Category Archives: Uncategorized

Black Country Irish: Red-headed Kilcoign

Irish Rows If there’s one thing you learn researching the Irish in the Victorian city, it’s that 19th century newspaper editors love an Irish Row. Roger Swift wrote whole papers about the policing of Irish rows in Wolverhampton, but it’s … Continue reading

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Black Country Irish: Walsall in the 1850s

Sometimes, otherwise wonderful digital sources are a great frustration. John Denvir, in his survey of the Irish in Britain, points to a mysterious attack upon the Irish in Walsall, in 1851. Excellent, I thought: a story to hook a post … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, Irish, Staffordshire, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Black Country Irish: N. Hingley Ltd., Netherton

Identities can be a complicated thing. Each of us have several – I don’t mean like Norman Bates, I mean that each of us are different things in different ways, at different times. When I’m talking about the Irish in … Continue reading

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A Black Country Brexit

I was going to post another bit about the navvies of Elan Valley today, but it seems a bit strange to be discussing late-Victorian municipal water schemes when we’re living through Actual History as we speak. The fall-out from the EU … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Foucault in Northfield: Birmingham’s reformed pubs

As I mentioned recently, apparently historians love pubs more than anything. I was particularly intrigued by a discussion with Nathan Booth at the Urban History conference in Cambridge about the internal layout of pubs in his recently-completed thesis on Stalybridge … Continue reading

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The good death of Lawrence Britcliffe, part four: dark nights of the soul

This is the fourth part in a series about one of my long-distant ancestors. There’s also been an introduction, a post on Lawrence Britcliffe’s family and youth, and on the murder he committed in 1739. Much of the story in … Continue reading

Posted in lancashire, Talking bout my generations, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Just a quick one to say a massive thank you to everyone that came out on a bright – but chilly – Saturday to have a walk around one of the less glamorous parts of Wolverhampton this weekend. Thanks too to … Continue reading

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‘Symbols of Urban Malaise’: Past and Present

Originally posted on Modern British Studies Birmingham:
Simon Briercliffe Simon Briercliffe is a doctoral researcher in the Department of History at the University of Birmingham working on Carribee Island in Wolverhamption during the 19th century. He blogs at and…

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“Slums” of the Black Country

We’ve come to the end of this series on some of the distinct areas of the Black Country that found themselves with a special stigma in the nineteenth century. Based on the Birmingham Daily Post‘s 1866 series on the sanitary condition I’ve had … Continue reading

Posted in Black Country, Housing, Slum, tower blocks, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Maps, Modernity and False Economies

Originally posted on The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates:
Simon Briercliffe is a first year doctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham, working on research entitled “The Stafford Street Area of Wolverhampton c1800-1871: space, housing and ethnicity”. His interests are in applying…

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