Monday 1 April 2024

West Midlands Places (13) : Halesowen

Halesowen is a market town in the west of the West Midlands though has been part of Shropshire and later Worcestershire in recent centuries prior to 1974. Halesowen is listed in the Domesday Book as Hala, it was renamed Halas Owen after the manor was given to the Welsh prince Dafydd ab Owain by King Henry II.

By the 1220s Halesowen was a market town and was listed as having a population of 600 in 1300CE. The town grew in the Industrial Revolution, becoming a centre for nail production. Coal mining was also important to the local economy, by the early 20th century Halesowen had 130 mines.

Halesowen became part of Worcestershire in 1844, being an exclave of Shropshire. The town centre was greatly redeveloped in the 1960s. However, retail in the town declined after the opening of the nearby Merry Hill Shopping Centre in the 1980s.