The city of Wolverhampton is located in the West Midlands and is home to a number of attractions including the beautiful Wightwick Manor and Gardens and the stunning West Park. With an exciting array of sporting venues including the Wolverhampton Racecourse and Molineux Stadium the home ground of Wolverhampton Wonderers F.C., there is plenty to choose from for those on a city break to the historic city.
The origins of Wolverhampton date back to 985 when the town was founded by Lady Wulfrun, grandaughter of King Ethelred I, following the charter grant of 10 hides of land which took the name of Heantune, hence Wulfrunheantune which later became Wolverhampton.
From a market town that enjoyed a thriving woollen trade in the 14th and 15th century and having recovered from 2 devastating fires in 1590 and 1696, the area grew significantly at the time of the Industrial Revolution and played a key role in the mining of coal, iron ore and limestone. The area’s success led to the development of numerous production plants in the steel and automotive industries which the West Midlands became renowned for, and in more recent years the city has also attracted organisations from the service, aerospace and engineering sectors.
In 1866 Queen Victoria travelled to Wolverhampton in order to unveil the statue of Prince Albert on horseback which is located in Queen Street, originally called High Green until it was renamed in honour of the Queen.
One of Wolverhampton’s finest attractions is Wightwick Manor, built in Victorian times by local industrialist Theodore Mander which today is owned by the National Trust. Wightwick features many original designs by William Morris in the form of wallpapers and fabrics, heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement. Set in beautiful gardens the Grade I Listed building sits alongside numerous outbuildings including stables and workshops and shops selling antique books and pottery are also found in the grounds.
Wolverhampton is an historic and cultural city, and has also been a focus in popular culture.
Films & TV
For the Love of Ella was written and co-produced by Simon Golding and is due to be released in November this year. Ewen Macintosh, Lucy Drive and Daniel Peacock star in the comedy alongside Melanie Sykes, Alex Reid and Bobby Ball, filmed on various locations including Wolverhampton.
The Man in the Sky (1957) starred Jack Hawkins and Elizabeth Sellers with this thrilling drama following the life of Test Pilot John Mitchell as he strives to make a better life for his family, filming for which took place in Wolverhampton.
Toast (2010) Ken Stott, Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore star in this adaptation of Nigel Slater’s memoirs which is set in Wolverhampton in the 1960’s when Slater was just a boy, following the sad loss of his mother we learn more about Slater and how he developed his love of food and cooking.
Sir Charles William Hayward was born in Wolverhampton on 3 September 1892, the renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist who was awarded the Freedom of the City of London where he founded Electric & General Industrial Trusts Ltd which later became the Firth Cleveland Group. Hayward also set up the Hayward Foundation which donated millions to charity.
Successful singer songwriter Beverley Knight was born in Wolverhampton on the 22 March 1973, whose many hit singles include Greatest Day and Come as You Are. Knight received an MBE in 2007 for her contribution to British Music and in recognition of her extensive charity work.
Liam Payne shot to fame during 2010’s X Factor when One Direction was formed and marked the start of a journey that would see global success for the band. Payne was born in Wolverhampton on the 29th August 1993.
Statue of Lady Wulfrun at St Peter’s Collegiate Church
Charles Wheeler was the sculptor responsible for the impressive statue of Lady Wulfrun which can be found on the steps of St Peter’s Collegiate Church and was erected in 1974. The statues depicts Lady Wulfrun holding the Charter which granted the land and led to the founding of Wolverhampton.
The Old Town Hall
Located on North Street the Old Town Hall in Wolverhampton was designed by Ernest Bates and home to the Town Council prior to their move to the Civic Centre. The striking Town Hall was opened in 1871 with its architectural styling heavily influence by the New Louvre in Paris and was later converted to house the Magistrates Court.
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
The Wolverhampton Art Gallery opened in May 1884 with its detailed and impressive design the work of Julius Chatwin. The Gallery today houses over 20,000 exhibits in its many collections including acclaimed works such as Peace and Plenty Binding the Arrows of War by Abraham Janssens and local artists work also featured including George Phoenix and John Fullwood. From pop art to Eastern weapons and examples of ceramics and glass and toys there is something for everyone in the Gallery’s extensive collection.