Kinver Timeline

Kinver Past & Present are continually on the lookout for more information to be added to our timeline

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The Stewpony Demolished

2001
The Stewpony Demolished

The Stewponey public house was relativity short lived at just 70 yrs since being built and yet in its short lifespan it had managed to gain itself reputation as a major local landmark due to its location and facilities it offered during the peak of its life. By 1999, however, its owners had decided to sell it to property developers and it was demolished in 2001 to be redeveloped to provide housing which now stands as a small estate of properties.

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The Kinema Demolished

1964
The Kinema Demolished

The Kinema Theatre was closed in August 1961 with Victor Mature in “Samson and Delilah”. The building was eventually sold to the local council. The seats were sold to a bingo club in Blackpool, and the projection equipment was also sold off. It was demolished in 1964, and a health clinic was built on the site. For full details on The Kinema history please see here

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Drakelow Tunnels

1941
Drakelow Tunnels

The Drakelow Tunnels were excavated into a wooded hillside near Kinver in Staffordshire between 1941 and 1942. They were originally dug as an underground shadow factory for Rover, who were at the time producing Meteor Tank engines derived from the re-engineered Merlin III aircraft units but without the supercharger for the war. The labyrinth of tunnels stretches between 3 and 4 miles and was equipped with offices, dorms, workshop areas, communication facilities and everything else required. During the Cold War, a portion of the tunnels was fitted out as a RSG (Regional Seat of Government) and this continued to be adapted until the 1980s. After this the site was sold to a private buyer and the Drakelow Preservation Trust set up to try to protect the tunnels from further damage, or complete destruction! Since 1993, the Drakelow Tunnels Preservation Trust, have been restoring the entire complex to its original condition…

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The Stewpony Built

1930
The Stewpony Built

The Stewponey and Foley Arms Hotel, to give it its full title, was a popular pub for generations. A major meeting place on the Wolverhampton to Kidderminster road, the pub also served the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and the Kinver Light Railway. Standing at the centre of Stourton at the junction of the A449 and Stourbridge-bound A458, immediately adjacent to the locks and bridges. It was rebuilt in the 1930s, and featured an outdoor swimming pool. It replaced an 18th-century inn, which was much smaller and outdated, but is known to have existed in 1744, when it was called the house of Benjamin Hallen, being the sign of the Green Man and called the Stewponey. The hotel was also rebuilt to provide more space for the parking of motor cars. It was a local landmark in the late 20th century. By 1999, however, its owners had decided to sell it…

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Prestwood Hall Demolished

1923
Prestwood Hall Demolished

This Magnificent Mansion hall known as Prestwood Hall was located just off the A499 at Prestwood between Kinver & Wallheath & was owned by the Foley Family until 1919. It was demolished in approx 1923 after a fire broke out during alterations. A new hospital building was built on the site of the former Hall. The hospital would continue its services into the 1980’s until local authority cutbacks would see the closure of most of the grounds , Over the decades the hospital was seen as a restful place for the elderly and infirm known to locals as excellent hospital they were privileged to have within the local community. Following the changes made in the 1980’s some areas were kept operational for the elderly and infirm and continues to run today The Coachouse ( a a mere shadow of its former mansion hall ) as it is now known offers…

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The Kinema Built

1921
The Kinema Built

The Kinema Theatre was opened on 9th May 1921 with “Queen of the Sea”. Designed by Dudley based architectural firm Webb & Gray, it had seating provided all on a single floor. The Kinema Theatre was closed as a silent cinema in 1930, unable to upgrade with sound equipment. It lay empty and unused until September 1939, when at the outbreak of World War II, it was converted into a fire station, with the front of the building removed and replaced by large doors to accommodate the fire engines. After the end of hostilities in 1945, the building became unused. In 1955, it was sold to Sydney Hillman, and he set about reconstructing the building to become a cinema again. It was equipped with an RCA sound system and a new projection box was built on the outside of the building (the original projection box was within the auditorium). It…

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Lee Castle

1762
Lee Castle

On the outskirts of Kinver The fine park and a campsite at Wolverly are all that mark the passing of the imposing mock castle which once dominated the estate. Lea Castle was built with the profits of the local iron industry. The Cookley Ironworks were founded in the late 1600s and the town quickly became the centre of the local iron and tinplate industry – not least because a local resident, one Joseph Piper, invented and then patented a successful tinning process. The mill at Cookley was originally a corn mill but by 1706 it, and another local mill, had been taken over by the new industry. These two mills were leased by the Knight family and by 1750 they had purchased them outright.  Edward Knight owned the mills for thirty years until his death in 1780. It was Edward, with the wealth generated from the iron works, who had…

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St Peters Church Built

1715
St Peters Church Built

The Church of St Peters is completed and is welcomed into the community , It stands proud at the extreme eastern end of the cliff top. The magnificent old church dedicated to the memory of the first King of Mercia’s two murdered sons, Wulphad and Ruffinus. In the church are monuments with the arms of the families of Hampton Grey, Worwood, and Compton (Comber) of Kinfayre Hall. A document, in which Charles I confirmed to the tenants and inhabitants of Kinver the privileges granted by previous Charters, is preserved in the vestry of Kinver Church.

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