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Essington is a village and civil parish in South Staffordshire, England. It is considered by the Office for National Statistics to be part of the Wolverhampton Urban Subdivision, and is within the West Midlands conurbation.
In the village of Essington, though small, and fairly recently built, there is one place, a public park called Brownshore Lakes (known locally as the pools), which are two adjacent lakes. They are the remains of three coal mining tailing and settling ponds, surrounded by woodland, it is a local meeting place, and home to waterfowl, and other animals thrive which around the lakes and the woods. The 'pools' is a very relaxing place where very few people go everyday.
Old Industrial Essington Village
The lakes/ponds mentioned above are now fed from surface drainage of the very large open areas around the M6 and M54. In the days of the underground mines large pumping machines and very large systems of underground pipes which linked the areas mines together were installed to drain these areas. When the mines closed, the area was surface mined using the opencast method and then refilled. On this new ground housing estates were built in the 1980s after the completion of the M54 motorway. In the former industrial use the lakes covered a larger area with the largest a tailings pond this has now been filled and is a large green field in the lakes park. During the underground mining period the coal mines of the area were linked together via the pumps and pipes to remove a very large amount of "dirty" water which needed to be pumped to the surface at this high point. Once the water had been through the tailings and settling ponds it was clean enough to go via the overflow stream down to top up the water levels of the canals. Not much left of that once large industrial system of canal goods loading areas and boat basins which have now been replaced by an Industrial park and public housing estates of Wednesfield, Ashmore Park etc. The Pools are still linked to the remaining underground pipes from the mines, however when the M6 and M54 Motorways were built the large open land areas at the Motorway junction were drained by engineers of the Agriculture Ministry of the time and the water piped through the former opencast and directed into the old tailings fields opposite the ponds. For those interested in the re-use of old Industrial land the area is a treasure. Walk on a pathway around the area you will find the remains just under the surface of old railways, factories, quarries, mines, windmills, ammunition stores, very old moats and mounds. A local guide "Essington Parish Rights of Way Including Wulfrun Way" 2004 has been written by Bryn Whitehouse. This shows many of these features and maps. The Pools Are Also Known Locally As "Dando's" the name 'Dando's' is after Albert Daniels who farmed the field that became the 'Daniel's' pond when the local mine subsided and the field was flooded by water pumped from the mines. The other pond was always known as 'The Green' after the amount of reeds growing there. One other pond existed next to Brownshore Lane. This has been filled in and was known as the 'nurses'pond as it was next to the house lived in by the district nurse. Behind this pond there was a large bank where it was said the dead pit ponies were buried
Changing the village
There have been several redevelopments on brown belt land. The new developments of houses and flats were completed in sections from late 2006 and through to 2011. The land reclaiming work of the "lakes Park" has had be continued with work to control the fires in the shallow sub surface coal under the scrub woods near the park boundary. At several sites on the surface the turf covering of the tailings pool is showing some subsidence and surface changes. There are more redevelopments that may take place from 2012 on areas of brown belt land near the central village area where various development applications for plots of land near the Motorways. On the outskirts of the central village a golf course is still being built on former opencast-mine/industrial land, the entrance and landscaping are almost complete. A very large property on the edge of the village, of about 1.64 acres is now subject of change(on sale), this is located at the boundaries with Walsall and Wolverhampton. The land around the former Clay Quarries and Tile Works near the junctions of the M6 Motorway and the M54 Motorway slip roads, will be the subject of applications commercial or residential use.
The Parish of Essington is quite large encompassing a village a number of recreational, industrial and farming areas and several hamlets and is part of South Staffordshire, it borders the West Midlands, "Walsall" and "Wolverhampton". Services to the parish are quite confusing, the Post Office have assigned a Wolverhampton Post-Code for mail to the area, the British Telephone have given it a Walsall 01922 Telephone prefix, the Health Authority is South Staffordshire, the Ambulance Service is West Midlands, Social Services are South Staffordshire in Codsall. All property taxes(rates) are collected by South Staffordshire at Codsall.
Shops & Commerce
In the village: There is a sub-post office, hairdresser, several small village shops, sub-post office with newsagents and general store, mini-market with off licence, green-grocer, two ladies and one gents hairdressers, a beauty salon, a new mobility shop and a public house, called the Minerva Inn, and a church, St Johns, built in 1932. A primary school also named St Johns, this resides on the spot where the old church originally stood. In the old schoolhouse grounds and building the Parish Council Offices and other Adult Education with adjoining Pharmacy. The Doctors Surgery "Essington Medical Centre" is newly built in the grounds and is fully operational.
Outside the village: Essington Fruit Farm, the local farm where fresh fruit and vegetables, are sold, in the pick your own or farm shop. Much of the produce is locally grown in the fields around the farm. The farm shop also sells their own free range pork, bacon, etc from the butcher/deli, and cakes and pies made in their kitchen. There is a tearoom/restaurant serving the visitors. The area around the main car park has a number of attractions including a summer maize maze, changing its theme from time to time. There are sometimes farm animals for the visitor to see. A small mound near the farm shop, offers a great view of the West Midlands, and overlooking nearby Cannock Chase.
The main school in Essington is St Johns Primary School. Located on Hobnock Road they were first built in 1846 and became known as St John's Church of England from 1968.
Brownshore Pre-School Play Group is located opposite St John's Primary School on Hobnock Road.
There are rugby and football facilities in several locations around the parish located in Bognop Road, Essington and High Hill, Essington.
A walking group meets most Fridays at about 11am outside the Minerva Public House in Wolverhampton Road and undertakes walks using some of the many public footpaths around the central village.
Scouting & Girlguiding
The Scout and guide facilities have just been rebuilt (2009/2010) in Brownshore Lane.
In the village: St Johns Church Wolverhampton Road, this has many activities during the day and sometimes in the evening. Outside the village: The Methodist Chapel Bursnips Road (A462)
The Community Centre in Hobnock Road is worth checking for activities.
Famous people from the village
- Meera Syal - Comedian and Author; her debut novel Anita and Me was set in the fictional village of Tollington, based on Essington in the early 1970s.
- Ealhswith, queen consort and wife of Alfred the Great, the self-styled first King of England.
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