The Blackcountry (sometimes written as one word, sometimes two) is a highly industrialized region in central England. Ask ten Black Country people to define its boundaries, and you will get eleven answers. Centred on the South Staffordshire Coalfield, it may be said to include the towns of Dudley, Rowley Regis, Bilston, Tipton, Walsall, Wednesbury, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton; as well as many smaller villages. These were, formerly, mostly in Staffordshire but some were in Worcestershire and Warwickshire. From 1974, most became part of the newly created West Midlands county. Birmingham, which lies adjacent to the Black Country to the South and East, and shares its industrial heritage is not, despite what some will tell you, part of the Black Country.
During the industrial revolution, the area's resources - coal, iron, clay, and limestone - made iron smelting and the manufacture of iron products the main industries. The black smoke and grime from the factories is said by some to have given the region its name. The area is rich with canals, railways and other items of industrial archaeology; but there is still a thriving industrial base, contrasting with green areas, many of importance for nature and conservation, and people with hearts of gold.
(This is not a reference to the area's marvelous sausages!)
The Black Country Society
Black Country Living Museum.
Staffordshire Genealogy resources.
Worcs Genealogy resources.
Dudley Zoo & Castle.
Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & The Blackcountry.
West Midland Bird Club (I maintain this site)
Black Country Vocabulary.
This is the Black Country (news & lots of advertising from Newsquest Media Group)
You can send me e-mail if there are any problems with this page, or if you have a page to which you'd like this one to link; please note, I don't have time to answer questions about the BCS, the Black Country or your genealogy. Unless you're a Mabbett, of course ;-)
Last updated 3 May 2004.