BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in November 2006We've left it here for reference.More information

26 July 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
Black CountryBlack Country

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Black Country
Things to do
People & Places
Nature
History
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Nearby Sites

Birmingham
Hereford & Worcs
Shropshire
Stoke

Related BBC Sites

England
 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
tiny
What and where is the Black Country?
tiny
Racecourse Colliery
The Racecourse Colliery was named that because it was originally the Dudley Racecourse
tiny2006 update: Click for our new 'where is the Black Country?' page and to add your comment.

Also: Photos of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Also: Black Country dialect.
tiny
SEE ALSO
tiny
Uncovered Index
tiny
WEB LINKS
tiny
Black Country Living Museum
Black Country Tourism

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
tiny
FACTS
tiny

How to pronounce the term "Black Country" - The correct way is to link the two words together. For example Blackcountry rather than Black Country.

tiny
PRINT THIS PAGE
tiny
View a printable version of this page.
tiny
get in contact
tiny The Black Country gained its name in the mid nineteenth century due to the smoke from the many thousands of ironworking foundries and forges plus also the working of the shallow and 30ft thick coal seams.

There are many definitions of where the Black Country is but one thing is for sure, you won’t find it marked on any map.

To traditionalists the Black Country is the area where the 30ft coal seam comes to the surface - so West Bromwich, Oldbury, Blackheath, Cradley Heath, Old Hill, Bilston, Dudley, Tipton, Wednesfield and parts of Halesowen, Wednesbury and Walsall but not Wolverhampton, Stourbridge and Smethwick or what used to be known as Warley.

The Drift Mine
The Black Country was famous for Thick Coal
The region was described as 'Black by day and red by night' by Elihu Burritt, the American Consul to Birmingham in 1862. Other authors, from Charles Dickens to William Shenstone refer to the intensity of manufacturing in the Black Country and its effect on the landscape and its people.

Today the Black Country is described as most of the four Metropolitan District Council areas of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton and the term is used as a marketing tool to sell and promote the West Midlands region to the north of Birmingham.

Despite this industrial past the Black Country has a long association with the arts and literature. The poet William Shenstone lived in Halesowen as did the writer Francis Brett Young who consistently celebrated the industrial Black Country and city of Birmingham in his novels. Sir Henry Newbolt (1862-1938), the poet, was the son of the vicar of St. Mary's Church. He was born in Baldwin Street, Bradley and the family later moved into the vicarage.

The Ironworks
The Black Country is renowned for its production of iron and steel goods
The region also has its celebrated links with historical events such as the restoration of Charles II to the throne and also the Gunpowder plot. On the evening of November 7,1605, a group of the fleeing plotters arrived at Holbeche House near Dudley. Holbeche was owned by the Littleton family who had been involved in many of the Catholic uprisings, and it was to be the last stand of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators.

That evening, several of the plotters were injured by an accidental explosion which occurred while they were drying powder in front of an open fire. Between this evening and morning of the following day, several members of the group fled, while others still tried valiantly to rally support from the surrounding area. Just before midday on the 8th of November, the Sheriff of Worcester arrived with a posse of men and surrounded the house. After several attempts to have the conspirators surrender, a skirmish developed. Several were fatally wounded and the remaining known conspirators were apprehended.
tiny
line
tiny
Top | Uncovered Index | Home
tiny
tiny
tiny
more from this section

tiny
black country uncovered
Black Country Jokes
What and where is the Black Country?
A Wolverhampton Wander
tiny
FILMS
Ocean's Twelve is out soon
Search by Film
Or by Cinema
bullet Latest film reviews
tiny
BLACK COUNTRY DIALECT
Debating students
bullet Have your say
tiny
YOUR COMMUNITY
Your stories and experiences in communities around the Black Country commnities

tiny
CONTACT US  
BBC Black Country Website
The Mailbox
Birmingham
West Midlands
B1 1RF
Tel: 0121 567 6000

blackcountry@bbc.co.uk



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy