A reconstructed map of Dudley Borough - including Cradley - as it was in 1307
This archaeological map of Cradley is part of a larger map that extends to the boundaries of the borough of Dudley today. It shows the main landscape features, roads and buildings that are known to have been present in medieval times, circa 1307, and also the old township boundaries including that of Cradley.
The three main arable open fields are clearly shown: the Cradeleye, Burr and Mill fields. At least two modern street names have their origins in these field names: Burfield Road and Cradley Fields. Cradeleye Park is the hillside area between High Park at the top and Park Road and Park Lane at the foot of the hill. The latter are still known locally as simply "The Park". Cradeleye Park is where the manor house of Cradley Manor was once situated, and more recently Park House.
The map shows three meadows and possibly the sites of small settlements within medieval Cradeleye: Netherend, Overend, and Lyde, all well known places in Cradley today. Salismore is the meadow along the Saltbrook, a tributary of the Stour.
The pattern of "main roads" in 1307 is distinguishable today, with the forerunners of Park Lane, Lyde Green, Colley Lane/High Street, Furlong Lane, Butchers Lane and Two Gates all present, although their exact routes may all have changed just a little in the past 700 years.
The map also shows three buildings, all mills1. The ancient Cradeleye Mill is actually named. There are two water mills on the River Sture (Stour) and a windmill, after which Windmill Hill takes its name. Clearly, these buildings were those that formed the basis of the medieval rural economy.
All the information on the map is derived from the Black Country Sites and Monuments Record. More information can be found on the Dudley Council web site, especially in the sections on Dudley's Archaeological Heritage and the Sites and Monuments Record.
The historical research for this map was done by John Hemingway, Dudley Council's archaeologist. The map was created by Paul Groves. The electronic version was prepared by Dudley Council's Geographic Management Information Systems team, and supplied to Cradley Links by the head of the team, Brian Higgs. We wish to thank all concerned for allowing us to publish the map.