A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEDGLEY MANOR
Nearly 1,000 years separate Segleslei in the Domesday England of 1086 from Sedgley in the Black Country of the C21st. During that time the spelling has changed many times and the designated area has decreased in size. The nine villages still identified in the 1850s with a border of about 17 miles, showed the full extent of this Staffordshire Manor, but the new 1895 Urban District boundaries cut the territory roughly in half thus establishing Sedgley and Coseley from Upper and Lower Sedgley Local Boards. Finally the creation of five new West Midlands Boroughs in 1966 limited the name to an ill defined north western tip of Dudley Metropolitan Borough. However, most local historians are happy to use the name Sedgley as an inclusive term to cover the Manor that existed for over eight centuries.
The medieval landscape, dotted with farming communities and even a castle, soon evolved into a village framework that was strengthened as the raw materials of coal, iron ore, clay, limestone and sandstone were ripped from the surface as well as underground. By the middle of the C16th the Manor was well established with the details preserved in some of the county's finest parish documents started in 1558. The next two hundred years witnessed the gradual introduction of skills that would be the bedrock of the Industrial Revolution.
The 1750s saw Sedgley's mines and quarries feeding furnaces producing iron and kilns making bricks and lime. At the same time home based nail making flourished with whole families committed to forging metal rods into all sorts of shapes and sizes. About 1800 Sedgley was even pioneering the steel pen making trade! Then the Victorian period covered the peak of the nail industry as well as the area's coal mining activities. The same century saw the building of many Nonconformist chapels and Anglican churches.
By 1900 the raw materials were much depleted and more difficult to
extract - the beginnings of an industrial decline, though not then
recognised, were just visible. Yet in 1910 Sedgley opened one of
Europe's deepest and largest coal mines, boasted numerous blast
furnaces and was 'metal-bashing' in true Black Country style. Although
two world wars kept the wheels of industry turning through the first
half of the C20th the Manor's industrial presence was weakened and
large council housing projects in the 1920s and 1950s, topped up with
extensive private estates over the last thirty five years, redefined
its character. The Manor now has no industry of note being a semi-urban
sprawl with shopping based on the old village centres. Commuter-land
SITES OF INTEREST IN SEDGLEY MANOR
Follow the below links to find out all about sites of interest in each of the nine villages making up Sedgley Manor:
We've deliberately sub-divided the locations to reinforce the concept of the old village boundaries. You might be surprised by where some famous local landmarks actually reside!
A full listing of all the sites contained on the site can be found here.
‘SPOTLIGHT ON’ BRIEFSThis collection of short entries highlights newsworthy changes, topical issues and a miscellany of village life, past and present.
Albert House, Summerhill Road [September 2010]
The Boat Inn, Havacre Lane [March 2007]
The Grand Junction, High Holborn [June 2008]
The Limes, Dudley Road [February 2007, updated March 2013]
Mons Hill Campus, Dudley College, Wren’s Nest Road [June 2011]
Sedgley Fire Station, Tipton Road [January 2011]
Turls Hill Lane, Turls Hill Road [May 2009]
Woodsetton Methodist Church, Parkes Hall Road [January 2008]
IMAGES OF THE MANOR
Ron Baker has a portfolio of over 300 pen and ink drawings of the ancient Manor - see some examples of his work here.