Rowley Regis


Rowley Regis

Infobox UK place
official_name= Rowley Regis
country= England
region= West Midlands
population=
os_grid_reference= SO9687
latitude= 52.48
longitude= -2.06
post_town= ROWLEY REGIS
postcode_area= B
postcode_district= B65
dial_code= 0121
constituency_westminster= Halesowen and Rowley Regis
metropolitan_borough= Sandwell
metropolitan_county= West Midlands

Rowley Regis is a town in the Sandwell metropolitan borough of the West Midlands county, and a part of the Black Country in the United Kingdom. Being part of the Black Country, locals speak with the traditional dialect, though in a form which is regarded by many as the quickest and the hardest to understand.

History

It started life centuries ago as a small village which surrounded the parish church of St Giles. It began to develop as a town between the two world wars, when thousands of privately owned and local authority houses were built in the surrounding area. During that time, Rowley Regis expanded to coalesce with Blackheath, Old Hill and Cradley Heath. These places were all within the ancient parish of Rowley Regis, which (despite being in Staffordshire) was in the diocese of Worcester. The parish contained the manors of Rowley Regis and Rowley Somery, the latter being part of the barony of Dudley, but the extents of these manors and the relationship between them are not clear.

The village sits on Rowley Hill which makes up part of the Rowley Hills famed for the quarrying of Rowley Rag Stone.

The present St Giles Church on Church Road is not the first church. It was designed by Holland W. Hobbiss and A. S. Dixon and was built in 1923. ["The Buildings of England: Worcestershire", Nikolaus Pevsner, 1963 p89] The previous church, built in 1904 was burned down in 1913 by arsonists. Prior to that, the original church, built in 1840, was found to be unsafe and condemned in 1900.

In 1966, Rowley Regis borough merged with the borough of Oldbury and Smethwick county borough to form Warley County Borough and became part of Worcestershire. Eight years later in 1974, on the formation of the West Midlands Metropolitan county, Warley merged with West Bromwich County Borough to form Sandwell Metropolitan Borough. It is now right in the core of the West Midlands conurbation.

Rowley Regis railway station opened in 1867.

The town's grammar school was opened on Hawes Lane in September 1962, however in 1974 the site continued to function, but as Rowley Regis 6th Form College, the last intake of grammar school pupils having been inducted the previous year. The building itself closed in 2003 to become part of Dudley College, who used it as a campus until 2004. The building was demolished over the winter of 2007/2008 and the site is to be redeveloped as the new St Michael's Church of England High School, which is set to open in about 2010 to replace the existing 1960s structure on Throne Road.Well known former pupils at the Grammar School were Pete Williams (original bass player with 80's group Dexy's Midnight Runners) and actress Josie (born Wendy) Lawrence

Neighbourhoods

* Rowley Village
* Blackheath
* Whiteheath
* Lion Farm
* Portway
* Ross
* Brickhouse Farm
* Lodgefields
* The Green

Famous residents

* Carlton Palmer - Former England and Sheffield Wednesday F.C. footballer (photographed below when he was Stockport County's player-manager in the early 2000s).

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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