Bentley, West Midlands
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Bentley is an area in the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall located around Junction 10 of the M6 Motorway. It is also a rural village of houses towards its eastern sides. It shares borders with the areas of Willenhall, Beechdale, Ashmore Park, Pleck, Darlaston and Alumwell.
Bentley is noted for its involvement in the English civil war, when in 1651 King Charles II took shelter with the Lane Family in Bentley Hall while attempting to escape to exile. Jane Lane famously helped the King escape by disguising him as a servant. Bentley Cairn marks the location of Bentley Hall upon the hill. The Cairn has recently undergone improvements, carried out by the Bentley Cairn Restoration Group.
In addition to these improvements, the remains of another manor house near the Cairn were discovered during May 2006, and an archaeological survey will take place by the Bentley Cairn Restoration Group, funded by the Darlaston Local Neighbourhood Partnership, in order to confirm and restore the remains of the house.
Bentley was originally developed between the late 1940s and early 1960s, where new local authority housing was built as part of the post Second World War housing construction boom, when it came within the borders of Darlaston Urban District Council; this now-defunct authority built several hundred homes at the north side of the Walsall to Wolverhampton road. Most of the roads on the estate took their name from Second World War heroes or from members of the British Royal Family. Further development took place from the late 1970s to the early 1980s with construction of the Old Hall estate, a development of several hundred local authority houses and apartments.
Local points of interest
Bentley is locally well known for its points of interest. They include Bentley Cairn, Emmanuel Church (denomination: Church of England), the ABC park, the lake and the dis-used railway line which runs through Bentley from Darlaston and into Willenhall.
More recently Bentley has become well known because of its proximity to the M6 motorway, a multi-screen cinema, casino, and a variety of restaurants.
Several bus routes serve Bentley, linking it to Willenhall, Walsall, New Invention, Darlaston, Wolverhampton and Birmingham. These services are all operated by National Express West Midlands and other local operators.
A train line passes through Bentley, but trains do not stop. The nearest train station is Walsall.
There was a station around half a mile east of Bentley near Bloxwich Lane which served both Bentley and Beechdale until its closure in 1898 although the line from Walsall to Wolverhampton continued to be used by freight and goods traffic until 1960s when the section from North Walsall to Willenhall was closed. The station is now under the M6 Motorway near Junction 9. Although inaccessible. One can make out where the embankment was should they try to pinpoint the location near Bloxwich Lane and the motorway.
Bentley has one Secondary School and several primary schools. These are:
- County Bridge Primary
- Bentley West Primary
- King Charles Primary
- Lodge Farm Primary
- Willenhall School Sports College (Lodge Farm and WSSC are officially in Willenhall, but have an entrance from Bentley)
Additionally, Jane Lane Special School is located in Bentley.
- Chalmers, Aubrey (1993). "Buried under the patio." Daily Mail. January 13.
- Gardiner, S. R. (1903). History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate, 1649-1656. London: Longmans.