Dudley

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de:Dudley eo:Dudley

This is about Dudley, England, for other places by the same name, see Dudley (disambiguation)

Template:GBmap Dudley is a town in the West Midlands of England. The town has a population of 186,513 (2001 census). Since 1974 it has been the administrative headquarters of the Dudley metropolitan borough

Dudley, part of the West Midlands conurbation, is located south of Wolverhampton and is a part of the Black Country. The town centre is traditionally part of an exclave of Worcestershire entirely surrounded by Staffordshire.

Dudley has a history dating back to medieval times; a castle has stood in Dudley since the 8th century, the present castle dates from the 13th century, and provided the centre around which the town grew. (see Dudley Castle)

The town industrialised rapidly in the 18th and 19th centuries, and its population grew dramatically. Due to its heavy and highly polluting industries it became a central part of the Black Country. The main industries in Dudley included coal and limestone mining. Other industries included iron, steel, engineering, metallurgy, glass cutting, textiles and leatherworking. Most of these industries have declined in recent decades.

Of historical significance, the first Newcomen steam engine was installed at the Conygree coalworks a mile east of Dudley Castle in 1712.

Dudley was mostly made up of farms and factories surrounded by the occasional cottage until the 19th century, when many rows of terraced houses with terrible sanitation were built. These in turn were cleared between the 1920s and 1960s to make way for council owned houses and flats. The Dudley area also consists of many privately owned houses including some late 19th/early 20th century homes which are still standing but have been modernised to keep up with modern sanitation standards.

The first major council housing development was the Priory Estate, near the border of Sedgley, where more than 3,000 houses were built during the 1930s. Over the next 40 years, Dudley council built many more housing estates. These include Wrens Nest, Russells Hall, Bramford and Rosland. The largest private housing development in the Dudley borough is the Northway estate, in the Sedgley area, which was developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The town is home to Dudley Zoo, and the Black Country Living Museum.

The original County Borough of Dudley (created in 1894) included the town of Dudley and the villages of Woodside and Netherton. In 1966, the county borough was expanded to include the urban district councils of Brierley Hill, Sedgley and Coseley. As all of these areas were part of Staffordshire, Dudley was transferred from Worcestershire to the county of Staffordshire. Dudley was further expanded in 1974 to become a metropolitan borough, having taken in the metropolitan boroughs of Halesowen and Stourbridge (both in Worcestershire). Since then, Dudley has been part of the West Midlands county.

In 2002 the largest earthquake to hit the UK in 10 years had its epicenter in Dudley.

Famous people born in Dudley include:

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