A History of Kidderminster

Front Cover of History of Kidderminster

Front cover showing section of High Street

Published by Phillimore (2004)

This is the first history of the town for over a century and is the first ever chronological history. A monastery or large church was almost certainly established there in the eighth century and by Domesday Kidderminster was an important medieval manor.

The long history of the cloth industry from the Middle Ages to the 19th century is fully discussed. The contribution of religion to industrial growth is assessed- in particular that of the nonconformists and the legacy of the preacher Richard Baxter, probably Kidderminster’s most famous citizen. The town’s story continues with the rise of the carpet industry, which made Kidderminster world famous for more than two centuries.

Social issues are given prominence, including the ruinous effects of the great strike of weavers for five months in 1828. Other matters discussed are the housing shortages of the 20th century, the history of the hospital, and the controversy over the insanitary conditions in the town in the 19th century.

The detail of the wholesale destruction of the historic town centre in redevelopments from the 1960s onwards is covered graphically.

The book contains a fine collection of photographs.