Famous consulting engineer. When the Act of Union between England and Ireland was passed in 1801, it gave the Irish the right to send 100 MPs to Parliament.
The majority crossed from Dublin to Holyhead, following the old road to London. But many complained bitterly about the state of the road at Tettenhall Hill – the present Old Hill and Upper Street. In two separate accidents, two horses were killed at and near the Ivy House.
The hill was described as one of the worst on the entire road.
After considering many different schemes, Telford and his contemporaries – despite a diversity of opinions and many setbacks – eventually decided to cut through the rock and produce the much less steep and direct route through Tettenhall, now the A41, that we see today. [/one_half_last]
Another highly influential Tettenhall family, famously headed by the unforgettable Lt Colonel Thomas Thorneycroft. They made their fortune in two great iron works in Walsall Street known as The Shrubbery and Swan Garden.
G B Thorneycroft, the colonel’s father, was the company founder who also became Wolverhampton’s first mayor in 1848. But it was his son, the buyer of Tettenhall Towers, who became arguably one of the village’s most eccentrically famous residents.
The Colonel was variously described as a man whose fertile imagination, individual point of view, broad and ready wit and energetic language meant that he would not readily be forgotten.
He ran Tettenhall Towers – now owned by Tettenhall College – between 1851 and his death in 1903.
Having eventually sold his father’s iron foundries, he bought and sold land on a large scale, owning or leasing at various times: Tettenhall Towers, Tong Castle, Pepperhill Park, Albrington Mill, Bylet Island in Bridgnorth, Gorsty Hayes, and Hadley Park near Wellington.
He was also a magistrate in Wolverhampton and Shropshire as well as High Sheriff of Staffordshire and Deputy Lord Lieutenant.
His great military moment came when he commanded the mounted detachment of Yeomanry during Queen Victoria’s visit to Wolverhampton in 1866.
The Colonel did a lot of good work with many charities and good causes, and chaired the Royal Hospital’s board of governors for many years.
He was asked on many occasions by Derby and Disraeli to stand for Parliament for the Conservative Party, but it was in his home – Tettenhall Towers, with its extensive theatre stage – that the Colonel felt most comfortable.
The Colonel was a vigorous campaigner to secure better public health facilities.
He was a great inventor of water closets, central heating and drainage systems.
Not long before his death, a journalist described the Colonel in verse:
He is an English Squire,
No better one in England, no title that is higher
In every act of charity he’s always to the fore
He is an English gentleman and praise can say no more
There are but few to equal him, excel him? No one can.
A poet, a musician, a soldier and a man.
Vicar of Tettenhall in the mid 1500’s.
See Henry Harley Fowler