Written by local Cradley identity Jill Guest (one of the leading lights of the Cradley Then & Now group) and published by Dudley Libraries in 1998, Cradley Timeline packs into its 28 A4 format pages a wealth of historical data on Cradley.

The cover of Cradley Timeline
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 The cover of Cradley Timeline 


Cradley from the time of the Domesday Book to 1564

Information from Oldbury and round about by F.W. Hackwood, 1915 and History and antiquities of Worcestershire by Nash, 1781.


The Manorial Mill at Cradley is frequently menioned in ancient documents. In Elizabeth's reign, Thomas Birch claimed liberty of a fish-pond, which is called Birches Mill Pond. Just before the Dissolution of the monasteries, the Abbot of Halesowen had altered the course of the boundary stream between Cradley and Rowley (also the boundary between Staffordshire and Worcestershire) for which concession he paid to the lord of Cradley an acknowledgement of twelve pence and a pound of wax yearly.

Cradley Timeline

This is the main section of Cradley Timeline, and spans almost 1,000 years, from the charter made by King Eadred, King of the West Saxons in 950 A.D., to the opening of Cradley Library in 1936.

Each item is firmly placed into its historical context by including a brief reference to contemporaneous events in England.


Eadred 946 – 955 A.D.950 A.D.Charter made by King Eadred, King of the West Saxons granted 6 hides of land to Burholm at Foxcote Land (Old English Dic Bufan Foxcoton) Dyke over the Foxes Hole–Boundary with Swinford.
Edward the Confessor 1042 founded Westminster Abbey
Edward the Confessor died on Jan. 5th 1066
Harold elected King Apr. 1066
Halley's comet seen Oct. 1066
William the Conqueror invaded England – Battle of Hastings 1066
1050Manor of Cradley held by Wigar, Saxon holder during Edward the Confessor’s reign.
William King until 1087
William II 1087 – 1100
Henry I 1100 – 1135

Stephen 1135 - 1154
1086Domesday survey for William the Conqueror – Manor of Cradley, leased by Payn from William FitzAnculph, Baron of Dudley (FitzAnscufe or FitzAnsculf?)
Henry II 1154 – 1198
Richard the Lionheart 1189-1199
John 1199 – 1216
St Mary’s Abbey founded at Halesowen 1214

Magna Carta 1215
1193One mill at Cradley, rent 3 shillings, granted to Emma, wife of King David of North Wales in part exchange for Manor of Hales Owen.
Henry III 1216 - 12721272Colman family farmed land around Colman Hill.
Edward ‘Longshanks’
1271 – 1307
1291Two Mills, one valued at 22 shillings, one at 12 pence at Cradley.
Edward II 1307 - 1327
Famine 1315 - 1317
Edward III 1327 - 1377
1322John de Somery, Lord of Dudley, died leaving manor of Cradley to Joan de Somery, his sister who was the wife of Sir John Botetourt, Baron, of Weoley.

Analysis of jobs, occupations and trades from the 1851 census

Two lists are provided, one showing domestic occupations and the other showing trades connected with nailmaking, chainmaking and iron forging.

Historical photographs

Eight photographs, most from the turn of the century, printed in roughly postcard-size size.

  • Park House, Park Lane, Cradley
  • Fatherless Barn, formerly Whitley Barn
  • Talbot Hotel, Park Road, Cradley, from Colley Gate, about 1900
  • Colley Lane Girls' School, opened 1902, photograph about 1911 when Boys' School opened
  • Noah Hingley's Chain Works, Netherton, 1923
  • Two Gates Inn, junction of Two Gates, Toys Lane and Tanhouse Lane
  • Colley Gate from Windmill Hill, about 1910
  • Willmill Hill, about 1915

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