|Residents||194,919 (as of 2001 Census )|
|ZIP code section||DY1, DY2|
|Part of the country||England|
|Metropolitan county||West Midlands|
Dudley is a town in the county of West Midlands in England . It had 83,727 inhabitants (2011) and is the administrative seat of the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley with more than 310,000 inhabitants. Dudley is located south of Wolverhampton and is the largest city in the Black Country . The town center has traditionally been an exclave of Worcestershire completely surrounded by Staffordshire . Because of this, it still belongs to the Diocese of Worcester today .
Dudley's history dates back to the early Middle Ages. The place name is a combination of the Old English word lēah "forest, forest clearing" with the personal name Dud (d) a and thus means something like "forest clearing of Dud (d) a". In the 8th century a fortification was built on a hill and a small village at the foot of the hill; both are mentioned in the Domesday Book .
The fortification was expanded into a castle in the 13th century. Dudley was significant enough to be able to send MPs to Parliament from 1295 onwards. Oliver Cromwell's troops destroyed the castle in 1647 during the English Civil War ; the remainder fell victim to a fire in 1750.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, Dudley grew rapidly with industrialization . In the surrounding mines were coal , iron ore , limestone and refractory clay mined. These raw materials were processed on the spot, making Dudley an industrial center. In addition to iron processing, the manufacture of glass , textiles and leather goods was predominant . Most branches of industry lost importance in the second half of the 20th century.
- The ruins of medieval Dudley Castle have also been home to the city's zoo since 1935 .
- Dudley is known for the huge, covered Merry Hill Shopping Center in the district of Brierley Hill, one of the largest and most popular shopping centers in the area.
- The Black Country Living Museum , an open-air museum that revives the past of mining and heavy industry, is well worth a visit .
- Sam Allardyce (* 1954), soccer player and coach
- John Haden Badley (1865–1967), educational reformist
- Jason Bonham (born 1966), drummer
- Duncan Edwards (1936-1958), football player
- Reanne Evans (* 1985), snooker player
- Lenny Henry (* 1958), comedian, actor and presenter
- Mick Hill (born 1980), pool player
- Dorothy Round (1908-1982), tennis player
- Frederick Herbert Torrington (1837–1917), organist, conductor, composer and music teacher
- James Whale (1889-1957), director
- Maurice V. Wilkes (1913-2010), computer scientist
- A.D. Mills: Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names. 2nd edition Oxford University Press, Oxford / New York 1998, p. 118.