|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Princes End is an area of Tipton, West Midlands, England, near the border with Coseley (of which approximately half of the area was part of until 1966), which was heavily developed during the 19th century with the construction of factories. The population of the Sandwell ward taken at the 2011 census was 12,981. Several hundred terraced houses were built around the same time to accommodate the factory workers. Many council houses were built in the area between 1920 and 1980, as well as many private houses.
The centre of Princes End is situated on the A4037 Dudley - Wednesbury main road. It includes shops, flats and houses.
Other neighbourhoods in Princes End include the Tibbington and Glebefields council estates.
The established residential areas of Ocker Hill and Wednesbury Oak are also part of the Princes End, which still contain some 19th century and early 20th century buildings. However, there are many newer developments in these areas.
The Tibbington estate was built by the local council in the late 1920s and early 1930s, with a small part being added in the 1950s. Mining subsidence on the estate led to a whole street, Elm Terrace, being demolished in the early 1980s, followed soon after by several houses in Sycamore Road. The Elm Crescent site was redeveloped as Walker Grange, a sheltered housing scheme for elderly people, which opened in 1991. A section of houses in Laburnum Road, Fern Avenue, Chestnut Avenue and Laurel Road was demolished in 2007 and redeveloped with housing and a children's play area.
Moat Farm was built by the local council during the 1930s and has been extensively regenerated since the early 1990s, with some houses being demolished and the remaining ones being refurbished. It has long been known locally as the "Lost City", as when it was built it was isolated from other residential areas and surrounded by derelict land, railways and canals.
The first section of the Glebefields Estate was built by the local council just after the end of World War II. The second phase was built in the early 1960s the estate was completed by the end of the decade, and featured two tower blocks (Beatty House and Jellicoe House, which were demolished in 2004) as well as many low rise flats and maisonettes, some of which were demolished in the late 1980s and early 1990s to be replaced by new private and social housing. Rodney House mutli-storey flats in Grace Road, also built in the 1960s, were demolished in late 2000.
Wednesbury Oak was originally a small settlement on the main road leading towards Wednesbury and Walsall, but it was expanded in the 1950s and 1960s with the development of a large private housing estate, which was originally in the Urban District of Coseley.
Princes End had two railway stations, but neither are in existence now. One was Princes End and Coseley railway station, which was situated on the line between Dudley and Bilston. It closed in 1962 under the Beeching Axe and by the end of the 1960s the line was in total disuse.
The other station, Princes End railway station, closed in 1916 under a wartime economy measure, although the line - which ran to Wednesbury - remained open to goods trains until 1981, with the final stub leading up to Ocker Hill Power Station remaining open until 1991.
The section of line between Princes End and Ocker Hill was converted into a public walkway at the end of the 1980s.
Princes End has been home to the Angle Ring factory since 1951. It is located on Bloomfield Road, southwards of Princes End in the direction of Dudley. However, the date of opening is disputed due the railway line running through this location until the mid 1960s.
Bloomfield Infants School
Bloomfield Infants School was opened on Bloomfield Road in 1873, later becoming an annexe of Princes End Infants School. However, it closed in July 1967 after 94 years in use as a school and was briefly annexed into Princes End Infants School, but this was short-lived and the building was closed in the early 1970s and demolished a short time afterwards. The site of the school is now a scrapyard, which expanded in 2000 when the neighbouring Kings Arms public house (closed in the mid 1990s) was demolished.
St John's Parish Church
St John's Parish Church (originally St Martin's) has existed in the area since either the 13th or 14th century. The current building dates from 1854, being the third incarnation of the church and having replaced the second church which was built in 1683. The second church closed in 1794 due to structural damage caused by a storm and mining subsidence and replaced by a new St Martin's on Lower Church Lane in 1797. The current St John's Church was built on the site of the original St Martin's more than half a century after its closure.
British Rolling Mills
Opposite the angle ring stood the British rolling mills, which opened in the 19th century and remained in use until 2005, by which time it was part of Brymill. The buildings, including the offices and laboratories which had only been built in 1959, were demolished in the autumn of 2006 and construction of houses began shortly afterwards.
However, one of the more modern factory and office units used by Brymill is still standing, although currently disused it has been retained for eventual sale due to its age.
In the 2001 census, it was revealed that 10.9% of economically active people in Princes End were unemployed - almost double the national average at the time. The figure has risen substantially since then due to the Late 2000s recession and is now believed to be approaching 20%.
Although the bulk of the old Tipton village of Princes End was situated within the town's borders, until 1966 a significant percentage of the area formed part of Coseley urban district council until 1966, when the borders were rationalised and the whole area became part of West Bromwich borough (which most of Tipton had become part of) and from 1974 Sandwell, which was formed by a merger of West Bromwich and Warley. The historic boundary of Coseley and Tipton had seen at least one building in Princes End being divided between the two towns.