The collieries are valuable, and the iron trade most extensive; the latter comprising the manufacture of nails, screws, chains, fireirons, and a variety of other articles. A great extent of the Essington and Wyerley canal intersects the parish in various directions, affording a ready transit for those articles.
The executors of the late Earl of Dudley are lords of the manor, and hold a court-leet annually in October, at which a constable is chosen. The parish is divided into two sections, respectively called the Upper and Lower Side; and subdivided into nine constablewicks, or hamlets.
The places of worship are, the parish church, a chapel for primitive methodists, and another for Roman Catholics; the latter a neat building, in the gothic style of architecture, erected in 1823. The church, which is dedicated to All Saints, is a spacious and beautiful edifice, in the purest style of English architecture, with side aisles, a vaulted nave, and clerestory windows: it was completed in 1829, at the sole expense of the Earl of Dudley, and will accommodate thirteen hundred persons. The living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the executors of the deceased nobleman: the Rev. Charles Girdlestone is the present incumbent.
In the village is a school, conducted upon the national plan, wherein about four hundred children of both sexes receive instruction; and there is a small bequest, by Samuel Timmins, for teaching poor children of the parish. The parish contained. in 1801, 9,874 inhabitants ; in 1811, 13,937; in 1821, 17,195 ; and in 1831, 20,577.
COSELEY is a populous but straggling village, in the parish of, and two miles, east, from Sedgley; and its manufactures are of the same character as distinguish that place: there are also several productive collieries. Christ-church (a chapel of ease to Sedgley) was erected in 1830, at an expense of upwards of £10,500, partly obtained by subscriptions in the parish, and partly from the parliamentary commissioners : it is calculated to contain neatly two thousand persons, including about twelve hundred free sittings : the style of architecture is the plain gothic; the vicar of Sedgley is patron of the living.
The baptists and unitarians have each a place of worship; and there is a good national school. The population returned with Sedgley parish.
UPPER GORNALL is another village, in the parish of Sedgley, one mile and a half north-west from Dudley, street, the houses composing which are chiefly detached. Quarries of excellent free-stone are in this village. A chapel for the Wesleyan methodists was erected here in 1832; and at Ruiton, an adjoining hamlet, is one for the independents, to which is attached a large school for infants : from this part of Sedgley parish extensive views are obtained over the surrounding country. The population is returned with the parish.
LOWER GORNALL is also a village, in the parish of Sedgley, situate two miles west from Dudley. The manufacture of nails is carried on here extensively. The chapel of ease, a neat stone building, dedicated to St. James, was begun to be erected in 1815, but not completed until 1823: it contains seven hundred sittings, of which three hundred are free. The burial ground was given by the late Earl Dudley, who also endowed the curacy : the executors of that nobleman are the patrons, and the Rev. T. Theodosius is the present curate. In the village is a national school, and at Gornall-wood a place of worship for methodists. Population returned with Sedgley parish.
WOMBOURN is a large village, in the parish of its name, in the southern division of Seisdon hundred; situate two miles and a half w. from Sedgley, four s.w. from Wolverhampton, four and a half N.w. from Dudley, and six w.w. from Stourbridge. The nail trade constitutes the staple manufacture of this neighbourhood, and there is also an old established scythe manufactory. Sir John Wrottesley, Bart. is lord of the manor, and impropriator of the tithes. The church is an ancient edifice, dedicated to St. Benedict, with a lofty spire, surmounted by the figure of a dragon : the interior, which has been lately repaired and modernized, contains an elegant monument by Chantry, erected to the memory of the late Richard Bayley Marsh, Esq. of Lloyd House, representing, in basrelief, the figure of grief weeping over an urn. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the gift of trustees the Rev. Thomas Philip Foley, of Old Swinford, is the incumbent, and the Rev. James Bevan the officiating curate. A Sunday and day school was rebuilt here in 1833, at the expense of Mrs. Dalton, of Lloyd House.
Adjacent to this village is ` Woodhouse,' the seat of Thomas Shaw Hellier, Esq. pleasantly situate in a valley. The soil, which is chiefly employed in agriculture, is most fertile and productive in corn, vegetables, and nursery plantations. The parish (which comprises the liberty of ORTON,) contained, in 1821, 1,478 inhabitants, and in 1831, 1,647.
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