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The large industrialised market town of Dudley is said to have been one of the birth places of the Industrial Revolution. During the Middle Ages, Dudley was a simple market town. It was a place which sold agricultural produce as well as coal, glass, and iron workings on a national level.

Dudley Castle was built in 1070 shortly after the Norman Conquest. Gervase Paganell who had the feudal barony of Dudley, including Dudley Castle. King Henry II destroyed the castle after Paganell chose to join a rebellion against the king.

In the early 1600s, metallurgist Dudd Dudley found a way to smelt iron ore using coal instead of charcoal, and his sister Jane was the first to produce iron using coke rather than charcoal.

By the late 1700s, the canal allowed easy transport of heavy goods. The town exported iron works including fire grates, chains, nails, and vices via the bustling ports. Coal mining and glass also kept the town busy and economically prosperous. In the 20th century, Dudley’s industry became more diverse. Glass and metalworking were still going strong, and electronics, chemicals, and plastics had been added as industries while tourism and retail had been added to become money-makers for the town.



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