History of Solihull, West Midlands

With a population of a little over 120,000 residents, Solihull town is located in the heart of England, just a few minutes away from Birmingham City Centre. As part of West Midlands County, the town serves as the administrative seat of the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull which covers the entire town of Solihull and most of the smaller surrounding communities. This town has a long history and can offer any visitor a number of interesting attractions.

Solihull was founded in medieval times as a small market town. Historians say that the town started out as a simple clearing where people would meet and exchange goods. The name was allegedly derived from the description of the travellers who had to pass through the muddy, and dirty (soily) hill- Soily Hill became Solihull! Later on, the town would become a significant stop for mail coaches and a thriving road transportation hub.

When the industrial revolution hit Britain, it seems to have passed this town. The town continued being a remote trading centre with a small population for decades. The Second World War also skipped Solihull even though Birmingham was partly destroyed.

The population of Solihull remained rather small straight into the 20th century. By 1901 the population was only around 7500. However, the population skyrocketed to a whopping 100,000 people by the 1960s. This was mainly because Birmingham underwent a large clearing of their slums and people moved to Solihull. Another reason was the fact that the Rover car production plant was relocated to Solihull after their main factory in Coventry was rendered useless by Nazi bombings during the war.

Due to the long history of the town, there are many historical sites to be seen. Timber style Tudor houses can be found along with the red sandstone church of St. Alphege that dates to the 1560s. A building founded in 1220 can be seen on High Street. The George which is now called the Ramada Jarvis Hotel is another popular historical site within the town.

Currently, the economy of Solihull is actually very interesting. The town has many modern shopping centres including Mell Square and Touchwood. Many companies use Solihull as their base of operations, one of which is Jaguar Land Rover based at the Solihull plant. Between the 1940s and 1980s, the Triumph motorbike factory was located here. Other notable structures and facilities like the National Exhibition Centre and a large section of Birmingham International Airport, both of which are thought to be in Birmingham, are actually within the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull.