Clay miles: Henry Doulton in the Black Country

On the North Worcestershire Path, not far from Iverley, there is a broken water pipe lying to one side of the track. It's a bit forlorn, but clearly a very nice thing: it's glazed, and the makers have taken the trouble to brand it: Doulton. There are many industries that have a ready association with the …

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Warning again: I'm going to be talking Black Country history a little further down, but I've been interested in what maps do and don't show, so the preamble is a bit... vague and theoretical. Maps are complex beasts. They show what they show, for reasons their makers choose, and the inclusions and omissions can define a district. …

Reading the landscape

Read most economic histories of Britain and you'll get a strong sense that the Black Country made its name, wealth and population based on the extractive industries, and that as easily accessible resources were found elsewhere in the country in the first half of the nineteenth century, the region went into decline. It's certainly true that iron and coal …

Wordsley glass

The map of the Stour Valley in 1750 posted by Distinctly Black Country last week is another excellent example of the differentiation between BC towns that made it such a distinctive environment (compared to say, Burnley, which like the rest of the region around it were massively dominated by one industry). The glass quarter in Stourbridge (well, …