WOMBOURNE (also spelt WOMBOURN) is a large village and civil parish located in the district of South Staffordshire , in the county of Staffordshire , 4 miles (6 km) south-west of Wolverhampton and just outside the county and conurbation of the West Midlands.
Local affairs are run by a parish council . At the 2001 census it had a population of 13,691, increasing to 14,157 at the 2011 Census. Due to its proximity to the county and conurbation of the West Midlands, it is, to some extent, an urban fringe settlement or dormitory village for the conurbation, although it also has a distinctive centre and a long history.
* 1 Etymology and usage
* 2 History
* 2.1 Origins * 2.2 The medieval village * 2.3 Industrial developments * 2.4 The modern village
* 3 Amenities
* 4 Walks and Local Countryside
* 5 Governance
* 6 Politics
* 7 Transport
* 8 Schools
* 9 Around
ETYMOLOGY AND USAGE
The Old English word _burna_ signifies a stream, and a stream is a notable feature of the village. Formerly the village name was thought to mean "Womb Stream", or stream in a hollow, because this is a reasonable description of the situation. However, more recent scholarship explains the name as meaning a CROOKED STREAM, which is at least as good a description.
_Burna_ was one of the terms for a stream used in the earliest Anglo-Saxon place names, and the stream was presumably itself called the Wom Bourn. However, today it is always distinguished from the village by the name Wom Brook, from another, slightly later, Old English term for a stream: _brōca_. The Wom Brook, which has required considerable work to ameliorate its flooding, originates on Penn Common and is a tributary of the Smestow Brook , which it meets just south of Wombourne.
The spelling "Wombourne" is now preferred for official use. However, the village is marked "Wombourn" on the 1775 William Yates _Map of the County of Stafford_ and as late as the 1945–48 series Ordnance Survey maps. There has been considerable feeling about the issue and road signs were regularly amended unofficially with spray paint until the 1990s at least.
The village has
Anglo-Saxon origins, and was part of the large
central kingdom of
Mercia , which was settled by
Angles . The whole
region was wooded when the Germanic settlers arrived, and hamlet names
THE MEDIEVAL VILLAGE
The Priors of
For most of its history
Perhaps the largest water-driven forge was to the west of the village, where, an 1817 history remarks, "has been erected an iron-work called the Heath-forge, with genteel mansion". This works had a large mill pool, supplied by the Merryhill Brook and by a contour canal from the River Smestow . Water fell thence in several stages to the Wom, which then joined the Smestow a short distance to the west. The forge mill was later converted into a corn mill, which functioned until the 1930s. The Heath Mill industrial estate on the main Bridgnorth road preserves the name of the complex. The mansion building, now converted into flats, is still to be seen in the Poolhouse estate, itself named after the poolhouse that stood at the dam. The water mill is clearly marked on the 1775 Yates map of Staffordshire, along with one at the Wodehouse, and another just south of the village centre, the remains of which are now the Pool Dam.
It was around the same time that the Hellier family reached the peak
of their influence in the area. The Helliers lived at the Wodehouse ,
on the Wom Brook, to the east of the village. It was the fourth Samuel
Hellier, knighted in 1762, who turned the Jacobean house into a centre
of culture. He had the grounds laid out in fashionable style, with a
hermitage , a temple to the memory of
Handel , and a music room. He
spent a fortune on musical instruments and books of music, building
up a private collection and endowing both the church at
White tells us that the main landowners in the area in the mid-19th
John Wrottesley, 2nd Baron Wrottesley , a notable
astronomer, and Lord Ward – at this time the Reverend William Humble
Ward, the tenth Baron, a relative of the Earl of
THE MODERN VILLAGE
Although the parish had a population approaching 2000 by the mid-19th
century, the village itself remained quite small – essentially
confined to the area around the present village green. The hamlets of
Giggetty, Blakeley, Ounsdale, and the
The area around the green, the original village of Wombourne, evolved as the commercial and cultural centre. The green was surrounded by small, independent shops, which remain a distinctive feature of the village's commercial life. A new civic centre, housing local council services, was constructed near Lower End, just south west of the centre. Suburban housing grew to form a wide ring around it, absorbing most of the hamlets.
Large housing developments of the 1960s and 1970s around Giggetty and
Brickbridge, to the west, were followed by a still larger westward
extension in the Poolhouse estate of the 1980s, which absorbed the
former Heath Mill. Meanwhile, light industry developed along the canal
River Smestow , particularly beyond the main
with industrial estates replacing former foundries. A new bypass was
driven through to the south of the village in 1988, carrying
In 2011, Westfield Primary School pupils Gabriel (Gabo) Knight and Will (Wilbo) Evans created a series of comics called Very Random, and started a youtube channel called eminemfan12367 and they gained around 300 subscribers until 2013, when Will moved away from the village, leaving the channel in the hands of Gabriel Knight and Jake Morgan. Sadly, there has been little to no activity on the channel since then and Gabriel and Will are now living their separate lives happily.
The Vine, a pub on the edge of
Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal runs north-south through
the western side of the village and
The main commercial area is around the village green and on the neighbouring streets. This contains a considerable range of small, independent shops, as well as banks, cafes and other services. There are also small developments of shops and services in the outlying areas of the village, particularly at Giggetty and Blakeley.
The village is served by a wide variety of churches, many based around the village green, which do much in the way of maintaining village traditions and in serving the more needy people in the parish. There was considerable volunteer support for the mental health centre in Planks Lane before it closed. The Hand in Hand Centre is well-supported by Christians and a number of activities for older members of the village are run and paid for by volunteers.
WALKS AND LOCAL COUNTRYSIDE
Lower End Bridge, just south-west of the village centre, marks the eastern edge of the Ham Meadow section. *
Ham Meadow, south-west of the village centre, through which flows the Wom Brook. *
A number of important footpaths cross Wombourne, constituting an important leisure amenity as well as providing safe access to the village and surrounding countryside for walkers and cyclists.
THE WOM BROOK WALK
The Wom Brook Walk is a Local Nature Reserve entirely within the boundaries of the village. It stretches for about 1.5 miles (2.6 km) along both sides of the Wom Brook, traversing the village from east to west. It contains a mix of meadow and woodland. It was established after some years of work by a local conservation group, the Friends of Wom Brook. There has been great excitement over the arrival of Wombourne's very first Little Egret in October/November 2010. It was seen hunting and roosting around the Wombrook on a number of occasions and Daniel Traynor captured the very first image of the bird which was later shown in the Parish News.
THE SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE RAILWAY WALK
Main article: South Staffordshire Railway Walk
Staffordshire Railway Walk is another Local Nature Reserve.
It follows the course of the former
Wombourne Branch Line , traversing
THE STAFFORDSHIRE AND WORCESTERSHIRE CANAL
The tow path of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal also runs north-south through the western part of Wombourne, roughly parallel with the South Staffordshire Railway Walk and intersecting with the Wom Brook Walk at Giggetty. It forms part of a conservation area and can be followed as far as Kidderminster and Stourport on Severn to the south and Wolverhampton and Stafford to the north. It is said that once a year the phantom ghost train runs through Wombourne, with many of the local residents claiming they have both seen and heard it.
As well as the walks in or passing through Wombourne, there are also many country parks and places to walk in the surrounding area including: Baggeridge Country Park , Highgate Common , Himley Hall and Kinver Edge .
* It is situated within the district of South
Staffordshire . This
is based in
Codsall , to the north of Wombourne, although it has
district offices locally. It was established in 1974 by the merging of
Seisdon Rural District , to which
Staffordshire itself is contained within the county of
Staffordshire . This was established as an administrative county in
Before the local government reforms of the 19th century, the local parish or vestry was both a civil and an ecclesiastical unit within the Seisdon Hundred of the historic county of Staffordshire. In Victorian times, it became part of the Seisdon Poor Law Union .
Wombourne's Member of Parliament is
Gavin Williamson , who represents
Staffordshire constituency in the House of Commons after Sir
Patrick Cormack stepped down in the 2010 general election . He is a
Conservative . In elections to the
European Parliament ,
National Express West Midlands bus routes 255, 256, 255s and 256s all
serve Wombourne, with the 255s and 256s serving Ounsdale High School
Staffordshire CC sponsored route 584 (operated by Arriva
Midlands . Timetables for these buses can all be found on the
internet. A bus route 254 served
There are four primary schools in Wombourne; Westfield, St. Bernadette's R.C., Blakeley Heath and St. Benedict Biscop. There is also a secondary school, Ounsdale High School , that takes many of the local primary schools pupils on. Students also come from local areas on coach and bus services to the school. There is also Cherry Tree's special school and Adult Education centres operating in several locations around the village, including Ounsdale High School and the Library.
A small Sainsbury's supermarket was completed in spring of 2010, following a fierce campaign by villagers, led by Anna Owen, a resident in the village for all of her life. Along with major road adaptations to the B4176 and community investments such as a local free shuttle bus. This was preceded by a long contest with Tesco to secure a site and planning permission near the village. The supermarket is located to the south of the village centre, just off the main road to Bridgnorth , in an industrial estate.
Wombourne V.C. was founded in 1995 and currently competes in the West
Midlands Volleyball Association. The club has recently moved to train
and compete at the brand new Evolve building near
* ^ " Civil parish population 2011". Retrieved 5 December 2015. * ^ W. H. Duignan, Notes on Staffordshire Place Names, Henry Frowde, London, 1902. * ^ Margaret Gelling, Place-names in the Landscape, Dent, London, 1984, ISBN 0-460-86086-0 , p.17-18, 325 * ^ Viewed at Staffordshire Past Track * ^ William Pitt: A Topographical History of Staffordshire, Newcastle-under-Lyme, 1817, p.187. * ^ Catherine Frew and Arnold Myers, Sir Samuel Hellier\'s \'Musicall Instruments\', Galpin Society Journal, vol. 56, June 2003. * ^ "Friends of Broadfield House". From the _Stourbridge News_, 18 May 2007 * ^ William White, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, Sheffield, 1851 * ^ Peter Hickman, The Remarkable Story of the Reverend William Dalton, Wolverhampton History and Heritage Web Site, accessed 9 February 2014. * ^ * ^ South Staffordshire Council Web site, Wom Brook Walk Friends Group page, accessed 1 June 2009. * ^ By rail to Wombourn, J. Ned Williams and students of Wulfrun College, Uralia Press, 1969. * ^ http://www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk/Wombourne-crowned-country-s-best-volleyball-club/story-26440911-detail/story.html
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* t * e
Ceremonial county of Staffordshire
UNITARY AUTHORITIES Stoke-on-Trent
BOROUGHS OR DISTRICTS
* Burslem * Fenton * Hanley * Longton * Stoke * Tunstall
* Stone * Tamworth
* Uttoxeter _See also:_ LIST OF CIVIL PARISHES IN STAFFORDSHIRE
* Anker * Blithe * Churnet * Dane * Dove * Manifold * Mease * Penk * Sow * Swarbourn * Tame * Trent * Wheelock
* Flag * Museums * Schools * Grade I buildings * Grade II* buildings * Windmills * High Sheriffs
* v * t * e
Civil parishes of South Staffordshire
* South Staffordshire District Council
Acton Trussell, Bednall & Teddesley Hay
* Blymhill and Weston under Lizard
Brewood and Coven
Lapley, Stretton and Wheaton Aston
Pattingham and Patshull
* Trysull position: absolute;" /> Retrieved from