Great Bridge

From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
Great Bridge
Grid reference: SO976925
Location: 52°31’49"N, 2°2’7"W
Post town: Tipton
Postcode: DY4
Dialling code: 0121
Local Government
Council: Sandwell
West Bromwich West

Great Bridge is a village in Staffordshire, within the Black Country close to West Bromwich.

The name of the village is said to not quite all it seems, but to come not from a mighty bridge but form the Old English greot meanin "gravel" to indicate the nature of the bed of the river, while "Bridge" is indeed a bridge. The stream is thought to be the Oldbury arm of the River Tame, known to the early English in this area as 'greot' (giving the name also of Greets Green).[1]

For most of the 20th century Great Bridge was the home of numerous factories and foundries. However, by the end of the 1990s most of the factories had long since been closed and been demolished. These include Ratcliff's on Eagle Lane, which closed in 1989, and John Thompson's on Horseley Road, which closed in 1991.

The village has been home to a historic market place for several centuries. It has 2 markets, a recently relocation purpose built outdoor market managed by the local council, as well as an indoor market which is in poor condition. It was open by the performer Larry Grayson.

The village today

Many new housing developments have sprung up in Great Bridge since the early 1990s, mostly on the sites of old factories.

A 24-hour two-storey Asda superstore opened in May 1998. The surrounding shopping area is notable for the large number of fast food restaurants including McDonalds, KFC (both of which sprung up in the late 1990s), numerous fish and chip shops and curry houses, along with numerous off-licenses along the high street.[2]

A smaller supermarket in the old village was opened in December 1986 and occupied by Kwik Save until the retailer went into liquidation in 2007. Wilkinson's took the building over in May 2008.


The Sheepwash Nature Reserve lies within the Great Bridge Area. It is a local beauty spot where fishing can be carried out and wild birds such as herons, ducks, swans and Canadian Geese can be seen. It is encircled by a path which both walkers and cyclists use.

Second World War bombings

In the early hours of 17 May 1941, an air raid by the Luftwaffe destroyed the Tipton Tavern house on the corner of New Road and Horseley Road, killing six people; two brothers aged three[3]and seven years[4], a 36-year-old male air raid warden,[5]a middle aged married[6]couple[7]and a 42-year-old woman.[8]

New Road Methodist Church was also destroyed in the same attack and a number of nearby houses were damaged.[9]