Amblecote Early Inhabitants


Defining the earliest inhabitants of any area is difficult, especially in England where so many different groups of humans have existed over geological time. It is certain than early proto-humans - well before the last ice-age - lived in the English Midlands, as determined by finds of rare stone tools, although none of these have been discovered in Amblecote. However, we can be fairly certain that the first modern, post ice-age, people to live in the area were migrants from the ice-free 'refuges' of southern and central Europe, who, as the climate slowly improved, trekked along the then contiguous coast of western europe and across the forested hinterlands. Who first settled the area of Amblecote we cannot say, except that numerous finds of stone tools slightly to the south indicates that by the neolithic period the area was a crossroads of trade and must have had permanent residents. The first definate sign of settlement however - and it is a magnificent one - is an iron-age earthwork situated on Wychbury Hill slightly to the south of Amblecote. Guarding the upper Severn Valley, there is evidence to suggest that the high ground of Amblecote may itself have possessed a further outlying 'fort'. The Romans certainly controlled, even if they did not directly occupy the area, as evidenced by a Roman road and marching camp to the west; their interest in the minerals of what later became South Staffordshire pre-dating the Industrial Revolution by over a thousand years.