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The city of Wolverhampton sits on the Midlands Plateau which is 163 metres (535 feet) above sea level. The Rivers Tame and Penk, tributaries of the River Trent, as well as Smestow Brook, a tributary of the River Stour and a portion of the River Severn.

Anglo Saxon King Aethelred the Unready granted land which became what is now Wolverhampton to Lady Wulfuna, a Mercian noblewoman who founded the town in 985. The town was named in her honor. Nine years later, Lady Wulfuna founded a minster church located on the site of today’s St. Peter’s Church. A minster church is the term used for a church attached to a monastery.

In 1258, Wolverhampton was given a grant giving the town the right to hold fairs and markets. Wolverhampton’s markets and fairs featured wool and associated items. During the Industrial Revolution, it had become a major coal mining centre, and eventually care manufacturing, steel production, and locksmithing were done there. During this time, the town grew from a market town to an important city.

In January of 1606, John Holyhead and Thomas Smart were executed on High Green, which is now called Queen Square, for giving shelter to Robert Wintour and Stephen Littleton, two of the men who assisted Guy Fawkes. Despite the fact that Misters Holyhead and Smart were not involved in the Gunpowder plot, they were sentenced to hang by the neck until dead.

In 1837, the first railway station was erected by the Grand Junction Railway, and in 1849. The Shrewsbury and Birmingham Railway was established.

In the 1840s, the Irish Potato Famine began to plague Ireland. It was called the Hunger or the Great Famine and motivated many to flee the starvation and disease from Ireland.

Today, the local economy is still industrial, though industry is entirely different than before, since the economy depends upon the aerospace industry, engineering, and of course, the service industry.



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