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Bromsgrove
Bromsgrove - geograph.org.uk - 49016.jpg
High Street, Bromsgrove
Bromsgrove shown within Worcestershire
Population 29,237 
OS grid reference SO960708
• London 119 miles (192 km)
District
  • Bromsgrove
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BROMSGROVE
Postcode district B61, B60
Dialling code 01527
Police West Mercia
Fire Hereford and Worcester
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament
  • Bromsgrove
List of places
UK
England
WorcestershireCoordinates: 52°20′07″N 2°03′28″W / 52.3353°N 2.0579°W / 52.3353; -2.0579
Arms of Bromsgrove 94 Birmingham Road
Arms of Bromsgrove
St John the Baptist Church Bromsgrove May 2015
Parish church of St John the Baptist
Bromsgrove All Saints Church
The church of All Saints

Bromsgrove is a town in Worcestershire, England. The town is about 16 miles (26 km) north east of Worcester and 13 miles (21 km) south west of 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 Bromsgrove District.

History

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 Domesday Book Bromsgrove is 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 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 conquest, 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 city of 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 this time.

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.

The Bromsgrove Union Workhouse, on the Birmingham Road, was opened in 1838 and closed in 1948 and is in use as an office building today.

In 1841, 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 the nearby Lickey Incline, on 10 November 1840. The driver and his number two died instantly. St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church in 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 Lane.

Demography

According to the 2001 census the population of Bromsgrove is 29,237 and the population for the larger Bromsgrove District is 87,837.

In Bromsgrove, White British is by far the largest race, at 96% of the district population (87,837) with 4% (3,734) from an ethnic minority.

Geography

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.

Climate

Bromsgrove experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) similar to almost all of the United Kingdom.

Climate data for Bromsgrove
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7
(45)
8
(46)
11
(52)
13
(55)
16
(61)
19
(66)
22
(72)
22
(72)
18
(64)
14
(57)
10
(50)
7
(45)
14
(57)
Average low °C (°F) 3
(37)
2
(36)
4
(39)
4
(39)
7
(45)
10
(50)
12
(54)
12
(54)
10
(50)
8
(46)
5
(41)
3
(37)
7
(45)
Precipitation mm (inches) 37.6
(1.48)
25.4
(1)
24.3
(0.957)
32.4
(1.276)
27.1
(1.067)
35.8
(1.409)
31.0
(1.22)
38.5
(1.516)
39.9
(1.571)
43.8
(1.724)
36.7
(1.445)
33.1
(1.303)
405.6
(15.969)

Landmarks

Grafton manor
Grafton Manor

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 Guild.

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 plot.

Facilities

Municipal facilities

Sanders Park Bromsgrove - geograph.org.uk - 1107696
Sanders Park

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.

Transport

Lickey incline
Bromsgrove railway station
Bromsgrove Scaife Rutherford 1840 refurbished
Graves of railway engineers Scaife and Rutherford, killed in an engine explosion in 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 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.

Education

State schools

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 School, 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 First School, Catshill First School, Tardebigge CofE First School, Fairfield First School, Hanbury CofE First School and Meadows First School.

There are five Middle Schools: Alvechurch Middle School, Catshill Middle School, 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 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 the country. North Bromsgrove High School has now been classed for a specialist status in media and Creative Arts. Both were rebuilt by BAM in 2007.

Independent schools

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.

Special schools

There are two special schools in Bromsgrove, one is Chadsgrove School and Specialist Sports College the other Rigby Hall School.

Further education

Bromsgrove is the main site of Heart of Worcestershire College, formerly North East Worcestershire (NEW) College until the 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.

Sport

Bromsgrove is home to:

  • Bromsgrove Rugby Football Club, one of the oldest rugby union clubs in the country. It was formed on 28 September 1872.
  • Bromsgrove Sporting Football Club. A fan owned club formed in 2009 by fans of the dissolved Bromsgrove Rovers club.
  • Bromsgrove Cricket, Hockey and Tennis Club.
  • Mercian Divers Scuba Diving Club – affiliated to the BSAC (British Sub-Aqua Club).
  • North East Worcestershire Ravens rugby league club, who play in the Midlands Rugby League.
  • Bromsgrove Indoor Bowls Club (also providing outdoor bowls) based in Charford

Attractions

Bromsgrove Museum
Bromsgrove Museum

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.

The Worcester and 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 Clent Hills, 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 theatre.

The World War II film Our Father was partially filmed on location in Bromsgrove.

Bromsgrove Festival

Since 1960, Bromsgrove has held an annual classical music festival, with an international reputation.

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