Stourbridge was historically in the county of Worcestershire until the creation of the West Midlands county in 1974. There has been settlement in various parts of what now makes up the town for hundreds of years, particularly in the region of the bridge over the River Stour, and in Oldswinford to the south. The area became famous for its glass production in the seventeenth century after Huguenot glass makers, fleeing religious persecution in France, found the local clay, lime and coal to be ideally suited to glassmaking. Today there are still many glass producers in the area, as well as several museums, and the Stourbridge Canal was built into the town centre to facilitate trade.
Today, alongside artisan glass makers in the Glass Quarter, the town exists as a local hub for retail and leisure. The town now includes several areas such as Norton, Lye, Pedmore, Amblecote, Wordsley and Wollaston.
1 Stourbridge Junction station is served by London Midland and Chiltern Services running between Kidderminster (occasionally Worcester) and Birmingham's Snow Hill station. Some trains also run to and from London Marylebone station, via Warwick and Banbury. The shortest branch line in Europe also runs from Stourbridge Junction to 2 Stourbridge Town station – any ticket to or from Stourbridge Junction is valid on this journey, otherwise the journey is 80p.
Stourbridge Town station is situated within the new Stourbridge Interchange bus station. Buses run to/from here to many destinations, including Kinver, Kidderminster, Bridgnorth, Bromsgrove, Dudley, the Merry Hill Centre and Wolverhampton. Particularly important is the number 9 bus, which runs regularly from central Birmingham to Stourbridge via Bearwood, Quinton, Halesowen and Cradley.
Stourbridge is easily accessed from Birmingham or the M5 via the A456 through Hagley, continuing to Kidderminster. The A491 runs through Stourbridge from Wolverhampton in the North to Bromsgrove in the South, and the A458 runs from Birmingham through Stourbridge on to Bridgnorth. Once you have reached Stourbridge, you will need to negotiate the three-lane, clockwise ring road. The town centre can be accessed most easily from the south-eastern corner, and short-stay parking is sometimes available on the High Street. A multistorey car park is available on Victoria Street, on the southern stretch of ring road.
Stourbridge town centre is most easily explored on foot. Some of the glass-based attractions are in Amblecote and Wordsley, approximately 1-2 miles to the north - regular buses run this route.
- 1 Red House Glass Cone, High Street, Wordsley, DY8 4AZ, ☎ . Possibly the only complete glass cone in the country.
- 2 Ruskin Glass Centre, Wollaston Road, Amblecote, DY8 4HF, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 3 Broadfield House Glass Museum, Compton Drive, Kingswinford, DY6 9NS, ☎ . Tuesday to Sunday from 12noon to 4.00pm. free.
- 4 Stourbridge Canal.
There are a number of shops in the town centre, including Waitrose, Aldi, WH Smith, and several charity shops.
- The Retreat, 157 Hagley Road, DY8 2JJ, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. mid-range.
- Balti Bazaar, 1a Pedmore Road, Lye, Stourbridge, DY9 8DJ, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. budget.
- The Plough and Harrow (Excellent real ale pub and former cider pub of the year), 107 Worcester Street, DY8 1AX, ☎ .