Near Wolverhampton in the West Midlands Bilston dates back to the 10th century and until industrialisation in the late-18th and early-19th centuries was mainly rural. Blast furnaces at Bilston Steel Works were producing huge quantities of steel each year, and with electric blast furnaces following in the 20th century output increased to more than a quarter of a million tonnes of steel per year. New factories and mining transformed the town, as did the opening of the Birmingham Canal, and the population increased greatly. In recent years the area, however, has suffered hugely from industrial decline. Places to visit in the town include St. Leonard's church, rebuilt in the 19th century, and the Bilston Craft Gallery, where a glimpse into the area's fascinating local history can be quickly gleaned.