The History of Redditch

Site Designed, administered and published by  Anthony Green  2015

The community of Redditch began at the time of the Bordesley  Abbey, the charter was granted to the Cistercian Order in 1140.

After the dissolution of Bordesley Abbey in 1538 the town of Redditch began to grow and the Gatehouse chapel at Bordesley was restored for Redditch people.

Redditch then meant a number of houses and small cottages grouped round the cross roads at what is now Church Green and the population continued to grow as the needle industry prospered.

Soon the chapel was rebuilt on the green closer to the centre of population.

Following on, schools and churches were built and, in 1846, the town became a parish, followed after a few years by the building of the Parish Church.

A few more years and the railway had come to Redditch, while its roads to other towns were improved, and a new road made to Birmingham.

It was a century of great activity which continued into the 20th Century as more industries came into the town, and the making of needles and fishing tackle was joined by motorbikes, springs, batteries and other light industry.

The most recent major change for Redditch was the designation as a new town in 1964 and, since that time, the population has increased from 32,000 to nearly 80,000.

The aim of this site is to give an introduction to the various aspects of the town’s history using a range of ‘pocket history’ presentations and, where available, links to sites giving further information are given.

Plan of Redditch town centre plan based on description by Joseph Monk in 1775.

Redditch developed in the 12th Century around a triangular green, due to its location on two important N-S and E-W medieval roads and the supply of services to passing traffic. The most important economic connections were Bordesley Abbey and its granges and the medium-sized towns of Kidderminster and Birmingham.