Halesowen

Halesowen

Halesowen, city (1991 pop. 57,533), Dudley metropolitan district, central England. Listed in the Domesday Book as Hala, Halesowen manufactures machine tools, electronic equipment, and bricks. The city also has steel and iron plants. Halesowen was the birthplace of the printer William Caslon and the poet William Shenstone.
Halesowen is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, in the West Midlands, England.

The population, as measured by the United Kingdom Census 2001, was 57,918. Halesowen is included in the Halesowen and Rowley Regis constituency and is currently held by the Labour party through Sylvia Heal.

Geography and administration

Halesowen is a part of the West Midlands metropolitan county and conurbation, in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley. Halesowen is located approximately ten miles (16 km) to the southwest of Birmingham at the edge of the industrial Midlands.

Although predominantly urban or suburban in character, Halesowen borders on green belt land, with excellent access to the countryside, for example the Clent Hills. It has extensive road links including junction 3 of the M5 motorway, which allow easy commuting to Birmingham, other areas of the Black County or nationwide.

The centre of Halesowen is home to a Norman church, a football ground (where non-league Halesowen Town F.C. play) and a College of Further Education which was founded in 1939.

Most of the housing stock in Halesowen is privately owned and was built in the 30 years which followed the end of World War II, although some parts of the town are still made up of Victorian and Edwardian terraced houses. The town centre was almost completely rebuilt during the 1960s.

Suburbs

In 1974, Dudley Metroploitan Borough identified 6 historical suburbs, within Halesowen, which they signed accordingly with a series of gateway signs. In addition to the Town Centre, these are listed below. A separate sign for Illey was added many years later.

Neighbourhoods

Each of the suburbs above contain various neighbourhoods within them. Here are some.

History

Halesowen was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as being larger than Birmingham. Until the 13th century, it was known as Halas, until it was gifted by King Henry II to Welsh Prince David Owen and became known as Halas-Owen; in modern times it has always been called Halesowen. The parish of Halesowen, which incorporated other townships later to become independent parishes, was an exclave of the county of Shropshire, but grew to become a town and was transferred to the jurisdiction of Worcestershire by the Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844. Included in the boundaries was the ancient village of Brettle.

In the 1220s, Halesowen had a market and fair and by 1270, it had been granted a charter of liberties by its lord, the Premonstratensian abbey of Halesowen. By 1300, it is estimated that the population was around 600. The court rolls for Halesowen survive to 1272 and show that the majority of migrants to Halesowen in the 14th century were women at 75%. Little was done to remove them and many went on to become small retailers in the area.

Halesowen became the centre of a poor law union in the 19th century, which later became established as a rural sanitary district and later the Halesowen Rural District in 1894. Oldbury was included into the area of Halesowen under an Act of 1829. With increasing urbanisation of the area, in the early 20th century, it became the Halesowen Urban District in 1925, and obtained a grant of charter to become a municipal borough in 1936.

In the 18th century, Halesowen became industrialised as a result of the Industrial Revolution. The manufacture of nails was the staple trade in the town and many mills were used for slitting and iron production. Dating to 1893, Coombes Wood was the largest colliery in the town. At it's peak in 1919, Halesowen had 130 working mines.

Halesowen was once served by a railway line - in reality two lines which met at an end-on junction at the station. The first was a branch of the Great Western Railway from Old Hill to Halesowen, opened in 1878, followed in 1883 by a section jointly owned by the Great Western and the Midland Railway (though worked mostly by the latter), linking the town with Northfields on the Midland's Birmingham to Bristol main line, with intermediate stations at Rubery, Hunnington, and a workmen's' halt at Longbridge serving the car factories (not to be confused with the present Longbridge station). Being largely rural in character, the line failed to attract much traffic and regular passenger services ended between Halesowen and Northfields as far back as 1919, and between Old Hill and Halesowen in 1927, though the workmen's trains continued to serve Longbridge until 1960.

In the eastern part of Halesowen is Leasowes Park which was originally a garden owned by the 18th century poet William Shenstone. The local theatre and a Wetherspoon's pub are both named after him. Nearby are the ruins of Halesowen Abbey.

The outer south aisle of St. John the Baptist Church was added in 1883 by John Oldrid Scott.

In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, it was incorporated into the new Dudley Metropolitan Borough, in the metropolitan county of West Midlands.

Halesowen town centre and bus station are undergoing a major transformation at the moment, Asda are in the process of building a massive store on the site of the old bus station.

Economy

The principal industry of Halesowen was traditionally nail making, an industry that was performed on a small scale individually in the backyards of a large number of nail makers. Halesowen also had, along with most other areas of the Black Country, a large number of above and underground coal mines. In more recent years, the arrival of a junction of the motorway network allowed Halesowen to attract a number of large organisations to the town.

Sandvik's UK headquarters are based here as well as Somer's Forge and the Mucklow Group.

Security Design Centre, one of the United Kingdom's largest burglar alarm manufacturers, is based in Halesowen.

Education

Primary schools

Secondary schools

Higher education

Former schools

  • Halesowen Grammar School
  • Hawne County Primary School
  • Holt Farm Primary School
  • Walton Girls School
  • Richmond Boys School
  • Greenhill Middle School
  • Cradley High School

Media

Halesowen is served by local editions of two regional evening papers, the Birmingham based Evening Mail and the Wolverhampton based Express & Star. There are two weekly local newspapers, the Halesowen News and the Halesowen Chronicle.

The Halesowen area is served by commercial and BBC radio stations broadcasting from Wolverhampton, Birmingham as well as from within Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Shropshire. Radio stations serving the area are Kerrang! 105.2, Galaxy, 96.4 BRMB, Beacon Radio and Heart FM.

Leisure

Halesowen has a football team, non-league Halesowen Town F.C., as well as cricket and golf clubs. Halesowen is home to two Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Good Beer Guide listed pubs, the Hawne Tavern and the Waggon and Horses, both of which have won the local CAMRA branch pub of the year accolade in 2005 and 2006 respectively. The Waggon and Horses has further won the West Midlands County Pub of the Year award for 2006, beating pubs from the Black Country, Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry. The Somer's Sports and Social Club is likewise Good Beer Guide listed and has regularly won the title of CAMRA Club of the Year.

Halesowen is the base for two amateur dramatic societies - Startime Variety (pantomime in January at the Shenstone Theatre, musical shows in June at the Leasowes Theatre) and Mayham Theatre Company (comedies and dramas, normally two shows per year at the Leasowes Theatre).

Halesowen Jazz Club holds fortnightly concerts on Sundays (except in Summer) at Halesowen Cricket Club (licensed premises), usually featuring Trad and New Orleans Jazz.

Halesowen Boardgamers Club play adult-oriented board and card games (German and American games such as Settlers of Catan, Acquire, Carcassonne) each Wednesday evening at Halesowen Conservative Club (licensed premises).

The Halesowen Scout Band are based in the town and rehearse and perform there regularly.

The Cycling Section at Halesowen Athletic and Cycling club ranks in British Cycling's top 30. It has a very strong Youth programme with several current National Champions.

Notable residents

References

External links

Search another word or see halesowenon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature