Welcome to Cradley & Cradley Links




Black Country Map: Location of Cradley in Dudley Borough in the south of the Black Country. [Image courtesy of Black Country Investments]

This is Cradley in the Black Country of the Midlands of England, historically in north Worcestershire, now part of Dudley, West Midlands. It was once an ancient Saxon Manor, Cradelei, and was surveyed for the Domesday Book in 1086. (There is another Cradley - spelt the same but pronounced differently - about 30 miles to the south, in Herefordshire.)

Cradley was at the forefront of the industrial revolution that swept the world and it became famous for hand-made iron chain. It was home to iron industries generally, also coal mining and brick making. Today Cradley is a different place, mostly de-industrialised and its High Street re-named out of existence. Dudley Council celebrated the centenary of the old Colley Lane Primary School by demolishing it (they built a new one on the site) and in 2008 they closed the town's only High School at Homer Hill.


Colley Lane School: as it was. [Illustration by courtesy of Bill Hazlehurst]

Notwithstanding all these changes Cradley continues to be a place with a strong local character and there are a lot of people who regard it as "home", even when they live far away. For a place of its size Cradley has a remarkable and growing body of historical research and publications. This web site is dedicated to advancing knowledge of our rich local and family history and making it widely available.

Cradley Links will continue to be closely associated with the Cradley Then & Now Group and with the Rootsweb Cradley e-mailing list (ENG-WORCS-CRADLEY). Please join the Cradley mailing list, and send your questions or thoughts about anything to do with Cradley people or places, or about the Black Country. Your messages will be read by scores of other interested people who have also subscribed to the List.

Do tell us what you think about the site itself by adding an entry in the Guestbook, or just read what other people are saying. We look forward to hearing from you.

We need your comments and contributions. You can support the site with articles, photographs and other information. Please use the Contact Form to contact us to offer whatever you can; or to make suggestions about what you would like to see on the site; or to report errors or problems with the site, etc.


Cradley News

We are continually adding new pages and updating others. The What's New page lists the changes. And we have a Cradley News page that highlights some important local new items.



Old Cradley Links

Finally, this web site is the "new" Cradley Links. We started it in May 2007 where the "old", original Cradley Links (b. 2001, d. 2005, RIP) left off. We tell the story of these comings and goings elsewhere on these pages, but more importantly, please do visit the old Cradley Links. Its still even bigger than this one, but we we are working on that...


Thank you ... the new Cradley Links webmasters.


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