Solihull in 1843
Solihull is in the Solihull division of Hemlingford hundred, about 7 miles south-east of Birmingham, on the road to Warwick. The area of the parish is 10,000 acres ; it contained, in 1831, 600 houses, namely. 581 inhabited, 15 uninhabited, and 4 building : with a population of 608 families, or 2,878 persons, more than half agricultural. The town stands in a valley, about half a mile from the river Blyth, from which it is separated by the park and grounds of Malvern Hall. It consists of two principal streets, nearly parallel to each other, and of two or three smaller connecting streets or lanes. The houses are generally modern and well built, and some of them are handsome. The church, which is on the south side of the town, is a large and curious cross church. The chancel, transept, and part of the nave, with the lower part of the tower, which rises from the intersection of the nave and transept, are of decorated character, of an early date and remarkable character. The west end of the nave and south aisle are of late perpendicular character, as also is the belfry-story of the tower. The spire, which is octagonal, is modern. Attached to the chancel on the north side is a small chapel, now used as a vestry, of similar architecture to the chancel, having under it a small but beautiful plain groined crypt. The windows of the chancel and transept are very good ; the west window of the nave, though of singular composition, is also good. The chancel and the vestry have each on the south side a niche for the vessels of the altar ; that in the chancel is richly canopied, that in the vestry plainer. The tracery and mouldings in these parts of the church are very good ; the corbels on the wall of the chancel are very perfect, and deserve attention for the spirit and beauty of their foliage. The piers of the tower are plain, but very good. There is some good tabernacle and screen work in the church. There are a meeting-house for Independents and a chapel for Roman Catholics.
The market (if kept up) is on Wednesday, and there are three, or, according to other accounts, five yearly fairs for cattle, horses, cheese, or hops.
The living is a rectory, of the clear yearly value of £1,455, in the rural deanery of Arden, in the archdeaconry of Coventry, and in the diocese of Worcester. There is in the parish a chapel dedicated to St. James, the curacy of which is of £49 clear yearly value.
There were in the parish, in 1833, thirteen day-schools of all kinds, with 279 children, namely. 117 boys and 42 girls, and 120 children of sex not distinguished in the return ; giving nearly one in ten of the population under daily instruction. There were at the same time four Sunday-schools, with 270 children, namely, 127 boys and 143 girls ; giving about one in eleven of the population under instruction on Sundays.