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GREAT WYRLEY /ˈwɜːrli/ is a civil parish and large village in the district of South Staffordshire , England, forming part of the Staffordshire border with the metropolitan borough of Walsall , West Midlands. It had a population of 11,060 at the 2011 census.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Etymology * 1.2 Early history * 1.3 Post-Industrial Revolution * 1.4 The \' Great Wyrley
Great Wyrley
Outrages\'

* 2 Politics * 3 Localities * 4 Schools * 5 Transport * 6 Nearest Settlements * 7 Notes and references * 8 External links

HISTORY

ETYMOLOGY

The word "Wyrley" derives from two Old English words: wir and leah. Wir meant "bog myrtle " and leah meant "woodland clearing", suggesting that Great Wyrley
Great Wyrley
began as sparse woodland or marshland . "Great" refers to its dominant size over Little Wyrley .

EARLY HISTORY

Great Wyrley
Great Wyrley
is mentioned in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
under the name of Wereleia, and as early as 1086 is said to have been indirectly owned by the Bishop of Chester St John's as part of the "somewhat scattered holdings" of the Church of Saint Chad in Lichfield . Some 480 acres of farming land were, assumingly, evenly distributed between Wyrley and nearby Norton Canes . However, all six dependencies of Saint Chad had been labelled as "wasta", which meant they had been abandoned by the time the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
was made. Lord of the Manor

Manorialism continued for a long period and the current holder of the rights to the feudal title of Great Wyrley
Great Wyrley
Manor is, Anthony Henry Lord Great Wyrley, the freeholder of Great Wyrley
Great Wyrley
and Essington Estates, Red Lane Essington, South Staffordshire, having acquired the title deeds from the Right Honourable Elizabeth Millicent Countess of Sutherland Duke of Sutherland in 1989. There is considerable documentation (dating from 1397) relating to this very large manor in terms of land currently in the safekeeping of Staffordshire libraries.

POST-INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

In former times the town was a mining village — The Great Wyrley Colliery — with metalworking (such as for nails, agricultural implements and horseshoes) in outlying areas. The Wyrley and Essington Canal passes nearby.

In 1848 Samuel Lewis included the settlement in his gazetteer and stated it had:

* 799 inhabitants and 1600 acres, of which the Duke of Sutherland owned part; * Several collieries ; * The road from Walsall to Cannock passing through the village, long, and consisting of detached houses; * In 1844, Great Wyrley
Great Wyrley
it formed with Cheslyn Hay a new ecclesiastical district, having a population of 1,753; * St. Mark\'s Church , a highly finished structure in the early English style, built 1845, at a cost of £2430, of which sum £1200 was given by the Rev. William Gresley, prebendary of Lichfield ; the remainder was raised by subscription, aided by £333 from the Diocesan, and £250 from the Incorporated Society; * A perpetual curacy ; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield; * A school, purchased from the Independents (Nonconformists ), was opened in 1843 which cross-references the gazetteer entry Cannock .

In 1876 Shapurji Edalji was appointed Vicar of Great Wyrley; he served until his death forty-two years later. A Parsi
Parsi
convert to Christianity from Bombay, he may well have been the first South Asian to become the incumbent of an English parish.

THE \'GREAT WYRLEY OUTRAGES\'

In 1903, the place was the scene of the " Great Wyrley
Great Wyrley
Outrages", a series of slashings of horses, cows and sheep. In October, a local solicitor and son of the parson, George Edalji , was tried and convicted for the eighth attack, on a pit pony, and sentenced to seven years with hard labour. Edalji’s family had been the victims of a long-running campaign of untraceable abusive letters and anonymous harassment in 1888 and 1892-5. Further letters, in 1903, alleged he was partially responsible for the outrages and caused the police suspicion to focus on him.

Edalji was released in 1906 after the Chief Justice in Bahamas
Bahamas
and others had pleaded his case. But he was not pardoned, and the police kept him under surveillance. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame was persuaded to "turn detective" to prove the man's innocence. This he achieved after eight months of work. Edalji was exonerated by a Home Office committee of enquiry, although no compensation was awarded.

Local myth remembers the Outrages to have been enacted by "The Wyrley Gang", although Conan Doyle believed that they were the work of a single person, a local butcher's boy and sometime sailor called Royden Sharp. Ironically, Conan Doyle’s suspicion was based on circumstantial evidence. It was an over-reliance on this type of evidence in the first place which had resulted in Edalji’s flawed conviction.

Poison pen letters in the name of the "Wyrley Gang" continued for another twenty-five years, but these were subsequently discovered to have been posted from outside the town by Enoch Knowles of Wednesbury , who was arrested and convicted in 1934.

This case has been related or retold:

* Conan Doyle's The Story of Mr. George Edalji (1907, expanded re-issue in 1985). * 1972 BBC anthology series The Edwardians: Arthur Conan Doyle (one episode) centres on his involvement in the Edaji case. Written by Jeremy Paul and directed by Brian Farnham, it stars Nigel Davenport as Conan Doyle, Sam Dastor as George Edaji, and Renu Setna as the Reverend Edaji. * Arthur & George by Julian Barnes (2005), nominated that year for the Man Booker Prize . In 2010, Arthur by the parish boundaries are junctions T7 on the M6 Toll motorway and 11 of the M6 . Rail

Landywood railway station provides services south to Birmingham
Birmingham
New Street and north to Rugeley Trent Valley . Wyrley and Cheslyn Hay railway station to the north of Landywood closed in the 1960s (see also: Beeching Report ). Buses

Great Wyrley
Great Wyrley
is served by two bus routes running between Cannock and Walsall , and two bus routes running between Cannock and Wolverhampton :

* Arriva Midlands route 1 * Arriva Midlands route 2 * Arriva Midlands route 68 and * Arriva Midlands Route 69.

NEAREST SETTLEMENTS

NEAREST SETTLEMENTS

Wedge\'s Mills, Saredon Bridgtown , Cannock Norton Canes

Cheslyn Hay (contiguous) GREAT WYRLEY Little Wyrley Brownhills

Essington Newtown (small hamlet in Essington parish) Bloxwich Pelsall Wood and Pelsall

NOTES AND REFERENCES

Notes

* ^ "largely employing the population around." Per Lewis, below.

References

* ^ ward and town populations Staffordshire County Council, retrieved 2013-04-02 * ^ Etymology and History at Roman-Britain.org * ^ Etymology and History at Roman-Britain.org * ^ Wyrley - entry in translated Norman script Domesdaymap.co.uk. Great and Little are suggested by the text and this historical maps specialist to be one. * ^ Samuel Lewis (editor) (1848). "Wyke - Wyvill". A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 2 April 2013. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link ) * ^ Weaver, Gordon. "Conan Doyle and The Parson\'s Son". The Plebeian. Retrieved 24 October 2010. * ^ The Times 7 November 1934 * ^ Info on the stage adaption of "Arthur & George" at the Birmingham
Birmingham
Repertory Theatre\'s website * ^ http://www.outrage-rogeroldfield.co.uk * ^ http://moderngov.staffordshire.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?bcr=1 * ^ "Council Members". South Staffordshire District Council . Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012. * ^ Staffordshire County Council website showing South Staffordshire ward boundaries Archived 23 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ Results on "Google Maps" * ^ http://www.landywoodprimary.co.uk/ Landywood Primary School * ^ http://www.moathall.staffs.sch.uk/ Moat Hall Primary School * ^ http://www.stthomasmore-primary.staffs.sch.uk/ St Thomas More Primary School * ^ http://www.gw-hs.org/ Great Wyrley
Great Wyrley
High School * ^ Arriva Bus Routes 68, 69 and 70

EXTERNAL LINKS

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