In a Terrier of 1609, one Nicholas Worthington occupied a “common Inn called The Hand, in "Tunwall Street". That ancient property is still there, but the street is today called Victoria Street. The upper part of Victoria Street was later named Cock Street, after the Cock Inn, and the lower part, between Bellcroft and Salop Street, was called Boblake. The street became Victoria Street after the visit to the town by Queen Victoria in 1866.  

(Peter Hickman)

Chris Upton says that "in medieval times this was Tunwalle Street, sometimes wrongly associated with the fortifications the town never had.  The name in fact refers to the Town Well, which lay just behind the Cock Inn".  

(Frank Sharman)


Named after a large house off Wightwick Bank which, at the time this road was built up, was called Viewlands.  The drive largely follows the line of the original carriageway from Bridgnorth Road to the house;  the original lodge still stands on the corner.  Viewlands was originally called Elmsdale Hall and was owned by, amongst others, Sir John Morris, Colonel Henry Loveridge and  Jesse Varley, who embezzled vast sums from the Borough Council.  In 1919 it was owned by a Miss Swift who changed the name to Viewlands, presumably to avoid the unpleasant associations with Varley.  The house kept that name until it was converted into flats, about 1990, when it reverted to Elmsdale. 

(Angeline Johnson)


Charles Pelham Villiers was the longest serving MP in Parliamentary history, serving continuously for thirty-three years. He was born on January 9th 1802, his father being the Hon George Villiers, a nephew of the Earl of Clarendon. He entered St John’s College Cambridge, obtaining his degree in 1824 and studied to become a barrister in Lincoln’s Inn.

Interested in politics, he campaigned on free trade as a candidate for Hull, but was defeated. In January 1835 he was invited to stand for Wolverhampton as a Whig and was at first well received. He then failed to turn up to further election meetings and was almost in the process of being replaced when he appeared. The other candidate stood down and surprisingly Villiers was elected.

Villiers proved to be an ardent member of the Anti Corn Laws League which succeeded in their aims with the repeal of those laws in 1846. However it was not until 1896 that he was finally recognised as ‘The Father of Free Trade’ by the Cobden Club. A statue of Villiers, designed by William Theed RA, in Sicilian marble and now in the West Park, was made in 1879.  It formerly stood on Snow Hill, where it was locally known as ‘The White Mon’

It was suggested that the new West Park might be named after Villiers but he sent a bandstand and characteristically did not turn up to its inauguration. Villiers never married and died 16th January 1898, still in office and having refused a peerage in 1885.  

(Peter Hickman)

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