From top left: Dudley Town Centre viewed from Castle Hill; Dudley Priory; Dudley Zoo; Dudley Market Place; Dudley Castle; Statue of William Ward, 1st Earl of Dudley.
Dudley shown within the West Midlands
|OS grid reference|
|- London||130.5 m|
|Metropolitan county||West Midlands|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||DY1 – DY3|
|Dialling code||01384, 0121, 01902|
|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
|UK Parliament||Dudley North|
Dudley (i// DUD-lee) is a large town in the West Midlands county of England, and the administrative and financial centre of the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley. At the 2001 census (according to the Office for National Statistics), the Dudley Urban Sub-Area had a population of 194,919, with the wider metropolitan borough having an estimated population of 312,900 as of the 2011 census, making it one of the most populous districts in England, the second largest town in the United Kingdom behind Reading, and the largest UK borough without its own university.
Dudley is part of the West Midlands conurbation, and is located 6 miles south of the city of Wolverhampton and 8 miles north west of the city of Birmingham. It is the largest town in the Black Country region of England, and for many years the town (but not the castle, which was outside the boundary in Staffordshire) formed part of an exclave of the county of Worcestershire. Despite the more recent changes in county borders, the town still remains part of the Anglican Diocese of Worcester.
Dudley has a history dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, its name deriving from the Old English 'Duddan Leah' (meaning Dudda's clearing), and one of its churches being named in honour of the Anglo-Saxon King and Saint, Edmund. Dudley Castle has stood on a hill overlooking the town since the time of the Norman Conquest, and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The present castle building dates from the 13th century, and provided the centre around which the town grew. Dating from the 12th century are the ruins of St. James Priory, set within the Priory Park. Dudley was a major market town during the Middle Ages, selling not only agricultural produce but also iron goods at a national level. Working iron and mining for coal was in practice as early as the 13th century, and by the 18th century the town had become a significant industrial hub.
During the English Civil War Dudley served as a Royalist stronghold, with the castle besieged by the Parliamentarians and later partly demolished on the orders of the Government after the Royalist surrender.
The town's population grew dramatically during the 18th and 19th centuries because of the increase in industry, and it became a central part of the Black Country. The main industries in Dudley included coal and limestone mining. Other industries included iron, steel, engineering, metallurgy, glass cutting, textiles and leatherworking. Of historical significance, the first Newcomen steam engine was installed at the Conygree coalworks a mile east of Dudley Castle in 1712.
During this time living conditions were incredibly poor, with Dudley being named 'the most unhealthy place in the country', which led to the installation of clean water supplies and sewage systems, and later the extensive development of council housing during the early 20th century to relocate the occupants of local slum housing.
In World War II, Dudley was bombed on several occasions, with a number of fatalities, though nowhere near as severely as its near neighbour Birmingham.
The town centre was developed substantially in the early 20th century, with the construction of many entertainment venues including a theatre and cinemas, with two indoor shopping centres being added later in the century. In more recent years, however, the declining industry in the area has given rise to high unemployment, resulting in the closure of many town businesses. The development of the nearby Merry Hill Shopping Centre between 1985 and 1990 also saw the loss of most of the town centre's leading name stores, which relocated to take advantage of the tax incentives offered by Merry Hill's status as an Enterprise Zone. In more recent years the town has declined further still, with the financial crisis and recession resulting in even more of the retail units in the town centre becoming vacant. The Woolworths store on Market Place closed in December 2008 when the company went bankrupt, and Beatties closed its store – the last department store in the town – in January 2010, after more than 40 years due to falling trade.
Local government 
Dudley is the administrative centre of the Dudley Metropolitan Borough, and is governed by the Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.
The town had been a manorial borough from the end of the 13th century, and from the 16th century until 1853, was governed by the Court Leet of the Lords of Dudley. After this time the Town Commissioners were superseded by the Board of Health, before the town was eventually incorporated into a municipal borough in 1865. It became a county borough in 1888 under the Local Government Act.
Dudley's Council House in Priory Road was opened in 1935 by King George V, and was financed by the then Earl of Dudley, William Humble Eric Ward, to replace the original building from 1870. The Town Hall opened on St James's Road in 1928; it stands next to council offices which were converted from the old Police Station in 1939, after the construction of a new building on nearby New Street.
In 1966, the county borough was expanded to include the majority of the former urban districts of Brierley Hill and Sedgley, along with parts of Coseley, Amblecote and Rowley Regis; an area in the eastern section of the town was also transferred into the new borough of Warley. In 1974 the county borough merged with the municipal boroughs of Stourbidge and Halesowen to form the present-day metropolitan borough.
Since 1974, Dudley has been part of the West Midlands county.
National government 
Dudley is presently covered by two parliamentary constituencies, Dudley North and Dudley South, which cover the town and its surrounding area. The current MPs elected from these seats to the House of Commons are Labour's Ian Austin, and the Conservative Chris Kelly, respectively.
Current Government proposals to change constituent boundaries would create a total of three Dudley constituencies, encompassing the current areas of Dudley North and Dudley South, along with several wards from other nearby constituencies in Sandwell and Wolverhampton.
The 13th century ruins of Dudley Castle overlook the town, and is a Grade I listed structure. Dudley Zoo is built into the castle grounds, and houses a large collection of endangered species, and also the largest collection of Tecton buildings in the world. Under proposals by Dudley Zoo, in partnership with Dudley Council, St. Modwen, and Advantage West Midlands, the zoo is to be regenerated, which will see a former freightliner site redeveloped with a tropical dome, Asiatic forest, two aquatic facilities and walkthrough aviaries. It is expected to cost £38.7 million.
The open sections of canal are popular with walkers, cyclists, fishermen, and narrowboat users. Many of the canalside towpaths have been upgraded for cycling, and some sections are part of the National Cycle Network.
St James's Church at Eve Hill had a church school from the mid 19th century, but this was closed during the 1970s and was used as a community centre for several years before being transferred to the Black Country Museum in 1989. The site of the school remained undeveloped until 2008, when work began on a new health centre.
Dudley formerly housed an Odeon Cinema, and a music hall, the Dudley Hippodrome; both dating from the Art Deco period in the 1930s. The Dudley Hippodrome was built on the site of the Dudley Opera House, which had burnt down in 1936, and after its closure in 1964 was in use as a bingo hall until 2009. There are presently plans to demolish the theatre as part of regeneration efforts, although campaigners want it restored to theatre use. The Odeon Cinema was converted into a Kingdom Hall for Jehovah's Witnesses in 1976.
The Plaza Cinema was built on Castle Hill in 1938 next to the Hippodrome, and remained open until October 1990. The building was then taken over by Laser Quest, who used it until it was demolished in 1997. The site of the cinema remains undeveloped.
Until 2011, the JB's nightclub was situated on Castle Hill, after relocating from an earlier site in the 1990s. Claimed to have been the longest-running live music venue in the UK, the club hosted early performances by acts such as U2, Dire Straits, and Judas Priest. It closed after going into administration, and has since reopened as a banqueting centre.
Museums and Galleries 
The museums in Dudley celebrate the geological and industrial heritage of the town and the surrounding Black Country region, and its role in the Industrial Revolution. The Black Country Living Museum is an open-air living museum, which consists of reconstructed buildings from the surrounding area forming a living replica of an industrial village, with demonstrators portraying life in the region from that time. The Dudley Museum and Art Gallery is located in the town centre, and houses a large collection of fossils excavated from the nearby Wren's Nest Nature Reserve, along with an exhibit on local footballer Duncan Edwards, and an art gallery featuring the work of local artists.
The nearest railway stations are all at least a mile outside Dudley town centre, with the closest stations of Tipton and Dudley Port located in the neighbouring Sandwell Metropolitan Borough. The nearest station within the Dudley borough is Coseley, and is served by local services operated by London Midland. The nearest intercity services run from the Sandwell and Dudley railway station in Sandwell, which was rebuilt in 1984 to serve the two boroughs.
The town centre's own railway station was closed under the Beeching Axe in 1964. It opened in 1860 on the junction between the South Staffordshire and the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton lines, and in its heyday was a hub of services east to Birmingham (via a junction at Great Bridge), Walsall and Lichfield; north to Wolverhampton, Tipton and Coseley; and south-west to Stourbridge, as well as a line that served the small communities on the way to Old Hill and Halesowen. The site was later used as a Freightliner terminal by Freightliner UK, until an unpopular closure on 26 September 1989.
There is a large bus station in the town centre which has many connections to surrounding towns, cities, and communities, including Birmingham, Halesowen, Smethwick, Stourbridge, Walsall, West Bromwich, and Wolverhampton, amongst others. The bus station also sees a coach service from National Express, whose services call at the station mostly for London or Wolverhampton. Other places served include holiday destination Blackpool, and London Heathrow and London Gatwick Airports. There are also small bus stations located at Russells Hall Hospital and the Merry Hill Shopping Centre.
Dudley Town Centre has been served by a bus station at the junction of Birmingham Street and Fisher Street since 1952. The original bus station was cleared in 1984 and replaced by the current bus station, which became fully operational in 1987.
Originally, Midland Red operated bus services in the town, mostly from its own bus depot, which opened in 1929. This depot was located on Birmingham Road and passed to West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive in 1973, along with operation of all bus services in Dudley. The depot itself was closed in 1993 and demolished a year later to make way for the Castle Gate roundabout, at the eastern end of the town's new southern by-pass. The island was built in 1997 and the by-pass opened on 15 October 1999.
Dudley is served by main roads which give a direct route to neighbouring towns. The longest of these roads are the B4176 (which runs to Wombourne, Bridgnorth and Telford) and the A461 (which passes through Wednesbury and Walsall, finally reaching Lichfield).
The nearest international airport is Birmingham International Airport, around 19 miles to the east. The nearest local airport is Wolverhampton Airport, which is about 10 miles to the west of the town.
Dudley was the terminus point of two tram routes which opened in the later part of the 19th century. The first route, linking the town with Tipton and Wednesbury, opened on 21 January 1884 operating steam trams, the route being electrified in 1907 before being closed in March 1930 and replaced by Midland Red buses along the route. The second route opened a year later, linking the town with Birmingham and heading through the centre of nearby Tividale village on the Dudley-Tipton border. This line was electrified in 1904 and remained open until 30 September 1939, when it too was replaced by Midland Red buses.
A proposed extension of the Midland Metro line, which would run from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill via Dudley, would re-instate a tram service through the town centre, and is currently awaiting approval.
North-west of the town centre lies the Wren's Nest Nature Reserve, the first British nature reserve in an urban area and a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), considered to be one of the most notable geological locations in the British Isles. A part of the Much Wenlock Limestone Formation, it was heavily mined for centuries because of its large limestone deposits, and is also the location of one of the largest fossil sites in England.
In the 1830s, Scottish geologist Sir Roderick Murchison visited the Wrens Nest to collect fossils as part of his research. 65% of his palaeontological evidence featured in the 1839 publication "The Silurian System" was from Dudley. Some of these fossils are still on display in the local Dudley Museum and Art Gallery.
|2001 UK Census||Dudley||Dudley MB||West Midlands conurbation||England|
|Source: Office for National Statistics|
Ethnic unrest 
Dudley was the scene of some of Britain's first race riots in July 1962, when dozens of white men and youths rampaged in the North Street area of the town, vandalising properties in the area where the town's ethnic minorities were concentrated. Black Caribbean immigrants were particularly targeted in these disturbances.
Another riot, though less well known than the North Street riots, took place in Dudley in September 1991, when white and Asian youths clashed in the Kates Hill area.
The English Defence League demonstrated in the town centre on 3 April 2010; although there were no injuries, eight people were arrested and there were several instances of criminal damage. The English Defence League again demonstrated against the mosque project on 17 July 2010. There were severe confrontations at many levels with the result that 20 criminal offences were being investigated by police during the aftermath, and many accounts of severe personal injury of visiting protesters were reported.
Primary education 
Dudley is served by a range of primary schools. Several of these are church schools. For example, Jessons Church of England Primary School, St Chads Roman Catholic School, St Edmund's and St John's Church of England Primary School and Netherton Church of England Primary School are all Church of England primary schools.
Other primary schools in the town include Dudley Wood Primary School, Priory Primary School, Kates Hill Primary School, Sledmere Primary School, Russells Hall Primary School, Milking Bank Primary School, Highgate Primary School, Northfield Road Primary School, Dudley Wood Primary School, Foxyards Primary School, Netherbrook Primary School (in Netherton)and Blowers Green Primary School. Many of these schools are named after the housing estates they are located within.
Primary schools throughout the Dudley borough currently all provide education for pupils aged 5 to 11 years. Some schools also have nursery units for pupils aged 3 and 4 years. From 1972 to 1990, schoolchildren in Dudley, Sedgley, Coseley and Brierley Hill stayed at primary school until the age of 12. Halesowen ran a 5–13 first and middle school system from 1972 to 1982, while Stourbridge and Kingswinford have always had a traditional 5–11 infant and junior system.
Wrens Nest Primary School 
Wrens Nest Primary School is a primary school that was built in 1936 to serve the new council housing estate which was being built at the time. The school expanded in September 2006 to accommodate pupils transferred from the nearby Sycamore Green Primary School, which had closed due to falling numbers on the school roll. This signalled the beginning of a £6.2million rebuild of the school, with the revamped school opening on 11 June 2010 with the official opening being made by long-serving school cleaner and community worker Margaret Lenton.
Secondary education 
There are four secondary schools in central Dudley. Castle High School is a visual arts college and secondary school. It was formed in September 1989 as a result of a merger between The Dudley School and The Blue Coat School. It also occupies the buildings which once consisted of Dudley Boys Grammar School and land that was once used for Dudley Girls High School. By name, it is one of the newest schools in the town, despite using some of the area's oldest school buildings.
Bishop Milner Roman Catholic School is a Roman Catholic secondary school in Dudley. Constructed in 1958, it became one of the first Roman Catholic secondary schools in the region and is the oldest existing secondary school – by name – in Dudley.
Hillcrest School is another secondary school in Dudley, serving the community of Netherton since 1958.
Dudley traditionally ran a system of 5–7 infant, 7–11 junior and 11+ secondary schools, but in September 1972 the system was altered to create 5–8 first, 8–12 middle and 12+ secondary schools – this affected the towns of Dudley, Sedgley, Coseley and Brierley Hill, while the traditional system remained in Kingswinford. Secondary modern and grammar schools were replaced by comprehensive schools in September 1975, and since that date all state secondary schools in the borough have been comprehensive.
Stourbridge, which became part of the Dudley borough in 1974, retained the traditional system as well, although Halesowen had adopted 5–9 first, 9–13 middle and 13+ secondary schools in 1972.
Halesowen reverted to the traditional 5–7 infant, 7–11 junior and 11+ secondary school system in 1982, and by 1985 there were plans afoot to return to the traditional system across the borough. The traditional system was finally restored across the Dudley borough in September 1990, around which time most of the remaining sixth forms in Dudley secondary schools were closed in favour of concentrating post 16 education at Dudley College, Halesowen College, Stourbridge College and King Edward VI College in Stourbridge.
Casualties of the introduction of comprehensive education included Dudley's girls high and boys grammar schools, which merged with the nearby Park secondary modern school to form The Dudley School (which in turn became Castle High on a merger with The Blue Coat School in 1989), while the equivalent schools in Stourbridge merged with Valley Road Secondary Modern School to become Redhill School. Several other grammar schools, including the High Arcal School in Sedgley, continued merely with a change in status rather than name.
The borough's final single sex state schools, Walton Girls School and Richmond Boys School in Halesowen, merged in September 1985 to form Windsor High School.
Special schools 
Rosewood School also caters for children within the age range. It was built on the Russells Hall Estate during the 1960s but relocated to the former Highfields Primary School in Coseley in March 2008.
Defunct schools 
As well as The Dudley School, Sir Gilbert Claughton School and The Blue Coat School which merged to form Castle High School which also occupies the land and buildings of Dudley Boys Grammar School and Dudley Girls High School, other defunct schools in the town include Rosland Secondary School, which became part of The Blue Coat School in 1970, and Park Secondary School. Mons Hill School also shut down as a result of falling pupil numbers, it had originally opened in 1965 to replace another school; Wolverhampton Street School.
Primary schools that no longer exist include St James' School (erected in 1842), St John's Primary School and St Edmund's Primary School which both merged to form St Edmund's and St John's Church of England Primary School in the 1970s. The St Edmund's Primary School building still exists and is currently used as Dudley Central Mosque.
Sycamore Green Primary School shut down in July 2006 following a consultation period which ended in the decision that it was no longer necessary to keep the school open as a result of falling pupil numbers. Staff and pupils were transferred to the Wrens Nest Primary School and the school buildings are currently used as a Pupil Referral Unit for students studying at Key Stage 3.
Further education 
Dudley College is a college of further education, and lies mainly to the north of the town centre. Two new campuses in the town centre were opened in 2012 as part of on-going plans to establish a 'learning quarter' in the town, relocating facilities from the other sites at Castle View and Wren's Nest. It is the only college of further education in the town, having opened in 1936, and along with Stourbridge College and Halesowen College, is one of three further education colleges in the Dudley Borough.
Until the summer of 2002, there was a campus of the University of Wolverhampton within the town. The newer part of the campus, built during the 1960s, was retained as part of Dudley College. The older buildings, which were originally a teacher training college built in 1905, were demolished soon afterwards and the site redeveloped for private housing.
Public Services 
Dudley Library is situated on St. James's Road, in the town centre. The present building, a Grade II listed Edwardian baroque, was designed by George H. Wenyon, and opened in 1909 to replace the older site in Priory Street. The town has had a public library since 1878. The library underwent a major expansion in 1966, and significant refurbishment in 2002 and 2012.
The library service also operates 8 branch libraries and 4 self-service 'Library Links', along with 4 other main libraries situated throughout the Dudley Borough. A controversial re-structuring and modernisation of the service between 2006 – 2009 lead to the closure of several smaller borough libraries in favour of the 'Library Links'.
Dudley is served by two major National Health Service health facilities. Dudley Guest Hospital was the first to be constructed. However it began as a charity by the Earl of Dudley to accommodate blinded local miners in 1849. The charity did not become popular and it was taken over by a local chainmaker who turned it into a hospital in 1871. As a result of the loss of the Emergency department in 1983, the hospital has become a less important facility compared with the Russells Hall Hospital, also in Dudley. A new outpatient centre opening at the Guest in 2003 but the original buildings remained use for another four years before the remaining services were transferred to Russells Hall.
Russells Hall Hospital was constructed in 1976 but financial problems meant that it could not open until 1983. A major expansion of the hospital was completed in 2005 when it incorporated all of the borough's inpatient services, following the closure of Wordsley Hospital and the downgrading of Dudley Guest Hospital and Stourbridge Corbett Hospital to outpatient services only.
Burton Road Hospital stood on Burton Road approximately one mile to the west of the town centre, but this was not part of Dudley until 1966 having previously been in Sedgley. It was built in the mid 19th century as a workhouse and became a hospital in 1859. The hospital was demolished in 1994, having closed in December 1993.
The town's ambulance station was opened on land adjacent to Burton Road Hospital in 1986. The fire station was opened nearby in 1999, replacing a 1960s building on Tower Street which was then incorporated into council offices before being demolished in late 2010 to make way for a new building of Dudley College which will incorporate a listed section of the fire station dating from the 1930s.
Dudley Health Centre was opened in Cross Street in 1979. There are currently four GPs employed there, as well as numerous administration staff. There are also doctor's surgeries in Bean Road, and the clinic on the Priory Estate was demolished in the mid-2000s after serving the local community for some 70 years. Another surgery was built in the west of the town around 1990, to serve the new Milking Bank housing estate.
Emergency Services 
Law enforcement in Dudley is carried out by the West Midlands Police, with the main station located in Brierley Hill. Dudley town police station is situated on New Street, in a building that opened in 1939 to replace a 19th century structure on Priory Street, which now forms part of the local council offices. Fire and rescue services are provided by the West Midlands Fire Service, with the fire station situated on Burton Road, on land previously occupied by Burton Road Hospital. The former site on Tower Street now forms part of a campus of Dudley College. West Midlands Ambulance Service provides emergency medical care, with the current ambulance station situated in Burton Road, near to the fire station.
There is also an Army Cadet Force of Dudley Detachment, Air Cadet Squadron of 347 (Dudley) Squadron and Sea Cadet unit based in Dudley. There is a Territorial Army centre based in the town centre of Dudley, in which houses both Dudley Army cadets and Air Cadets.
A detached part of the Anglican Diocese of Worcester, Dudley has its own Archdeaconry and suffragan bishop. The town is served by numerous parish churches, including the Church of St. Edmund, Church of St. James, and Church of St. Thomas within the town centre.
The oldest church in the town is St. Edmund's, dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, although the present building wasn't constructed until 1724, following its demolition during the English Civil War. St. Thomas' church dates from the 12th century, and was rebuilt in the 1815 after the original building was declared 'unsafe'. Both sites are now Grade II* listed.
Dudley Priory was a Cluniac priory founded circa 1160 by the Lord of Dudley, Gervase de Paganel, and controlled several churches in the surrounding area. After its initial dissolution in 1395, it reopened as a denizen priory, and remained in use until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Today the ruins form part of the surrounding Priory Park.
Dudley also has places of worship for other religious groups and Christian denominations, including a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall, two Sikh gurdwaras, and a Hindu temple. The old St Edmund's Church School, which closed in 1970 on a merger with St John's Church School, was converted into a mosque for the town's growing Islamic community, with an additional mosque also opening in the Queen's Cross area of the town.
Proposed mosque 
During the mid-2000s, plans were unveiled for the construction of a new mosque on the site of a derelict factory near the Dudley Southern By-Pass. The mosque proposals were scrapped in May 2010, after a long dispute, in favour of an expansion to the existing Dudley Central Mosque in Castle Hill, although an appeal has been launched by the Dudley Muslim Association against the High Court ruling.
Dudley is served by a number of local newspapers. The town has its own version of the Express & Star, published daily Monday to Saturday. There are also Dudley News, which is published weekly, and the Black Country Bugle, which looks at the history of Dudley and the rest of the Black Country. Dudley was also served by the Dudley Evening Mail until its absorption into the Birmingham Evening Mail in late 1986. Televised local news is provided through Midlands Today and Central Tonight, which also serve the wider area of the West Midlands.
BBC Radio WM, Free Radio (formerly Beacon Radio), Heart West Midlands, Kerrang! Radio, and Smooth Radio 105.7 are some of the local radio stations that can be received in Dudley, also serving the wider West Midlands. The Kates Hill Press, founded in 1992 and named after a famous Dudley landmark, is a small press concentrating on the publishing of fiction and non-fiction of mainly local and regional interest.
The town centre is home to several high street retailers, including River Island, Wilkinsons, W H Smith, Argos, Peacocks, and New Look. There are also branches Subway and Costa Coffee. McDonald's, British Home Stores, Marks & Spencer, and Debenhams have all had branches in Dudley Town Centre in the past. Most of Dudley's shops are concentrated along the Market Place and adjacent side streets.
Established in the 12th century, Dudley Market is situated on a wide part of the High Street, and is a major shopping area for the town. It has undergone numerous developments in its history, including pedestrianisation in 1982, and the removal of 12th century cobblestone paving. Other developments have included the addition of a new roof and toilet facilities, with the new ground level block having replaced underground toilets in the early 1990s. There are also three small shopping centres situated off the High Street: the Churchill Shopping Centre, the Trident Shopping Centre, and the Fountain Arcade.
Dudley Town Centre is now rather run down, with nearly a third of its shop units vacant, the highest figure for a medium-sized town centre in Britain. Retailing was particularly hard hit by the opening of the Merry Hill Shopping Centre three miles away in the late 1980s. This led to the exit of the majority of major retailers, including British Home Stores, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's, C&A, and Littlewoods. Although the town was already in slight decline at the time, the opening of the Merry Hill Centre resulted in a 70% decline of the town's market share in retail.
Dudley residents and traders have asked for the removal of the parking charges in Dudley, which they see as a barrier to people coming into the town. (The rival Merry Hill Centre has free parking). Dudley Council has refused to reduce or remove parking charges citing "loss of revenue". Critics of the council point out that more revenue is lost through shoppers going elsewhere.
The Bean Cars factory was opened in the first years of the 20th century and remained in use until the 1930s, but survives to this day for other industrial use.
Notable people 
- Sam Allardyce (1954 – ) – Football manager and former footballer.
- John Badley (1783–1870) – Surgeon of Dudley, FRCS (original 300 Fellows); Medical pioneer.
- John Haden Badley (1865–1967) – Educator, founder (1893) and Headmaster (1893–1935) of Bedales School.
- Bert Bissell (1902–1998) – Mountain climber and peace campaigner. Dudley was twinned with the town of Fort William in his honour.
- Ben Black (1889–1950) – Composer
- Jason Bonham (1966 – ) – Drummer; son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.
- David Burrows (1968 – ) – retired professional footballer who played for clubs including Liverpool, Everton and Coventry City.
- Charles Alfred Coulson (13 December 1910 – 7 January 1974) FRS, Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics and then Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Oxford.
- John Metcalfe Coulson (13 December 1910 – 1990), Professor of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London; author of major textbook series, twin of Charles, born in Dudley.
- Billy Dainty (1927–1986) – Comedian
- Abraham Darby I (1678–1717) – Born in Woodsetton; Industrial pioneer, who developed the first practical method of producing iron using coke instead of charcoal.
- Joe Darby (1861–1937) – Born in Netherton; Champion spring jumper.
- Duncan Edwards (1936–1958) – England footballer who died in the Munich Air Disaster. The Dudley Southern Bypass was renamed 'Duncan Edwards Way' in his memory, and a statue of him was erected in the town Market Place in 1999. He is buried at the town cemetery.
- Reanne Evans (1985 – ) – Three-time Ladies' World Snooker Champion
- Wagner Fiuza-Carrilho (1956 -) – X Factor 2010 Contestant
- Kaleigh Grainger (1986 – ) – Unicyclist
- Lenny Henry (1958 – ) – Actor and comedian.
- Sue Lawley (1946 – ) – Born in Sedgley; Newsreader
- Nigel Mazlyn Jones – Musician
- Jas Mann (1971 – ) – Musician
- Jim MacCool (1958 – ) Dudley's poet in residence
- Ian Messiter (1920–1999) – Comedy writer
- Norman Pace (1953 – ) – Comedian
- William Perry (1819–1880) – Prizefighter, also known as the Tipton Slasher. Buried in St John's Churchyard, Kate's Hill.
- Dorothy Round (1908–1982) – Tennis player and twice Wimbledon women's singles champion in 1934 and 1937.
- Percy Shakespeare (1906–1943) – Artist
- Joe Smith (1889–1971) – Former footballer and football manager (was manager of Blackpool at the time of their famous 1953 FA Cup final victory over Bolton, dubbed the "Matthews Final").
- Michael Taylor (1942 – ) Dudley-born novelist, educated at Dudley Grammar School, whose period sagas are set within the Dudley area.
- Sandy Young (1965 – ) Dudley-born champion female bodybuilder, kickboxer and known as Phoenix on ITV's "Gladiators" series.
- James Whale (1889–1957) – Horror film director, best known for his films Frankenstein, The Old Dark House and The Invisible Man.
In popular culture 
- The front and inner photographs for the 1971 Led Zeppelin IV album were taken in the Eve Hill area of the town; the main tower block, shown side on, is Butterfield Court off Salop Street, and still stands today. The two other blocks were demolished in 1999.
- The borehole in local author Hugh Walters' juvenile science fiction story The Mohole Mystery was sited in Dudley.
- The television comedy series The Grimleys was set in Dudley, but was filmed some 80 miles away in Salford.
Association Football 
Dudley is the largest town in England never to have had a league football club. The town's key football teams, Dudley Town F.C. and Dudley Sports F.C. have never progressed beyond the Southern League. They are both currently[when?] at Level 10 of the Football League pyramid.
Dudley Town is the older of the town's two clubs, and have enjoyed the most success. Their most notable success came in 1985 when they won promotion to the Southern Premier League, but in the same year they were forced to quit Dudley Sports Centre (at the junction of Tipton Road and Birmingham Road) due to mining subsidence. They played at Round Oak Sports Ground in Brierley Hill for the next 11 years, and then spent a season ground-sharing at Halesowen Town, before resigning from the Southern League due to financial difficulties. The club was reformed in 1999 to compete in the West Midlands Regional League, and currently ground-share with Stourbridge at the War Memorial Athletic Ground.
In 1981, when still playing at Dudley Sports Centre, Dudley Town played a prestigious game against Wolverhampton Wanderers to commemorate a refurbishment of the stadium, with the new floodlights being switched on by legendary former Wolves player Billy Wright.
For some time after leaving Dudley Sports Centre, there were hopes that it could be made safe for Dudley Town to return, but these plans never materialised and the site was instead redeveloped as a business and leisure complex which has been developing since 2000. The club currently play at The Dell Stadium in Pensnett.
Rugby Football 
Motor sports 
Dudley is home to the Dudley Heathens speedway team, although the club currently plays in Wolverhampton and Birmingham due to the lack of a speedway track within the Dudley borough. The team were originally called the Cradley Heath Heathens, due to the proximity of their home track at Dudley Wood Stadium to the Cradley Heath/Dudley boundary. The stadium was demolished in the mid-1990s to make way for housing development, with the club disbanding shortly afterwards, before it re-formed with its current name in 2010.
Twin towns 
Dudley is twinned with:
- KS01 Usual resident population: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas – Office for National Statistics[dead link]
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- History of Dudley Town Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
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- Black Country Living Museum – Newcomen Engine
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- "Riots and Lynchings, Fascists and Immigrants: What’s Changed?". Searchlightmagazine.com. October 2003. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
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- "Public Library – Dudley". British Listed Building. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- Clare, David (2005). Images of England: Dudley. Tempus Publishing. p. 106. ISBN 0-7524-3534-5.
- "A History of Dudley". Localhistories.org. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
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- "Saint Thomas's Church". Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- "Parishes – Dudley". A History of the County of Worcester. British History Online. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- "Church of St Edmund – Dudley". Grade II* Listed Buildings in Dudley. British Listed Buildings Online. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- "Parish Church of St Thomas – Dudley". Grade II* Listed Buildings in Dudley. British Listed Buildings Online. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- "Dudley Priory". PastScape. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- "Dudley Mosque Plan is Scrapped". Expressandstar.com. 3 May 2010. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
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- Roger Tym and Partners (1993). Merry Hill Impact Study. HMSO. ISBN 0-11-752786-6.
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- "Duncan Edwards (1936–1958) – Find A Grave Memorial". Findagrave.com. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- Emporis GmbH. "Butterfield Court entry". Emporis. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
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- Dudley PCT Dudley NHS Primary Care Trust
- BBC Black Country
- Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
- Your Dudley
- Dudley Mind Local branch of Mind, a mental health charity.
- Twentieth Century Society article on Dudley Zoo
- Short film on the listed buildings that Berthold Lubetkin designed for Dudley Zoo in the 1930s
- Excelsior industrial estate Dudley
- The Black Country Society