Darlaston has many attractive and interesting buildings which are survivors from it's fascinating past. Unfortunately little is known about some of them and so I am trying to gather information on such things as when a building was built, the name of the architect, and any special historic features or associations.

I have included photographs of the buildings in question and also a little information about them. Any help will be greatly appreciated as it adds to the story of the town's past. If anyone has any information please send me an email.

Building 1. The Columbarium.

Courtesy of Kevin McKeown.

In the mid 19th century Samuel Mills ran one of the largest iron and steel companies in South Staffordshire, situated at Lower Green, Darlaston; where Heath Road is today. The works covered more than 55 acres, and had many furnaces, a vast metal processing complex, rolling mills and several coal mines. The company called Bills and Mills had a name for good quality iron. Samuel Mills lived at Darlaston House, on the western end of what is now Victoria Park. It also occupied the modern Rectory Avenue, the Post Office, and the land behind Pardoe's Cottage, where the Columbarium still stands. The Columbarium was a dovecote, stables and coach house that formed some of the outbuildings of Darlaston House.

Samuel and his wife Phoebe had 10 children, and two of them, Martha and Jane, lived in the family's home after their parent's death. Just before the end of the 19th century they moved to Whitton near Ludlow and the house was demolished.

Building 2. The Jane Mills Institute.
Jane Mills, one of Samuel Mills' daughters lived at Darlaston House. She was a public spirited lady who did much for the town. She founded an institute in connection with the Parish Church to help the needy women and girls of the town. The building housed the institute and was given to the town when Jane moved to Whitton Court, Whitton, near Ludlow, in the late 1890s. The institute, later known as the "Mothers Meeting and Girl's Institute" eventually became a clinic and later "The Sons of Rest". The building is now a family home.
Building 3. Pardoe's Cottage.
Pardoe's Cottage is a fine example of an 18th century artisan's cottage. It is situated in Victoria Road, that was named after Queen Victoria in 1887 to celebrate her Golden Jubilee.

Prior to this Victoria Road was known as Pardoe's Lane and it's likely that the cottage is named after the lane.

Building 4. The Town Hall and it's Organ.
The Town Hall was built to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee and opened on 31st October, 1888. It was an eventful day for the town, and many celebrations were held. The building of a town hall was long overdue. £2,000 had been raised for the project by public subscription. The final cost of the building was well over £7,000 and it would be some time before the debt was paid. The building also included the town's library and this was furnished by James Slater, the Chairman of the Library Committee and Chairman of the Local Board.

The Slater Memorial Organ

In November 1903 after James Slater's death, his widow presented the Slater Memorial Organ to the Town Hall.
Building 5. The Fire Station.
The fire station was built in 1896 at a cost of £90 to house Darlaston's first Fire Brigade.

It originally housed a horse-drawn hand pump and acquired it's first motorised fire engine in the late 1920s.

Building 6. The Police Station.
The Police Station in Crescent Road dates from around 1899 and replaced the town's original police station at 25 Church Street.

The land at Crescent Road was previously a mining site with three mine shafts and sold for just £7.

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