Country: England

Region (County/State/Province): West Midlands


Contact: Doreen Agutter

Study Description 

I was brought up in the village and from the age of fourteen have studied its history and encouraged others to help. The Parish Council has commissioned four books, three of which are completed, two dealing with inhabitants and houses, another a pictorial guide. I am currently writing one called Meriden: Centre of England; a traditional claim not based on any scientific concept. I have also written separate guide books about the parish church. I give talks to attract wider audiences. My help with Warwickshire Parish Clerks is confined to assistance with earlier parish registers that are not easily deciphered.

The original name for the Saxon village was Alspath, Meriden being a hamlet in the dene or U shaped valley below the hill on which Alspath’s church and a few houses were sited. Meriden means ‘pleasant valley’. The hill top and the Green are conservation areas.

Meriden is still surrounded by countryside despite its geographical position between the cities of Coventry and Birmingham. This appeals to me as I enjoy Agrarian History.


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In 1801, the population was 821, rising to 971 in 1871 and then back to 832 in 1911. Surplus was drawn off into the towns but to Birmingham rather more than to Coventry because of wider opportunities. There were about 2,000 residents in 2011.

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