- We learn something every day, and lots of times it’s that what we learned the day before was wrong. Bill Vaughan
Travel to Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton is a vibrant, thriving city with plenty to offer every day of the year and for ten days this July, there’s even more to entice residents and visitors alike.
Historically part of Staffordshire, the city is named after Lady Wulfrun, who founded the town in 985, from the- Anglo-Saxon ‘Wulfrūnehēantūn. The variation Wolveren Hampton can be seen in medieval records.
In the 14th and 15th centuries Wolverhampton was one of the “staple towns” of the woollen trade, which today can be seen by the inclusion of a woolpack on the city’s coat of arms and by the many small streets, especially in the city centre, called “Fold” (examples being Blossom’s Fold, Farmers Fold, Townwell Fold and Victoria Fold), as well as Woolpack Street and Woolpack Alley. The heritage is acknowledged at our City Centre Art Gallery; spot the sheep in wolf’s clothing above the Lichfield Street entrance.
The city grew initially as a market town with specialism within the woollen trade. During and after the Industrial Revolution, the city became a major industrial centre, with mining as well as production of steel, locks, motorcycles and cars. Today, the major industries within the city are both engineering based (including a large aerospace industry) and within the service sector.
From the 16th century onwards, Wolverhampton became home to a number of metal industries including lock and key making and iron and brass working. The City was the location of the UK’s first set of traffic lights at Princess Square: the poles are painted with black and white bands as they were originally.
In 1866, a striking statue was erected in memory of Prince Albert the Prince Consort, the unveiling of which brought Queen Victoria to Wolverhampton and remains standing in Queen Square. Many of the city centre’s buildings date from the early 20th century, the oldest buildings being St Peter’s Church (which was built in the 13th century).
The modern city centre of Wolverhampton has been altered radically since the mid-1960s and regeneration continues with the development of the £5.5 million Youth Zone on the Westside of the City, significant development of the Mander Centre starting in 2016 and the addition of the new I10 building at Victoria Square together with further developments as part of the Townscape Heritage projects and Public Realm investment improvements.
Art and culture
From the 18th century, Wolverhampton was well known for production of the japanned ware and steel jewellery. The renowned 18th- and 19th-century artists Joseph Barney (1753–1832), Edward Bird (1772–1819), George Wallis (1811–1891) were all born in Wolverhampton and initially trained as japanned ware painters.
Wolverhampton Art Gallery was established in 1884, whilst Wolverhampton Grand Theatre was opened in 1894 both of which continue to be vibrant venues for visitors to the city.
There is a Creative Industries Quarter in Wolverhampton, just off Broad Street. From the newly opened Slade Rooms, to the art house cinema at the Light House Media Centre and the Arena Theatre which is part of the University of Wolverhampton.