Historic England: The Black Country: Unique Images from the Archives of Historic England
This illustrated history portrays one of England’s fascinating regions – the Black Country in the West Midlands. It provides a nostalgic look at the Black Country’s past past and highlights the special character of some of its most important historic sites.The photographs are taken from the Historic England Archive, a unique collection of over 12 million photographs, drawings, plans and documents covering England’s archaeology, architecture, social and local history. Pictures date from the earliest days of photography to the present and cover subjects from Bronze Age burials and medieval churches to cinemas and seaside resorts.The Black Country in the West Midlands has long been an important region in England. The towns and villages west of Birmingham, around Dudley, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Wallsall prospered from its rich mineral resources from mediaeval times, particularly through coal mining and iron working. These towns were at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution in Britain and by the 18th century the area was continuously built up and the site of intensive industry and manufacturing, served by a network of canals, followed by the railways in the next century. In the latter part of the 20th century coal mining in the Black Country rapidly declined and heavy industry and manufacturing moved away. The landscape of the area has changed rapidly in the regeneration of the area in subsequent decades but the Black Country’s unique heritage has not been lost.