Halesowen is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, in the West Midlands, England.
Halesowen was a detached part of the county of Shropshire but was incorporated into Worcestershire in 1844 by the Counties (Detached Parts) Act. Since the local government reorganisation of 1974 it has formed a part of the West Midlands Metropolitan county and Conurbation, in the Dudley Metropolitan Borough, which it joined at the same time as neighbouring Stourbridge, which had also been in Worcestershire until that point.
Halesowen is located approximately 8 miles (13 km) southwest of central Birmingham at the edge of the West Midlands conurbation.
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 Birmingham is approximately 30 minutes away by car and reachable by the number 9 bus.
The centre of Halesowen is home to a Norman church, a football ground (where non-league Halesowen Town play) and Halesowen College of Further Education which was founded in 1939.
In 1974, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council identified six 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.
- Hayley Green
- Hill & Cakemore
Each of the suburbs above contain various neighbourhoods within them. Here are some:
- Huntlands Estate
- Haden Hill
- Hurst Green
- Manor Abbey
- Olive Hill
- Shenstone Valley
- Squirrels Estate
- Colley Gate
- Belle Vale
- Shell Corner
- Olive Hill
In the eastern part of Halesowen is Leasowes Park, which is considered to be one of the first natural landscape gardens in England. The 18th century poet William Shenstone designed the garden, beginning works in 1743 and continuing until his death in 1763, transforming existing farmland he had inherited after his parents’ death. Today, the parkland is Grade One Listed, as it is of national importance. The local theatre and a Wetherspoon’s public house are both named after William Shenstone as are at least two roads in the locality.
The Parish Church of St John the Baptist was founded by Roger de Montgomery and stands on the site of an even earlier Anglo-Saxon church. Several extensions have been made including the outer south aisle which was added in 1883 by John Oldrid Scott although there is still much evidence of the original Norman work. A Medieval cross stands in the churchyard, having previously stood in Great Cornbow until it was blown down by a gale in 1908.
Nearby are the ruins of Halesowen Abbey, founded in 1215 by Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester. The Dissolution of the Monasteries saw the Abbey pass into private hands in 1538. The Abbey was the subject of an archaeological evaluation by Birmingham Archaeology and is now owned and managed by English Heritage.
Most of the town centre was rebuilt in the 1960s to create a modern shopping area that incorporated a new library as well as many supermarkets and shops centred around the Cornbow Centre. This was refurbished in the late 1980s to create a covered shopping area.
In 2007–08, Halesowen underwent a £30 million regeneration of part of its town centre, which has included the construction of a new Asda supermarket located in the Cornbow Centre, together with a new multi-storey car park, a rebuilt bus station and improvements to the road layout.
There are currently 14 primary schools, 3 secondary schools and a further education college situated within the district of Halesowen.
Newfield Park Primary School primary school located in Halesowen, was built during the 1960s to serve the expanding local area of Hawne.
In 1972, when still a borough in its own right, Halesowen Council abolished the traditional infant and junior schools and replaced them with first schools for ages 5 to 9 and middle schools for the 9 to 13 age group, but this system was abolished in 1982 and reverted to the previous infant schools for 5 to 7 year olds and junior schools for ages 7 to 11. It was one of the first instances of three-tier education being abolished in favour of a return to traditional age ranges, though most areas which adopted the system have since reverted to the traditional age ranges.
The rest of the Dudley Metropolitan Borough consisted of 5–8 first and 8–12 middle schools (barring Stourbridge and Kingswinford, which had both retained the traditional 5–7 infant and 7–11 junior schools) until following the suit of Halesowen and reverting to the traditional ranges in 1990.
- Caslon Primary School
- Colley Lane Primary School
- Cradley Church of England Primary School
- Halesowen Church of England Primary School
- Hasbury Church of England Primary School
- Howley Grange Primary School
- Huntingtree Primary School
- Hurst Green Primary School
- Lapal Primary School
- Lutley Primary School
- Manor Way Primary School
- Newfield Park Primary School
- Olive Hill Primary School
- Our Lady and St. Kenelm Roman Catholic Primary School
- Tenterfields Primary School
Special needs school
- Halesbury Special School
- Windsor High School
- Leasowes High School
- Earls High School
- Halesowen College
- Windsor High School Sixth Form
Richmond Boys School and Walton Girls School were merged in September 1985 to form Windsor High School, a mixed 11-16 comprehensive school based at an expanded Richmond site, while the Walton site was annexed into Halesowen College until it was sold off for a housing development 18 years later.