Cradley is 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.)
We are sad to report the death of Peter Barnsley, a great contributor to the site during its early days. We now have a short biography page about his life Peter Barnsley
UPDATE:NEW pages added Cradley Library - 1851 Census Analysis - 1861 Census - The Broadstone - Cradley's Wishing Stone - Cradley Workhouse and the Poor Laws - Cradley's Black Diamonds - St. Peter's Church New Clock & Weathervane - The Tale of a Vase and a Medal
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.
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.
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