Kidderminster of The UK


Known chiefly as a centre of the carpetmaking industry, which began here early in the 18th century as a cottage industry. The introduction of the power loom brought wealth to the area and instigated the building of carpet mills. Standing on the River Stour, the town has a variety of mills, whose enormous chimneys dominate the skyline and serve as architectural monuments to Kidderminster’s heritage. St Mary’s Church, on a hill overlooking the town, is the largest parish church in the county and contains some superb tomb monuments. The Whittall Chapel, designed in 1922 by Sir Charles Gilbert Scott, was paid for by Matthew

Whittall, a native of Kidderminster who went to America and made a fortune in carpets. Three beautiful windows depicting the Virgin Mary, Joan of Arc and Florence Nightingale, were given by his widow in his memory. Kidderminster’s best-known son is Rowland Hill, who founded the modern postal system and introduced the penny post; he was also a teacher, educationalist and inventor. 

His statue stands outside the Town Hall. By the station on the Severn Valley Railway is the Kidderminster Railway Museum with a splendid collection of railway memorabilia. Run by volunteers, it is housed in an old (1878) GWR grain store and is usually open at the same time as the train operating dates on the Severn Valley Railway (see under Bewdley). Just outside town, at Stone, on the A448, is Stone House Cottage Garden, a lovely walled garden with towers. Unusual wall shrubs, climbers and herbaceous plants are featured, most of them for sale in the nursery. In the Stour Valley just north of Kidderminster is the village of Wolverley, with charming cottages and pretty gardens, the massive Church of St John the Baptist, and the remains – not easy to see – of prehistoric cave dwellings in the red sandstone cliffs.

quarters in the north wing numerous permanent exhibitions show the past lives of the county’s inhabitants from Roman times to the 20th century. Visitors can also admire the grandeur of the three Castle State Rooms. The Museum is open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Friday, 11am to 5pm weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays. On Hartlebury Common, Leapgate Country Park is a nature reserve in heath and woodland, with the county’s only acid bog

SHATTERFORD 3 miles NW of Kidderminster on the A442 E Wildlife Sanctuary E Kingsford Country Park Shatterford Wildlife Sanctuary is home to Sika deer, red deer, goats, sheep, wild boar, pot-bellied pigs and koi carp. Two miles further north, off the A442, Kingsford Country Park covers 200 acres of heath and woodland that is home to a wide variety of birdlife. It extends into Kinver Edge, across the border into Staffordshire, and many waymarked walks start at this point.

BEWDLEY 3 miles W of Kidderminster on the A456 B Museum B Severn Valley Railway On the western bank of the Severn, linked to its suburb Wribbenhall by a fine Thomas Telford Bridge, Bewdley was once a flourishing port, but lost some of its importance when the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal was built. It’s a quiet, civilised but much visited little town with some good examples of Georgian architecture, and has won fame with another form of transport, the Severn Valley Railway. Guaranteed to excite young and old alike, the Severn Valley Railway operates a full service of timetabled trains hauled by a variety of steam locomotives.

 Among those listed as operational in June 2009 are two ex-Gwr Manors 7802 and 7812; ex-GWR Prairies 5164 and 4566; two Collett-designed ex-GWR 0-6-0 Pannier Tanks, 5764 and 7714; Ivatt 2-6-0 46443; and Stanier 2-6-0 42968. The service runs from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth, home of the railway since 1965, and the route takes in such scenic attractions as the Wyre Forest and the Severn Valley Country Park and Nature Reserve. Each of the stations – Bridgnorth, Hampton Loade, Country Park Halt, Highley, Arley, Bewdley and Kidderminster – is an architectural delight, and there are buffets at Bridgnorth

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