Dudley, a town, parish, and parliamentary borough of Worcestershire, England, but locally comprised in Staffordshire, which entirely surrounds it; pop. in 1871, 43,781. The town stands on a hill about 8 m. W. N. W. of Birmingham, and contains four churches and a number of chapels. The charitable foundations, such as free schools, infirmaries, and industrial schools, are numerous. In addition to these it has a grammar school founded in the reign of Elizabeth, many literary and scientific societies, and a museum of natural curiosities. The neighborhood furnishes abundance of coal and almost inexhaustible supplies of iron. Iron founderies, blast furnaces, and iron mills are numerous, employing many thousand persons. The chief manufactures are chains, anvils, vises, fire irons, grates and fenders, edge tools, files, nails, and agricultural implements. There are also brass founderies, glass works, brick and cement works, tanneries, and an extensive brewery. The limestone quarries of the neighborhood are remarkable. The stone is usually excavated from the solid rock, leaving vast caverns, the roofs of which are supported by limestone pillars. One of these caverns is 2 m. long, and traversed by a canal by which the stone is conveyed away.
On an eminence near here are the ruins of a strong castle, said to have been built in the 8th century by Dudo, a Saxon prince. In 1644 it was garrisoned by a body of royalists under Col. Beaumont, and held out for three weeks against the parliamentary forces.