Online Encyclopedia

WEST BROMWICH

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 536 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WEST BROMWICH, a market town and municipal, county and parliamentary borough of Staffordshire, England, 6 in. N.W. of Birmingham, on the northern line of the Great Western railway. Pop. (1891) 59,538, (1901) 65,175. The appearance of the town, like its growth as an industrial centre of the Black Country, is modern. It is, however, of ancient origin; thus the church of All-Saints, formerly St Clement, was given by Henry I. to the convent of Worcester, from which it passed to the priors of Sandwell, who rebuilt it in the Decorated period, the present structure (1872) following their plan. The chief public buildings are the town hall (1875), the Institute (1886), providing instruction in science and art, under the corporation since 1894, the free library (1894) and law-courts (1891). The picturesque Oak House, of the 16th century, was opened as a museum and art gallery in 1898. Among schools is one for pauper children in which engineering, baking, spade-husbandry, &c., are taught. Sandwell Hall, formerly a seat of the earls of Dartmouth, contains a school for daughters of clergymen, &c. The house, standing in pleasant wooded grounds, is on the site of the Benedictine priory of Sandwell, founded in the time of Henry II. There are charities founded by the families of Stanley and Whorwood (1613 and 1614). Dartmouth Park is a recreation ground of about 6o acres; others are Farley, Kenwick and Hill Top Park. Numerous mines work the extensive coalfields, which include a thirty-foot seam. There are large iron and brass foundries and smelting furnaces, and malting and brickmaking are carried on. The parliamentary borough returns one member. The town is governed by a mayor 6 aldermen and 18 councillors. Area, 586o acres.
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