Why Is Rowley Regis Popular?
Situated in the county of the West Midlands, Rowley Regis is a historic parish and former municipal borough in the Black Country region of Sandwell, encompassing the Sandwell council wards of Blackheath, Cradley Heath & Old Hill, and Rowley. The town got its name from Anglo-Saxon origin, with ‘Rowley’ translating as a derivative of ‘the rough wood or clearing’ from the Olde English pre-7th century ‘ruh’ meaning rough and ‘leah’ meaning wood, while ‘Regis’ refers to a tribal king of the era.
An area steeped in history, the town can be traced back as early as the 12th century, where a small village grew around the parish church of St Giles. The present church that remains today is not the original St Giles Church - the church built during 1840 was condemned in 1900 for being too unsafe, and the church built after that in 1904 was burned down just nine years later, with some believing the fire to have been started by Suffragettes or local striking steelworkers. The church that remains today was built during 1923, designed by Holland W. Hobbies and A. S. Dixon.
Rowley Regis was originally part of the Royal hunting grounds, with Regis being added to the area’s name during 1140 to show that it now belonged to the King. There is also evidence that Rowley Regis was home to a Roman occupation, as Roman coins have been found at Hawes, Hills, and Cakemore that are thought to have been buried during 70 AD.
The area saw huge growth around the 19th century, incorporating more communities into a borough with housebuilding accelerating substantially in both the public and private sectors. Home to a large number of schools and institutions, Rowley Regis’ grammar school taught famous pupils Pete Williams and Josie Lawrence, and the town is also the birthplace of well-known footballers Scott Liam Malone and Carlton Palmer.