Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Marston Green

Marston Green is a village in Solihull near to the NEC and Birmingham Airport and was part of the parish of Bickenhill which dates from the time of Edward the Confessor. The village itself is listed in the Domesday Book as Merestone but probably dates from before the Norman conquest. Merestone was divided into two in the 12th century, Marston Culy and Wavers Marston. The former changing its name to Marston Green by the early 19th century.

Marston Green lies between two brooks (Low Brook and Hatchford Brook which flow into the river Cole). The village's population has been, for most of its existence, concerned with agriculture but it is now mostly populated by people who work in Birmingham and Solihull. Some agricultural land still exists around the village though much of it has been eaten up by post-war developments including the airport. The village saw a great deal of residential growth in early 20th centuries. A station on the LMS' London-Birmingham line was opened in 1838, this and new roads helped make Marston Green accessible and appeal to workers in the city though interestingly it was not until the 1920s that new house building was begun in earnest.

A Canadian Airforce base was located in Marston Green during the Second World War. Post-war the site was used to build a maternity hospital catering for the east side of Birmingham (even though the hospital wasn't actually in Birmingham). Thousands of babies were born there, until maternity services were moved to Heartlands Hospital, including the author. The hospital was demolished in 1999 with houses now built on the site.

Until boundary changes in the early 1970s Marston Green was part of Warwickshire but is now part of the Solihull Metropolitan Borough.

'Parishes: Bickenhill.' A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 4, Hemlingford Hundred. Ed. L F Salzman. London: Victoria County History, 1947. 34-39. British History Online. Web. 9 March 2015.

Dargue W., 'Marston Green, Marston Culy/ Marston Culey, Wavers Marston', A History of Birmingham Places and Placenames from A to Y. [accessed 11/03/15]

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