infobox UK place
country = England
metropolitan_county = West Midlands
Amblecote is a suburbanised village in the
Metropolitan Borough of Dudleyin the West Midlands, England, which now forms part of and is situated one and a half miles north of the historic town of Stourbridge, on the south western fringe of the West Midlands urban area. Unusually, part of Amblecote, the north eastern part of the village, at the north of Vicarage Road, was part of Brierley Hill, which was in Staffordshire and is now in Dudley Metropolitan Borough and the rest was in Stourbridge (as above). To this day, part of Amblecote has Stourbridge addresses with DY8 postcodes and the north eastern part of Amblecote over the railway line have always had DY5 (Brierley Hill) postcodes!
Located within Amblecote is the War Memorial Athletic Ground, home of
Stourbridge Town Football Club(nicknamed the Glassboys) & Stourbridge Cricket Club. Formerly on land off Church Avenue, rear of the Parish Church "Amblecote Cricket Club" used to exist before the land was sold to Hassall Homes for housing in the mid 1980s. A Second cricket club used to exist on part of "Peters Hill", the highest point of Amblecote until the 1980s until sold to Tarmac Homes who constructed the "Broomhill Estate" adjacent to the Peters Hill Primary School, which was developed from 1974 and due to rapid expansion of the area between 1960s and 1990s, with construction of over 8,000 homes, on former coal and clay mines and other land, including ex farmland, became a large prmary school with 800 pupils approximately.
The housing developments which were built in Amblecote between 1960s and 1990s include:Stourview - A&J Mucklow and Company. 1960sStourvale - A&J Mucklow and Company. 1970s/80sQunicy Rise - William Whittingham and Company. 1980sLemonshawe - Tarmac Homes 1980sClent View - Midland and General Limited 1980sBroomhill - Tarmac Homes 1980sStourcroft Park/Tiffany Circle - Midland and General Limited. 1980sTudor Hill - Tarmac Homes 1980sLakeside/Tudor Meadows - Bovis Homes 1980s/1990sThe Ridgeway - Tarmac Homes 1980sBeechwood Park - Tarmac Homes 1980sFox Hollow - Tarmac Homes 1980sThe Parklands - Midland and General Homes 1980sRavensitch and Ravens Park - Maxim Homes - 1970s/80s
These developments, coupled with the nearby Withymoor Village development (classed as Brierley Hill) added almost 8,000 new homes between 1964 and 1998 on land, formerly used for farming and rehabilitated former coal and fire clay mines (both bell pits and open cast mining, which completely changed the face of the area) and brick works which closed down. Many of the new homes were family dwellings, which saw the rapid expansion especially of Peters Hill Primary School, which more than quadrupled in size from around 200 when opened to over 800 on completion. Many new people moving to Amblecote were professional people and wealthy and worked either in larger towns or predominantly Birmingham attracted by good environment and transport linkages to elsewhere.
The development also changed Amblecote's nature as a settlement, from a clearly defined ancient village seperated from Quarry Bank and Stourbridge by fields and pit workings etc to a coalesced settlement, looking more like a suburban development and the development joined Stourbridge and Brierley Hill for the first time ever and Amblecote became the largest electoral ward in Dudley Borough, with a Conservative leaning, under first Dudley West and then Stourbridge Constituencies, until boundary changes in 2004 created Lye and Wollescote which took half of Amblecote and reduced the Amblecote ward.
Amblecote was a village in
Staffordshirenear the River Stour which formed the border with the county of Worcestershire. It was originally part of the parish of Oldswinford, which was otherwise in Worcestershire. It was a separate division for rating purposes from those Stourbridge and Oldswinford (the two Worcestershire divisions of the parish] . Since rates were separately collected for it, it became a civil parishin 1894. In 1894, under the Local Government Act 1894, the parish of Amblecote became part of Kingswinford Rural District, but became an urban districtby itself in 1898. ["Victoria County History, Staffordshire", XX, 49 61-2. ] The urban district council of Amblecote used to meet in the Former "Fish Inn" public house which is now a Chinese Restaurant and historic relics of this time remain at the building (such as the civic clock)
From the seventeenth century, there have been glassworks in Amblecote, including Thos Webb, Dennis Hall to name a few, and together with Wordsley formed the main centre of the Stourbridge glass industry, now known as "The Glass Quarter". Glass is still produced to this day in albeit much reduced numbers following the deindustrialisation of the area in the 1980s and 90s which saw the closure of many of the larger companies. Nearby Broadfield House Glass Museum in Kingswinford is a must for any visitor to see the fabulous studio glass and three quarter weight lead crystal which the area was famed for.
Amblecote also contained many other sorts of industry including coal and yellow fire clay mining, especially in the north-east of the village, agriculture (Amblecote Hall, which contained a farm (farmed by the Gittens family till the 1960s) and others, two of which exist to this day - Ravensitch Farm off Kittiwake Drive (farmed by Mr and Mrs Wright)and one rear of Corbett Hospital), fire brick and house brick manufacturing, ironworks (Foster Rasterick Iron Works, which made the Stourbridge Lion, the first train to run on American railways and the Agenoria a second important locomotive). Some of the street names on the new development reflect the heritage of the area, even though tangiable evidence does not remain. For example, Peters Hill Road, Kenyon Close (after the Worcestershire cricketer)
The parish church of Holy Trinity was begun in 1841, and the church completed in 1842 and consecrated in 1844, being made a separate ecclesiastical parish (a perpetual curacy) in 1845 and then a
vicaragein 1868. ["Victoria County History, Staffordshire" XX, 62--3.] Amblecote Parish Church of the Holy Trinity is very unusual (as is nearby Quarry Bank Church) because it is constructed completely of yellow clay fire bricks, made by local brickworks (William King and Co) from the local yellow fire clay which forms the main strata of Amblecote, together with thick coal towards the north east and new red sandstone to the south west. Local benefactors, such as the Foster Rasterick Ironworks, supplied the iron railings around the perimiter of the church and Amblecote was unusual to retain these railings following WW2 when many churches did not keep them.
Amblecote was the location up until recently (2007) of the Corbett Hospital, which had its origins on the local millionaire businessman, John Corbett, who made his fortune from brine works near Droitwich and who was known as the Salt King, lived firstly at a Mansion in Amblecote known as "The Hill". Following his marraige and visiting France extensively, he built a mansion, styled as a chateau in Droitwich Spa called "The Chateau Impney". He gave "The Hills" to the people of Stourbridge in perpituity as a hospital, to replace the dispensary in Stourbridge Town Centre (Still Standing on the junction of New Road and Worcester Street) which had been the mainstay of local public health before this time. Corbett Hospital was much extended over the years and catered for all hospital functions, becoming a general hospital. It started to be run down in the mid 1980s, as a new hospital Russells Hall Hospital was built in Dudley to cater for all healthcare issues in the Dudley MBC area. The Corbett Hospital was demolished in 2006 and redeveloped as an Out Patients Centre containing a wide range of services and also a brand new children and family centre.
In 1966, Amblecote Rural District Council (Stourbridge part)was absorbed into the
municipal boroughof Stourbridge in Worcestershire and the north-eastern part of the Borough, was incorporated within the County Borough of Dudley as part of Brierley Hill. In 1974, Amblecote and the rest of the Stourbridge borough and the former County Borough of Dudley became the Metropolitan District of Dudley under the 2 tier county of West Midlands and when the West Midlands County Council was abolished in 1986, the Metropolitan District of Dudley became the unitary Metropolitan Borough of Dudleyin the metropolitan countyof the West Midlands.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.