High Street, Bromsgrove
 Bromsgrove shown within Worcestershire
Population 29,237 [1]
OS grid referenceSO960708
    London  119 miles (192 km) 
Shire countyWorcestershire
RegionWest Midlands
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode district B61, B60
Dialling code 01527
Police West Mercia
Fire Hereford and Worcester
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK ParliamentBromsgrove
List of places

Coordinates: 52°20′07″N 2°03′28″W / 52.3353°N 2.0579°W / 52.3353; -2.0579

Arms of Bromsgrove
Parish church of St John the Baptist

Bromsgrove is a town in Worcestershire, England. The town is about 16 miles (26 km) north east of Worcester and 13 miles (21 km) south west of Birmingham city centre. It had a population of 29,237 in 2001 (39,644 in the wider Bromsgrove/Catshill urban area)[1] Bromsgrove is the main town in the larger Bromsgrove District.


Bromsgrove is first documented in the early 9th century as Bremesgraf.[2] Later in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 909 AD Bromsgrove is mentioned as Bremesburh. Then in the Domesday Book Bromsgrove is referenced as Bremesgrave.[3] The Breme part of the place name is almost certainly an Anglo-Saxon personal name.

In the Anglo-Saxon times, Bromsgrove had a woodland economy consisting of hunting, maintenance of haies and pig farming.[4] At the time of Edward the Confessor, the manor of Bromsgrove is known to have been held by Earl Edwin.[5] After the conquest, Bromsgrove was held by the King. Among the manor's possessions were 13 salt pans at Droitwich, with three workers, producing 300 mits. The King had the right to sell the salt from his pans before any other salt in the town.[6]

It was at the centre of a very large parish and its church of St John the Baptist was certainly of minster status. Bromsgrove, along with all the towns in north Worcestershire, was committed to defending the city of Worcester and is recorded to have contributed burgesses to Droitwich in 1086. There may also have been Anglo-Saxon or Norman fortifications in Bromsgrove, but other than in literature no physical archaeological evidence remains.

Bromsgrove was first granted the right to a market day in 1200, and in 1317 was given the right hold a Tuesday market and three-day fair every 29 August at the Decollation of St John the Baptist. Market day changed several times over the period, settling on Tuesday from 1792 onwards.[5] Fairs were held twice yearly, in June and October by the eighteenth century, with the modern pleasure fairs originating from the June horse and pleasure fair.

Bromsgrove and the area surrounding it was put under forest law when the boundaries of Feckenham Forest were extended hugely by Henry II. Forest law was removed from the Bromsgrove area in 1301 in the reign of Edward I, when the boundaries were moved back.[7]

In the later Middle Ages, Bromsgrove was a centre for the wool trade. Manufacture of cloth, particularly narrow cloth and friezes is first recorded in 1533.[5] It fell into decline by the 1700s. By 1778, 140 hands (i.e., people) were employed in the manufacture of linsey and linen employed 180. By comparison, nail making employed 900 hands by this time.[5]

Nail making was introduced by the French Huguenots in the 17th century and became a thriving industry. At one point Bromsgrove was the world centre of nail making. Mechanisation quickly put the industry into decline.

The Bromsgrove Union Workhouse, on the Birmingham Road, was opened in 1838 and closed in 1948 and is in use as an office building today.

In 1841, Bromsgrove railway works was established. It was primarily a maintenance facility but also built steam locomotives. The works provided employment for people in Bromsgrove. In 1964, following a reorganisation of railway workshops, the works closed and was demolished. The site is now a housing estate. One of the turntable pits still remains.

Major restoration of the Norman and 13th century St. John the Baptist church was carried out in 1858 by Sir George Gilbert Scott.[8] In the churchyard here are the graves of two railwaymen, Tom Scaife and Joseph Rutherford who were killed when their steam locomotive blew up while climbing the steepest mainline railway gradient in England, at the nearby Lickey Incline, on 10 November 1840. The driver and his number two died instantly. St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church in Worcester Road was built by Gilbert Blount in 1858.[9]

Bromsgrove was home for many years to the famous Bromsgrove Guild of Applied Arts, a company of craftsmen who produced many fine works of sculpture, ironwork, etc., including the gates of Buckingham Palace (whose locks are stamped with the Guild's name), the lifts on the Lusitania and the famous statue adorning the Fortune Theatre in Drury Lane.

Governance and local politics

See also: Bromsgrove (UK Parliament constituency) and Bromsgrove

Bromsgrove's Member of Parliament is Sajid Javid. As a largely rural constituency with affluent residential areas, Bromsgrove District is strongly Conservative-supporting area with further seats being won by the party in the local elections at the expense of 'other' candidates.[10]

Bromsgrove constituency was last represented by Labour by Terry Davies, who defeated Conservative Hal Miller as the result of 10.1% swing in a by-election in 1971.[11] Miller was elected to the new Bromsgrove and Redditch constituency in 1974, and represented Bromsgrove constituency from 1983 to 1992.[12] He was succeeded by Roy Thomason, who was censured by the House of Commons Select Committee on Standards and Privileges for failing to declare loans made to him.[13] He decided not to re-stand after the local Conservative Association opened nominations to other candidates.[14] He was succeeded by Julie Kirkbride in 1997. She did not contest the seat in 2010 following the Westminster expenses scandal, in which she was found to have over-claimed by £29,243.[15]

Bromsgrove has its own youth branch of Conservatives called Bromsgrove Conservative Future, a Labour Party[16] and Labour club and Liberal Democrat Party.[17] Labour voting is strongest in the Whitford, Sidemoor and Charford wards of the town.[18]

Energy policy

In May 2006, a report commissioned by British Gas[19] showed that housing in Bromsgrove produced the 14th highest average carbon emissions in the country at 7,133 kg of carbon dioxide per dwelling.


According to the 2001 census the population of Bromsgrove is 29,237 and the population for the larger Bromsgrove District is 87,837.

In Bromsgrove, White British is by far the largest race, at 96% of the district population (87,837) with 4% (3,734) from an ethnic minority.[20]


The solid geology of Bromsgrove is that of the Triassic (late Scythian to early Ladinian) Bromsgrove Sandstone. It shows red bed facies and was probably laid down by rivers flowing through an arid landscape or in ephemeral, shallow lakes. The uppermost beds were deposited by a brief marine transgression.[21] The soil is very good for market gardening and growing vegetables due to Marl bands. The district is at a general elevation of between 200 feet (61 m) to 300 feet (91 m) above sea level.[22]


Bromsgrove experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) similar to almost all of the United Kingdom.

Climate data for Bromsgrove
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7
Average low °C (°F) 3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 37.6
Source: [23]


Grafton Manor

There is a statue of Alfred Edward Housman in the high street, which was erected in 1985. There is also a sculpture of a dryad and boar in the high street, commemorating the work of the Bromsgrove Guild.

Bromsgrove is home to Grafton Manor which dates back to the 14th century.[24] It has a rich history, with one of the daughters of John Talbot married to Robert Wintour, who was involved in the Gunpowder plot.[24]


In 2004, 33,175 people in Bromsgrove District were in employment. Manufacturing, retail, and services were the biggest sectors of employment in 2001.[25]

Many of Bromsgrove's residents find employment in Birmingham, Redditch, Worcester and other places along the motorway network. MG Rover was a major employer of Bromsgrove residents until its collapse in May 2005. Bromsgrove is still home to LG Harris Ltd, a paint brush manufacturer in Stoke Prior (known locally as "Harris Brush" or just "The Brush"). Business parks in Aston Fields and Buntsford Hill are helping to revitalise the local economy, in addition to newer developments such as Saxon and Harris Business Parks. Bromsgrove District Council is aiming to create a technology corridor along the A38 to take advantage of the area's road links.


Municipal facilities

Sanders Park

Bromsgrove has a public community library situated in the centre of the town. The library offers not only books but also music CDs, spoken word, foreign language tapes and videos & DVD for adults and children. There are 25 computers available with internet access.[26]

Bromsgrove has a municipal park, Sanders Park. Facilities include: basketball courts, tennis courts, a skate park, children's play area and football pitches. A bonfire night is held annually with a large fireworks display and fairground rides. Other events are held such as big band afternoons featuring bands playing in the bandstand.

There is a large public leisure centre and sports centre in the town called The Dolphin Centre. It has two swimming pools and a large sports hall. Numerous activities and clubs are held here, such as the Bromsgrove Swimming Club. It is run by Wychavon Leisure and owned by Bromsgrove District Council.


Graves of railway engineers Scaife and Rutherford, killed in an engine explosion in Bromsgrove station in 1840

Bromsgrove is intersected by the A38 which was bypassed to the east of the town in 1980, the M5 motorway borders the west side and the M42 motorway starts at the north of the town.

Bromsgrove railway station is situated to the south of the town. It sits at the foot of the Lickey Incline which is the steepest Incline on the British mainline network meaning most freight trains require assistance from a locomotive at the rear. Between 1919 and 1956 this was operated by a purpose built locomotive known by drivers as Big Bertha. There are frequent trains to Birmingham New Street, Worcester Foregate Street and Hereford. On 4 May 2007, Network Rail announced that a new station would be built, to replace the existing structure, at a cost in the region of £10–12 million.[27] The station opened in July 2016.[28]

There is also a bus station adjacent to the high street. Buses operate to a wide area of Worcestershire and the West Midlands.


State schools

Bromsgrove schools use a three-tier education system (first school, middle school, high school).

Bromsgrove has 15 first schools in its district: Lickey End First School, Finstall First School, Charford First School,Dodford First School Milfields First School, St. Peters Roman Catholic First School, Stoke Prior First School, Blackwell First School, Sidemoor First School, Catshill First School, Tardebigge CofE First School, Fairfield First School, Hanbury CofE First School and Meadows First School.

There are five Middle Schools: Alvechurch Middle School, Catshill Middle School, Aston Fields Middle School, St John's Church of England Middle School Academy, and Parkside Middle School.

There are two high schools, North Bromsgrove High School and South Bromsgrove High School opposite Charford. South Bromsgrove is a specialist school in foreign languages and I.T, noted for its extensive use of information technology. A previous headteacher, Philip McTague, was heavily involved in political action to reduce the gap in funding between Worcestershire state schools and others across the country.[29] North Bromsgrove High School has now been classed for a specialist status in media and Creative Arts. Both were rebuilt by BAM in 2007.

Independent schools

Bromsgrove is also home to Bromsgrove School, a co-educational independent school founded in 1553 with three campuses catering for pupils from nursery to sixth-form that offers boarding facilities. Former pupils include Digby Jones, head of the CBI for many years and the actors Ian Carmichael, Richard Wattis and Trevor Eve.

Special schools

There are two special schools in Bromsgrove, one is Chadsgrove School and Specialist Sports College the other Rigby Hall School.

Further education

Bromsgrove is the main site of Heart of Worcestershire College, formerly North East Worcestershire (NEW) College until the 1st of August 2014 following a merger. In May 2011, NEW College built a motorcycle academy with a £1.7 million grant from Advantage West Midlands, it has been extensively equipped by Harley Davidson.[30]


Bromsgrove is home to:


Bromsgrove Museum

Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings has its home in Bromsgrove. This museum includes the National telephone kiosk Collection. The Bromsgrove Museum on Birmingham Road reopened in May 2016.[34]

The Worcester and Birmingham Canal which runs close to Bromsgrove, is a destination for leisure activities such as walking and coarse fishing and there are several narrowboat hire centres situated in nearby villages. The Tardebigge lock flight, with 30 locks, is the longest in the UK.[35] Bromsgrove is 5 miles (8.0 km) away from the historic country house Hanbury Hall, which is open to the public. The town's leisure venues include a nightclub featuring a mixture of styles, and pubs in the town centre include a Wetherspoons pub, a Slug and Lettuce pub and a number of traditional pubs. Bromsgrove is close to the countryside attractions of the Lickey Hills, the Clent Hills, the Waseley Hills.

Entertainment and arts

Bromsgrove is host to a centre for the arts, Artrix, located on Slideslow Drive. Artrix is a multi purpose arts centre that provides theatre, cinema screening recently released films and National Theatre Live performances, rock concerts, folk music, comedians and classical music concerts from Bromsgrove Concerts, ESO and Midland Sinfonia. Artrix also has a vibrant youth theatre group and a new arts outreach team. From 2012 the dance studio has been converted to hold a maximum of 90 people and provides a space for intimate music, comedy and small theatre.

The World War II film Our Father was partially filmed on location in Bromsgrove.

Bromsgrove Festival

Since 1960, Bromsgrove has held an annual classical music festival, with an international reputation.[36][37]

Clubs and societies

Bromsgrove War Memorial

Although with no official function, Bromsgrove's Court Leet continues to exist as a ceremonial body, being sanctioned under the Administration of Justice Act 1977.[38] The Bromsgrove Society is a charity[39] formed in 1980[39] to protect the built and natural environment of the town.[40][41] The Bromsgrove Society of Model Engineers was formed in 1982 and operates a track at the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings.[42] The Bromsgrove Photographic Society was formed in 1950 and organises talks in Stoke Prior.[43] Bromsgrove has a Rotary Club formed in 1936 and chartered in 1937.

Town twinning and friendship links

In May 1980, Bromsgrove was twinned with the German town of Gronau. A formal friendship link document was signed between Bromsgrove and the district of Saint-Sauveur-Lendelin in Normandy, France, in July 1999. Annual exchange visits are made by Bromsgrove and District Twinning Association members to each town with great success.[44]


Friendship Link

Notable residents

See also: People from Bromsgrove District and People from Bromsgrove

The notable residents of Bromsgrove include those educated at Bromsgrove School (see People educated at Bromsgrove School). Among the Old Bromsgrovians are a field marshal, five winners of the Victoria Cross and one winner of the George Cross.



18th century

19th century

Grave of Mabel Tolkien (née Suffield, 1870–1904), mother of J. R. R. Tolkien, in Bromsgrove
Grave of Sir Thomas Chavasse (1854-1913) and his family in Bromsgrove

20th and 21st century

Further reading


  1. 1 2 "Census 2001: Key Statistics for urban areas in England and Wales" (PDF). Office for National Statistics. 2004. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  2. "Bransgrove surname meaning". SurnameDB. 24 February 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  3. "Property in Barnt Green, Bearwood, Bromsgrove, Kings Heath, Moseley, Northfield, Redditch". Oulsnam. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  4. Slater & Jarvis (1982). Field and Forest. Geo Books. ISBN 0-86094-099-3.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "Parishes: Bromsgrove - British History Online". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  6. Cal. Close, 1234–7, p. 370, quoted in Parishes: Bromsgrove.
  7. Humphreys FSA, John. "Forest of Feckenham". Transactions and proceedings. Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeology Society. 44–45: 115–132. (page 120)
  8. The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, Nikolaus Pevsner, 1968 Penguin. p109
  9. The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, Nikolaus Pevsner, 1968 Penguin. p110
  10. "Bromsgrove local elections". BBC. Retrieved 19 May 2007.
  11. Labour take Bromsgrove from Tories with 10.1 per cent poll swing, David Wood Political Editor The Times 28 May 28, 1971
  12. "TheyWorkForYou". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  13. David Leppard and Tim Kelsey, "Conservative MP censured on loans to cover £6m debts", The Sunday Times, 28 July 1996, p. 1.
  14. "News in brief", The Times, 19 September 1996, p. 1.
  15. Hélène, Hélène (4 February 2010). "Husband-and-wife MPs ordered to repay £60,000". Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  16. "Bromsgrove Labour Party". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  18. "Your Councillors". 13 June 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  19. Domestic Carbon Dioxide Emissions for Selected Cities
  20. "Lead View Table". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  21. The British Geological Survey (1991). Geology of the country around Redditch. HMSO. p. 83. ISBN 0-11-884477-6.
  22. The British Association (1950). Birmingham & Its Regional Setting: A Scientific Survey. The Local Executive Committee.
  23. "Averages for Bromsgrove".
  24. 1 2 "History of Grafton Manor". Grafton Manor Hotel. Archived from the original on 6 August 2005. Retrieved 14 January 2006.
  25. Sillitoe, Neighbourhood Statistics - Neil (14 April 2008). "Detect browser settings". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  26. "Bromsgrove Public Library". Worcestershire County Council. 2006. Archived from the original on 5 November 2006. Retrieved 13 January 2006.
  27. "Bromsgrove to get new station" (Press release). Network Rail. 4 May 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  29. "Archive news from the Worcester News". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  30. "The Motorcycle Academy". Advantage West Midlands. 2006. Retrieved 21 January 2006.
  31. Cowlin, John (1999). "History of Bromsgrove RFC". In Touch Online. Retrieved 14 January 2006.
  32. "Mercian Divers Scuba Diving Club (BSAC 2463)". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  33. "Bromsgrove & District Indoor Bowls Club". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  34. "Bromsgrove heritage on show at reopened museum - BBC News". Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  35. "Canals in Herefordshire and Worcestershire". BBC. 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2007.
  36. "Bromsgrove Festival". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  37. Bromsgrove Festival of Music, The Times 6 April 1961, p8
  38. "courtleet1". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  39. 1 2 "THE BROMSGROVE SOCIETY :: OpenCharities". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  40. Bromsgrove Society website
  41. Bromsgrove Society Charitable objects, Charities Direct
  42. "Bromsgrove Society of Model Engineers". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  43. "A bit of background". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  44. "Bromsgrove and District Twinning Association History and Aims". This is Worcestershire. 2006. Archived from the original on 15 February 2006. Retrieved 22 January 2006.
  45. Treadway Russell Nash, Collections for a History of Worcestershire (1783)
  46. "Bromsgrove, Richard". Dictionary of National Biography, 1885–1900. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  47. French, George Russell (1 January 1869). "Shakspeareana Genealogica: (In Two Parts.)". Macmillan and Company. Retrieved 13 June 2016 via Google Books.
  48. "Lost redirect". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  49. Stanley Bertram Chrimes, Henry VII. –, Berkeley, ISBN 0-520-02266-1, 0520022661 page 71
  50. "Alfred Edward Housman". The Housman Society. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  51. Chris High. "Michael Ball Interview 2008". Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  52. "Beat Union Concerts, Concert Pictures, Reviews, Videos and Tour Journals | the Official Woodstock Site". Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  53. ATV Today, 11 December 1972
  54. Laity, Paul (29 May 2010). "A life in writing: Jonathan Coe". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  55. "No.24 Fyfe Dangerfield". Birmingham Post. 17 July 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  56. "Nicholas Evans at Transworld". Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  57. Potts, Robert (10 August 2002). "Profile: Geoffrey Hill | Books". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  58. "'LIFE'S A DREAM ...BUT I STILL ENVY DEAN!' ME AND MY BEST FRIEND". The People. 12 October 1997. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  59. 1 2 "Bromsgrove Cemetery". Find A Grave. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  60. Awdry, W.; Foster, John; Richards, Alan (1 January 1981). "Bygone Bromsgrove: an illustrated story of the town in days gone by". Bromsgrove Society. Retrieved 13 June 2016 via The Open Library.
  61. Richards, Alan (1 December 1984). "The Extraordinary Adventures of Benjamin Sanders, Buttonmaker of Bromsgrove". Bromsgrove Society. Retrieved 13 June 2016 via The Open Library.
  62. "The Bromsgrove Guild (Open Library)". Retrieved 13 June 2016.

External links

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bromsgrove.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bromsgrove.
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