Things to do in Stourbridge, West Midlands
Changing local boundaries have seen Stourbridge move from Worcestershire to the West Midlands which has been fiercely protested by locals.
Stourbridge was recorded on the Worcestershire assize roll of 1255 as Sturesbridge. Its name clearly came about as it was a crossing point over the River Stour.
The Stourbridge and Dudley canals were built around 1775 primarily to carry coal. The Stourbridge Canal eventually linked up with the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, the Dudley Canal and the River Severn.
In the 19th century canal transport allowed the import of sand from Ireland and by 1861 all the glass factories had relocated to the canal side. The local census at that time showed over a thousand Stourbridge residents were employed in the glass trade.
In later years the glass industry began to decline as cheaper labour costs abroad drew glass producers to relocate their factories to be more competitive.
Present Day Stourbridge
With a population of over 55,000 Stourbridge is a pretty town of character surrounded by a green belt of glorious countryside.Victorian Houses and other areas, some more affluent than others. Close to the high street is the Ryemarket Shopping Centre along with banks, supermarkets and national retailers.
There are several local cafés and pubs.
Stourbridge has a station on the Birmingham to Kidderminster line and it also has the shortest branch line in Europe at 0.8 miles (1.3km) long.
It runs from Stourbridge Junction into the town centre along the Stourbridge Town Branch Line.
Things to Do Around Stourbridge
At the top of Clent Hill are four standing stones.Kinver Edge is a sandstone edge which is best known for its caves and rock carved houses.
It is now managed by the National Trust.
The Red House Glass Museum is a great place to see the craftsmen working with molten glass, blowing it into shape during demonstrations.
The Lace Guild in Stourbridge celebrates the local lace industry.
The fine displays celebrate the local heritage of lace manufacturing during the 18th century and 19th century.