The area originally formed part of the eastern boundary of Wolverhampton and was occupied by Grimstone Farm and an area of wet and boggy fields. Housing first appeared at Springfield in 1858 to 59 when speculative building led to the development of Bagnal Street, Bridge Street, Culwell Street, Field Street, and Junction Street, which were mainly filled with rows of terraced houses.

By the 1870s much of the area bordered by Stafford Street and Broad Street (originally Canal Street), known as Carribee Island was full of tightly packed, disease-ridden, overcrowded tenements. Much of the housing in Old Lichfield street also consisted of slum properties. The Conservative Government of the day Passed the Artisans’ Dwelling Act in 1875 to enable towns like Wolverhampton to demolish the slum areas and replace them with better accommodation for the working classes.

As a result of the Act, land was purchased at Springfield for new a new housing development and within a few years Grimstone Farm was surrounded on three sides by houses. Springfield is also known for its Brewery which appeared in 1873 as William Butler’s Springfield Brewery. Butlers had operated for many years from their Priestfield Brewery in John Street, but by the 1870s their well began to run dry. The move was made to Springfield because of a plentiful supply of good water and the adjacent railway line. By 1874 the Brewery was fully operational.

The entrance to the brewery in Cambridge Street.

All of the photographs of the brewery were taken in 2003, about 12 months before the disastrous fire.

A view of the brewery as seen from Culwell Street looking towards Grimstone Street.

The area in the foreground was once occupied by some of the early terraced houses.

A view down Grimstone Street showing some of the brewery's fine buildings.
Another look through the brewery entrance in Cambridge Street.
Springfield’s terraced houses remained until the late 1950s and early 1960s when they were demolished. New flats were built on the Cannock Road and the Wednesfield Road, and after years of dereliction, modern housing estates, and industrial units appeared where the old houses once stood, completely changing the character of much of the area.
The Freemasons Arms in Water Street.

A fine old-fashioned pub.

The other side of the Freemasons Arms in Hilton Street.
In 1960 the brewery was taken over by Mitchells and Butler of Cape Hill Birmingham. Brewing continued at Springfield until 1991 when the brewery closed. During the early years of this century several schemes were proposed for the redevelopment of the site, but sadly nothing happened until Sunday 15th August, 2004 when the brewery was the victim of an arson attack, which resulted in severe damage to many of the buildings. Unfortunately there were other arson attacks and the future of the buildings looked uncertain. The site was finally made secure, and now restoration and redevelopment work is well underway, and the buildings can look forward to a bright future.

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