Halesowen by Brian Clift
Halesowen by Brian Clift

The historic town of Halesowen is located just 9 miles from Birmingham city centre but is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Dating back as far as the 11th century, Halesowen is actually recorded as being larger than Birmingham in 1086! This heritage left a rich tapestry of landmarks including the ruins of a 13th century abbey and a Norman church at it’s heart. Just outside the centre is Leasowes Park, a lush green wonderland laid out by the 18th century poet William Shenstone. It’s believe to be one of the first natural landscaped gardens in Europe.

Halesowen was originally known as Hala (from the Anglo-Saxon word “halh”, meaning nook or remote valley). But was later awarded to Welsh Prince David Owen by King Henry II (1133 – 1189) when the former married the King’s sister. Later becoming known as Halas Owen.

During the 18th century Industrial Revolution, Halesowen developed rapidly by manufacturing nails and producing many mills for slitting and iron production. Coal mining had also been a key industry with Coombes Wood as the largest colliery in the town; at its peak in 1919 Halesowen had 130 working mines.

During the 1960s, the town centre underwent a vast redevelopment which saw most of the older buildings demolished. The main high street became pedestrianised and a shopping precinct (called “The Precinct”) was created. The precinct was later refurbished to include a roof and was renamed ‘The Cornbow Centre’ as it is today.

In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, Halesowen became part of the Dudley Metropolitan Borough.

A further upgrade to the town centre took place in 2007 and 2008, with a new Asda superstore opening in November 2008. During this time the main centre bus station was also developed through a £30 million upgrade project.

Sources include:


Dudley Council