Wonderful Wolverhampton

On the edge of Wolverhampton, Tettenhall still manages to retain something of the quality of a village, with its old houses and green.

'Teotta's Halh' {Teotta's Valley) has over the years become Tettenhall. It lies in the part of the Midlands which was freed by King Alfred's son, Edward the Elder, from continuous raids by the Danes. In AD 910 a Danish force was surprised here and over- whelmed in a great battle.

Charles II after his escape from the battle of Worcester in 1651 was hidden in an oak tree at Boscobel. To reach safety he may have made his way through Tettenhall. At Wightwick Manor there is a four-poster bed in which it is claimed that Charles slept. Wightwick Manor itself was built for Theodore Mander in the 1880s, and was given to the National Trust in 1937. It contains many treasures of William Morris and of the pre-Raphaelite painters.

During the Civil War Tettenhall was in 'no man's land' between the King's garrison at Dudley Castle and the Parliamentarians at Stafford. Both sides were able to 'persuade' local people to give money and support to the upkeep of the garrisons. Sir Walter Wrottesley, head of the chief local family at that time, tried to remain neutral, or so he said - but the presence of a Royalist force at Wrottesley in the early part of the war led to him being fined £1,512 10s 0d by the victorious Parliamentary forces later.

The Wrottesley family of Wrottesley Hall {since demolished), played a part in the history of Tettenhall and of England for 800 years. Many of the family were buried in the village church.

On 1st September 1766 James Brindley, the most famous of all the canal engineers, cut the first turf in a field at Compton. Thus began the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal, which was to open up the region to trade and industry. Another means of transport, the development of the mail coach services, increased the importance of the village, as it lies on the main London to Holyhead road. Great improvements came when Thomas Telford, the builder of roads and bridges, was given the task of rebuilding the Holyhead Road.

There has been a church in Tettenhall since the days of King Edgar, a thousand years ago. The tower of the present church is 600 years old, but the rest of the old church was completely destroyed by fire in 1950. Rebuilt within a few years by Bernard Miller, this is an attractive replacement.

The village information above is taken from The West Midlands Village Book, written by members of the West Midlands Federation of Women's Institutes and published by Countryside Books. Click on the link Countryside Books to view Countryside's range of other local titles.