These are the enumerators'
routes for the census of 1841 in Redditch (not including the
parish of Ipsley)
1. Commencing at Batchley in Red Lane, extending to Littleworth and taking in Unicorn Hill North and South, Evesham Street East and West and culminating with the house occupied by Richard Field at the top of Ipsley Street.
2. Commencing at the first cottage from the Headless Cross Turnpike Gate, extending from thence to the bottom of Ipsley Street to Pool Place - Red Lion Street North and South, the whole of Wapping from the Red Lion Inn to the Bull Inn and Tanners Row.
3. Salters Lane, Brockhill Lane, Common Side, Bates Hill, Chapel Green West, William Street, Fish Hill West, Birmingham Road to Bordesley Turnpike Gate, Albert Street and Fish Hill East.
4. Chapel Green East, Little Wapping, Easemore Lane, Beoley Street, Beoley Lane to Beoley Brook, and Chapel Green South from the end of Red Lion Street to Watson's (?) corner.
5. All that part of the township of Webheath situated at and known as Headless Cross and from thence along the Bromsgrove Turnpike Road to The Fox and Goose at Foxlydiate. From Foxlydiate to the old workhouse, from thence to Hill Top and along the East of Webheath Common to the Bromsgrove Turnpike Road.
6. All that part of the township of Webheath from Foxlydiate House along the Bromsgrove Turnpike Road North and South, including the old Paper Mill houses at Hewell, to Hewell Lane; from thence to Church End and the Holyoakes Farm; from thence to the Lane House, Cur (?) Lane, Shellwood, Banks Green and ?? at Ragless (?) near Hill Top.
The full details of the streets, farms etc are as follows:
1. Red Lane; Littleworth; Unicorn
Hill; Evesham Street; New End.
Poem written in 1840 and quoted
in "Needlemaking" by J.G. Rollins
* "hurden" is a coarse
type of linen ** Crowder's Row was in Crabbs Cross.
||Number of houses in Redditch as listed in
the Poor Rate of 1849
Red Lane 15 Britten Street 13 Edward Street 24
Littleworth 11 Windsor Street 27 Unicorn Hill 45
Hill street 13 Walford Street 68 Evesham Street 84 (of which 28 are shops)
New End 53 Tanners Row 6 Wapping 90 (of which 75 are tenements)
Brockhall 71 The Common 7 Church Green West 5 (of which 2 are shops)
William Street 26 Adelaide Street 8 Chapel Green 88 (of which 15 are shops)
Fish Hill 78 Forge 6 Birmingham Road 3
Weights Farm Lodge Farm Albert Street 27
Easemore Lane 13 Beoley Road 9 Wellington Street 5
Queen Street 11 Beoley street 25 Beoley Lane 50
Pool Place 23 (of which 22 are tenements)
Ipsley Street 48 (of which 25 are tenements)
Red Lion Street 36
Farm & House, Birchinsale, ditto at Bradley (sic) Moor
Return to text
|Noake's comments on the Old Chapel on the Green - "It had large semi-circular headed windows with keystones, pilasters, an apsidal east end, flat celing and, over the western part of the roof a cupola or miniature dome covered with some kind of dark metal which gives it an appearance of a railway engine boiler, surmounted by a gaudy globe and weathercock, and having a clock face for each of the cardinal points". he states that the chapel was surrounded by a wall, and also by a circle of lime trees. We wonder whether Noake ever returned to the town, and what he would have thought of the present-day church of St Stephen's, with its elegant spire. For further details about St Stephen's church|
The enumerator's route for the census of 1851 first lists Webheath, and then :
1. All that part of the township of Redditch from Batchley in Red Lane, Littleworth, including Britton Street, Edward Street, Windsor Street, Hill Street, Unicorn Hill and the West side of Evesham Street to the house occupied by Edward Cooke at the end of Evesham Street.
2. including the East side of Evesham Street, the whole of Walford street, New End and Mount Pleasant to the Plough and Harrow Inn.
3. From Monk's cottage near the Turnpike Gate at Headless Cross, thence to Back Hill or Ipsley Street, Tanners Row and including Wapping from the Red Lion Inn Archway in Red Lion Street to the Bull Beer House in Evesham Street.
4. Brockhill Lane commencing at Jarvis' cottage to Lowan's Hill, Birchinsale and Bridley Moor farms, Brockhill, Bates Hill, The Common, Mill Street, Adelaide Street, William Street, Chapel Green west, Fish Hill West, culminating at the residence of Joseph Holyoak on the Birmingham Road.
5. From Mr Holyoak's house at the bottom of Fish Hill to the Old Mill, thence to Lodge Farm, thence to Forge Nills, thence to Fish Hill east including Albert Street, Little Wapping, Easemore Farm and Lane, Chapel Green East, Smallwood Row, Peakman Street, Wellington Street, Beoley Street to John Brown's Beer shop and Allcocks Street.
6. From Allcock Street, Beoley Street and Queen Street, thence to Beoley Lane as far as Beoley Lane Farm, thence to Mr Millward's and on to Pool Place and Red Lion Street on both sides, Chapel Green South and terminating at Brown's shop next to the Malt Shovel Beer House.
Full details of the streets are as follows:
1. Batchley, Red Lane, Musket Way, Littleworth, Britton Street (including 2, Prospect Buildings), Edward Street - 6 houses being built, The Parsonage (residence of G. Fessey, curate), a house being built, Windsor Street, Unicorn Hill, Hill Street, Pound Yard, one house and school being built.
2. Evesham Street, New End, Mount Pleasant, Walford Street.
3. Redditch Gate, Headless Cross, Ipsley Street, Prospect Row, Wapping, Silver Street, Izod's Yard.
4. Brockhill Lane (etc) Bridley Moor, The Fir Trees, Springhill Cotages, Hewell Lane, Victoria Place, Bates Hill including Chapel House (residence of the Wesleyan minister) The Common, Mill Street, Adelaide Street, William Street, Albany Cottage, Chapel Green West, Fish Hill (including Albion Printing Works), the Crown Inn and ending at The Willows. Gipsies in tents numbers 1 - 5 at Brockhill Lane / Salters Lane.
5. Old Mill, New Mill, Lodge, Smallwood's Row, Forge, Middle House, Chapel Green East, Peakman Street (only 5 households) Beoley Street, Alcester Street, Allcock Street, Wellington Street, Easemore Lane, Easemore Farm, Fish Hill, Fish Hill House, Little Wapping, Birmingham Road, Albert Street.
The centenary edition of The Redditch Indicator reports that in 1859:
The area roughly bounded by
Evesham Street, Alcester Street and Ipsley Street was a hideous
huddle of dreadful little cottages piled almost one on top
of the other, row upon row of back-to-back houses long since
swept away, where lived the greater part of the working population
of Redditch. The centre of the town was honeycombed with wells
Approaching Redditch from
the direction of Birmingham, one really entered the town at Albert
Street. The original intention was that Albert Street should
be carried through to link up with Easemore Road, but this has
never been achieved. British Mills already stood on the
The church yard was quite small and was bounded by a
high wall which later gave way to railings to take in a larger
area. The remainder of the Green was a green in name only,
being so trodden that it was a dust heap in summer and a mud-patch
in winter. Barely 40 years previously (i.e. the 1820s) it had
been common grazing land. Even in 1859 there were no pavements;
road and green merged. Pavements did not come until 1881.
Just where the station
now stands, the town petered out into countryside.
Returning to the town centre:
This new property going up in Peakman Street area reflected the tendency of the times for master and man to live side by side. Even today (1959) we see large houses next door to factories, with an archway big enough to take a horse and carriage, and a row of small houses opposite or alongside. The young Herbert Terry was one of the people living and working in Peakman Street.
Smith Street, the short connection between Alcester Street and Wellington Street, was then a fore-draught leading to a smithy. Further along Alcester Street there was another of the motley collections of cottages which were such a feature and a disfigurement of the town at that time. They were grouped together round a courtyard in the most haphazard fashion, and were old in 1859. Known as Salters Yard, they were demolished in 1912 to make way for the Palace Theatre.
Beyond the end of Alcester Street there was very little. Washford Mills was just round the corner and Mount Carmel Church had been built a few years previously. The first few cottages were beginning to apear in Beoley Road, and Holloway Lane was a country lane disappearing down between high banks under an archway of trees.
Return to text
The reminiscences of the former
station master, Thomas Diggles (stationmaster from 1864) are
recorded in the Redditch Indicator:
He also recalls an excursion
train to take passengers to the pantomime in Birmingham
on January 30th 1875:
||The report by
the Officer of Health (1875)
found that too many houses in the lower class streets such as
Edward Street and Walford Street had water in their cellars,
damp walls, small rooms, no water supply and no drainage.The
inhabitants of the more populated areas, such as Silver Street,
Hill Street, Izods Yard, Walford Street and George Street had
to make do with a stand pipe in the communal courtyards,
(but this was certainly preferable to drawing water from contaminated
wells such as at Pool Place, thought to be the source of
the cholera epidemic of 1832).
The report counts 72 closets among 3,000 inhabitants, while of the 700 middens in the town, 458 of them were uncovered. Of the 43 streets in the town, 23 were unsewered, and there was no town plan to provide sewers throughout. In the new residential area at Headless Cross (population 2,000) there were 304 houses of which 105 tenants were without closets, and 91 had no water supply.The Officer of Health recommended regulation for slaughter houses and bake houses (which included the cooking of meat products, as well as bread and pies).
||In order to provide piped water to the town, the East Worcester Waterworks Company was founded in conjunction with the Earl of Plymouth, and bore holes were sunk at Burcot. The water was then pumped to Hewell where it was stored in a water tower, and from there to the water tower and reservoir at Headless Cross. In 1882, to celebrate the arrival of clean, piped water to the town, Mr Bartleet had a fountain erected at Church Green at his own expense, a monument which can still be seen today. .|
||William Smallwood was apprenticed to Richard Bartleet
as a needle maker, but later established his own needle making
business, and refined the process by gilding the eye of the needle.
The business, which took in other members of the Smallwood family,
proved very successful, but as there were few heirs, the accumulated
wealth filtered down to one Smallwood brother, who left his fortune
to the Hospital Trust Fund, enabling Redditch to have
its first hospital, (named after the family) which opened in
The Trust set up a fund to which employees paid 1d per week, entitling them to treatment, but fund-raising schemes were constantly needed to supplement this income. One of the most popular and enduring schemes was the Carnival which was held in September each year, and became the focal attraction in the town. There were sideshows and rides, and most of the businesses in the town sponsored "floats" in the procession, which seemed to become more ambitious every year. With the advent of the National Health Service the funds were no longer needed to support the hospital, but the carnival continued, sponsoring other local charities.