West Bromwich, Staffordshire

Historical Description

West Bromwich, a market-town, a municipal, county, and parliamentary borough, the head of a poor law union and county court district, and a parish in Staffordshire. The town stands on the river Tame, on branches of the Birmingham Canal, 5 miles NW by W of Birmingham, and 114 by rail from London. It has a station on the Birmingham and Wolverhampton branch of the G.W.R. and a head post office. It was at the close of the 18th century a rural village amid a barren heath, but is now a town upwards of 3 miles long, all astir with industry, and progressing rapidly. The High Street runs north and south, and is 1 ½ mile long; many handsome streets go east and west, and public buildings, churches, factories, and fine private residences are numerous. The town-hall, erected in 1875, is a fine building with a tower 130 feet high; it contains the municipal offices and a spacious hall for concerts, public meetings, &c. The market hall in the High Street adjoins the town-hall. The West Bromwich Institute, built in 1885 at a cost of £13,000, includes reading rooms, lecture theatre, class rooms, laboratories, and a school of art. The West Bromwich Law Courts, a fine Renaissance building erected in 1891, comprise a court-room for quarter sessions, petty sessions, and county courts, offices, and police cells. The District Hospital was opened in 1871 and enlarged in 1882. There is a free library with branch reading-rooms. All Saints' Church, on an eminence at the north-east side of the parish, is an ancient structure, consisting of nave, chancel, aisles, south porch, and an embattled western tower. The original church belonged to the convent of Worcester, passed to the priory of Sandwell, and was rebuilt in the 14th century. In 1786 it was almost entirely pulled down and rebuilt; in 1872 it was restored on the lines of the old Decorated Church, which had been pulled down; and in 1888 further renovations were made in the interior. It contains a curious Perpendicular font, ancient monuments to the Whorwood and Turton families, and a memorial window of 1854 to the late Earl of Dartmouth. Christ Church, in High Street, was built in 1828, and is a stone edifice in the Perpendicular style with a square embattled tower 114 feet high. Holy Trinity Church, in Trinity Road, was built in 1841, and is a brick structure in the Early English style. St James' Church, at Hill Top, was built also in 1841, and is a brick structure with two turrets. St Peter's Church, in New Town, was built in 1859, and is a stone edifice with a small tower. St Andrew's, in Old Meeting Street, built in 1867, is a cruciform brick edifice. St John the Evangelist, in Sam's Lane, built in 1878, is a brick structure in the Early English style. St Paul's, Gold's Hill, was built in 1886. All the above belong to separate ecclesiastical parishes, and there are six other chapels of ease and mission churches. There are Roman Catholic, Wes-leyan, Primitive Methodist, Congregational, Baptist, Unitarian, and Catholic Apostolic chapels. The workhouse, in Hallam Street, was erected in 1851 at a cost of about £30,000, and was enlarged in 1884 and 1887. The new cemetery, on an eminence near the old church,was opened in 1859 and enlarged in 1887, comprises about 15 acres, and has two chapels.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5

Administration

The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient County Staffordshire
Ecclesiastical parish West Bromwich All Saints
Hundred Offlow South
Poor Law union West Bromwich

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


Church Records

Findmypast, in association with the Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent Archive Service have the Baptisms, Banns, Marriages, and Burials online for West Bromwich


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for West Bromwich from the following:


Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Staffordshire is online.


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Staffordshire newspapers online: