p002-aerial-molineux-2002

The Londes

I want to talk about a place called “The Londes”. Picture this place:

Molineux 2002
Molineux 2002

Due to the building of the new Asda Supermarket, the re-building of the Molineux grounds, and the considerable extensions to the University Campus, the area where I spent my youth has been completely replaced by new buildings where students can stay, and also by their places of learning.

Gone forever is the lively self-contained community that was situated in between the two parishes of St Patrick’s and St Peter and Paul’s, where until the late 1950s you could find every kind of shop and industry, all of them drawing trade from the large amount of working class people living there.

Map of the lost North Street Circa 1950s
Map of the lost North Street Circa 1950s

For you to see and imagine this area, full of houses and businesses, all to be re-allocated between the 1950s to 1970s, you start at the Molineux F.C. Car Park and go to the rear of the Asda Supermarket. Then walk twenty yards or so up what was once North Street towards the city centre.

Steve Bull stand seen from the Londes, mid 1980s
Steve Bull stand seen from the Londes, mid 1980s

On the left opposite the Steve Bull stand you will see some steps. These steps lead into what was once Nursery Street. I was born in Nursery Street in 1937, and my grandparents lived at the lower end of the street at No. 26 which overlooked “The Londes”.

Now, instead of the neat rows of terraced houses, there is just the Arthur Storer Building, which is a student faculty building. On the spot of where my home once stood is now the entrance to The School of Legal Studies.

Steps to Nursery Street 1974
Steps to Nursery Street 1974

Although the cast iron bollards that used to stand above the large steps at the bottom of this cul-de-sac have long since gone, if you were familiar with the area prior to the 1970s, there are still some small reminders from the past  for you to spot.

Steps to Nursery Street 2008
Steps to Nursery Street 2008

Around this walk small bits of “The Londes” are still standing with original parts of the walls visible. Also you can see small portions of the diamond blue bricks that covered most of the pavements around the town at that time.

Looking down North Street, with the Plume of Feathers sign on the right 1946
Looking down North Street, with the Plume of Feathers sign on the right 1946

As you carry on up North Street, past the south entrance to “The Londes” (where in my youth was the short cut to Charles Street or Stafford Street, via Lawyers Field or Deanery Row), there is now sited the main entrance to the College of Art.

The Plume of Feathers Pub 2008
The Plume of Feathers Pub 2008

But then what will always keep this spot clear in my memory of the past, is to see, standing on its original spot in front of the College of Art (thanks to all of the football supporters and drinkers), the Plume of Feathers pub.

Also just a hundred yards further up North Street stands what was once the Fox Hotel, now renamed and with a different brewery, but still a pub occupying the ground it did when my Dad courted my Mom from there in the early 1930s.

The Fox Inn and the underpass on the left 1974
The Fox Inn and the underpass on the left 1974

One regret – the Fox no longer looks across North Street to Charles Street and Tin Shop Yard, and the little shops up to the Chequer Ball and the Market Patch. It just stares at the large blank wall of the Ring Road under-pass.

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6 comments

  1. Thank you so much for the wonderful photos and maps. I was born in 9 Nursey Street 1946 and sadly now it has all gone. Although I lived in Lincolnshire all my life until I emigrated to Australia in 1973. I used to stay with my Gran and Grandad Grice every summer. I visited Wolverhampton briefly this year. My grandmother Alice Grice used to wash the strips for Wolves a few decades ago. We were given a lovely tour around the Molyneux with my cousin Linda (Grice). As I remember it, I used to walk down Nursery Street, along the Londes across North Street, down beside the football ground, through the park to visit my cousin Linda. I believe you have spoken with Linda recently and she gave me the address of your site. Thank you once again for all that you do, it certainly is wonderful. St Peters church is always special as it was where my mum (Irene Grice) and dad were married.

    1. hi billy,would you have any pictures of the old deanery row before it was demolished,my mother lived there briefly as a very small child.

      1. Hello Katie
        Deanery Row didn’t interest the photographic media much in the early days, just a simple row of early victorian terraced houses.
        Fortunately we have Jim Dowdall of the Wolverhampton Photo Graphic Society to thank for at least a couple when at the time the area around Charles Street was being demolished in the mid 1950’s.
        He was asked by the Corporation if he would like to go around beforehand and record the streets for posterity which he did .
        I will be doing a post of this on the Howl at some point so keep looking in the mean time I will post the two pictures from the time before the clearance on the forum Please join it.

        1. Hi Billy
          Do you remember a family by the name of McNally. My Dad would be 102 next month his name was George McNally and he had lots of brothers. He married my Mom who had 11 children. I am the youngest. I am trying to find my Grandparents names.

          1. Hello Jane. Yes I remember the McNally’s they were scattered all a round North Street . From the time they came from Ireland in the mid 1850’s until the 1950’s 60’s when the bulldozers moved in. You will find the name on early census’s from 1871 in Lawyers Field also Joseph Patrick was householder in In 1923 at No.5 Lawyers Field with Mary Ann at No.18. in 1956 Tommy was at No.5, and I recall a Mattie McNally also in that same street in the 1950’s. I myself started school with Frank in 1948 ( He passed away about five years ago. I hope that helps. Do you live locally?.

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