Category: Solihull town centre trail

image of Barley Mow

On the corner of Warwick Road and Poplar Road, is O’Neills public house, which opened in 2007. The building was previously the Barley Mow, formerly known as the Limerick Castle. This was an important former coaching inn that marked the entrance to the village of Solihull and which was a regular stop for the London, Warwick and Oxford coaches. The pub was partially rebuilt in 1899 by the then owners Showell’s Brewery. It was to the Barley Mow that poet W.H. Auden adjourned with…

photo of Poplar Road c1939

The Parade is the row of shops situated on the corner of Poplar Road and Station Road. The shops were built in the late 1920s on land that previously formed the gardens of the 18th-century Silhill House. One of the earliest shops to open in the Parade was W.H. Twigg booksellers and stationers, which opened in June 1928 and closed 36 years later when Mr Twigg retired in 1963. Built in the 18th century, Silhill House was situated at the end of Solihull…

Image of Station Road, 1982

Originally just part of the High Street, Station Road leads from the High Street to Solihull Railway Station, which was opened in 1852 on the Great Western Railway’s (GWR) Oxford & Birmingham branch. The original station was closer to Streetsbrook Road but it moved to its present position in the early 1930s. The new station had platforms on two islands, accessed from a subway underneath the trackbed. As a result of the Beeching report 1967 the station’s status was downgraded, the…

image of St Augustine's Catholic Church

Herbert Road and Homer Road were cut through the fields between the church and the railway station in the mid-19th century. St Augustine’s Church was designed in the Perpendicular style by architect Augustus Welby Northmoor Pugin, who became a famous architect of the 19th century Gothic Revival. St Augustine’s opened on 6th February 1839, with Pugin as the cross-bearer. It replaced an earlier adjacent chapel and priest’s house built in 1761 on land given in 1760 by Catholic philanthropist, Hugford Hassall. In 1932, a “Lourdes Grotto”…

Homer Road in Solihull is named after the Homer family who owned much of the land in the area in the 19th century, and whose wealth was said to derive from the East Indies. In 1913, the family of Dr George Auden, including his future poet son, Wystan Hugh, moved to no. 13 Homer Road (now demolished) from ‘Apsley’, Lode Lane, where they had lived since 1908. On the outbreak of war in August 1914, Dr Auden immediately joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. When…

image of Solihull High Street

Leaving Touchwood via the Mill Lane arcade brings you out into Solihull High Street next to a timber-framed building that is believed to date from 1571. It was known as Harborne House in the 19th century and part of the building housed Hawkesford’s corn chandler’s and seed merchants shop from 1896-1912. During this time a brick Gothic-style porch was added to the building (visible on the photo below from 1924). It was later home to Chaundry and Napier, seed merchants, and…

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