A History of Council Housing in Wolverhampton

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright March 2011, John M; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


Wolverhampton with its connections to Wales and Shropshire developed as a market town with early wealth from the wool trade. In 1801 the population was around 12500. The industrial revolution and exploitation of the Black Country Coalfields enhanced the trading with light and heavy manufacturing within the town leading to a massive rise in population rising to 94187 by 1901. This continued to grow to reach 162672 by 1951 and with boundary re-organisation to include Bilston, Tettenhall and Wednesfield reached 250000. The population peaked at 269112 in 1971 but has since fallen to around 240000.

The history of Council Housing within the town is inextricably linked with central Government legislation, finance, wars and the general economic state of the country. There have been many changes of policy along the way with housing stock sold privately in the 1920s and again under 'Right to Buy' from the 1980s.

This is a snapshot of the publicly built housing within the town much of which is now owner occupied and some such as the 1960s tower-blocks recorded before demolition.

The inspiration for this article was George Barnsby's 'A History of Housing in Wolverhampton 1750 to 1975'.

The early 1900s and the Garden Suburb

SJ9200 : Fallings Park Garden Suburb - Victoria Road by John M SJ9200 : Fallings Park Garden Suburb - Victoria Road by John M SJ9200 : Fallings Park Garden Suburb - The Avenue by John M SJ9200 : Fallings Park Garden Suburb - Cannock Road by John M SJ9300 : Fallings Park Garden Village - Thorneycroft Lane by John M Fallings Park
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Housing in Wolverhampton early 1900s Fallings Park Garden Suburb by John M
The Utopian Dream and the Garden City movement found its way to Wolverhampton in 1907 when Sir Arthur Paget made available 50 acres of land for an exhibition village on his Old Fallings Estate.

The site was the Fallings Park 'triangle' bounded by Cannock Road, Bushbury Road and Victoria Road which had been formed when the turnpike road took a shortened route into town.

A number of houses were erected by various builders in small courts around the edge of the triangle with a central grass area. The exhibition was held in 1908 with interest from around the country and articles in the architectural and town planning press.

Development continued until 1915 when a total of 75 properties had been constructed. After the Great War the remaining plots were taken over by the Council for new 'council housing' and whereas some may follow the court layout the majority front directly onto roads.

SJ9200 : Fallings Park Garden Suburb - Victoria Road by John M


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