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Cradley is in the Black Country of the Midlands of England, historically in north Worcestershire, now part of Dudley, West Midlands. It was once an ancient Saxon Manor, Cradelei, and was surveyed for the Domesday Book in 1086. (There is another Cradley - spelt the same but pronounced differently - about 30 miles to the south, in Herefordshire.)

Cradley was at the forefront of the industrial revolution that swept the world and it became famous for hand-made iron chain. It was home to iron industries generally, also coal mining and brick making. Today Cradley is a different place, mostly de-industrialised and its High Street re-named out of existence. Dudley Council celebrated the centenary of the old Colley Lane Primary School by demolishing it (they built a new one on the site) and in 2008 they closed the town's only High School at Homer Hill.

Notwithstanding all these changes Cradley continues to be a place with a strong local character and there are a lot of people who regard it as "home", even when they live far away. For a place of its size Cradley has a remarkable and growing body of historical research and publications. This web site is dedicated to advancing knowledge of our rich local and family history and making it widely available.

Mailing List

Cradley Links will continue to be closely aligned with the Cradley Then & Now Group and with the Groups.io Cradley e-mailing list. Please join the Cradley mailing list, by clicking the image below and send your questions or thoughts about anything to do with Cradley people or places, or about the Black Country. Your messages will be read by many  other interested people who have also subscribed to the List.

We need your comments and contributions. You can support the site with articles, photographs and other information. Please email the webmaster to offer whatever you can; or to make suggestions about what you would like to see on the site; or to report errors or problems with the site, etc.

We are continually adding new pages and updating others. We also have a Cradley News page that highlights some important local news and events.

Finally, this web site is the third version of Cradley Links. This version of the site contains all of the content from both the original Cradley Links and the 2007+ Cradley Links. This has been made possible by a grant kindly provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Cradley links

Cradley  Photograph Collage

Map of Cradley in 1782 Including Field Names

Collage Painting of Cradley