The communities of Blythe Bridge, Blythe Marsh and Forsbrook are located in North Staffordshire and South East of Stoke on Trent. One hundred years ago they were three separate villages about three-quarters of a mile apart. Blythe Marsh and Blythe Bridge developed along the old Roman Road which later became the A50 and consisted mainly of farmhouses. However in the 18th Century the road was improved to become a Turnpiked Road and two coaching inns were established – The White Cock and The Black Cock. As this became the main road to the North West of England, inns, stables, blacksmith’s shops as well as cottages and shops developed along what is now known as Uttoxeter Road.
Blythe Bridge was of course named after the stone bridge spanning the River Blythe which was built in the late 18th century. Blythe Marsh was absorbed by Blythe Bridge and now only the local primary school keeps the name alive. Blythe Marsh was located just South East along Uttoxeter Road from The Duke of Wellington Public House.
Forsbrook, although seemingly part of Blythe Bridge has been in existence for much longer. It is in fact recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book and developed around a village square through which a brook flows.
Over the centuries the villages were agricultural and were surrounded by farms and cottages. This continued until the arrival of the Industrial Revolution when the nearby pottery towns attracted many residents to the rapidly growing factories of the Potteries. It was probably at this time, with the development of the Stoke to Derby Railway line in 1848 that the larger villa type houses were built along Cheadle Road and Uttoxeter Road to house the factory owners and managers who wished to escape the pollution of the factory towns. Blythe House was built at this time and was in fact owned by Charles Harvey, a pottery manufacturer from Longton.
In recent years Blythe Bridge and Forsbrook have increased in size and have now merged into one community. It now consists of 1342 acres and approximately 12,000 people.
Old photographs of Forsbrook and Blythe Bridge can be viewed by clicking on http://www.staffspasttrack.org.uk and inputting in the ‘Quick Search’ Box (Top right hand corner of the web page) Forsbrook.
You can then use your chosen photographs to make your own album. Have fun!
Below are copies of old postcards of Blythe Bridge and Forsbrook.