Old Swinford


OLD SWINFORD is a parish in the diocese of Worcester. It was historically a large parish in the north of Worcestershire, but also included Amblecote in Staffordshire. It included the township of Stourbridge, now a large town and its own parish. It also included Lye and Wollescote.
[Description(s) provided by Dave Huddart/Peter Abbott ©2004]


Archives & Libraries

  • The most significant collections are at:
    • Worcester County Record Office
    • Dudley Archives
    • Stourbridge Public Library


  • Oldswinford St Mary's Monumental Inscriptions have been transcribed and are available from BMSGH Bookshop.


  • Oldswinford Census Records for 1841-1901 and any indexes and inscriptions can found in the usual places described on GENUKI Worcestershire.

Church History

  • St Mary's Church:


    St Mary's Church,
    The sandstone church has a C14th west tower, but is mostly Victorian - nave of 1843 by Griffiths
    and chancel, vestry and south chancel of 1898 by Chatwin. There was also a spire but this was removed in 1982.

    The earliest known rector was John in 1199, but other famous rectors include Simon Ford 1676-1699,
    who had been chaplain to the King and the Lord Mayor of London. Thomas Philip Foley, rector 1797-1835 was a supporter
    of the prophetess Joanna Southcott (who lived briefly in the rectory, and her sealed box of predictions was kept there).

    The church history is described in
    The story of St Mary's church and the parish of Oldswinford, by N Perry, 1989. 950643971.


Church Records

  • Printed transcripts 1693-1813 have been produced by BMSGH and are available from BMSGH Bookshop.

Civil Registration

  • Certificates of birth, death and marriage can be obtained from the Superintendent Registrars at Stourbridge District Register Office.

Court Records


Description & Travel

  • The parish stretched from Norton and Wollaston through Amblecote, Upperswinford and Stourbridge (Bedcote) in the middle to Lye, Wollescote, Foxcote and Oldnall in the east. It was surrounded by Kinver, Pedmore, Halesowen and Kingswinford.

    The parish later lost Amblecote, Stourbridge, Wollaston, Stambermill, Wollescote and Norton.

    The name is derived from the place where swine forded the river (Stour).

  • A description of Stourbridge and Oldswinford in Noake's Guide to Worcestershire, 1868.
You can see pictures of Old Swinford which are provided by:






Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Old Swinford has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



  • Wychbury Hill is an Iron Age hillfort, and there is the line of a Roman road which can still be followed.
  • The first documentary evidence is in a charter of 954 referring to a small estate of 6 hides called Swine Ford. Referred to as Suineforde in the Domesday Book 1086. It later became known as Oldswinford to distingish it from the adjacent Swinford Regis or Kingswinford over the river.
  • Much of the more significant history of the parish is tied up with that of the township Stourbridge, now a major town and parish in its own right. The definitive history is given in:
  • Specifically there is a History of Wollaston website.

Land & Property

  • Wayne Cronin-Wojdat has published a book on Land Ownership & Use in Wollescote, Old Swinford, Worcestershire 1710 - 1830: Transcripts of various documents dated between 1710 - 1830 relating to the ownership and use of numerous pieces of land in Wollescote, in the Parish of Old Swinford, Worcestershire, England. Full details of all the transcripts included in the book, and an index of all the names and land mentioned in them is available on the Historical Gems website.


  • The historical parish comprised the manor of Amblecote in Staffordshire, and the manor of Oldswinford itself. There was later a submanor of Bedcote (for the township of Stourbridge). The manor was variously owned by the Beauchamps, the Crown, the Lyttletons, the Foleys, and the Earls of Dudley.
  • Facsimile maps for Stourbridge North (1901) and Stourbridge South (1914) have been published by Alan Godfrey Maps available from BMSGH Bookshop.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SO905833 (Lat/Lon: 52.447577, -2.141204), Old Swinford which are provided by:



  • The most well-known occupation was glassmaking, and old glassmaking families are given in URL no longer valid

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Poor Law records have been indexed and can be bought from BMSGH Bookshop.

Probate Records

  • Being in the diocese of Worcester, most wills proved prior to 1858 will be at Worcester Record Office.


  • King Edward Grammar School was founded in 1552.
  • Oldswinford Hospital School:
    Oldswinford Hospital School was founded in 1667.

    Its school records are included in the Access to Archives (Now part of Discovery)
    [search for oldswinford AND hospital]



[(c) Genuki 2004 Compiled : Dave Huddart. Last modified by him 7th September 2004]
Amended 10th April 2006 - Peter Abbott.