Bradley, West Midlands
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Pot House Bridge, Bradley: the B4163 passes over the Wednesbury Oak Loop
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Originally part of the ancient manor of Sedgley, from 1894 to 1966 it was part of Coseley Urban District Council until being transferred into the Wolverhampton County Borough as a suburb of Bilston, although a small section of it was transferred into the expanded West Bromwich borough (which in turn merged with Warley in 1974 to become Sandwell) which had also taken over the bulk of neighbouring Tipton and Wednesbury.
Bradley sprang up during the 19th century with several factories and farms surrounded by mostly terraced houses in which the factory and farm workers lived. But almost all of Bradley had been redeveloped by the early 1970s, the majority of homes in the area were council-owned.
The Wednesbury Oak Loop of the Birmingham Canal Navigations winds round the north of the village. This was originally part of the main line of the canal between Birmingham and Wolverhampton, planned by James Brindley and built between 1768 and 1772. This map from about 1888 shows Bradley, the canal and many coal mine shafts and iron works. A separate canal, the Bradley Branch, terminated at Wednesbury Oak, to the south of Bradley.
Bradley was for several years the home, and the place of death, of John Wilkinson.
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