Bromsgrove is a town in Worcestershire, England. The town is about 16
miles (26 km) north-east of
Worcester and 13 miles (21 km)
Birmingham city centre. It had a population of 29,237 in
2001 (39,644 in the wider Bromsgrove/
Catshill urban area).
Bromsgrove is the main town in the larger
2 Governance and local politics
6.1 Municipal facilities
6.3.1 State schools
6.3.2 Independent schools
6.3.4 Further education
7 Entertainment and arts
8 Clubs and societies
8.1 Town twinning and friendship links
9 Notable residents
9.3 18th century
9.4 19th century
9.5 20th and 21st century
10 International relations
11 Further reading
13 External links
Bromsgrove is first documented in the early 9th century as
Bremesgraf. Later in the
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 909 AD Bromsgrove
is mentioned as Bremesburh. Then in the
referenced as Bremesgrave. The Breme part of the place name is
almost certainly an Anglo-Saxon personal name.
In the Anglo-Saxon times,
Bromsgrove had a woodland economy[citation
needed] consisting of hunting, maintenance of haies and pig
farming. At the time of Edward the Confessor, the manor of
Bromsgrove is known to have been held by Earl Edwin. After the
Bromsgrove was held by the King. Among the manor's
possessions were 13 salt pans at Droitwich, with three workers,
producing 300 mits. The King had the right to sell the salt from his
pans before any other salt in the town.
It was at the centre of a very large parish and its church of St John
the Baptist was certainly of minster status. Bromsgrove, along with
all the towns in north Worcestershire, was committed to defending the
Worcester and is recorded to have contributed burgesses to
Droitwich in 1086. There may also have been Anglo-Saxon or Norman
fortifications in Bromsgrove, but other than in literature no physical
archaeological evidence remains.
Bromsgrove was first granted the right to a market day in 1200, and in
1317 was given the right hold a Tuesday market and three-day fair
every 29 August at the Decollation of St John the Baptist. Market day
changed several times over the period, settling on Tuesday from 1792
onwards. Fairs were held twice yearly, in June and October by the
eighteenth century, with the modern pleasure fairs originating from
the June horse and pleasure fair.
Bromsgrove and the area surrounding it was put under forest law when
the boundaries of
Feckenham Forest were extended hugely by Henry II.
Forest law was removed from the
Bromsgrove area in 1301 in the reign
of Edward I, when the boundaries were moved back.
In the later Middle Ages,
Bromsgrove was a centre for the wool trade.
Manufacture of cloth, particularly narrow cloth and friezes is first
recorded in 1533. It fell into decline by the 1700s. By 1778, 140
hands (i.e., people) were employed in the manufacture of linsey and
linen employed 180. By comparison, nail making employed 900 hands by
Nail making was introduced by the French Huguenots in the 17th century
and became a thriving industry. At one point
Bromsgrove was the world
centre of nail making. Mechanisation quickly put the
industry into decline.
Bromsgrove Union Workhouse, on the
Birmingham Road, was opened in
1838 and closed in 1948 and is in use as an office building today.
Bromsgrove railway works was established. It was primarily a
maintenance facility but also built steam locomotives. The works
provided employment for people in Bromsgrove. In 1964, following a
reorganisation of railway workshops, the works closed and was
demolished. The site is now a housing estate. One of the turntable
pits still remains.
Major restoration of the Norman and 13th century St. John the Baptist
church was carried out in 1858 by Sir George Gilbert Scott. In the
churchyard here are the graves of two railwaymen, Tom Scaife and
Joseph Rutherford who were killed when their steam locomotive blew up
while climbing the steepest mainline railway gradient in England, at
Lickey Incline, on 10 November 1840. The
driver and his number two died instantly. St. Peter's Roman Catholic
Worcester Road was built by
Gilbert Blount in 1858.
Bromsgrove was home for many years to the famous
Bromsgrove Guild of
Applied Arts, a company of craftsmen who produced many fine works of
sculpture, ironwork, etc., including the gates of Buckingham Palace
(whose locks are stamped with the Guild's name), the lifts on the
Lusitania and the famous statue adorning the
Fortune Theatre in Drury
Governance and local politics
Bromsgrove (UK Parliament constituency)
Bromsgrove (UK Parliament constituency) and Bromsgrove
Bromsgrove's Member of Parliament is Sajid Javid. As a largely rural
constituency with affluent residential areas,
Bromsgrove District is
strongly Conservative-supporting area with further seats being won by
the party in the local elections at the expense of 'other'
Bromsgrove constituency was last represented by Labour by Terry
Davies, who defeated Conservative
Hal Miller as the result of 10.1%
swing in a by-election in 1971. Miller was elected to the new
Redditch constituency in 1974, and represented
Bromsgrove constituency from 1983 to 1992. He was succeeded by Roy
Thomason, who was censured by the House of Commons Select Committee on
Standards and Privileges for failing to declare loans made to him.
He decided not to re-stand after the local Conservative Association
opened nominations to other candidates. He was succeeded by Julie
Kirkbride in 1997. She did not contest the seat in 2010 following the
Westminster expenses scandal, in which she was found to have
over-claimed by £29,243.
Bromsgrove has its own youth branch of Conservatives called Bromsgrove
Conservative Future, a Labour Party and Labour club and Liberal
Democrat Party. Labour voting is strongest in the Whitford,
Charford wards of the town.
According to the 2001 census the population of
Bromsgrove is 29,237
and the population for the larger
Bromsgrove District is 87,837.
White British is by far the largest race, at 96% of the
district population (87,837) with 4% (3,734) from an ethnic
The solid geology of
Bromsgrove is that of the
Triassic (late Scythian
to early Ladinian)
Bromsgrove Sandstone. It shows red bed facies and
was probably laid down by rivers flowing through an arid landscape or
in ephemeral, shallow lakes. The uppermost beds were deposited by a
brief marine transgression. The soil is very good for market
gardening and growing vegetables due to
Marl bands. The district is at
a general elevation of between 200 feet (61 m) to 300 feet
(91 m) above sea level.
Bromsgrove experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate
classification Cfb) similar to almost all of the United Kingdom.
Climate data for Bromsgrove
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
There is a statue of Alfred Edward
Housman in the high street, which
was erected in 1985. There is also a sculpture of a dryad and boar in
the high street, commemorating the work of the
Bromsgrove is home to
Grafton Manor which dates back to the 14th
century. It has a rich history, with one of the daughters of John
Talbot married to Robert Wintour, who was involved in the Gunpowder
In 2004, 33,175 people in
Bromsgrove District were in employment.
Manufacturing, retail, and services were the biggest sectors of
employment in 2001.
Many of Bromsgrove's residents find employment in Birmingham,
Worcester and other places along the motorway network. MG
Rover was a major employer of
Bromsgrove residents until its collapse
in May 2005.
Bromsgrove is still home to LG Harris Ltd, a paint brush
manufacturer in Stoke Prior (known locally as "Harris Brush" or just
"The Brush"). Business parks in
Aston Fields and Buntsford Hill are
helping to revitalise the local economy, in addition to newer
developments such as Saxon and Harris Business Parks. Bromsgrove
District Council is aiming to create a technology corridor along the
A38 to take advantage of the area's road links.
Bromsgrove has a public community library situated in the centre of
the town. The library offers not only books but also music CDs, spoken
word, foreign language tapes and videos & DVD for adults and
children. There are 25 computers available with internet access.
Bromsgrove has a municipal park, Sanders Park. Facilities include:
basketball courts, tennis courts, a skate park, children's play area
and football pitches. A bonfire night is held annually with a large
fireworks display and fairground rides. Other events are held such as
big band afternoons featuring bands playing in the bandstand.
There is a large public leisure centre and sports centre in the town
called The Dolphin Centre. It has two swimming pools and a large
sports hall. Numerous activities and clubs are held here, such as the
Bromsgrove Swimming Club. It is run by
Wychavon Leisure and owned by
Bromsgrove District Council.
Bromsgrove railway station
Graves of railway engineers Scaife and Rutherford, killed in an engine
Bromsgrove station in 1840
See also: Bus transport in Bromsgrove
Bromsgrove is intersected by the A38 which was bypassed to the east of
the town in 1980, the
M5 motorway borders the west side and the M42
motorway starts at the north of the town.
Bromsgrove railway station
Bromsgrove railway station is situated to the south of the town. It
sits at the foot of the
Lickey Incline which is the steepest Incline
on the British mainline network meaning most freight trains require
assistance from a locomotive at the rear. Between 1919 and 1956 this
was operated by a purpose built locomotive known by drivers as Big
Bertha. There are frequent trains to
Birmingham New Street, Worcester
Foregate Street and Hereford. On 4 May 2007,
Network Rail announced
that a new station would be built, to replace the existing structure,
at a cost in the region of £10–12 million. The station opened
in July 2016.
There is also a bus station adjacent to the high street. Buses operate
to a wide area of
Worcestershire and the West Midlands.
Bromsgrove schools use a three-tier education system (first school,
middle school, high school).
Bromsgrove has 15 first schools in its district:
Lickey End First
Finstall First School,
Charford First School, Dodford First
School, Milfields First School, St. Peters
Roman Catholic First
School, Stoke Prior First School, Blackwell First School, Sidemoor
Catshill First School,
Tardebigge CofE First School,
Fairfield First School, Hanbury CofE First School and Meadows First
There are five Middle Schools:
Alvechurch Middle School, Catshill
Aston Fields Middle School, St John's Church of England
Middle School Academy, and Parkside Middle School.
There are two high schools,
North Bromsgrove High School
North Bromsgrove High School and South
Bromsgrove High School opposite Charford. South
Bromsgrove is a
specialist school in foreign languages and I.T, noted for its
extensive use of information technology. A previous headteacher,
Philip McTague, was heavily involved in political action to reduce the
gap in funding between
Worcestershire state schools and others across
North Bromsgrove High School
North Bromsgrove High School has now been classed for
a specialist status in media and Creative Arts. Both were rebuilt by
BAM in 2007.
Bromsgrove is also home to
Bromsgrove School, a co-educational
independent school founded in 1553 with three campuses catering for
pupils from nursery to sixth-form that offers boarding facilities.
Former pupils include Digby Jones, head of the CBI for many years and
the actors Ian Carmichael,
Richard Wattis and Trevor Eve.
There are two special schools in Bromsgrove, one is Chadsgrove School
and Specialist Sports College the other Rigby Hall School.
Bromsgrove is the main site of Heart of
formerly North East
Worcestershire (NEW) College until 1 August 2014
following a merger. In May 2011, NEW College built a motorcycle
academy with a £1.7 million grant from Advantage West Midlands, it
has been extensively equipped by Harley Davidson.
Bromsgrove is home to:
Football Club, one of the oldest rugby union clubs in
the country. It was formed on 28 September 1872.
Football Club. A fan owned club formed in 2009 by
fans of the dissolved
Bromsgrove Rovers club.
Hockey and Tennis Club.
Mercian Divers Scuba Diving Club – affiliated to the BSAC (British
Worcestershire Ravens rugby league club, who play in the
Midlands Rugby League.
Bromsgrove Indoor Bowls Club (also providing outdoor bowls) based in
Redditch Athletics Club, based at the Ryland Centre
Bromsgrove Swimming Club, established in 1966.
Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings
Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings has its home in Bromsgrove.
This museum includes the National telephone kiosk Collection. The
Bromsgrove Museum on
Birmingham Road reopened in May 2016.
Birmingham Canal which runs close to Bromsgrove, is
a destination for leisure activities such as walking and coarse
fishing and there are several narrowboat hire centres situated in
nearby villages. The
Tardebigge lock flight, with 30 locks, is the
longest in the UK.
Bromsgrove is 5 miles (8.0 km) away from
the historic country house Hanbury Hall, which is open to the public.
The town's leisure venues include a nightclub featuring a mixture of
styles, and pubs in the town centre include a
Wetherspoons pub, a Slug
and Lettuce pub and a number of traditional pubs.
Bromsgrove is close
to the countryside attractions of the
Lickey Hills, the
the Waseley Hills.
Entertainment and arts
Bromsgrove is host to a centre for the arts, Artrix, located on
Slideslow Drive. Artrix is a multi purpose arts centre that provides
theatre, cinema screening recently released films and National Theatre
Live performances, rock concerts, folk music, comedians and classical
music concerts from
Bromsgrove Concerts, ESO and Midland Sinfonia.
Artrix also has a vibrant youth theatre group and a new arts outreach
team. From 2012 the dance studio has been converted to hold a maximum
of 90 people and provides a space for intimate music, comedy and small
The World War II film Our Father was partially filmed on location in
Hanbury Woods outside Bromsgrove.
Bromsgrove has held an annual classical music festival,
with an international reputation.
Clubs and societies
Bromsgrove War Memorial
Although with no official function, Bromsgrove's Court Leet continues
to exist as a ceremonial body, being sanctioned under the
Administration of Justice Act 1977. The
Bromsgrove Society is a
charity formed in 1980 to protect the built and natural
environment of the town. The
Bromsgrove Society of Model
Engineers was formed in 1982 and operates a track at the Avoncroft
Museum of Historic Buildings. The
Bromsgrove Photographic Society
was formed in 1950 and organises talks in Stoke Prior. Bromsgrove
Rotary Club formed in 1936 and chartered in 1937.
Town twinning and friendship links
In May 1980,
Bromsgrove was twinned with the German town of Gronau. A
formal friendship link document was signed between
Bromsgrove and the
Saint-Sauveur-Lendelin in Normandy, France, in July 1999.
Annual exchange visits are made by
Bromsgrove and District Twinning
Association members to each town.
Saint-Sauveur-Lendelin, Manche, France
Drumlish, Longford, Ireland
See also: People from
Bromsgrove District and People from Bromsgrove
The notable residents of
Bromsgrove include those educated at
Bromsgrove School (see People educated at
Bromsgrove School). Among
the Old Bromsgrovians are a field marshal, five winners of the
Victoria Cross and one winner of the George Cross.
Richard Bromsgrove, Abbot of Evesham
Sir Gilbert Talbot, KG (died 1517/18), owner of Grafton Manor
Sir John Talbot (died 1549), owner of Grafton Manor, buried in St John
the Baptist Church, Bromsgrove
Sir John Talbot (died 1611), owner of Grafton Manor, Catholic recusant
suspected wrongly of involvement in the Gunpowder Plot
Francis Talbot, who died as the result of a duel at
Barn Elms with the
Duke of Buckingham over his wife
Anna Talbot, wife of Francis and famous beauty
William Dugard, schoolmaster, seventeenth century
Sarah Bache, hymn writer, born in
Bromsgrove about 1771
Charlotte Badger, considered to be the first Australian female pirate,
Bromsgrove in 1778
Mabel Tolkien (née Suffield, 1870–1904), mother of J. R.
R. Tolkien, in Bromsgrove
Grave of Sir Thomas Chavasse (1854-1913) and his family in Bromsgrove
Benjamin Bomford, farmer
George Cadbury, creator of Cadbury chocolates.
Sir Thomas Frederick Chavasse (1854-1913) surgeon, member of the
Chavasse family, buried in Bromsgrove. His daughter Gladys (1893-1962)
was engaged to her cousin Noel Chavasse VC and Bar, MC
John Corbett, the Salt King, lived in
Bromsgrove prior to building
Alfred Edward Housman, 1859, poet.
Clemence Housman, sister of Alfred, author and suffragette
Laurence Housman, brother of Alfred, illustrator, playwright, writer
and left-wing political activist
John Lisseter Humphreys, Governor of North Borneo
Benjamin Maund, botanist and chemist, publisher and bookseller
Mabel Tolkien (1870–1904), mother of J. R. R. Tolkien, buried in
Elijah Walton, artist, lived in Lickey, died there in 1880
20th and 21st century
Singer/actor, Michael Ball, was born in Bromsgrove.the Official
Woodstock Site publisher=Woodstock.com date= accessdate=3 August
BBC News presenter and journalist, once worked for the
Bromsgrove Messenger' newspaper.
Dan Bull, internet activist and musician was born in Bromsgrove.
Nicola Charles, actress, was born in
Bromsgrove in 1969.
Lisa Clayton (born 1958), sailor, lived in
Bromsgrove with her parents
Jonathan Coe, author, was born in
Lickey in 1961.
Jimmy Davis (1982–2003), footballer with Manchester United, Swindon
Watford F.C. was born in Bromsgrove.
Fyfe Dangerfield, musician grew up in
Bromsgrove and attended
Nicholas Evans, author, best known for The Horse Whisperer. was
Bromsgrove and attended
Declan Fitzpatrick was born in Bromsgrove.
Craig Fagan, Hull City footballer. Lived in
Bromsgrove in his
Walter Gilbert (sculptor)
Walter Gilbert (sculptor) of the
Rear-Admiral Sir David William Haslam (1923–2009), Royal Navy
officer and Governor of
Bromsgrove School, died in Bromsgrove
Geoffrey Hill, (1932-2016) poet. 
Anthony E. Pratt
Anthony E. Pratt (1903–1994), the inventor of the board game Cluedo,
is buried in
Mathew Priest, Musician of the
Indie rock band Dodgy.
Pat Roach (1937–2004), wrestler and actor is buried in Bromsgrove
Gary Rowett former professional footballer and former Manager at
Birmingham City FC.
David Rudkin, playwright, taught at
North Bromsgrove High School
North Bromsgrove High School in
the early 1960s. His play
Afore Night Come (1962) was inspired by his
experiences in the countryside close to Bromsgrove.
Alan M. Smith, 1962, footballer.
Andy Smith, 1967, a professional darts player with a nickname known to
fans as the 'pie-man', was born here.
Trudie Styler was born in Bromsgrove.
Jim Swire, 1936, doctor and father of
Matt Teale, 1975, newsreader and journalist was born in Bromsgrove.
John Vane (1927–2004), pharmacologist and winner of the Nobel
Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1982); born in Tardebigge
Mark Williams, 1959, actor, famous for portraying
Arthur Weasley in
Harry Potter film franchise, along with the title character in the
Father Brown television series based on the books by G.K.
Russell Williams was born in Bromsgrove.
Paul Horton CMIOSH 1955. Founder of LOXbrook Associates & Marble
Training, H&S Consulting and Training... Accredited training
providers for CITB, NEBOSH & IOSH.
Bromsgrove is twinned with:
Gronau, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Saint-Sauveur-Lendelin, Normandy, France.
Bromsgrove (Images of England) – ISBN 0-7524-1146-2
Glory Gone: The Story of Nailing in
Bygone Bromsgrove, a collection of essays about aspects of local
history, including Grafton Manor, local watermills, railways, canals
and the nailmaking industry, first published in 1981.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Benjamin Sanders, Buttonmaker of
Bromsgrove ISBN 978-0-9509471-2-9
Bromsgrove Guild – an Illustrated History, edited by Quintin
Watt ISBN 978-0-9509471-6-7
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Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bromsgrove.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bromsgrove.
Bromsgrove District Council
Settlements in the
List of civil parishes in the
Ceremonial county of Worcestershire
Boroughs or districts
See also: List of civil parishes in Worcestershire
Staffordshire & Worcestershire
Worcester & Birmingham
Population of major settlements
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings