Solihull borders Birmingham, Coventry, Worcestershire and Warwickshire, with the great towns of Stratford upon Avon and Warwick close by. We’re only 8 miles from the centre of the UK’s second city Birmingham, with its many attractions including the Symphony Hall, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the NIA, the Birmingham Rep and many other theatres, as well as restored canals, historical buildings, museums and galleries.
In the heart of Solihull lies the geographical centre of England and was first recorded around the year 1170. A short drive from the centre of Solihull, on the village green in Meriden, stands the remains of an old stone cross. The plaque below reads, “This ancient wayside cross has stood in the village for some 500 years and by tradition marks the centre of England. The cross was rebuilt on this site when the green was improved in celebration of the Festival of Britain in A.D. 1951.”
The name of Solihull derives from the Anglo-Saxon and means muddy or 'soiley hill'. The heritage of the town is beautifully preserved in the 15th Century manor house and mediaeval parish church of St. Alphege in the High Street.
The town was first recognised as a centre for shopping and trade back in mediaeval times when goods were exchanged in a clearing in the forests. A tradition for which we are justifiably still famous today!
In 1242 we acquired our first Royal Charter from King Henry III, for a weekly market and an annual three-day fair on the eve, the feast and the morrow of St. Alphege, the 18th, 19th and 20th April. In 2012 churches across the UK, including St Alphege in Solihull are celebrating 1,000 years since St Alphege’s birth with events and services to be held on 19th April as part of ‘Alphest 1000’.