A History of Stourbridge
The name ‘Stourbridge’ refers to an ancient bridge built over the River Stour in 950 AD. Today the town is renowned for its creative flair and entrepreneurial spirit, skills that were put to good use in the 17th Century, when Stourbridge became a world leader in the glass industry. 150 years ago, Stourbridge businesses flourished again during the Industrial Revolution, as Stourbridge exported its iron, nails and chains all over the world. The first American locomotive train was made here in Stourbridge!
With a population of 50,000, Stourbridge is home to numerous technology businesses, precision engineering firms and a range of restaurants, boutiques and sport and leisure facilities. The wealth created by the glass industry and Industrial Revolution is still reflected in the architecture of the town.
Student facilities in Stourbridge
The Crystal Leisure Centre, always popular with college students, is a five minute walk away and features two swimming pools, water slides and a wave machine, a well-equipped gym and a canteen. During a normal college lunchtime you can visit any one of a number of popular cafes, coffee houses sandwich parlours and bistros in town. Costa and Café Nero are minutes from the college and town library and there are also a range of restaurants, cinemas, theatres and a ten-pin bowling alley nearby.
The surrounding area
If you like to shop, then the Merry Hill shopping mall is a must. It includes 1.6 million square ft of retail shopping, a marina, and many restaurants and bars. The Black Country Living Museum is a 26-acre site showing how local people lived and worked during the industrial revolution. You can go down an old mine, travel on a traditional tram, walk around old shops and experience what life was like in Britain over a hundred years ago. In addition there are several stately homes in the area including Himley Hall, famous for its annual fireworks events and 180 acres of grounds including a lake and waterfalls.
Nearby, Birmingham is easily reached by car, bus or train. The city has a population of over a million and is famous for its nightlife, museums, Chinatown and a vast array of music, ballet and theatre experiences. Birmingham is also famous for its industrial heritage and has more miles of canals than Venice. Local businesses include Dunlop, Jaguar, Land Rover and Cadbury. Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare, is home to the famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre. It is 37 miles from college and makes an excellent day trip. You can hire a boat on the river and walk around Shakespeare’s home as well as visiting a host of other popular tourist sites. Further afield but also easy to reach by car or train are Manchester (87 miles) and London (128 miles), whilst travelling west from Stourbridge takes you through some of the best countryside in the UK, including towns such as Malvern - birthplace of the composer Edward Elgar and source of the famous Malvern mineral water.
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