A description of Tettenhall from William White’s “History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Staffordshire” published in 1851

Tettenhall, or Tettenhall Regis and Clericorum, is a large and fertile parish, extending from two to five miles W.N.W. of Wolverhampton, and comprising 3,143 inhabitants, and 7,965 acres of land, including the villages, etc., of Tettenhall and Tettenhall Wood, Compton Liberty, and the Prebends of Perton with Trescott, Bonevhill, Pendeford, and Wrottesley; in which are several hamlets, and many neat houses and villas.

Lord Wrottesley is lord of the manor of Tettenhall Clericorum, including Perton and Wrottesley prebends, and forming the west side of the parish; and W. F. Fryer, Esq., and others, are joint lords of the manor of Tettenhall Regis, which comprises the other two prebends. Tettenhall Wood forms part of J. H. H. Foley, Esqr.’s manor of Kinver, and was enclosed in 1809.

Here are a number of other freeholders, the largest of whom are Miss Hinckes, and T. H. Pearson, George Holyoake, William Grainger, T. S. Hellier, and Thomas Fowler, Esqrs.

Tettenhall village stands near the centre of the parish, two miles W.N.W. of Wolverhampton, and comprises many respectable houses on and near the Shifnal road, at the foot, and on the declivities of a lofty and picturesque eminence, which rises above the Smestow rivulet, and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal.

The houses are occupied chiefly by gentry, and by persons engaged in the trade and commerce of Wolverhampton.

Before the Norman conquest the village was called Theotenhall, signifying the house of the pagans. In 910, a severe battle was fought here, between the Danes and Edward the Elder, and the ashes of the slain are supposed to rest under a tumulus in Lowhill field.

Wolverhampton water works, are on the Upper Green, above the village. The water works, which now supply a great part of the town with the pure beverage of nature, were constructed by a company of proprietors, holding 2,600 £10 shares, under the powers of an Act of Parliament obtained in 1845. They were so far complete in August, 1850, that they supplied 2,700 houses for the annual rental of about £2,200.

The Company is now greatly extending the works, under the powers of a new act, obtained in 1850, for the purpose of enabling them to increase their capital by the creation of 2,600 new shares of £10 each; and to extend their works so as to be able to supply, not only the inhabitants of Wolverhampton, but those of Bilston, Willenhall, Wednesfield, Sedgley, etc. The present source is at Upper Green, Tettenhall, in an immense well, which has been sunk through the sandstone rock to the depth of 140 feet, and has at the bottom an excavation capable of holding more than 300,000 gallons. Two steam-engines, equal to the power of 100 horses, are employed in pumping the water from this well to the summit of a tower 180 feet high, whence it is sent in pipes to the houses of the customers.

The works at Tettenhall were designed by Mr. Thomas Wicksteed, of London. For a supply of water the smallest houses are charged 7s. per annum, and houses let for £10 a year are charged 12s. Large houses pay about five per cent on their rental, which is not a very equitable scale, as many houses of £100 rental may not use more water than others of half that value. Baths are charged 10s., and horses 7s.6d. per annum. Mr. H. Marten is the engineer, and Mr. W. C. Bromby is clerk and collector. The office is at 21 Snow Hill. Fire plugs are placed at convenient distances in the public streets, and there are in the town several powerful fire engines belonging to the town and the Birmingham and County Fire Offices.

On the village green was a fine grove of elms, planted nearly 150 years ago, but twelve of them were torn up by the roots, during a dreadful storm of wind, on January 7th, 1839.

Tettenhall Wake is on the first Sunday and Monday after Old Michaelmas day. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, was a royal free chapel, and enjoyed all the privileges of such peculiars. It was anciently collegiate. The college was founded previous to the Norman conquest, and had a dean, and five prebendaries, till the period of its dissolution in the reign of HenryVIII.

The present church is supposed to be part of the original foundation, but it was enlarged in 1825, so as to make room for 382 additional sittings; and was re-pewed in 1841 when the five old bells (dated 1604) gave place to a new peal of eight. It now has 1030 sittings, of which about 200 are free. The font is curiously ornamented with Gothic sculpture; and in the vestry is a valuable oak chest, 13½ feet long, hewn out of a solid block, and strongly plated with iron. The perpetual curacy, valued at £196, is in the patronage of Lord Wrottesley, and incumbency of the Rev. Edward J. Wrottesley. By an act of Parliament, in the 5th of Anne, and the gift of “the several lords, owners, and tenants of the manor of Tettenhall Regis”, 48A. 3R. 12P. of land on Kingswood Common was allotted for the support of the incumbent minister of Tettenhall, together with a house and garden for his residence. The incumbent has also £5.5s. yearly, from an acre of land adjoining his garden, purchased with £210 received for land taken for a new turnpike, and for a right of road over the glebe land.


The proceeds of six charities, amounting to £56.7s.4½d. per annum, are distributed in the vestry on Good Friday and St. Thomas’ day, among the poor nor receiving parochial relief, in sums of 2s.6d. and 3s each. Of this yearly income, £13.11s. arises from land at Albrighton, purchased in 1630 with £60 given by Walter Wrottesley, Esq., and others; £19.6s.4½d. from Byrch House and land, purchased in 1714, with £115, the amount of several benefactions; £5 from land at Salt Moor, near Wolverhampton, left by Thomas and Ann Croffts, in 1709; £16.10s. from High Bagridge close, (11A. 26P.) near Wightwick, purchased in 1714, with £115 left by Henrietta Wrottesley and William Smith; and £2 from the benefactions of Mary Dobson and Matthew Wightwick.

Two shillings worth of bread is distributed every Sunday, from the bequests of Sir John and William Wollaston, out of land at Trescott, belonging to Lord Wrottesley. The poor also have the interest of three other benefactions; viz., £20 left by Eliz. Russell, in 1757; £100, three percent reduced annuities, by Lady Wrottesley; and £60 by William and Richard Smith; but part of the latter sum was expended in enlarging the workhouse in 1787, together with £50 left by Dorothy Fowler, who directed the interest to be distributed yearly in bibles, prayer books, and “The Whole Duty of Man”, amongst the poor boys and girls of the parish.


In 1827 Phoebe Rogers left £40, and directed one half of the interest to be divided among 20 poor parishioners, and the other to be paid to the master of the National School, built in that year by subscription and a grant from the Central School Society. This school is supported by voluntary contributions, for the education of about 130 children of both sexes.

The Wesleyans have a chapel and school in the village, built in 1825. The parish is assessed at the annual value of £20,782. Richard Cresswell, Esq., in 1707, settled six almshouses which he had built, for the residence of six poor parishioners, and endowed them with £5 each per annum, to be paid for ever out of his estate at Bilbrook. For many years the persons who received this rent-charge of £30, resided at a distance, and let the almshouses (which now consists of only four cottages,) at £1 a year each. About 62 years ago, owing to the non-appointment of new trustees, the application of the annuities became irregular, and at length entirely ceased, so that in 1821, Mr. John Parker, then owner of the estate, owed to the charity an arrear of £453, which he said he was ready to pay to the heir of the surviving trustee, as soon as he should be ascertained, provided the annuitants were suffered to reside in the almshouses, as required by the founder’s will. The state now belongs to Mr. W. Smith.

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