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Kinver (Staffordshire)

Kinver shown within Staffordshire
Population 6,805 (2001 Census)
OS grid reference SO845835
District South Staffordshire
Shire county Staffordshire
Region West Midlands
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Stourbridge
Postcode district DY7
Dialling code 01384
Police Staffordshire
Fire Staffordshire
Ambulance West Midlands
European Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament South Staffordshire
List of places: UKEnglandStaffordshire

Coordinates: 52°26'56?N 2°13'41?W? / ?52.4488, -2.228

Kinver is a large village in South Staffordshire district, Staffordshire, England. It is in the south-west of the county, at the end of the narrow finger of land surrounded by the counties of Shropshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands. The nearest towns are Stourbridge in the West Midlands, and Kidderminster in Worcestershire. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal passes through, running close to the course of the meandering River Stour. According to the 2001 census Kinver had a population of 6,805.


[edit] The parish

Kinver High St., and St Peter's on Church Hill behind. Circa 1910.
Kinver High St., and St Peter's on Church Hill behind. Circa 1910.

St. Peter's Church, the village and parish church sits in a prominent position on a hill just south of the village.

Several hamlet (place)s lie in the parish of Kinver, including Compton, Stourton and Whittington. The neighbouring village of Enville is in its own parish.

The village has three schools: Foley Infant School, Brindley Heath Junior School and Edgecliff High School. The Infant school rings the home time bell 15 minutes before the Junior or High Schools. This is to allow the parents collecting children from both sites to cover the three quarters of a mile journey.

[edit] History

The hilltop church is on a very ancient site, and the current church, dedicated to St. Peter dates from the 12th century. The village High Street was laid out as the burgages of a new town by the lord of the manor in the late 13th century and was administered by a borough court, separate for the manorial court for the rest of the manor of Kinver and Stourton (known as Kinfare Foreign).

Kinver was known for making sturdy woollen cloth, using the flow of the Stour for fulling mills and dyeing. The village also profited from being a stop on the great "Irish Road" from Bristol to Chester (until the 1800s, the port of embarkation for Ireland), the 'White Hart' being the oldest and largest inn.

Later, the river was used to power finery forges and slitting mills, including Hyde Mill which has been claimed (incorrectly) as the earliest in England, though it certainly was among the earliest.[citation needed] There were five slitting mills in the parish by the late 18th century, more than any other parish in Great Britain. These slit bars of iron into rods to be made into nails in the nearby Black Country.

[edit] Dick Whittington

Whittington manor house, now the Whittington Inn, was built in 1310 by Sir William de Whittington, a knight at arms and grandfather of Richard Whittington, upon whose life the pantomime character Dick Whittington is based.

[edit] Kinver Light Railway

An innovative electric light tramway opened in 1901 and helped establish the local tourism industry.

[edit] Kinver rock houses

The National Trust-owned beauty spot of Kinver Edge lies to the south-west of the village. There are notable rock or cave houses on Kinver Edge, carved from the sandstone. Some were inhabited within living memory.

[edit] Kinver celebrities

Kinver was the birthplace of the distinguished stage and screen actress Nancy Price who appeared in such films as Love, Life and Laughter. Her home Rockmount is situated at the top of the village.

[edit] Drakelow tunnels / Drakelow RGHQ

Just outside of Kinver are the infamous and mysterious Drakelow Tunnels. The tunnels were used for various purposes by the MoD for many years.

During World War II the tunnels housed a factory which would have been used to build aircraft engines should the main supply factory in Birmingham ever have been bombed.

Clearly the theory was because of the tunnels being underground the enemy would not know of its existence or beneath solid rock safe from even large bombs and the site wouldn't be targeted by bombers.

During the Cold War the tunnels were turned into an RGHQ (Regional Government Headquarters. In the event of Nuclear War Government officials, VIPs and heads of the regional military and emergency services would be housed here safely away from falling bombs and the effects of radiation and Nuclear fallout.

Currently the site is disused - but a special trust has been set up to turn the site into a tourist attraction and to preserve a part of a 'secret military history' of the United Kingdom that very few people knew about. Visits are sometimes arranged for interested parties. For more information on the tunnels visit ->Kinver Online

[edit] Further reading

Victoria County History, Staffordshire XX (1984), 118-60.

[edit] Town twinning

[edit] External links

(Source: Wikipedia)
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