Besides great sights, an interesting history and many exciting destinations, Stourbridge has a lot more to offer. Here you will find many helpful tips to enjoy your vacation in Stourbridge.
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Sights in Stourbridge
Stourbridge is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, in the West Midlands of England. Historically a part of Worcestershire, Stourbridge was a centre of glass making, and today includes the reprocessing facilities of British Glass. It is home to aerospace manufacturer AE Aerospace. The population in 2011 was 63,298.
The town is twinned with Oldenburg in Germany and Snoqualmie, Washington in the United States.
Stourbridge is situated about 13km west of Birmingham, at the edge of the West Midlands conurbation on the border with Worcestershire. The town is served by Stourbridge Junction railway station.
The canalised River Stour flows through the town, to the east of its main shopping area, which is centred around the High Street, Hill Street, King Street, Market Street and New Road.
The town is built on the High Level ring route, a circuit of high ground on the northern and eastern sides of the West Midlands. The ring road follows the path of the Wyre Forest ridgeway, a medieval prehistoric trackway.
It is thought that the settlement of Stourbridge arose around 700 AD, when the West Saxons settled in the area. It was first mentioned in writing in 932 as Stybrugga, followed by the name of the manor, Sturbrugge, in the Domesday Book of 1086.
The second “b” in the name is thought to derive from the Old English word for a fortification, burh, which was frequently appended to placenames with the same meaning.
The Outwood boundary of the parish, along which the presentday Wolverhampton Road runs, dates from this time.
Stourbridge takes its name from the River Stour which flows through the town, though the spelling has been altered over the years from “Sturbrugge”.
The first glassmaking factory was established in 1727 by French artisans at Whitehouse Common on the southern edge of the town. In 1791 John Harrison of Broadwaters Farm, near Amblecote, established a glassworks known as Round Oak. By 1816 there were 20 glasshouses in the town, employing some 2,000 men.
The local glass industry declined in the early 20th century, but was revived in the late 2020s with the opening of the Red House Glass Cone, a working museum which is now a grade II* listed building.
Stourbridge is also home to Moneypenny, the world’s largest provider of outsourced telephone answering services, with its headquarters on the borders of the town.
In 2013, the town was selected as the location for the new headquarters of the UK National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ.
The town is Twinned with:
Snoqualmie, Washington, USA
History of Stourbridge
Stourbridge is a town located within the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, in the West Midlands region of England. Historically part of Worcestershire, Stourbridge was a centre of glass making and today includes the South Staffordshire Glass Museum. The town dates back to at least the 7th century, when it is mentioned in an AngloSaxon charter. By the early 12th century, it had become a market town with a bridge over the River Stour.
During the Industrial Revolution, glass making and coal mining were major industries in the town, and the Stourbridge glassworks were the first to make bottle glass in England. resulting in the local glass industry becoming the world’s leading exporter of window glass and attracting skilled artisans from glass making centres in France and Germany. Despite competition from cheaper imports in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the town’s glass making factories continued to thrive until the mid20th century.
The coal mines also continued to operate until the early 1960s, though the last glass making factory in the town closed in 1983. Since then, Stourbridge has undergone regeneration, with the town centre being redeveloped and the opening of the Stourbridge Town Branch Line light railway. Today, the town is a thriving commercial centre with a diverse range of businesses, and a popular tourist destination.
Vacation in Stourbridge
There are few vacation possibilities in the city of Stourbridge, England. The first and most obvious option is to visit the historic glass making factories. Stourbridge was once at the center of the world’s glass making industry and there are still a few working factories in the city. Visitors can watch the glass being made and even try their hand at making their own souvenir.
Another option is to visit one of the city’s museums. The Stourbridge Lion, the oldest locomotive in the world, is on display at the Museum of the Black Country. The Red House Glass Cone, the last working bottleworks in England, is also worth a visit.
For those looking for a more active vacation, there are a few options. The Stourbridge Canal offers boat trips and fishing opportunities. The Dudley Canal Trust runs regular trips through the tunnels underneath Dudley Castle. There are also a number of walking and cycling routes in and around the city.
Finally, no visit to Stourbridge would be complete without sampling the local pubs and restaurants. The city has a number of excellent alehouses and eateries, serving up traditional British food and drink.
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