Wolverhampton | Sandwell | Dudley | Walsall
11th - 21st May 2020
A brief history of the Black Country
From as far back as the 16th Century the metalworking industry has been a strength of the region and cemented its reputation by providing arms to Charles I during the Civil War. The Industrial Revolution brought greater prosperity to the region as the new canal system and expansion of the rail network allowed coal and iron to be transported more easily across the country.
By the Victorian era the Black Country was a thriving industrial heartland with huge iron and coal industries and many smaller businesses supplying associated trades. These trades remained prolific in the region for some time until the second half of the 20th Century. This period saw a decline in the Black Country’s traditional industries with the closure of the last colliery in 1968 and some of the region’s large factories, including the Round Oak Steel Works, in the 1970s and 1980s.
Since this time, the region has made a transformational recovery with significant investment coming into the area in recent years.