Willenhall is a typical Black Country manufacturing town, which unlike others has managed to retain its traditional atmosphere in this post-industrial era. Many of the lovely old buildings still survive, as does the only surviving intact Black Country shopping centre.

Although known for its once numerous lock and key manufacturers, there were large numbers of factories and workshops that produced a wide range of items. Luckily, enough of them have survived to retain the look and feel of a manufacturing town.

The town is home to our national lock museum, the Locksmith's House, which is an excellent place to visit. Exhibits include a local lockmaker's house, and workshop, and an important collection of old locks.

What follows is a description of the town's history, from it's earliest mention in the 8th century, to modern times. Throughout the centuries many changes have taken place during the area's transformation from extensive woodland to manufacturing giant, known throughout the world.

The Market Place in 1904.

The story is told in the following parts:

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