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Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
Dudley Skyline

Town and Architectural Trails in Dudley

Several leaflets can be downloaded below, which give a brief history and guide to some of the important buildings and places within towns in the Dudley Borough, including suggested routes for walks. You can also find out about sites where interpretation panels are located.

The trails include:

  • Black Country Canals, which offer a fascinating network of junctions and branches. the scenery varies from industrial sections to surprisingly secluded rural lengths.

  • The Bonded Warehouse has a long and chequered history. Discover what it was built for and why the canal was there, by turning the clock back on this trail.

  • Delph Locks: There have been locks at the Delph since 1779, and this archaeological trail explores the flight of locks.

  • Dudley Architectural Trail: Dudley possesses many attractive buildings and this trail leads you to key buildings that tell of it's start from Saxon times as "Dodds Ley" through it's growth into a bustling market town.

  • Halesowen Town Centre: The site of the present day Halesowen Town Centre was once occupied by a number of small hamlets. Although modern developments have changed the nature of the town much of the old street patterns remain and this trail highlights the few remaining older buildings to help you capture the unmistakeably historic character of the town.

  • Stourbridge heritage Trail: much of old Stourbridge remains, and this trail will help you appreciate some of the older and more interesting buildings of the town.

  • The Stourbridge Lion and Agenorian Trail: The Stourbridge Lion and Agenorian were, respectively, the first locomotive to run on a commercial railway in the Americas, and the first in the Midlands, a full year before the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Both were built in Stourbridge and this trail gives a glimpse of the heydays of that long past commercial activity in the area.

  • The Tecton Trail: Tecton was a group of architects, which exploited the aesthetic potentialities of modern architecture in the 1930s. This trail around Dudley Zoo highlights pioneering examples of the use of reinforced concrete in the 1930s.

  • Wollescote Hall, with a rich history dating from the 12th century through to modern times.

  • Dudley Town Centre Trail: included here are the ‘virtual’ information boards which show the rich history of Dudley and the town’s development over the centuries. The panels include: Stone Street Square (for a viewpoint in Stone Square); Medieval Dudley (for a viewpoint in the Market Place at the top of Stone Street); Victorian Dudley (for a viewpoint at the junction of King Street and Union Street); St Thomas’s Church (at the top of High Street); Georgian Dudley (for a viewpoint at the corner of Parsons Street and Wolverhampton Street); Civil War Dudley (for a viewpoint at the bottom of Castle Street near St Edmund’s Church); and Historic Dudley (for a viewpoint in the Market Place at the top of New Street).

  • Lye and Wollescote walking trail
  • Lye and Wollescote driving trail

Interpretation panels

We have designed and installed a number of Interpretation Panels at key locations across Dudley.

Each panel includes photographs and informative text about the location at which it is installed. The panels help to increase local awareness of the story of a particular building or place, the people that lived and worked there over the years and how this history has created what is there today.

We also encourage developers and other third party organisations to commission the design and installation of interpretation panels where feasible.

Recent examples of installed panels include:

  • A new panel at The Limes in Sedgley, where a former house went through a number of changes of use before becoming derelict for a number of years and was facing demolition. The building was renovated and bought back into use as luxury apartments. The panel was officially opened by the Mayor of Dudley on 21 November 2014.
  • A new panel at the former Foster Rastrick Foundry in Stourbridge. Here the original shell of the foundry building was re-used, retaining original historic features of the foundry works and incorporating these features into the new design. This building is now used as a medical care facility known as the Lion Medical Centre. It is named after the Stourbridge Lion locomotive that was built there.
  • A new panel that celebrates the re-siting of the Woodsetton War Memorial. The panel was installed at the junction of Sedgley Road and Parkes Hall Road after Mount Tabor Chapel was sold to a private owner in 1998. As part of the works, the stone memorial cross, originally outside the chapel, was cleaned and new gilt colouring was added to the memorial’s engraved lettering that commemorates those lost in the War. The project was completed in March 2016.
  • A series of 4 panels have been installed in the Lye & Wollescote Cemetery by the West Midlands Historic Building Trust (WMHBT) as part of their ‘History in the Headstones’ projected funded by the Heritage Lottery. There is panel that describes the former Lye & Wollescote Cemetery Chapel (now the Thomas Robinson Building), one about Commonwealth War Graves, one about Icongraphy and Symbolism and one about Non-conformist and Muslim Burial Areas. The project was completed in December 2015.

In addition to this there is Dudley’s Commemorative Blue Plaque scheme.