Wolverhampton's Locally Listed Buildings

17 to 31 Chapel Ash

Listing:  Locally listed November 2001. Mid 19th century terrace in landmark position.  Some later shop fronts.  Some of the first buildings to be built in Chapel Ash.

Comment:  These may have been some of the first buildings in Chapel Ash but it should be made clear that Chapel Ash is a very old road, leading to Tettenhall and beyond, and had a scatter of buildings on it from early times.  We are not sure what the terrace was originally built for - housing or offices - but would guess, from the layout of the stairways to the upper floors, that it was mainly offices with shops under.  Certainly Chapel Ash became a shopping centre in its own right.  Although older residents still assert that it was a large and high class shopping centre, better in all respects than the city centre( to the left above), the photographic evidence does not really bear this out.  It was mainly a local shopping centre - doubtless a good one, with good local shops, and classier than Leicester Square (to the right above).  In the second half of the 20th century it deteriorated somewhat with a lot of vacancies in the shops and the standard of maintenance leaving a lot to be desired.  But about 2000 things started to look up and in due course the city council carried out a streetscape improvement scheme, with some success.   But now (2005) there are again complaints that it is going down hill again - though it looks all right to me.  Its longer term future will be much dependant on the effect of the large redevelopment which Tesco (probably) will (possibly) carry out between St. Marks and the Ring Road on an area which almost backs on to the buildings shown here.