🏴 Smethwick is an industrial town in Sandwell, West Midlands, England, historically in Staffordshire. It lies four miles west of Birmingham city centre, and borders West Bromwich and Oldbury to the north and west. Formerly a Staffordshire county borough, Smethwick is situated near the edge of Sandwell metropolitan borough and borders the Birmingham districts of Handsworth, Winson Green, Harborne, Edgbaston and Quinton to the south and east, as well as the Black Country towns of West Bromwich and Oldbury in the north and west.
Industry and commerce Until the end of the 18th century, Smethwick was largely rural, with farming as the main industry. The route of the canal, passing through the valley of the Hockley Brook, the boundary with Handsworth on the north side of Smethwick, resulted in most of the heavy industry being located there. The railway was opened in 1852.
The Soho Foundry, opened in 1796 by James Watt and Matthew Boulton, trading as Boulton, Watt & Sons, was built to produce complete steam engines to Watt's designs. Waste dumped from the foundry gave rise to the name Black Patch to the field to the east. The Soho Foundry is now the headquarters of the Avery Company. One of Smethwick's significant industrial enterprises of the 19th century was the Fox, Henderson Company33] which built the steel structure for the Crystal Palace in 1851. The site of the London Works was cleared to build the new Midland Metropolitan University Hospital. Richard Tangye was a notable builder of steam engines in the late 19th century. Mitchells & Butlers opened a brewery on Cape Hill in 1879. Charles Carr opened a bell-foundry in the town in 1891, which cast bells for many churches including John's Lane (Dublin), Castle Bromwich Church, Stoke Bliss and Astley, Worcestershire.
The courier company Interlink Express established its head office and national distribution hub in the town in the early 2000s, and is a major employer in the area. The Smethwick Heritage Centre museum maintains a collection of material on Smethwick's industrial and social heritage.
Smethwick has a population of over 53,653 people. Smethwick also forms one of the centres of the wider Birmingham metropolitan area which has a population of over 3,683,000 people.
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