Horseley Fields

Horseley Fields is named after Horseley Field which was an old field dating back to at least Elizabethan times. It was then owned by Thomas Leveson and rented out to a tenant farmer. In the late 19th and early 20th century it became a prosperous shopping street. The shops catered for a large local population living in the area in between Horseley Fields and Bilston Street.

St James' Square became a stopping place for local buses coming into town from Walsall and Willenhall, and so there was also a large passing trade. In the early 1970's most of the local houses were demolished and the buses diverted into the town centre. With the local and passing trade gone, many of the shops closed or changed hands. The photographs were taken at this time when the whole area looked quite run down. Over the next few years most of the buildings in these photographs disappeared as the whole area was redeveloped.   

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These shops were on the southern side of the street, just before St James' Square. The first shop is empty but this is followed by Tom Phillipson who sold sweets and tobacco.

Next door is G. Wootton and on the  left is the Express Valet Service who were dry cleaners.

To their left is G. J. Rennison Ltd, butchers.  On the corner is Woodalls.

The view in the opposite direction looking towards town. On the left is St James' Square. Woodalls sold clothes and shoes.

On the extreme right is the Mitchell's and Butlers Little Swan pub and to its left is the Old Mill Garage.

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St James' Square built in around 1750, was once a large elegant Georgian Square but has now fallen on hard times.

On the right is a garage, newsagents, cafe and the Wulfruna Furniture store.

Its not hard to imagine how good St James' Square must have looked in its heyday.

In the 1950's and 1960's it would have been a very busy bustling area as it was the main bus terminus for the local eastern bus routes to Walsall, Willenhall and Bentley.

A short while after this picture was taken it was all gone, and today its difficult to locate its exact position as this is now part of St David's Court, Novotel and the ring road. 

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This view is looking away from town. On the right is Union Street, and on its right-hand corner is J. B. Jones, a paint and D.I.Y. store. J. Willets was a butcher's shop.
On the far right is Union Street and to its left is a branch of Walsall's Electrical Conduits Ltd.

The tall flat-roofed brick building in the distance is Brown Brothers.

They were an electrical goods wholesaler. 

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Brown Brothers building can again be seen on the far left. To its right is St James' House which is the headquarters of F. Jennings and sons Funeral Directors.

They have been in business since 1848 and have had their premises here for well over a hundred years.

On the corner of Mary Ann Street is Meadow Electronics who sold second-hand hi-fi equipment and repaired car radios.

Union Mill Street in January 1974 looking towards Horseley Fields.

The modern building on the right is the rear of the old Post Office mail sorting office.

Next to it is the Wheel Inn and across the road are two old houses that have only disappeared within the last few years.

The shop on the far side of Horseley Fields is named J. B. Jones.

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The street on the extreme left is Bradshaw Street.

On the corner is the premises of K. D. Biddlestone who sold second hand cookers, fires and household supplies.

Next door is the M & B Star Vaults pub. On the right is the Mount Zion Methodist Church.

Mount Zion Methodist Church opened in 1867. It was one of many non-conformist chapels that were built in Wolverhampton during the middle years of the century.

This wasn't really surprising as over half of the population at this time were non conformists. In fact nearby in St James' Square was a Jewish Synagogue.

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The shops in between the Chapel and Shipton Street. On the corner was a betting shop and next door sold sewing machines.

The engine centre to its left sold reconditioned car engines. It soon took over the sewing machine shop which then sold car spares.

A couple of doors down is F. A. Loach a tobacconist and newsagent.

A little further down Horseley Fields was Edward Vaughan Stampings Ltd who according to their sign produced quality drop forgings.

These buildings remained until just over ten years ago.

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Looking down towards Lower Horseley Fields from the top of the canal bridge.

On the left is the Bull's Head Garage and on the right is Ever Ready's Canal Works, which used to belong to AJS who built car bodies, commercial vehicles, and radios on the site.


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An AJS radio that was made in the factory above.


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