The industrial town of Walsall is some 8 miles to the northwest of Birmingham and has historically been part of Staffordshire. Walsall has been home to many industries from metal working to coal mining to the leather trade. In fact, it is still responsible for producing the Royal Family’s leather sandals, the Queen’s handbags and leather products for the Price of Wales. The town provides a lot of opportunities for investors because it is in Central England, not to mention it has the M6 passing right through the Borough, making transportation convenient. This town is still developing with projects such as the Walsall College, redevelopment of the Walsall Manor Hospital and the Waterfront South generating more popularity for the region.
The first mention of Walsall is presumed to be in 1002 in a document that referenced ‘Walesho,’ which was assumed to be a clerical error. In the 13th century, Walsall had already grown into a small market town, and by the 14th century, the position of mayor was introduced. In 1554 the Queen Mary’s Grammar School was founded. It was during the 16th century that the town of Walsall truly boomed when the industrial revolution brought several industries to the region. The town produced various products, including plated ware, chains and saddles. An 1824 Act of Parliament gave the Walsall Corporation permission to build a gasworks and lighting to enhance the town.
The 1848 Walsall Improvement and Market Act made it possible to provide the poor with basic facilities and extend the sewerage system. Over the years, Walsall experienced steady development that consisted of modern facilities like shopping centres, theatres and museums. Walsall ceased to be part of Staffordshire County in 1974 when it was moved to the West Midlands metropolitan county. The town houses several large businesses and is undergoing redevelopment to improve its suitability as an investment hub.
The Walsall Arboretum is the town’s pride with its two boating lakes, paddling pool for children, playgrounds and tennis courts. One event that made the arboretum a popular attraction was the yearly illumination event where bulbs were hung from trees. Walsall New Art Gallery presents a rich collection of artwork from famous names like Monet, Constable and Van Gogh. To learn more about the leather-making heritage of the region, the Leather Museum is a must-see. The Walsall Museum is another site to visit for cultural enlightening. Manor House Museum is a timber-framed manor built in 1270. The Moseley old Hall was King Charles II’s hideout in 1651, and the knot garden at the front of the farmhouse is an interesting sight. For ancient archaeological sites, Letocetum allows free entry to see the Roman ruins and artefacts.
Walsall provides various educational institutions such as academies, grammar schools and comprehensives for the residents. It is also the location of the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Education and the Sports and Arts Campus. Walsall College has three locations that provide higher education course. The area has several churches and Islamic centres to serve the diverse denominations that characterise the population of Walsall.
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