Toll road / Worship at All Saints

Edward Nayler's next Newspaper Cuttings are both from May 19th 1830. The first is of an event that had some local consequence for the people of Sedgley, following an important meeting held in our Court House, off the Bull Ring. The speed of its reporting is hardly stop press: as it describes a meeting held on April 20th!

"At a meeting of the Trustees of the Turnpike Road from Wombourne, through Sedgley to Bilston, holden at Lord Dudley's Court House, at Sedgley, on April 20th it was ordered that the Surveyor did forthwith erect an additional toll-gate or Bar across that part of the Turnpike Road, between Can Lane and Bilston, at a place called Coseley Street."

Can Lane is, of course Hurst Road, Hurst Hill, and the commencement of Coseley Street can be identified from the presence of the new Toll Gate, roughly in line with the Hairdresser's shop, at the bottom, and opposite the White Horse Inn. It would have been a much narrower road than at present. As we already had a Toll house in Bilston Street (near the tree in front of Queen Victoria School) we can only assume that certain residents of Bilston, Coseley and Ettingshall were, in some way, beating the system, and had to be kept in order! Coseley Street was the name of a street commencing at the top of Bilston High Street, towards Ladymoor. It was later called Coseley Road, and still is. It seems likely that this being the only road to Sedgley, at the time, it could continue on from Deepfields until it reached Can Lane.

By recognising that this was quite a long winding road, between Bilston and the bottom of Hurst Hill, additional names, like Broad Lanes, Ladymoor Road, Anchor Road, Biddings Lane and Shaw Road become necessary as communities developed along it. The last two would certainly be necessary after the cutting of the Birmingham New Road,

The second March 19th report is particularly interesting to us. Our Parish Church of All Saints, had been rebuilt between 1826 - 29. The congregation, and clergy are obviously enjoying their new building and a new venture, during the summer of the following year, has been advertised, and finds its way into the press. On this occasion it would appear to be better timed.

"We understand that the new church at Sedgley will be open for divine service each Thursday evening during the summer, with lectures by the vicar and curate on the alternate weeks."

Vicar at that time was Sedgley's most renowned, and forward looking, Vicar, the Reverend Charles Girdlestone. The curate referred to was probably the Reverend G. W. Woodhouse.

Next issue we shall hear more of the Parish Church, of Sedgley, and also of the newly built Church at Coseley, but also news of preparations for an impending disaster!

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