More on Redditch
The earliest mention of Redditch was in 1348, the year that the Black Death swept the region. Not much is known about the town’s early history, though evidence of human activity goes back to the Roman period, since there is a Roman road in the area, today known as Icknield Street.
Redditch became a center for needle making in the Middle Ages. This evolved to make Redditch the most important manufacturer of needles, fish hooks and fishing tackles in the 19th century. At one time, 90% of the world’s needles come from Redditch, an unprecedented accomplishment.
By the 20th century, cheaper global competition has eroded Redditch dominance in the needle industry. The Royal Enfield motorcycles were also manufactured in Redditch until 1967, when the factory closed. Other modern light industries grew in its place along with the services industry. At the same time, proximity to Birmingham turned it into a dormitory town for people working there. Nonetheless the history of needle making is remembered today in places such as the National Needle Museum in Redditch.
From London, take the M40 motorway and then continue west on the M42 motorway. Exit the M42 at Junction 2, then head south on the A441 road until you reach Redditch.
Sights & Attractions to visit in Redditch
- Arrow Valley Country Park
900-acre public park that includes the 30-acre Arrow Valley Lake.
- Bordesley Abbey
Remains of a 12th century Cistercian abbey attributed to Queen Maud. Today all that remains is the abbey’s foundation.
- National Needle Museum
Museum housed in the former Forge Mill. It provides an insight into this industry which Redditch dominated in the Victorian times.