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.
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.
One of the towns of Halesowen includes Stourbridge, famous for its Glass industry and the Stourbridge Lion locomotive, the first train to run in the USA in 1829. Stourbridge is a great place to live in and visit as well, with parks and pleasant suburbs. Situated on the edge of the area known as the "Black Country" and less than fifteen miles from Birmingham, Stourbridge has lovely countryside nearby, with villages such as Kinver, Churchill, Belbroughton and Clent just a few minutes drive away. Also, the Stourbridge Canal offers great walks or bike rides. Yet Stourbridge is both industrial and rural, and this contributes to its unique character.
Stourbridge town centre features many well preserved buildings and interesting specialist shops, while great pubs and restaurants make the town well worth a visit.