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Borshch Clearance Centre Peartree Ln, Dudley, West Midlands DY2 0QU, United Kingdom
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Blue Moon Studios Parsons St, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 1JE, United Kingdom
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About Dudley



is a large town in the West Midlands of England, 6 miles (9.7 km) south-east of Wolverhampton and 8 miles (13 km) north-west of Birmingham. The town is the administrative centre of theMetropolitan Borough of Dudley and in 2011 had a population of 79,379,. However, this figure excludes areas such as Sedgley and Gornal which under previous methodology were included in the town. The Dudley urban sub-division up area has a population of 194,919, while the wider metropolitan borough has a population of 312,900 (see demography). Dudley is sometimes called the capital of the Black Country.

Dudley town centre has struggled in recent years, with many of its troubles being attributed to the Merry Hill Shopping Centre 2.5 miles (4.0 km) away at Brierley Hill which caused a number of major retailers and businesses to relocate out of the town centre. Tourist attractions include Dudley Zoo,Dudley Castle, the Black Country Living Museum and the historic marketplace.



Dudley Montage.jpg
From top left: Dudley Town Centre viewed from Castle Hill; Dudley PrioryDudley Zoo; Dudley Market Place; Dudley Castle; Statue of William Ward, 1st Earl of Dudley.





Early history


Dudley Castle


Dudley has a history dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, its name deriving from the Old English Duddan Leah, meaning Dudda's clearing, and one of its churches being named in honour of the Anglo-Saxon King and Saint, Edmund.

Mentioned in the Domesday Book as Dudelei, the town was listed as being a medium-sized manor in the possession of Earl Edwin of Mercia prior to the Norman Conquest, with William Fitz-Ansculf as Lord of the Manor in 1086. Dudley Castle, constructed in 1070 by William's father Ansculf de Picquigny after his acquisition of the town, served as the seat of the extensive Barony of Dudley, which possessed estates in eleven different counties across England.. Of historical significance, the town was attacked by King Stephen in 1138, after a failed siege of the castle following the Baron's decision to support Empress Matilda's claim to the throne during The Anarchy.






Wren's Nest


Dudley covers an area of the South Staffordshire Coalfield, which contributed heavily to its growth and industrialisation during the 18th century Industrial Revolution.

North-west of the town centre lies the Wren's Nest Nature Reserve, the first British nature reserve in an urban area and a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), considered to be one of the most notable geological locations in the British Isles. A part of the Much Wenlock Limestone Formation, it was heavily mined for centuries because of its large limestone deposits, and is also the location of one of the largest fossil sites in England.

In the 1830s, Scottish geologist Sir Roderick Murchison visited the Wrens Nest to collect fossils as part of his research. 65% of his palaeontological evidence featured in the 1839 publication "The Silurian System" was from Dudley. Some of these fossils are still on display in the local Dudley Museum and Art Gallery.





A detached part of the Anglican Diocese of Worcester, Dudley has its own Archdeaconry and suffragan bishop. The town is served by numerous parish churches, including the Church of St. EdmundChurch of St. James, and Church of St. Thomas within the town centre.

The oldest church in the town is St. Edmund's, dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, although the present building wasn't constructed until 1724, following its demolition during the English Civil War. St. Thomas' church dates from the 12th century, and was rebuilt in the 1815 after the original building was declared 'unsafe'. Both sites are now Grade II* listed.

Dudley Priory was a Cluniac priory founded circa 1160 by the Lord of Dudley, Gervase de Paganel, and controlled several churches in the surrounding area. After its initial dissolution in 1395, it reopened as a denizen priory, and remained in use until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.Today the ruins form part of the surrounding Priory Park..The Archdeacon of Worcester, inducted in November 2014, was Vicar of St. Francis Church in Dudley for eight years.

Dudley also has places of worship for other religious groups and Christian denominations, including a Jehovah's WitnessKingdom Hall, two Sikh gurdwaras, and a Hindu temple. The old St Edmund's Church School, which closed in 1970 on a merger with St John's Church School, was converted into a mosque for the town's growing Islamic community, with an additional mosque also opening in the Queen's Cross area of the town.







Dudley Market in 2008


The town centre is home to several high street retailers, including River Island,WilkinsonsArgosPeacocks, and New Look. There are also branches Subway and Costa CoffeeMcDonald'sBritish Home StoresMarks & Spencer, and Debenhams have all had branches in Dudley Town Centre in the past. Most of Dudley's shops are concentrated along the Market Place and adjacent side streets.

Established in the 12th century, Dudley Market is situated on a wide part of the High Street, and is a major shopping area for the town. It has undergone numerous developments in its history, including pedestrianisation in 1982, and the removal of 12th century cobblestone paving. Other developments have included the addition of a new roof and toilet facilities, with the new ground level block having replaced underground toilets in the early 1990s. There are also three small shopping centres situated off the High Street: the Churchill Shopping Centre, the Trident Shopping Centre, and the Fountain Arcade.



SOURCE : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dudley

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