Stourbridge

Stourbridge is a market town in the West Midlands. Best known for its long history of glass making starting with the Hugenot immigration in the 16th century. Visitors can visit The Redhouse Cone Glassworks Experience at the only completely intact cone left in the world
Stourbridge is also host to the International Festival of Glass Biennale, in 2008 from the 22-25 August.
A plaque at the town’s main park commemorates Frank Foley who saved thousands of Jews in World War II. Working for the secret services he passed himself off as a Berlin passport officer. He issued fake travel papers to nearly ten thousand Jews, saving them from a future in concentration camps. He lived most of his life in Stourbridge and was buried in the town crematorium when he died in 1958. As you would expect in a market town there some architectural gems. The Catholic Church on New Road was designed by Edward Pugin, the Gothic architect trained by his father Augustus, creator amongst other works of the Palace of Westminster. The Free Library at the corner of Hagley Road and Church Street has some fine stained glass. It was original funded with money from the Scottish philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. In the centre of town is the 18th century St Thomas’ Church and the equally ancient Nickolls & Perks wine merchant trading since 1797 whose cellars are believed to be 16th century. Othe buildings worth a look are the Victorian Town Hall and the Talbot Hotel, an old coaching inn which has retained many of its original features. The countryside is nearby and attractions include the Kinver Rock Houses, dwelling built into the sandstone cliffs and lived in till comparatively recently, and the Clent Hills with views far into surrounding counties.

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