bromwich, Baptist, Marriages 1914-1971 (SA)
Great Bridge, Salem Congregational, Baptisms 1915-1957 (SA)
Carters Green, West Bromwich, Ebenezer Chapel, (formerly Old Meeting House), Independent, Births & Baptisms 1803-1837 (PRO)
Carters Green, West Bromwich, Wesleyan Methodist, Baptisms 1864-1948 (SA), Marriages 1916-1947 (SRO)
Golds Green, West Bromwich, Primitive Methodist, Baptisms 1844-1967 (SA)
Great Bridge, New Connexion Methodist, Baptisms 1865-1913 (SA)
Great Bridge, Wesleyan Methodist, Baptisms 1841-1967 & Marriages 1864-1898 (SA)
Great Bridge Street, West Bromwich, Primitive Methodist, Baptisms 1855-1944 (SA)
Greets Green, West Bromwich, Primitive Methodist, Baptisms 1846-1958 (SA)
Greets Green, West Bromwich, Wesleyan Methodist, Baptisms 1862-1955 (SA)
Guns Lane, West Bromwich, Methodist, Baptisms 1932-1960 (SA)
Hall Green, West Bromwich, Methodist Mission, Baptisms 1924-1939 (SA)
Hallam Street, West Bromwich, Wesleyan Methodist, Baptisms 1865-1925 (SA)
High Street, West Bromwich, Wesleyan Methodist, Baptisms 1868-1959 & Burials 1836-1987 (SA)
Hill Top, West Bromwich, Wesleyan Methodist, Baptisms 1841-1868 (SA)
Lyng, West Bromwich, Primitive Methodist, Baptisms 1835-1920 & Marriages 1876-1894 (SA)
Lyng Lane, West Bromwich, Wesleyan Methodist, Baptisms 1879-1930 (SA), Marriages 1927-1963 (SRO)
Mares Green (Mayers Green), West Bromwich, Independent (Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion from 1785-1800), Baptisms 1787-1837 (PRO)
Meeting Street, West Bromwich, Wesleyan Methodist, Births & Baptisms 1815-1837 (PRO)
Park Village & Beeches Road, West Bromwich, Wesleyan Methodist, Baptisms 1867-1907 (SA)
Queen Street, West Bromwich, Primitive Methodist, Baptisms 1920-1964 (SA), Marriages 1932-1963 (SRO)
Spon Lane, West Bromwich, Primitive Methodist, Baptisms 1872-1927 (SA)
Swan Village, West Bromwich, Wesleyan Methodist, Baptisms 1841-1938 (SA), Marriages 1928-1985 (SRO)
West Bromwich Nonconformity, including a transcript of Ebenezer & Mare's Green (Mayers Green) Independent and Wesleyan Methodist Chapels and other nonconformist material has been published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
The original registers of West Bromwich, St Michael (& the Holy Angels), Roman Catholic church for the period 1832-1878 (Bapts), 1833, 1841, 1843, & 1847 (Confirmations), 1833-1848 & 1853-1855 (Mar) & 1833-1838, 1858, & 1863-1889 (Deaths) are deposited at Birmingham Diocesan Archives.
The Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council pages include descriptions and photographs of the West Bromwich area.
A transcription of the section on West Bromwich from A Topographical History of Staffordshire by William Pitt (1817)
Conservation Area Appraisals for West Bromwich High Street - interesting accounts of the area, with excellent historical detail, numerous photographs and map
'The History & Topography of West Bromwich and Its Vicinity' by Joseph Reeves was published by Baldwin & Cradock, London, in 1836.
The transcription of the section for West Bromwich from the Topographical Dictionary of England (1859)
The transcription of the section for West Bromwich from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.
The transcription of the section for West Bromwich from the Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from West Bromwich to another place.
You can see the administrative areas in which West Bromwich has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP003912 (Lat/Lon: 52.518682, -1.997009), West Bromwich which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- Old Maps Online
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- English Jurisdictions in 1851 (Unfortunately the LDS have removed the facility to enable us to specify a starting location, you will need to search yourself on their map.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
A transcription of the Muster Roll of 1539 for West Bromwich
"Coal and ironstone are found here in abundance, and of excellent quality, and immense quantities of the former are sent to Birmingham, Oxford, and other places. The collieries, and the works for smelting and founding iron ore, and for converting it into bar, rod, and sheet iron, are of considerable magnitude, and give employment to several thousands of the inhabitants.
Many hundreds of the other parishioners are employed in the manufacture of pistols, guns, locks, screws, coach springs, axletrees, fine cast iron kitchen utensils, and a variety of other articles in the Birmingham trade. Many of the principal ironmasters here reside in the surrounding parishes, where some of them have other coal and iron works.
In Swan Village are the largest Gas Works in the kingdom, erected under an act of Parliament passed in 1825, by a large number of proprietors, under the name of The Birmingham and South Staffordshire Gas Light Company. These works supply not only this parish, but those of Wednesbury, Darlaston, Tipton, Oldbury, Smethwick, and a great part of Birmingham, and hve 150 miles of main pipes, 200 retorts, and six gasometers. JE Clift is engineer, and Samuel Walsh, clerk to the company.
The Birmingham Canal, and its various branches that intersect the parish, afford every facility for the transmission of coal and manufactures, and for the admission of commodities for local consumption. Newton Road Station on the London & North Western Railway, and Great Bridge Station on the South Staffordshire line, are in the skirts of the parish, about two miles from the central part of West Bromwich."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851)
The transcription of the section for West Bromwich Industry from the Topographical Dictionary of England (1859)
West Bromwich parish gave name to, and became part of West Bromwich Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.
West Bromwich Union comprised the parishes of West Bromwich, Wednesbury, and Handsworth, in Staffordshire, the townships of Oldbury and Warley (Salop) in Shropshire, and the township of Warley Wigorn, in Worcestershire. The Union had 69,715 inhabitants in 1851, in an area of 27 square miles.
The two old parish workhouses at West Bromwich and Wednesbury, with alterations and additions, served for the whole Union, with room for about 140 and 110 paupers respectively.
Sandwell Community History & Archives Service holds records including:
Vaccination Registers, 1920-1935
Assessment Committee minutes, 1862, 1881, 1888, 1897 & 1906
The Public Record Office, Kew, holds:
Correspondence, 1834-1900 (Class MH 12/11625-63)
Staff Registers, 1837-1921 (Class MH 9/18)
The West Bromwich Local History Society site includes details of the society and many useful resources on the history of West Bromwich.