Pendeford shown within the West Midlands
Population 4,356 (2001 Census) OS grid reference - London 145.15 Metropolitan borough Wolverhampton Metropolitan county West Midlands Region West Midlands Country England Sovereign state United Kingdom Post town WOLVERHAMPTON Postcode district WV9 Dialling code 01902 Police West Midlands Fire West Midlands Ambulance West Midlands EU Parliament West Midlands UK Parliament Wolverhampton List of places: UK • England • West Midlands
- 1 Name and origins
- 2 History
- 3 Housing
- 4 Shopping and amenities
- 5 Public Houses
- 6 Education
- 7 Transport links
- 8 Recreation
- 9 Claims to fame
- 10 Business links
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Name and origins
The first known written recording of the place name 'Pendeford', was in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it was recorded with the same spelling as today - a rarity for place names. The name is thought by many toponymists to mean 'Penda's Ford', possibly a crossing over the nearby River Penk named after the Anglo-Saxon King, Penda of Mercia who reigned in Mercia from the year 626. Despite the origin of the name not being set in stone, the recording of the place name in the Domesday book tells us that Pendeford was in existence at the time of the Norman conquest, and that at the time, Pendeford was held by two Englishmen, Ulstan and Godwin. After the conquest, the land was confiscated and given to a Norman knight called William Fitz Ansculf, as a reward for serving William the Conqueror.
At this point in time, Pendeford would have been little more than a few scattered buildings amongst woodland, bordered on its eastern side by a lake known in more recent times as Alleycroft Lake (the lake no longer exists, having been drained upon the construction of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal during the 18th century, though a marshy area remains on the site of the new I54 project to the north of Wobaston Road). Pendeford lay near the farthest south-west reaches of Cannock forest, which was much larger than today in early medieval times.
The area also has a small brook running through it, but its original position has been moved and culverted. The majority of the brook now runs underground. It does come above ground next to the subway which goes underneath Blaydon Road. It then carries on for around quarter of a mile before disappearing back underground next to Marholm Close.
In the 1930s Wolverhampton Council decided to establish an airfield at Pendeford, on 178 acres (0.72 km2) of land at Barnhurst formerly used for sewage disposal. The airfield was officially opened on 27 June 1938, by which time Boulton Paul Aircraft had established a factory there to build its aircraft including the Defiant fighter (which had its first flight at Pendeford in August 1937, almost a year before the airfield was officially opened). During World War II the airfield was also used for training military pilots, with over 100 de Havilland Tiger Moths stationed there at one stage. No.28 Elementary Flying Training School commenced operations at Pendeford on 15 September 1941 and was operated for the Royal Air Force by Air Scools Ltd. It was renamed No.25 Reserve Flying School on 26 June 1947 and ceased to operate on 31 March 1953. Postwar the airfield was used for private and training aircraft, with limited scheduled services from 1953. By the end of the 1960s the airfield was losing money and there were safety concerns over the close proximity of houses to the airfield; as a result the airfield was closed on 31 December 1970. Remaining aircraft transferred to Halfpenny Green airport to the southwest of Wolverhampton.
A memorial to the airfield can be seen on the walls of an estate within Pendeford. Shortly before the airfield's closure, on 9 April 1970, a de Havilland Dove crashed onto a house in Redhurst Drive, Fordhouses and caught fire. The crew of the aircraft (which was owned by Dowty Group, by then the owner of Boulton Paul) were attempting to land at the airfield in poor weather; the accident investigation determined that the aircraft stalled at a height too low for the crew to regain control. An occupant of the house and the two people on board the aircraft were killed in the accident, two more people escaped the burning house by jumping out of an upstairs window and were slightly injured.
Flooding of 1999
On Monday 5 July 1999 the Wolverhampton area was hit by storms which included a twister. This caused torrential flooding across Pendeford with water reaching depths of 5 feet (1.5 m) in places. Just as families were recovering from the "twister" storms, some faced second insurance claims for new damage to their properties when after a second storm hit on Sunday 1 August. Residents were ferried to safety on inflatable rafts by firemen as flood water up to 4 feet (1.2 m) deep from torrential rain swept into their homes. Temporary accommodation was made available at Pendeford High School.
IWA National Festival 08
During August Bank Holiday 2008 (23–25 August 2008) The Inland Waterways Association held the 2008 National Festival in Pendeford. Over 300 boats, 300 tents and caravans attended the weekend accompanied by over 250 exhibitors who were present on site, which was attended over the weekend by some 24,000 people. The playing fields behind Halesworth Road and Emsworth Crescent were used for the exhibitions and car parking. Temporary Road surfaces were laid. However due to the bad rain leading up to the event this caused the fields to become extremely muddy and has since ruined the previously level grassy surface. Numbers of local residents complained about the noise and disruption generated by the event because of a late night fun fair, loud music and air horns.
Today, most of the area is a housing estate built during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The first section to be built was the Barnhurst Estate, known as 'Dovecotes' because of the old dovecote that still stands to this day, on land that was previously Barnhurst Farm, followed by new housing on the north-east side of the Shropshire Union Canal, such as the 'Penwood' estate at Clewley Drive. The newest part of Pendeford, known as 'Richmond Park', was completed in the late 1990s with 'Pendeford Rise' being completed in the early 1990s. All of the estate has been built on the site of the former Wolverhampton Aerodrome, the Boulton Paul Ltd aircraft factory and Barnhurst Farm.
Shopping and amenities
Pendeford also has a large Morrisons (previously Safeway (UK)) supermarket which , several smaller shops which include the Elle Louise clothes store, Sally's Beauty Accessories, Home and Motorsave and Martins (previously Dillons and before that Preedy). Until recently, a Choices Movie Rental store sat next to Morrisons, but this has now closed & is now part of a small extension to Morrisons. Nearby, in Pendeford Squarem, there is the Priory Green Community Centre, Library, Health Centre, Oasis Cafe, Church/School, Nelson Mandela House Nursing Home and Cresswell Court Residential Home.
There's also a small 'shopping centre' on Dovecotes Estate named 'The Haymarket', with a Premier Store named Pendeford Superstore (previously Spar), a Chinese take-away, fish & chip shop (Pendeford Fish Bar) and a chicken shop selling to the public (Dovecote's Poultry), there was once a newsagent, bookmaker, bakery and more but these have long closed..
There is currently only one pub in Pendeford, called 'The Pendulum'. This can be located near the entrance of the shopping centre car park on Blaydon Road. 'The Pendulum' has a bar & lounge area, as well as benches outside. It regularly shows sport, and also has a food menu.
The 'Fordhouses Cricket Club' (formerly Dowtys until the late 90's) is situated on the border of Pendeford & Wobaston / Fordhouses, on the Wobaston Road. As the name would suggest, Fordhouses Cricket Club is located there. As well as the sports aspect, it is a social club which requires a yearly membership to gain access. On a Sunday night there is live entertainment in the form of a singer / band / disco / comedian, as well as a bingo session in the main room. There is also an adjacent bar room with snooker tables.
Previously there was a pub in Dovecotes called 'The Dovecote' at Ryefield, though this closed in the early 2000s and is now a church.
There are three primary schools in Pendeford - St Paul's Church of England Aided Primary School and Priory Green Primary School, both situated in Pendeford Square near the local amenities, and Dovecotes Primary School on the Barnhurst Estate. Nearby in neighbouring Oxley, is Rakegate Primary School. There are also two high schools nearby on opposite borders of Pendeford - Alderlsey High School to the west and Pendeford Business and Enterprise College to the east.
St Paul's Church of England Aided Primary School
St Paul's School opened in Pendeford on January 25, 1982. The church was established within the school later that year. The church font, which dates back to Norman times, was placed in the chapel after being moved from St. Michael's Church in Tettenhall. In 1987 a new porch was built at the entrance to the church where a cross and bell were added at a cost of £7,000. Today the church is still located partially inside St Paul's Primary School however in 2005 a new chapel was built and it is now accessible during the daytime. The "Oasis" community café, built as an extension to the church/school building, was opened in September 2005.
Priory Green Primary School
Priory Green was originally opened as Priory Green Infant School in 1981 and Priory Green Junior School in 1984. Following the departure of Mr Colin Edwards, the headmaster of Priory Green Primary School, a decision was made to merge the two schools and create a combined primary school under the former headmistress of the Infant school, Ms Pursehouse.. This happened in c.1997. Priory Green Primary School was placed under special measures in 2009 and it was proposed that the school would close at the end of the 2009/2010 academic year on 31 August 2010 which eventually happened, Allowing the neighbouring school some of the land.
Dovecotes Primary School
Dovecotes Primary School is located within the neighbouring estate of Dovecotes. There are pupils from Pendeford who also attend this school. Dovecotes Infants School opened in 1978 with Dovecotes Junior School being built in 1979.
Rakegate Primary School
Rakegate Primary School is located within the adjoining estate of Oxley. Like Dovecotes Primary School there are pupils from Pendeford who attend this school. The original school was built in the 1950s but has since been redeveloped and is now a brand new 21st century modern primary school which opened in 2007 for the 2007/2008 academic year. Like Priory Green, Rakegate was originally an Infants and Junior school but became a new Primary School in 2003 for the 2003/2004 academic year.
Aldersley High School
Aldersley High School is situated on Barnhurst Lane, and is school of choice for the majority of children from the Dovecotes area. Despite the name, Aldersley High School is not in Aldersley, but straddles the Wolverhampton / South Staffordshire border on the western edge of Pendeford, surrounded on two sides by countryside.
Pendeford Business and Enterprise College
Previously known as 'Pendeford High School', it started life as a comprehensive school in September 1968. It was created by merger of two separate schools, Wobaston Secondary School and Wolverhampton Grammar Technical School. Wobaston Secondary School transferred to its new building in 1957 which was known as 'lower school'. It had however existed on this site since 1942. The school then went by the name of Fordhouses Senior Mixed School using the old huts between the two buildings and the buildings near the tennis courts which were used for woodwork and are now the Pendeford Youth Club. The air-raid shelters were kept for a time as a reminder of a different age. The Grammar Technical School, previously known as the Technical High School and before that the Intermediate School, transferred from its central Wolverhampton site in Old Hall Street in 1963 to the building which was known as 'upper school'. Finally in 1968 the two buildings were merged together and renamed Pendeford High school. In a similar way to Aldersley High School, Pendeford Business and Enterprise College is actually situated just outside Pendeford, in the Wobaston / Fordhouses area.
The sculpture near the front entrance of the lower school is made from Portland stone and sculptured by John Paddison, a former pupil of the Technical High School and a former lecturer in the Fine Art department of the Wolverhampton Polytechnic. It could have had a swimming pool instead of the sculpture and also a Fish pond was also installed in an inaccessable place in upper school
North Wolverhampton Academy
Students currently attending The Northicote School in nearby Bushbury and Pendeford Business and Enterprise College will automatically transfer to the new Academy when it opens in September 2010. The Academy is set to open on the existing sites of The Northicote School and Pendeford Business and Enterprise College with a new building being placed on the Pendeford site, and is proposed to be completed by January 2014. More information can be found on the academy website.
Autherley Junction to the south of Pendeford is the junction of the Shropshire Union Canal and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. These canals border Pendeford and other local areas including Oxley, Fordhouses, and Dovecotes. Within 1-mile (1.6 km) of Pendeford there is access to the M54 motorway via Stafford Road (A449) at Junction 2. Pendeford also has good bus links with Wolverhampton City Centre and other parts of the City. The routes that service Pendeford are 4,6 & 6A. Also on School week day mornings, school bus services 784 and 716 operate from Pendeford Bus Terminus(Morrisons). The 784 terminates there at 8.15am and 16.10pm and the 716 terminates there at 8.05am and 16.15pm.
Recreation has been a key part of Pendeford for many years and it is now developing further for the benefit of everyone in and around the area.
St. John Ambulance
Pendeford is also home to a division of St. John Ambulance known as Pendeford Badgers (5–9 yrs) and Pendeford Quadrilateral (Cadets 10-15yrs, Youth(16-25yrs)\Adults) who teach First Aid and various other life saving skills to volunteer members. Details on this St John Ambulance in Pendeford can be found here. Pendeford Badgers were known as Woodland Badgers and Pendeford Quadrilateral was known as Priory Green Quadrilateral until the end of 2010. The name change was to remove its association from Priory Green Primary School following its demise in August 2010. Pendeford Quadrilateral also celebrated its 16th birthday in 2010 where as Pendeford Badgers is rumoured to have been running for around 25 years.
In Pendeford there are a number of small children's playgrounds, the oldest being the one at then end of Howland Close near to the Mirage Youth Centre. This park is known to many as the spider park as it has a large metal spider that is a climbing frame.
Work started in January 2009 on the green in front of the Haymarket/Dovecote/Church creating a New Playground for kids including swings, slide, sunken stepping logs. Along with various benches for local residents. It was completed finished in March 2009 and is opposite Dovecotes Primary School.
A playground / park used to exist on a field alongside The Droveway, at the back of Clewley Drive, though this was dismantled c. 2000.
Mirage Youth Centre
Also in Howland Close is The Mirage Youth Centre (Mirage). The Mirage opened in 1992 and has been helping develop young people in Pendeford since then. Details on the Mirage can be found here.
Pendeford Youth Club
Like the Mirage, there is also Pendeford Youth Club. However this is not based in Pendeford. It is located within the ground of Pendeford Business and Enterprise College in Fordhouses. This is how the youth club has gained its name. Details of Pendeford Youth Club can be found here.
In the early 2000s there was a ball park/sports court opened by ex Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. player/legend Steve Bull and Wolverhampton hockey professional Rachael Heyhoe-Flint. In 2006 the site was fitted with flood lighting to allow the site to be used for recreation after dark.
Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve
On the South Staffordshire side of Pendeford, there is a nature reserve which is known as Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve. The reserve dates back to the 13th century and provides a stable and protected habitat for wildlife. You can find details of Pendeford Mill by clicking here.
Girlguiding UK - Rainbows
Within Pendeford there has been a Rainbows pack meeting at St. Pauls C of E School. They are known as 1st Pendeford Rainbows. Details on 1st Pendeford Rainbows can be found here.
Claims to fame
Pendeford for many years has been the home to Olympic athlete Denise Lewis after she and her family moved here from West Bromwich. Pendeford is also home To all the cast Featured In BBC's unknown Comedy Series 'School Mates' which was filmed at St. Pauls C of E Primary School which is sat in pendeford square.
Within Pendeford there is a Business Park which is accessible through The Overstrand from the Wobaston Road. Tenants include Birmingham Midshires, Canon, KJM Beauty Products, Mowlem, and Westbury Homes. The Park is adjacent to the 'i54' major investment site.
i54 Wobaston Road
The 90-hectare i54 site to the north west of the city seeks to attract a single high quality manufacturing facility along with a range of prestigious offices, research facilities and a hotel. The first tenant is expected to be Moog.
Turner Sports Cars
In 1956 Turner Sports Cars moved to its final location in Pendeford at Pendeford Airport. After moving here from 32 Merridale Street. Car production continued through until early 1966 at the site in Pendeford when the doors were closed.
Birmingham Midshires moved the headquarters to Pendeford Business Park in the mid 1990s. It previously had an office in Cardiff, South Wales, but the operations from this office were moved to Pendeford to make way for a Halifax Building Society office. Since January 2011 it was renamed 'Lloyds Banking Group'.
- ^ 'The Place-Names of Staffordshire' - David Horovitz
- ^ a b http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/articles/Pendeford/EarlyDays.htm
- ^ a b c d e f g Pendeford Airfield, Wolverhampton History and Heritage website, accessed 28 February 2010.
- ^ Sturtivant, Ray (1997). Royal Air Force Flying Training and Support Units. Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-252-1.
- ^ a b c Accidents Investigation Branch Report of the investigation into the crash of Dove G-AVHV retrieved 28 February 2010.
- ^ http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/listed/dovecote.htm
- ^ http://www.advantagewm.co.uk/news-media-events/news/2010/moogplanningfori54.aspx
- BBC - Black Country Attractions - Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve
- Turner Sports Cars
- BBC News | UK | Storms bring further flood fears
- Highbeam Report from The Birmingham Post
- IWA: IWA National Festival 08
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