Satellite image of central Bloxwich, courtesy Google Earth
Bloxwich is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall, West Midlands, England, with a population of around 40,000 people. It dates back to at least Anglo-Saxon times and is listed in King William the Conqueror's 'Domesday Book' of 1086, from which Walsall is absent, as 'Blocheswic' or 'Blocc's Village'. Contrary to some claims, there is no evidence that Bloxwich was ever associated with the Manor of Wednesbury.
The town grew rapidly in the eighteenth century around coal mining and various manufacturing industries. It is also known for its canals. Famous people from Bloxwich include Pat Collins, who was a Funfair owner during the 19th century. The site of his house and Wakes grounds are now the location of an ASDA supermarket.
The A34, Southampton/Oxford/Manchester road, goes straight through the town and forms its High Street. Most shops are based on this linear development. The A4124 Wolverhampton to Brownhills road crosses to the north of the town. Bloxwich has been involved in numerous redevelopment projects in recent years. Prominent new buildings include the enormous Bloxwich Police Station. Yieldfields Hall to the north of the town on the A34 marks the northern most edge of Bloxwich, Walsall and the West Midlands.
While still a village during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, most of the local people were employed in the newly founded mining and forging industries. Landmarks include All Saints Church, whose steps are at the same height above sea level as the top of the steeple of St. Matthew's Church, Walsall.
Being part of the Metropolitan (then County) Borough of Walsall, Bloxwich was heavily developed between the wars for council housing on the Blakenall Heath, Harden and Goscote estates, each of which centred on ancient hamlets. In the 20 years which followed the Second World War, the Beechdale and Mossley estates were also erected as council housing developments. Many privately owned houses, mostly in the Little Bloxwich area, were also constructed.
The town centre is still mostly made up of Victorian and Edwardian buildings which maintain Bloxwich's origins as a Staffordshire village. Good examples are Bloxwich Hospital, Bloxwich Hall, All Saints Church and several private houses in Station Street, as well as various Victorian pubs such as the Turf Tavern. The church is surrounded by the original cemetery which dates back to the early 1700s. When this stopped being available a new cemetery was created in land between the High Street and Field Road, just to the north. This was closed in 2000 and a new cemetery was open to the north of Bloxwich on the Turnberry estate.
Neighbourhoods within or associated with Bloxwich include: Blakenall Heath, Harden, Little Bloxwich, Lower Farm Estate, Wallington Heath, Mossley Estate, Turnberry Estate, Dudley Fields Estate, Goscote, Leamore.
Bloxwich is 4 miles from the M6 Motorway between junctions 10 and 11. It has two railway stations, Bloxwich and Bloxwich North, along the Chase Line which runs from Birmingham to Stafford. Bloxwich Station is likely to be moved and rebuilt in the next few years, most likely returning to its original loction off Station Street.