The former public library is one of the oldest buildings in Oldbury and stands opposite the modern offices of Sandwell Council. Now a grade II listed building, it was erected in 1816 as a Court of Requests. The premises included a gaol, with cells for male and female prisoners. The prison régime was severe. In July 1820, an order was issued that ‘no kinds of provisions, ale, spirits or drinkables be allowed to be received or taken into the prisoners for their use of any description whatever, except a loaf of bread weighing 1lb for each person per day’.
An illustration and text about Sir John Dudley.
The text reads: During Henry VIII reign Sir John Dudley had risen to become Lord Admiral. He later acted as Lord Protector to Henry’s sickly son Edward. Sir John Dudley was later executed for trying to install Lady Jane Grey as Queen.
An illustration and text about Elizabeth Fraser.
The text reads: After leaving her ancestral home in Scotland, Elizabeth Fraser inherited Oldbury Manor when she was 82 years old. She was Lady of the Manor for only eight years.
An illustration and text about Frank Skinner.
The text reads: Frank Skinner was born Christopher Graham Collins in 1957. He is a writer, comedian and actor and is best known for TV presenting alongside David Baddiel.
An illustration and text about Sir John Frederick Bridge.
The text reads: Sir John Frederick Bridge was born in Oldbury in 1844. He became known as Westminster Bridge for his long stint as organist at Westminster. He composed music for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee and was knighted in 1897.
An illustration and text about Jack Judge.
The text reads: Jack Judge was born in Oldbury in 1872. He became a popular music hall entertainer in his forties and was well known worldwide for his wartime success of Tipperary.
A warning for customers on the floor!
Some of the original rooms and features are still in good condition today.
These include cells and the court room.
External photograph of the building – main entrance.
Extract from Wetherspoon News Summer 2018.
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