, a parish in the Solihull division of the hundred of Hemlingford, county Warwick, 5½ miles from Coventry, its post town, and 2½ from the Hampton Junction of the North-Western and Derby railways. The parish, which is small, is situated in a valley on the old road from London to Holyhead, and near Meriden Cross, which formerly marked the centre of England. The village of Meriden of late years has greatly improved, and contains many neatly built residences. The land is fertile and in a state of good cultivation. On Meriden Hill is an extensive quarry of red sandstone, and there is also a quarry of white freestone for building.
The tithes were commuted for corn-rents under an Enclosure Act in 1785. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Worcester, value £268. The church, dedicated to St. Lawrence, has a tower. The interior of the church contains a brass of Elizabeth Rotton. A parochial school has been erected by voluntary contributions, the site of which was presented by the Earl of Aylesford with a donation of £150. There is also a boarding school at Strawberry-bank House.
The Society of Archers hold their meetings at Forest Hall, in which is the horn said to have been used by Robin Hood. Meriden Hall and Meriden House are the principal residences. A short distance from the village are the mansion and park of the Earl of Aylesford, who owns the chief part of the parish."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]