Wolverhampton is a major city located in the West Midlands of England. Historically at the heart of the Industrial Revolution it is famous for the manufacture of ironmongery and general engineering. It has a current population of 240,000.
The origins of Wolverhampton go back to 985AD when a Saxon lady named Wulfruna obtained land at Heanton, the name being reformed into the modern name. A minster church was established in 994AD and following on in the Medieval Ages fairs and markets were held. Becoming a small town the main industry in those and Tudor times was wool weaving. Two major fires caused much destruction to the town in 1590 and 1696.
The town eventually ended up being on the Thomas Telford main road from London to Holyhead, which was the main port to Ireland. This made Wolverhampton a very busy town and was therefore well placed when the Industrial Revolution began in the 18th century. From initially making steel buckles and swords, manufacturing expanded to steel jewellery, lock making and japanning, which was making enamel for gift wares such as snuff boxes.
As well as the road, a canal was built for transporting the made goods, in 1772. By 1801 the population had risen to 12,000, a large town for those times. Boom times in the 19th century saw locomotive building and repairs and bicycle manufacturing began. In1837 the railway arrived, together with gas lighting. A library, hospital, park, art gallery and electricity followed through the century.
The first half of the twentieth century saw the town continue to boom, with the population reaching 162,000 in the 1951 census. Some WW2 bombing caused damage to properties in St.Giles Crescent but worse was the decline of the traditional industries of the town in the 1970s.
To halt the decline a new science park was built in the 1990s, following the successful previous new Manders and Wulfrun Shopping Centres. In 2001 the city was granted city status which saw the start of some city centre, including Market Square, refurbishment.
Things to Do:
Built by a local industrial family, the Manders, this property is one of a few houses left built under the influence of the Arts and crafts Movement. There are exhibitions and collections from around the world, including a Rembrandt self-portrait, Chippendale furniture, together with British, European, Chinese and Indian pieces. The gardens are also worth viewing and there is a tea café and shop. The property can be found at Wightwick Bank WV6 8EE and details can be found on 01902 761400 or www.nationaltrustorg.uk/wightwick-manor.
Bantock House Museum:
This is a hidden Edwardian gem, to be found at Finchfield Road, WV3 9LQ, which tells the story of the towns people in room settings of different periods. A Dutch Garden, shop and Courtyard Café add to the visit and the house is open until 4pm Tuesday to Sunday. From the city centre take the regular buses 3 and 4 to the house. Full details available at www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk/visit/bantock.
Wolverhampton Art Gallery:
If you enjoy art from the Old Masters to modern Contemporary paintings, plus archaeology, dolls and toys, maps, geology, sculpture etc. then this is the place for you. Located in the heart of the city, in Lichfield Street, the gallery also has a café and shop. Open until 5pm Monday to Saturday, full details can be found at www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk/visit/wolves. .
Banks’s Park Brewery:
You can take a tour of this brewery from Tuesday to Saturday up until 5pm. A visit to the Victorian Park Brewery, first established in 1840, will tell you all you need to know about the manufacture of cask ales.
Although within walking distance to the brewery, in Brewery Road, from the city centre, bus routes 1, 3 and 4 run to Chapel Ash adjacent to Brewery Road. At the end of the tour is a shop. Full information can be found at 01902 329653 or www.bankssbeer.co.uk.
Owl & Falconry Museum:
This exciting centre is a fairly new experience which has many different owls, eagles, falcons, peregrines, buzzards etc. together with a pets corner which contains many smaller farm animals. The birds of prey perform every afternoon at 3pm. Open every day from 11am to 4pm the museum can be found at the Gardenlands Garden Centre, Bridgnorth Road, WV6 7EJ. Buses travel from Wolverhampton centre to Bridgnorth. Check out bus website as below.
Dudley Zoo and Castle:
Six miles to the south of the city centre can be found Dudley Zoo and Castle. The 40 acre zoo has an impressive range of animals, birds, reptiles, spiders etc. from around the world. As well as the wonderful animals there is a land train, chair lift and cafes, restaurants and gift shops.
The 11th century castle at the heart of the zoo has history sessions, ghost walks and talks about the castle’s animals, arms and armour. The venue can be found at Castle Hill, Dudley, DY1 4QF and can be accessed by bus from Wolverhampton using route 126 or National Express to Dudley centre. A short walk is required to conclude the journey. Alternatively you can take a train to Tipton Station and then bus 42.
Nearby, on Tipton Road, Dudley, DY1 4SQ is the excellent Black Country Living
Museum. If time is afforded you could visit both locations.
For full information on Zoo and Castle check out www.dudleyzoo.org.uk and for the Black Country Living Museum, www.bclm.co.uk.
A great symbol of the Industrial Revolution, is Ironbridge, the village containing the world’s first cast iron bridge built in 1779. The area now possesses many museums including Blists Hill Victorian town, Coalport China Museum, Darby Houses and of course the Iron Bridge and Toll House.
Access is best by car from Wolverhampton to Telford using the A41/M54 and then from Telford to Ironbridge, taking 27 minutes. Satnav TF8.
Alternatively you can take the number 9 bus from Wolverhampton to Ironbridge but this does take 1 hour and 17 minutes each way.
Information at www.visitironbridge.co.uk.
A varied amount of night venues can be found in the city. Half a dozen night clubs, bars, gastropubs etc. These tend to be located in the north west and north east of the city centre within the ring road.
Opened in 1894 the Grand Theatre is a vibrant auditorium taking in musicals, drama, concerts, comedy, dance etc., many from the West End. This Grade 2 listed building can be found in Lichfield Street, WV1 1DE and info is at www.grandtheatre.co.uk.
After Lottery and other funding, the Arena is a state-of-the-art building with a variety of performances in its two performance areas of the complex. Quality productions featuring ballet, drama, funky and hot music etc. Found in Wulfruna Street, WV1 1SE the phone number is 01902 429212 and website is www.theatresonline.com/theatres/wolverhampton.
Cineworld runs the cinema at Wednesfield Way, WV11 1TZ and there is an independently run venue, Light House in Fryer Street, in the city centre.
There is a snooker and pool club in Broad Street.
Ten Pin bowling can be found in Wednesfield, WV11 1BP.
Speedway is a thrilling sport held at Monmore Green Stadium, Sutherland Avenue, WV2 2JJ. Contact can be made through the website www.wolverhamptonwolves.co. or by phoning 01902 870400. There is a restaurant and bar.
Adjacent to the Speedway is Monmore Green Greyhound track. There is a restaurant and bars. Info at www.monmoredogs.co.uk or by phone at 01902 452648.
To the north of the city can be found Wolverhampton Race Course in Gorsebrook Road, WV6 0PE. Info at www.wolverhampton-racecourse.co.uk.
In truth eating out in the city is dominated by British, Indian, Chinese and Italian restaurants. These can be found throughout the city. Good food can also be found in hotels and pubs.
National chain stores and local shops can be found in the two main under cover shopping malls, Manders and Wulfrun. A major department store can be found in Victoria Street. Scattered between mainstream outlets can be found boutiques and small independent stores.
A good range of 3* and 4* hotels together with pubs and guest houses give the visitor to the city a reasonable choice of accommodation.
Over 50 bus routes operate within the Wolverhampton/West Midlands area. The buses use the Bus Station in Piper’s Row in the east of the city centre, close to the central Railway Station, as their hub. From the city centre towns and cities such as Dudley, Wednesbury, Walsall, Cannock, Stafford, Bridgnorth, Telford, West Bromwich and Birmingham are reached. The operator is Network West Midlands. Full information can be found at www.nxbus.co.uk/west-midlands.
Close to the Manders and Wulfrun shopping centres in Bilston Street is the city terminus of the Wolverhampton to Birmingham metro tram system.
Seven stations down the route is Wednesbury Parkway and from that point the metro travels to West Bromwich town centre and The Hawthorns, home of West Bromwich Albion and on to the centre of Birmingham.
Information at www.networkwestmidlands.com/metro.
From London and the South East the main route is the M1, M6 to Junction 10 and then west to the city via Willenhall. From the North the motorway is again the M6 to junction 12 and then via the A5 looking for signs to Wolverhampton.
From the South West the journey is via the M5 then M6 to junction 10 as before. From Central Southern England the route is M40 then M42 west, joining the M5 going north and then as before from Junction 10.
From Birmingham the city is either connected via A38M on to M6, then to Junction 10 of M6 and then as before, or alternatively the A41 to Wednesbury then on to Wolverhampton via Willenhall. The M54 serves Telford and Shrewsbury.
The city centre itself has the A4150 ring road connecting all the out of town routes.
Virgin run trains from London Euston to the city via Milton Keynes, Northampton and Dudley and then travel on to Telford, Wellington and Shrewsbury. Holyhead in Anglesey is connected via the north Wales coastal towns. Other cities with direct access to Wolverhampton include Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, Southampton etc. The rest of the country is accessed by changing at Birmingham New Street, Stafford, Crewe or Preston. These other routes are also operated by Arriva, London Midland and Cross Country.
The station is located east of the Bus Station, outside the inner ring road.
Full information of routes, timetables and fares can be found at www.nationalrail.co.uk.
The nearest major airports are Manchester and Birmingham. Both are connected by National Express Coaches and by railway.
Over a dozen companies operate taxi services within the city and surrounding areas.
Stadium: Molineux. Waterloo Road. Wolverhampton. WV1 4QR.
Joined League: 1888
Chairman: Guo Guangchang
Manager: Nuno Espirito Santo
Current League: Championship
Phone Number: 0871 222 1871
Fans Forum:- www.wolvesforum.co.uk
Founded as St. Luke’s in 1877 the club merged with local cricket and football club, The Wanderers, to become Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1879. In 1881 they moved to a ground in Dudley Road and became one of the founder twelve members of the Football League in 1888.
The first season they finished 3rd in the League and were FA Cup finalists but beaten by Preston North End who also won the first ever double. In 1889 the club moved to Molineux, in Waterloo Road. After winning the FA Cup in 1893 the club reached the Final again in 1896 but lost again.
Starting the new century in the top flight, relegation came in 1906 but in 1908 they won the FA Cup for the second time, whilst residing in Division 2. The first world war came and went but times did not improve for Wolves, instead they were relegated again, to Division 3 North, in 1923. They bounced back immediately and eight years later gained promotion back to Division 1.
Post WW2, an inspirational management appointment, Stan Cullis, set the club onto their most glorious period of their history. They won the FA Cup in 1949, beating Portsmouth 3-1 and then this was followed in the 1950’s by winning the League title in 1953, 1958 and 1959.
Disappointment in 1960 when they lost the League title by one point, however they did win the FA Cup that season.
During this fantastic period the club had at their team helm a fellow called Billy Wright, who was captain of England as well as Wolves.
Cullis was sacked in 1964 and shortly after they were relegated to Division 2 but bounced back. From this point the club bounced up and down between the top two Divisions and in 1972 reached their first UEFA Cup Final, losing out to Tottenham Hotspur. Two years later they lifted the League Cup.
The 1980s started well with another League Cup Final but then all went pear shaped as they shocked the football world by tumbling down the Leagues to Division 4.
In the 1990s an injection of cash saw Molineux refurbished and progress back to the second tier of the League. In 2003 they reached the Premiership. This didn’t last and a relegation saw them back to the Championship. However, they regained Premier League status again at end of season 2017/18.
1954. 1958. 1959.
F A Cup Winners:
1893. 1908. 1949. 1960.
League Cup Winners
Charity Shield Winners:
1949*. 1954*. 1959. 1960* Joint winners *
Away fans should check with their own club about buying tickets.
For full information regarding tickets phone 0871 2221877 or online at email@example.com. Alternatively visit the ticket office at the stadium.
Walk:- Realistically, as Molineux is so close to the city centre walking from the Bus or Rail Stations, should be no problem for the majority of fans. However, if this is a problem then consider the following:-
Routes 3, 4 and 5 pass the stadium in Waterloo Road, Route 6 passes in Newhampton Road East and Routes 62/62A pass in Jack Hayward Road.
With the railway station lying adjacent to the bus station take a bus as above, or walk.
Getting to the city is described as above. There is limited parking at the ground which can be booked for a match via the ticket office. There are also a number of car parks 2-6 minutes walking time away at Whitmore Hill WV1 4RU, Redhill Street WV1 1NR and Birch Street WV1 4JW.
Manchester and Birmingham Airports are as described above.
As an alternative to the above taxis can be taken to Molineux from the city and other local areas.
Molineux started out as Wolves home ground in 1889 and continues to be so today. It was one of the first to install floodlights and has, over its life, hosted England Internationals, European Football and the UEFA Cup Final in 1972.
The attendance record is 61,315, however, the current capacity is approx. 31k, with plans in hand that could take it to 50,000.
The four stands are currently named Stan Cullis, Billy Wright, Sir Jack Hayward and Steve Bull. There is also the Wolves Community Trust Stand located in the south west corner.
The Stan Cullis Stand is at one end and is the most dominant, tallest of the four. The Steve Bull runs along one side and is two tiered with executive boxes between the Lower and Upper tiers. This is the stand that houses the majority of away fans, the rest being seated in part of the Stan Cullis Quadrant.The Billy Wright, built in 1993, is the main stand and is similar in the unusual oval design to the Steve Bull opposite. This stand has the dug outs, TV gantry, Director’s areas etc. The Sir Jack Hayward is a single tier end stand.
The catering facilities are excellent with a good range of pies, hot dogs, pasties, sausage rolls, burgers and chips, together with a range of drinks. Pre match the city centre is only a stroll away with some good pubs to visit.
There is a club shop, stadium tours and a museum. Details on club website.