It might be hard to imagine when we look around the area today, but 400 years ago the people who owned and controlled Black Country industry also chose to build their own very grand houses close by. A talk on 16 September by Mike Shaw (details below) will explain some archaeological evidence for this (photo). Two lost mansions from that time, Wolverhampton Old Hall (near the end of the Metro line) and Bentley Hall (near junction 10 of the M6), were home to the Leveson and Lane families. The Levesons owned ironworks and coal mines (the latter in Wednesbury) and the Lanes benefitted from ‘profits from mines of sea coals’ (called ‘sea coals’ at the time to distinguish them from charcoal). In fact the Lanes exploited coal and iron as early as the 1500s showing that, as Mike reminds us, the history of Black Country coal and iron did not begin with the Industrial Revolution in the 1900s but built on an earlier tradition’.
Details of the talk
Location of Bentley Hall
Location of Wolverhampton Old Hall
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