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HALESOWEN, Shropshire

"HALESOWEN, a parish, post, and market town, partly in the lower division of the hundred of Halfshire, county Worcester, and partly in the Halesowen division of the hundred of Brimstree, county Salop, 7½ miles S.W. of Birmingham, 4½ E. of Stourbridge, and 5 S. of Dudley. The parish, which is very considerable both in extent and population, is situated in a vale watered by the river Stour, which has its source in the neighbouring hills. The North-Western railway and the Dudley canal pass in the vicinity. The manufacture of steel is extensively carried on at Congreaves, and there are some coal-pits in the parish. It contains the townships of Cradley, St. Kenelm, Langley, Oldbury, Hill, Hasbury, and eleven other townships The manor was given by John to the Bishop of Winchester, who built a Premonstratensian priory here, the remains of which are still visible. Its revenue at the Dissolution was returned at £33715s. 6d. The town of Halesowen is said to have been formerly a borough, though it does not appear to have returned members to parliament. It consists principally of one street, with several cross streets, irregularly built. It is well paved and lighted with gas, and has many good houses and shops. Gun-barrels, anchors, anvils, edge tools, spades, &c., are extensively manufactured. Petty sessions are held at the New Inn every Wednesday. The police station was erected in 1847. The soil is chiefly clay and loam. There are lime and brick kilns, and red sandstone is quarried. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Worcester, value £680. The church, dedicated to SS. Mary and John the Evangelist, is an ancient structure, with a fine tower crowned with a spire, and containing eight bells. In the interior are tombs of Shenstone the poet, and of Miss Powell, with an epitaph by Shenstone. The church stands within the churchyard at the N.W. side of the town, and was thoroughly restored in 1838. In addition to the parish church there are five district churches, viz: at Oldbury, St. Kenelm, Romsley, Cradley, The Quinton, and Langley, the livings of which are all perpetual curacies* varying in value from £156 to £116. The charities produce about £271 per annum. The Independents, Primitive and New Conne ion Methodists, have each a place of worship. There are free grammar, National, infant, and Sunday schools. The Grange is the principal residence. Lord Lyttelton is lord of the manor. In 1804 an earthen vessel containing many valuable Roman coins, was discovered at Cakemoor, but a few only were preserved. Several celebrated men have been natives of this parish, as Shenstone the poet, whose paternal estate was Leasowes. The grottoes where he studied are still to be seen at Birchill House. Dr. Adam Littleton, author of the Latin Dictionary, and William Caslon, the celebrated type-founder, were also born here. Market day is Saturday, and a fair is held on Easter Monday and Tuesday."

"CAKEMORE, a township in the parish of Halesowen, formerly in the hundred of Brimstree, in the county of Salop, but now in the hundred of Halfshire, in the county of Worcester, not far from Hales Owen."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2012

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[Last updated at 10.51 on Wednesday, 05 March 2014, by Mel Lockie. ©2012]