Rieulay is a mining town suburban areas under the influence of the industrial sector Somain-Pecquencourt but is also a rural town in the valley of the Scarpe its boundary with the mining area.
The village opens to Marchiennes a feature of the wet valley agricultural and natural area classified as an area of ecological interest flora and fauna, justifying his membership in the Regional Natural Park Scarpe Escaut.
This town also has on its territory the largest flat heap of Nord-Pas-de-Calais with 140 ha.
Locality Rieulay existed long before the year 800 through a Gallo-Roman villa. At the end of the 12th century, the Chevalier Pierre Douay became the possessor. He built in 1215 a castle and a chapel in 1217.
In 1712, during the Battle of Denain, the Austrians had established their camp on the outskirts of Rieulay and stored supplies and ammunition along the Scarpe.
During the Revolutionary period, the population of Rieulay was calm, the chapel was spared and became a parish church in the Concordat of 1804.
Finally, during the two world wars, Rieulay suffered invasions and German occupations. It was released October 19, 1918 by English troops and September 2, 1944 by U.S. troops.