infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Stourbridge
latitude= 52.4575
longitude= -2.1479
map_type= West Midlands
population = 54,661 (1991 Census)
metropolitan_borough= Dudley
metropolitan_county = West Midlands
region= West Midlands
constituency_westminster= Stourbridge
post_town= STOURBRIDGE
postcode_district = DY7, DY8, DY9
postcode_area= DY
dial_code= 01384, 01562
os_grid_reference= SO899844
Stourbridge is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, in the West Midlands of England. Historically part of Worcestershire, Stourbridge was a centre of glass making, and today includes the suburbs of Amblecote, Lye, Norton, Oldswinford, Pedmore, Wollaston and Wollescote.

The population, as recorded in the United Kingdom Census 1991, was 54,661. Much of the population is now made up of commuters to Birmingham and the Black Country. Stourbridge is included in the Stourbridge constituency, currently held by the Labour party through Lynda Waltho.

The apse and north chancel screen at St Thomas' Church were added by W. H. William Bidlake. [ "The Buildings of England: Worcestershire", Nikolaus Pevsner, 1968 p268 ]

Geography and administration

Stourbridge is a part of the West Midlands metropolitan county and conurbation, in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley. Stourbridge is located at the edge of the industrial Midlands, roughly between Kidderminster and Dudley.

Much of the town consists of suburban streets, broken by green spaces. Stourbridge borders on green belt land, and is often close to unspoiled countryside - for example, Stourbridge is closer to Shropshire than it is to Birmingham city centre. Good examples are Clent Hills, Kinver Edge and large areas of farmland to the south and west. It has been said that you could go west from Stourbridge and not encounter another built-up area until past the border with Wales, or even further.

The town and surrounding area is at the south western extremity of the Black Country and the majority of the working-class population retain the region's accent and dialect, although there is a larger middle-class population than nearby towns such as Dudley or Halesowen.

Closest cities, towns and villages

hub = Stourbridge
type= ex
NN = Kingswinford, Wombourne, Wolverhampton
NE = Brierley Hill, Dudley, West Bromwich,, Walsall, Great Barr, Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth
EE = Halesowen, Birmingham,
SE = Hagley, Romsley Bromsgrove, Redditch
SS = West Hagley, Worcester
SW = Kidderminster, Bewdley, Stourport
WW = Kinver, Enville
NW = Bridgnorth, Telford

Civic history

For centuries, Stourbridge was in the ancient parish of Oldswinford, Worcestershire and was known as Bedcote. Since 1974, it has been part of the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley.

Stourbridge takes its name from the River Stour, which flows through the town and for centuries formed the border between Worcestershire and Staffordshire. But the border was moved a couple of miles north in 1966, when Amblecote Urban District (previously in Staffordshire) was incorporated into the Borough of Stourbridge. This arrangement lasted eight years until the ascent of the Local Government Act 1972 in 1974, when Stourbridge was amalgamated into the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley and became part of the wider West Midlands county.

There have been numerousFact|date=March 2007 campaigns to re-instate Stourbridge into the ceremonial county of Worcestershire (or the previous Hereford and Worcester) since 1974.Fact|date=March 2007

tourbridge Glass

The town gives its name to local glass production, which has been manufactured since the early 1600s. However, most of the glass industry was actually located in surrounding areas including Wordsley, Amblecote and Oldswinford. The rich natural resources of coal and fireclay for lining furnaces made it the perfect location for the industry. It was probably the presence of fireclay that attracted glassmakers to the area. The canals also facilitated the importing of large amounts of fine sand from Ireland. Stourbridge glass is recognised as amongst the finest in the world. The glass has been used countless times as gifts for royalty and visiting dignitaries. However, the glass industry in the area has been all but destroyed by the effects of globalisation, with the factories moving abroad where cheaper workers are available.

The Red House Cone, thought to be the only complete remaining glass cone of its kind, stands on the Stourbridge Canal at Wordsley. It is the site of the Red House Glass Museum and there are regular demonstrations of "blowing" glass in the traditional way.


Stourbridge lies on the River Stour and is linked to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and the Dudley No. 1 Canal by the Stourbridge Canal. This places the town on the Stourport Ring, a popular route with holidaymakers and is navigable by narrowboat.

Stourbridge Junction, the town's main railway station, is on the former Oxford-Worcester-Wolverhampton Line. Just past the station is the Stambermill Viaduct over the River Stour and the A491 road. The railway closed to passengers in 1962 and is now used solely as a freight line. Instead, the line now runs to Birmingham via the stations of the Black Country.

The town is served by the shortest railway branch line in Europe, the Stourbridge Town Branch Line, with a shuttle service from nearby Stourbridge Junction on the Birmingham - Kidderminster line to Stourbridge Town railway station in the town centre. The line formerly continued to an interchange basin with the Stourbridge Canal. The old Stourbridge Town station, when demolished, was recovered and materials used for buildings at Tyseley Locomotive Works. Until recently, on Sundays, as part of a pilot scheme, a gas-powered Parry People Mover operated on the line. This has ceased but may restart when the UK rail franchise for the local train operating company Central Trains expires and is rebid.

The famous "Stourbridge Lion" locomotive, was built in Stourbridge at the foundry of Foster, Rastrick and Co. in 1828. The shell of the building still stands and is easily accessible , though potentially hazardous as with any derelict building. It arrived in New York on May 13, 1829, becoming the first steam locomotive to run on a commercial line in the United States. The locomotive is quite famous in the USA, although few people in Stourbridge have heard of it. It is currently on display at the B&O Railroad Museum Baltimore, Maryland, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.. A clock has recently been unveiled in the town to celebrate the engine.

The town is served by National Route 54 of the National Cycle Network.


Stourbridge is home to two colleges - the prestigious King Edward VI College founded in 1552 and Stourbridge College of Further Education. In addition, there is a sixth form for both genders at Old Swinford Hospital founded in 1667 by Thomas Foley.

Stourbridge boasts a number of secondary schools including Redhill School, Old Swinford Hospital School, Pedmore Technology College (previously known as The Grange School) and Ridgewood School as well as Elmfield Rudolf Steiner School (includes: kindergarten, plus classes 1 to 11).



Stourbridge Football Club and Stourbridge Cricket Club both share the War Memorial Athletic Ground in Amblecote, and Stourbridge Rugby Club play at Stourton Park in nearby Stourton and Redhill Volleyball Club play at Redhill School.


During the 1980s and the early 1990s, four Stourbridge bands, Diamond Head; The Wonder Stuff; Pop Will Eat Itself and Ned's Atomic Dustbin, all enjoyed chart success. Other notable musicians include Clint Mansell.Recently a new artist named Andy Richards has emerged, reaching number 1 on the daddyfreshmusic download chart for 6 weeks, and is planning to release an album for 2008.


From the 1860s until the late 1960s, the area was covered by the "County Express" newspaper. Archives are now on microfilm in Stourbridge Library. Today, Stourbridge is covered by the "Stourbridge News", the "Express & Star" and to a lesser extent the "Stourbridge Chronicle".

The Stourbridge area is served by commercial and BBC Radio stations broadcasting from Wolverhampton, Birmingham as well as from within Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Shropshire.

Stourbridge FM was established in March 2001 to campaign for a commercial radio station broadcasting to and from the Stourbridge area. Stourbridge FM Radio Ltd carried out three experimental 'trial' broadcasts in November 2001, May 2002 and January 2003 from studios in the centre of the town and was sponsored by Stourbridge College. The station received a great deal of support from listeners and business people alike within the community, including numerous letters of support and a petition. By February 2004, Stourbridge FM had disbanded due to official information that there were no immediate plans for a small-scale commercial radio licence in the Stourbridge area, nor would the up-and-coming commercial radio licence in Kidderminster receive an area extension. The volunteer force of Stourbridge-FM established a new steering group known as the Stourbridge Radio Group to apply for a non-profit making community radio licence for the area.

The group won a community radio licence in September 2005, to be called "The 'Bridge". Test transmissions began on 102.5 FM on December 4 2007, and the full programming launched on January 1 2008 at 10.25am.

Places of interest

* Clent Hills
* Bonded Warehouse
* Crystal Leisure Centre
* Hagley Hall
* Mary Stevens Park
* Red House Cone
* River Stour
* Ryemarket Fountain
* Stourbridge Canal
* Stourbridge Junction Clock & Car Park Footbridge
* Town Centre Clock
* Town Centre brickwork
* Wychbury Hill

Famous residents

* Johnny Briggs, actor
* William Henry Bury, murderer and Jack the Ripper suspect
* Kay Davies, Human Geneticist
* Frank Foley, the relatively little-known "British Schindler" retired and eventually died in Stourbridge. A memorial is in Mary Stevens Park.
* Samuel Johnson lived and worked in Stourbridge for a time
* Screech Louder, drummer in indie band The Long Blondes
* Dan O'Hagan, BBC Match of the Day football commentator
* Nicholas Michaels, Theoretical Particle Physicist
* Robert Plant, singer with Led Zeppelin. Attended King Edward VI School, Stourbridge.
* Danielle Saxon Reeves, classical banjo and guitarist; director of the Midlands Fretted Orchestra
* Nigel Reo-Coker, Aston Villa player
* Debra Shipley MP
* David Trotman, Pure Mathematician. Attended King Edward VI School, Stourbridge.
* Lynda Waltho MP
* Brett Westwood, radio presenter and author
* Clement Lindley Wragge, meteorologist
* Matt Rowland, Apprentice participant, attended Stourbridge College in 1989.
* Ashley Young, Aston Villa player

In popular culture

Stourbridge appears in two great works of poetry from the 20th century: "Finnegans Wake" by James Joyce and "The Cantos" of Ezra Pound.

cquote|Of course our low hero was a self valeter by choice of need soup he got up whatever is meant by a stourbridge clay
kitchenette and lithargogalenu fowlhouse for the sake of akes (the umpple does not fall very far from the dumpertree)
- James Joyce Finnegans Wake, part 1, Episode 6. Page 184

cquote|and i went in a post chaiseWoburn Farm, Stowe, Stratford,Stourbridge, Woodstock, High Wycombe and back to Grosvenor Sq - Ezra Pound, Canto LXVI, line 30, Page 380.

Joyce's interest in Stourbridge is self evident from the passage quoted above and Stourbridge found its way into Pound's "The Cantos" via John Adams the second President of the United States, whose diary entry from 1786 Pound translated into his own epic poem.

"Or take Golf", said Mr. Carmody, side-stepping and attacking from another angle. "The only good golf-course in Worcestershire at present is at Stourbridge." from chapter 5 of 'Money for Nothing' by P. G. Wodehouse, published in 1928.


External links

* [ River Stour]
* [ Internet Guide To Stourbridge]
* [ Stourbridge News] Local Stourbridge weekly newspaper
* [ St Thomas's Church]
* [ Stourbridge bus and rail information]
* [ Ridgewood High School]
* [ Chevron's myspace page]
* [ Old Swinford Hospital School]
* [ King Edward VI College]
* [ Stourbridge College]
* [ Redhill School]
* [ Information about the Stourbridge Lion]
* [ Stourbridge Cricket Club]
* [ Stourbridge Ladies Circle]
* [ The 'Bridge 102.5FM]
* [ Stourbridge Bicycle User Group (Stourbug)]
* [ The Wordsley School, Stourbridge]
* [ 871 Troop, 67 (QOWWY) Signal Squadron (V)]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stourbridge — (spr. Staurbridsch), 1) Marktflecken in der englischen Grafschaft Worcester, am Stour u. an der Eisenbahn von Gloucester nach Wolverhampton, Eisenwerke, Fabrikation von Glas (bes. Spiegelglas), Thonwaaren u. Wollwaaren, Handel mit Tuch u. Käse;… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Stourbridge — (spr. ßtūr brĭdsch), Stadt im nördlichen Worcestershire (England), am Stour, hat eine Kornbörse, Lateinschule, Kunstschule, bedeutende Fabrikation von Glas und Glaswaren, Töpferwaren, feuerfesten Ziegeln und Schmelztiegeln, Pergament, Eisenwerke… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Stourbridge — (spr. stöhrbrĭdsch), Fabrikstadt in der engl. Grafsch. Worcester, am Stour, (1901) 16.302 E …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Stourbridge —   [ staʊəbrɪdʒ], Industriestadt in der Metropolitan County West Midlands, England, westlich von Birmingham, 55 600 Einwohner; Glasindustrie, Maschinenbau.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Stourbridge — 52.456388888889 2.1475 Koordinaten: 52° 27′ N, 2° 9′ W …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Stourbridge R.F.C. — Rugby team teamname = Stourbridge imagesize = union = RFU fullname = Stourbridge Rugby Football Club nickname = shortname = country countryflagvar = rugby founded = 1876 region = Midlands ground = Stourton Park capacity = chairman = ceo =… …   Wikipedia

  • Stourbridge F.C. — Football club infobox clubname = Stourbridge fullname = Stourbridge Football Club nickname = The Glassboys founded = 1876 (as Stourbridge Standard) ground = War Memorial Athletic Ground, Amblecote capacity = 1,250 chairman = Stephen Hyde manager …   Wikipedia

  • Stourbridge — Original name in latin Stourbridge Name in other language Stauerbridz, Stauerbridzas, Stauerbridas, Stourbridge, Stourbridzh, astawrbryj, s tea r bridc, Стауербриџ, Стоурбридж State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 52.45608 latitude …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Stourbridge — geographical name town W central England in West Midlands W of Birmingham population 54,661 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Stourbridge — ► C. de Gran Bretaña, en el O de Inglaterra, condado metropolitano de West Midlands; 54 331 h …   Enciclopedia Universal

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