In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Meriden like this:
MERIDEN, a village, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Warwick. The village stands in a valley, near the seat and park of the Earl of Aylesford, 2½ miles E of Hampton-Junction r. station, and 5½ WNW of Coventry; was formerly called Alspath; figures, in Dugdales description as "having some good inns for the accommodation of travellers, and grown of late times to the credit of a village, utterly eclipsing its former name; ''presents a very agreeable appearance; retains, on a green, remains of an ancient cross, which once was regarded as marking the centre of England; and has a post office, ‡ under Coventry, and a police station.The parish comprises 3,010 acres. ...
Real property, £.5,758. Pop., 968. Houses, 196. The greater part of the property belongs to the Earl of Aylesford, and the rest is subdivided. Meriden Hall belongs to the Digbys, and is occupied by J. Darlington, Esq. Meriden House belongs to Dr. Kittermaster. Strawberry Bank House is a boarding.school. Forest Halls used by a society of archers: and contains a horn said to have been used by Robin Hood, and many other curiosities. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Worcester. Value, £268.* Patron, the Earl of Aylesford. The church stands on an eminence. a short distance from the village; and consists of nave, three aisles, and chancel, with a tower. There are an endowed school with £148 a year, and charities £64.The sub-district contains also the parishes of Great Packington, Little Packington, Hampton-in-Arden, Berkeswell, Allesley, Corley, and Fillongley, and the hamlet of Coundon. Acres, 26,395. Pop., 6,387. Houses, 1,379. -The district comprehends also the sub-district of Coleshill, containing the parishes of Coleshill, Sheldon, Bickenhill, Maxstoke, Lea-Marston, Nether Whitacre, Over Whitacre, and part of Shustoke. Acres of the district, 48,618. Poor rates in 1863, £6,599. Pop. in 1851,11,267; in 1861,1 1,290. Houses, 2,467. Marriages in 1863,58; births, 337,-of which 27 were illegitimate; deaths, 246,-of which 75 were at ages under 5 years, and 11 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60,637; birth's, 3,376; deaths, 2,085. The places of worship, in 1851, were 15 of the Church of England. with 5,391 sittings; 3 of Independents, with 524 s.; 6 of Wesleyans, with 416 s.; and 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 40 s. The schools were 18 public day-schools, with 1,108 scholars; 10 private day-schools, with 179 s.; and 11 Sunday schools, with 536 s. The workhouse is in Meriden; and, at the census of 1861, had 54 inmates.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Meriden, in Solihull and Warwickshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 30th April 2017
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