Neachells derives from a hamlet, which dates back to the 13th century. The farm was situated close to the present railway bridge and was moated. The water was drained out when the mines were sunk nearby in the 1880s. Anciently it was occupied by John Neachell, a Merchant of the Staple, d.1531. He married a daughter of Sir Stephen Jenyns, also a Merchant Taylor (he who founded the Grammar School at Wolverhampton in 1512).

In the 17th Century the most important family were the Hopes. Between 1870 and 1910 a tramway was constructed across the lands to bring coal to nearby furnaces. The Wilkes and Tomkys families were associated with the farm but when it was finally demolished the Grosvenor family were the tenants.

Humphrey Congreve, who marred in 1589 to Margaret Bickfort, seems also to have lived there.

The Bilston Parish register for 27th August 1754 records the burial at Wednesfield of Thomas Tomkys of Neachells. He married Dorothy, the eldest daughter of Richard Hope by whom he had the family seat of the Hopes at Neachells and a considerable estate there and also at Wednesfield.  

(Peter Hickman)

NEWBOLT ROAD, Mount Pleasant, Bilston

Named after Sir Henry Newbolt, who was born in Bilston in 1862.  His father was the vicar of St. Mary's.  When he died, when Henry was only four years old, the family moved to join Henry's mother's family in Walsall.  Henry went to Oxford University and then became a barrister with a Chancery practice.  But he had already started publishing poetry and gave up the bar in 1889 for a literary career, during which he published much poetry, some novels and short stories and a history of the navy.  Much of his work was in the Victorian, patriotic, public school heroics mode. His best known poems are "Drake's Drum", written in 1895 (Drake he's in his hammock and a thousand miles away); and Vita Lampada (There's a breathless hush in the close tonight .... Play up, play up and play the game) .  He was knighted in 1915, when he was controller of telecommunications, and was made a Companion of Honour in 1922. He died in 1938.

(Reg Aston)


Formerly called Goat or Tup Street this street was renamed North Street. It is thus shown on the 1827 map. Presumably simply the road to the north of the town.

(Peter Hickman)


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