Sedgley historian looks to unearth history of The Limes

the limes-sedgley-ron-baker
A drawing by Ron Baker, of The Limes as it might have looked in its Victorian heyday.

A Sedgley historian is appealing to local residents to get in touch with any information relating to landmark property, The Limes, which was the former residence of famous Black Country chainmaker, Eliza Tinsley.

The early Victorian house, located on the corner of Dudley Road and Catholic Lane, is currently being turned into flats after standing empty for many years. And, to help future generations and prospective buyers learn more about this iconic building’s history,  Dudley Council  has asked Martin Jones to help gather information and photos from local people to produce an interpretation panel explaining its history.

Piecing together the history of The Limes

Martin, who organised the popular exhibition ‘Sedgley’s Diamond 60’ last year to coincide with the Queen’s Jubilee, says:  “We want local residents who may have lived or worked at The Limes since the war to come forward so we can piece together this historic building’s recent story.”

The Limes was built by the Tinsleys in around 1851, shortly before Thomas Tinsley died, probably from cholera. His wife Eliza carried on the family business, expanding it dramatically to the point where she employed over 4,000 outworkers in Cradley Heath in 1871.

Researchers have traced subsequent owners up to World War II, but its more recent past is sketchy. During the war it was used by firewatchers, Air Raid Patrol and the Auxiliary Fire Service, and during the 1960s by Sedgley Urban District Council as offices, until the abolition of the authority. After that a computer company rented it before it was vacated and became derelict.

Martin can be contacted on 07947 068023 or


2 thoughts on “Sedgley historian looks to unearth history of The Limes

  1. Hi THanks for putting this on. One or two interesting facts have emerged: there is a suggestion that from 1929-1936 it might have been a Catholic seminary associated with St Chad’s across the road. We’re trying to verify this with the Archdiocese. From 1936 it was owned by Sedgley Urban District Council. After use by Fire Watchers and ARP during WW2, after the war part of it was in use as Sedgley Fire Station. A firm of architects occupied the main building from 1947 and a gentleman called Vince Cartwright rented part the tower as offices from 1951. Atkins undertakers.ran the town’s mortuary on ground owned by The Limes where the 3 new houses now stand at the top of Catholic Lane. .

  2. More feedback – In the 1960s it housed the Public Health Department for Dudley MBC.
    The mortuary stood in front of it and the parks department used the rear premises and greenhouses. The Fire Station was situated in the coach house at one side and the grooms cottage was occupied by the only retained fireman.
    The basement contained an apparatus operated by bicycle to generate electricity which drove an air filtration system.This dated back to the time when it was an air raid shelter for the fire brigade.
    The observatory, at the top of the building was used by the rodent control operatives and was known as ‘The rat tower’. On top of this was an air raid siren.

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