The Doharty Plan of Kidderminster


Note the unusual orientation chosen for compass directions:

North points towards the top left of the plan.


The Title  reads:

An Exact Plan of
 surveyed by John Doharty Junr. in 
 in which the NEW STREETS are inserted as intended to be Built.
This Plan is with sincere gratitude humbly inscrib'd To the the Right honble Lord Foley.
By his Lordships most humble 
and most obedient servant.
John Doharty Junr.

In fact, the plan is by no means exact, particularly in respect to the streets in the vicinity and to the East of St Mary's Church. Thus, Orchard Street is shown as a through road from the top of Hall St to Blackwell (Black Star St) whereas it never has run straight through, and in the present day still accesses Blackwell Street via the dog leg of Rack Hill. Many streets planned by Foley were not built for many years, or not at all. Also the direction that Hurcott Road takes with respect to the road to Stourbridge an the other street is clearly incorrect. 

Nevertheless, many interesting features concerning the town at this date can be discerned including: the name for the Horsefair triangular area – 'Whorwoods Shipton', the site of the Market Cross at the bottom of High Street, the 'pound' near the top of Church Street, the site of the original 'Work House' in 'Vicars' Street, a schematic representation of 'Caldwald' Hall and much else.

description of the Town included on the map reads:

KIDDERMINSTER in the Lat. of 52o.28' an Ancient and now Populous Town in the county of WORCESTER, which sent members to Parliament, the Bissets were Lords of it: John Beauchamp Steward of the Houshold to King Richard The 2d was created by that Monarch, Baron of Kidderminster.  Queen Anne by Letters Patent bearing date Decem.1.1711, was pleased to Advance Thomas Foley of  Whiteley Court (at that time member for Stafford who by his Travels had acquired great knowledge) To the dignity of a Peer, by the Title of Lord Foley of Kidderminster.
   The Town is Govern'd by a Bayliff who is a Justice in the Borough, 12 Capital Burgesses, and 25 Common Council,  the Market on Thursdays, the Fairs Holy Thursday, 9 days after Whitsunday, and St Bartholomew.
  The Church dedicated to All Saints is well built, consisting of a large Nave and two Isles, the Chancel in its dimensions is equal to the choir of some Cathedrals, in which Sr Willm Conye, the Cookes's,  and the Blunts Honourable Families are interred; the Vicarage in the Gift of The truely Noble Lord of this Town.
  The Inhabitants are in No. 4000, who employ 1000 Looms, they are very Industrious and a Spirit of Ingenuity appears in the great variety and Paterns of their Stuffs and Carpets, in the first of which they equal the Irish, and in the latter the Wilton; add to this the advantages derived from the River Stour (altho' not Navigable) whose water is accounted equal to the Stroud Water for dyeing Colours in Grain, they are sincerely Honest in keeping up the Staple of all the sorts of Goods they make, which alone will support their Trade.  The Sabbath is in no place more Strictly kept than in this Town, this may be the cause of many Blessings, that appear among them, may their merit always find encouragement, both at Home & abroad. The Famous  Mr Richard Baxter was a Teacher in this Place, being fond of a retired Life, but could not conceal himself, he was respected by Foreigners, as well as Natives of the best Quality: towards ye decline of life, he kept an Academy here and died 1691. 

  The Free School, Work House and Alms Houses, are suited to the different Ages, and wants of the Poor, that apply with desert.


The maps are available to view and download (for non-commercial purposes)

Various alternatives are available:

A. The whole plan. Of limited quality and detail

B. 3 rows and 3 columns of overlapping sections of the plan which show good quality of detail. The 9 sections were recorded by hand held photography and will vary a little in size and scale.

C. 5 selected areas where the quality of detail is much better than in B:-

(i) 'Caldwald' Tower

(ii) The area of near to St Mary's Church

(iii) Town centre: Bull Ring, High Street, 'Vicars' Street

(iv) Town centre: stretching south of 'Vicars' Street

(v) 'Vicars' Street near bottom of High Street: 'Work house', 'Kings Arms Alley'

Access to these various copies of the plan is via the links given below:


 The Whole Plan

B. The plan in nine overlapping sections.

You may access the individual sections by clicking 

individual  pictures.




Alternatively use the Links  in this list:

Section 1: Top Left

Section 2: Top Middle

Section 3: Top Right

Section 4: Middle Left

Section 5. Middle Middle

Section 6. Middle right

Section 7. Bottom Left

Section 8. Bottom Middle

Section 9. Bottom Right

C.  A few selected areas


 Caldwall Tower


Near St Mary's Church


 Town centre Bull Ring - Vicars St


 Town centre south of (iii)


 Work House & Kings Arms Alley

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