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Dudley Castle and Dudley Zoo

There's a wealth of facinating history to discover in Dudley...

all set alongside some of the most up-to-date business and entertainment in the region. If you haven't visited the town for a few years, you'll immediately see plenty of change, from the many works of art that line the Dudley southern bypass to several sports clubs and visitor attractions.
A focal point in Dudley is the 11th century Dudley Castle,the feudal stronghold of the Lords of Dudley untill partley Demolished in the English Cival War. Mentioned in the Doomsday Book, the hilltop location affords a breathtaking view of the town and the castle is probably the only one in the country to house a zoo in its grounds. Dudley Market
Dudley's medieval marketplace with its regular market and traders,is integral to the towns character, and a touch of Italian flair can be found in the Renaissance drinking fountain, designed by James Forsyth in 1867. Other historic buildings include St Joseph's Church, designed by Pugin, St Edmunds Church ("bottom church), built in 1724 in the Palladian style and St Thomas's Church ("top church"). Built at the outset of the Industrial Revolution, St Thomas's boasts one of the earliest known examples of the use of structural cast iron for supporting columns and roof trusses. Even the ornate tracery of the windows is cast iron!

History to Life

Few places can offer such a wealth of history as Dudley - from medieval town centres right back to the borough's internationally recognised geological heritage. Wrens Nest Nature Reserve
The 425 million year old Dudley bug is a unique trilobite fossil found only in the Wren's Nest area , and is so closely associated with Dudley that appears in the town's coat of arms. Black Country Living Museum
Centuries of limestone quarring have left Wrens Nest honeycombed by caverns and underground workings. The caverns known as the Severn Sisters, are the spectacular openings to the workings, Wich go down 100 meters below the hill. the towns geological past can also be witnessed in the fascinating Singing Cavern, a disused limestone mine reached by original tunnels built in the 1700's and some new ones completed in the 1980's.

The Priory
Evidence of pre-industrial settlement abounds, including the 11th century Dudley Castle, the ruins of a 12th century Cluniac Priory in Priory Park , 13th century abbey in Halesowen and the medieval town layouts throughout the borough. But nowhere is the area's heritage more vividly brought to life than at the open-air Black Country Living Museum. An absolutely fascinating journey through the Black Country's industrial past, the canalside village museum features painstakingly rebuilt houses, shops, public buildings and workshops from the area along with an 1850's coal mine that gives a real insight into the working conditions of the day. Living history can also be witnessed at Mushroom Green, to the south of Dudley, where a chainshop demonstrates the traditional art of chainmaking, an important local history.
Dudley's Museums and art galleries host a wide-ranging progamme of exhibitions and events. Of particular interest to visitors are Dudley Museum and Art Gallery, Red House Glass Cone in Stourbridge and Dudley's Parks and Nature Reserves


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