Dorridge is a village in the West Midlands
West Midlands (county)
The West Midlands is a metropolitan county in western central England with a 2009 estimated population of 2,638,700. It came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972, formed from parts of Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The...

 borough of Solihull
Solihull is a town in the West Midlands of England with a population of 94,753. It is a part of the West Midlands conurbation and is located 9 miles southeast of Birmingham city centre...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, with a population
A population is all the organisms that both belong to the same group or species and live in the same geographical area. The area that is used to define a sexual population is such that inter-breeding is possible between any pair within the area and more probable than cross-breeding with individuals...

 of 7800.


Dorridge is to the East of the M40
M40 motorway
The M40 motorway is a motorway in the British transport network that forms a major part of the connection between London and Birmingham. Part of this road forms a section of the unsigned European route E05...

 and the South of the M42
M42 motorway
The M42 motorway is a major road in England. The motorway runs north east from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire to just south west of Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire, passing Redditch, Solihull, the National Exhibition Centre and Tamworth on the way. The section between the M40 and M6 road forms...

 which, along with a small but important green belt area, separates Dorridge and its neighbours of Knowle
Knowle is a large village a few miles southeast of the town of Solihull, UK. Knowle lies within the historic county boundaries of Warwickshire, and since 1974 it has been part of the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull within the West Midlands...

 and Bentley Heath
Bentley Heath
Bentley Heath is a village in the West Midlands borough of Solihull, England.-Location:Bentley Heath is to the East of the M40 and the South of the M42 which, along with a small but important green belt area, separates Bentley Heath and its neighbours of Knowle and Dorridge from the greater urban...

 from the greater urban area of Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, with the town of Solihull
Solihull is a town in the West Midlands of England with a population of 94,753. It is a part of the West Midlands conurbation and is located 9 miles southeast of Birmingham city centre...

 encompassing the green-belt area. It falls in the Meriden Gap
Meriden Gap
The Meriden Gap is a mostly rural area located in the West Midlands between Solihull and Coventry. It serves as a green belt which separates the latter from the large West Midlands conurbation, which includes Birmingham and Wolverhampton. The 'Gap' takes its name from the village central to the...

 and historically was part of Warwickshire
Warwickshire is a landlocked non-metropolitan county in the West Midlands region of England. The county town is Warwick, although the largest town is Nuneaton. The county is famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare...

. Indeed, there are no major towns between Dorridge and Warwick. It is 125 metres (400 ft) above sea-level, located in the Midlands Plateau
Midlands Plateau
The Midlands Plateau is a plateau covering approximately 3,200 km² in the Midlands of England, bounded by the Rivers Severn, Avon and Trent....


Earliest existence

The village of Dorridge did not exist as a community until the mid-19th century, though it is mentioned as far back as the 15th century in the Westminster Muniments
Westminster Muniments
The Westminster Muniments is a collection of manuscripts comprising archives of Westminster Abbey from the tenth century to the present day.-External links:*...

 which recorded a place called 'Derrech'. It was just the name given to the ridge of land running westwards from Knowle (also then called 'Dorege'). The earliest evidence of settlement though is of Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 man - an axe dated to 1300 BC was found in Norton Green. Cottages dating back to the 16th century exist in Mill Pool Lane. However, the lack of any significant road system until the arrival of the railway showed that there was no community there.

With the rise of Solihull
Solihull is a town in the West Midlands of England with a population of 94,753. It is a part of the West Midlands conurbation and is located 9 miles southeast of Birmingham city centre...

, a road connecting to Hockley Heath
Hockley Heath
Hockley Heath is a village and civil parish in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull, West Midlands, England. The parish is to the south of the West Midlands conurbation, from Birmingham from Solihull and from Stratford on Avon...

 became formed. Along this road, the Four Ashes (after which the recently developed estate was named) became a land mark - records show the trees being present in 1662 and marking the Parish boundary. They were also mapped in 1725 even in preference to some local buildings of note. The ashes still exist today near to the driving range, though they have been replaced several times since the earliest records. The Drum and Monkey existed from around 1860, though then it was known as The White Lion Inn.

Impact of the railway

In 1852 the railway was built by the Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
The Great Western Railway was a British railway company that linked London with the south-west and west of England and most of Wales. It was founded in 1833, received its enabling Act of Parliament in 1835 and ran its first trains in 1838...

, originally in Brunel's preferred 7-foot gauge track. Dorridge railway station
Dorridge railway station
Dorridge railway station serves the village of Dorridge in the West Midlands of England. The station is served by Chiltern Railways, who manage the station, and also by London Midland.-History:...

, which was originally called Knowle, and later Knowle and Dorridge, created the focal point for a new community. The Muntz family granted the land for the railway on condition that a station was built - perhaps less surprising on discovering that the Chairman of the Birmingham & Oxford Railway Company was P. H. Muntz, a relative. There is some folklore about the agreement that suggests that the railway was obliged to stop at Dorridge; however, with the affluent residents of Knowle and Dorridge, it was certainly a commercial practicality. Evidence of the popularity of the railway can be seen in that a "bus" service from the Greswolde Hotel in Knowle was provided in the early days of the railway at the high cost of 6d. In its heyday, the train service ran between Lapworth and Birmingham with four tracks, but by the mid-1960s two tracks had been removed and traffic was declining. The link with London was revived in the 1990s as part of the privatisation of British Rail
Privatisation of British Rail
The privatisation of British Rail was set in motion when the Conservative government enacted, on 19 January 1993, the British Coal and British Rail Act 1993 . This enabled the relevant Secretary of State to issue directions to the relevant Board...

, initially with single track running south of Banbury. Dual track working was reinstated and today in spite of being a village, Dorridge still has the privilege of being one of the stops on the express service.

Muntz family influence

The development of Dorridge is strongly linked to the Muntz family, who lived in nearby Umberslade Hall
Umberslade Hall
Umberslade Hall is a 17th century mansion converted into residential apartments situated near Tanworth in Arden, Warwickshire. It is a Grade II* listed building....

. The Muntz family were descendants of Philip Fredrick Muntz, an immigrant of the 18th century, who had left revolutionary France after settling there from Poland. Through industrial wealth, founded on a brass-making process for creating Muntz Metal
Muntz metal
Muntz metal is a form of alpha-beta brass with about 60% copper, 40% zinc and a trace of iron. It is named after George Fredrick Muntz, a metal-roller of Birmingham, England who commercialised the alloy following his patent of 1832....

, a form of brass used in shipbuilding, the family acquired a considerable estate in the area.

Possibly the most famous of the Muntz family was the inventor of Muntz metal, George Frederic Muntz
George Frederic Muntz
George Frederick Muntz was an industrialist from Birmingham, England and a Liberal Party Member of Parliament for the Birmingham constituency from 1840 until his death....

, who was also an early Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Birmingham. He was a supporter of political reform and a founding member of the Birmingham Political Union
Birmingham Political Union
The Birmingham Political Union was a political organisation in Great Britain during the early nineteenth century. Founded by Thomas Attwood, its original purpose was to campaign in favour of extending and redistributing suffrage rights to the working class of the kind set out in the Reform Bill of...

 along with Thomas Attwood
Thomas Attwood
Thomas Attwood was a British economist, the leading figure of the underconsumptionist Birmingham School of economists, and, as the founder of the Birmingham Political Union, a leading figure in the public campaign for the Great Reform Act of 1832.He was born in Halesowen, and attended Halesowen...

. In his actions that led to the Reform Act 1832
Reform Act 1832
The Representation of the People Act 1832 was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of England and Wales...

 Muntz was indicted for sedition as he tried to undermine the Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

 with a run on gold — To stop the Duke, run for Gold. He also was involved in a riot at St Martins in Birmingham in protest against the Church Rates which were levied at around 6d to 9d in the pound. He was sent to trial in 1838 but was acquitted on all but one of 13 charges. Whilst claiming to be a Republican, his true character appeared to be that of an egotistical aristocrat. E. Edwards wrote in 1877 in the Birmingham Daily Mail of a conversation about a speech he made: "They won't be able to print Muntz's speech verbatim." "Why not?" said I. "Why my dear fellow, no printing office in the world would have capital I's enough."

William Muntz built, owned and resided in the Forest Hotel, and it is suggested that in part this was created as a stopover for the family and guests to allow an early morning train departure to London. The Forest Hotel, the building is still owned by the Muntz Family.. To support the growing community, the family built the shops and houses of Station Approach, including a doctor's surgery. The family also guided much of the development of Dorridge as a desirable residential area, though the farming family of the Trueloves recognised the need for affordable housing for the 'less wealthy artisans' and built the terraced housing that remains in Poplar Road.

Middlefield Hospital

Dr. Fletcher of Dorridge, together with Jonathan Henry Kimball of Knowle also provided for an 'Asylum for 20 Idiot Girls' in the mid-19th century, in 'Dorridge Grove' which was on the site of the former 'Railway Tavern'; the building still exists as a distinctive house on Knowle Wood Road. It is worth noting that the term 'idiot' was a specific term for those considered ineducable, and was considered different from insanity. The records of the early years show that it was a successful enterprise, surprising those who visited that they achieved so much improvement in the behaviour of the patients.

The demand for this facility was such that a purpose built Idiot Asylum was then built in 1872 for the princely sum of £10,000 near Grove Road. The construction of this was something of a national event: representatives of 100 Masonic Lodges marched from Knowle Station to take part in the laying of the foundation stone, which was set in place using the same mallet used by King Charles the Second to lay the foundation stone of Saint Paul's Cathedral in London. The asylum was funded mainly by the local Counties of the Midlands, but George Fredrick Muntz sponsored competition with a prize of £100 for the best design. It provided for housing idiot children from all over the Midlands. It is perhaps telling that in 1867 it was renamed to be the 'Midland Counties Middleclass Idiots Asylum' and although subsidised, families typically had to pay an annual fee to have their children placed there. This was extended in 1893 and evolved into the Middlefield Hospital which existed on the same site until the 1980s, having been adopted by the National Health Service
National Health Service
The National Health Service is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom...

 in 1948.

Development of housing

Dorridge was not considered a district in its own right until 1940. At the turn of the 19th century, much of what is now Knowle Wood Road, (was then Packwood Road) was farmland with just a few dwellings, similarly Avenue Road (which was then Warwick Road) had a handful of dwellings. By the 1930s the main Dorridge Triangle was properly established. Aside from the substantial family homes, there are a significant number of mansions, some of which, such as Parkfield near the park, have now been converted into flats.

During the 1930s, development slowed, and it was not until the 1950s that expansion gathered pace again. One of the earliest post-War developments was Kingscote Road, one of the few developments of semi-detached housing in the area, followed by the near-by Rodborough Road development in 1960.

There was a substantial development in the 1960s around the area christened by estate agents as the "Golden Triangle" — alluding to the expensive and desirable housing of the area bounded by Dorridge Road, Avenue Road and Knowle Wood Road. Even then the local press noted the high cost of housing, noting many houses cost a 5 figure sum, and that 2 and 3 car households were well above the national average. The population expanded rapidly: there were around 600 dwellings in 1955, which expanded to 1800 by the mid-1970s to somewhere above 2500 homes by the year 2000.

Whilst there is a history of locals taking a dim view of developers, a local developer, Mr Ford, gifted the land which is now Dorridge Park to the community in 1965.

In the late 1990s another substantial development was built on former farmland in the area known as Four Ashes, behind the Porsche Centre Solihull, and the development of the Middlefield Hospital site occurred at a similar time.

The architecture is a reflection of this development — there are some fine buildings from the Victorian era all around the area. Over the years, each period has then added buildings of its style — Avenue Road, for example, has classic Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

 houses with rounded metal-framed windows. Building sizes were restricted in the post-war era. Buildings in the 1960s, though of limited architectural merit, were built with large gardens; many owners have since imposed character on these houses. More modern developments have seen the move to build apartment-style blocks, though there have also been substantial houses built, often on the site of much smaller houses and at the expense of the large gardens that still characterise the area.


It is surprising that although the Infant and Junior schools today have over 750 pupils, until as recently as 1955 there were no schools in Dorridge, with pupils travelling to Bentley Heath, Hockley Heath, Knowle or Packwood to get an education. In 1955 Dorridge Junior School was built and by 1963 an Infant School was built. These were joined by the Catholic School of St. George and Teresa. The secondary education is mainly provided by Arden School in nearby Knowle, which now also has a sixth form centre. The sixth form buildings were completed in 2007 with additions being made every year. A considerable number of children go to private schools in Solihull, Warwick or Birmingham or to grammar schools in Birmingham or Stratford.

Commercial development

When coming to Dorridge today, a visitor would be surprised to know that there was significant activity in the area over the last hundred years.

Between the Station and the level crossing at Bentley Heath a significant goods yard existed. During the 1960s the Austin Motor Company
Austin Motor Company
The Austin Motor Company was a British manufacturer of automobiles. The company was founded in 1905 and merged in 1952 into the British Motor Corporation Ltd. The marque Austin was used until 1987...

 used it to deliver up to 600 cars a day for export, via the railway.

A brickworks, the Knowle Brick Company, existed in Mill Lane which ceased production as recently as 1969. Mill Lane also had a large milk-distribution depot until the mid-1990s. On a smaller scale, Dorridge Road had a marble works, handling imported stone from Italy and elsewhere. Further down in Blue Lake Road, there was Blue Lake stores, this was also a cycle repair shop, there was also a print shop, the building which is the distinctive shed of Steve's Mowing. Nearer the centre of Dorridge, in the building now occupied by the architects, there was a Cabinet Maker, Wallace and Champness.

A gasworks was developed on land that, as of 2005, was known as Eveson's, a fuel merchants, but this land has now been developed into flats. Many of the buildings around the area that is now a Conservation Area — Station Approach — date back to the turn of the century or before, though aside from the Forest Court shopping centre and the HSBC
HSBC Holdings plc is a global banking and financial services company headquartered in Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom. it is the world's second-largest banking and financial services group and second-largest public company according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine...

 Bank, now closed, the centre is essentially unchanged from the mid-1950s.

There were three garages in Dorridge, Four Ashes Garage on Four Ashes Road (just down from the Drum & Monkey), Station Garage on Grange Road & Roy Tetthers / Widney Service station on Widney Road.

Four Ashes Garage & Station Garage were both there before WW11, Four Ashes was bought by Jack Moss (an apprentice at Wolseley Motors (1927) Ltd) in 1954, it was a small wooden garage then which Jack Moss had rebuilt into a modern garage (at that time) in the late 1950's, when he moved the Company to Stratford upon Avon at Christmas 1976 it became a Nissan dealer & then a Toyota dealer (both Mike Grimes) now it is a Porsche dealer.

Station Garage, Grange Road also housed a thriving taxi business after the war, it became Colmore depot sometime in the 1960's & is now just a petrol station.

Roy Tetther was based at Widney Service Station servicing cars until the early 80s, now its just a petrol station.

F.W Mead Coachbuilders (Richard Mead's) built car bodies for Jowett's, Bristol's, the Marauder & others in a property off Poplar Road, (between the 1st row of houses on Poplar Road & Arden Buildings now the Drawing Room) it was recently Archers car bodyshop, this now has flats built on the site.

To support the growing township, the 'controversial' Arden Buildings were built - considered to be quite out of keeping with the fine architecture of Dorridge, and in 1965, the Forest Court Shopping Centre was developed at a cost of £20,000, originally an open air shopping centre, it was then covered over in the late Eighties / early Nineties, this has had the unwelcome effect of hastening its decline.

The increased pressure for car parking led to the bowling green behind the Forest Hotel being developed into a car park. The bowling club moved to Hockley Heath
Hockley Heath
Hockley Heath is a village and civil parish in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull, West Midlands, England. The parish is to the south of the West Midlands conurbation, from Birmingham from Solihull and from Stratford on Avon...

 - the bowling club next to the Railway Inn was in turn displaced from behind the Red Lion pub in Knowle, again to develop car parking.

In 2008, Sainsbury's revealed that they had purchased a long lease to redevelop the Forest Court shopping centre and also owned part of the Station Approach Conservation Area which they intend to refurbish. An independent local group, Dorridge Residents Opposed to Village Superstore was formed in 2010 as a focus of opposition to any re-development of Forest Court which, it is argued, would be inappropriate in scale for the existing village centre.

Dorridge today

The station again fulfils an important role providing easy travel to London and Birmingham, for Dorridge and for numerous local villages such as Knowle, which do not have a railway station, with Chiltern Railways
Chiltern Railways
Chiltern Railways is a British train operating company. It was set up at the privatisation of British Rail in 1996, and operates local passenger trains from Marylebone station in London to Aylesbury and main-line trains on the Chiltern Main Line to Birmingham Snow Hill with its associated branches...

 having created an inter-city route out of the run-down remnants of what had become primarily a goods line. A London Midland
London Midland
London Midland is a train operating company in the United Kingdom. Legally named London and Birmingham Railway Ltd, it is a subsidiary of Govia, and has operated the West Midlands franchise since 11 November 2007....

 route now terminates in Dorridge or Leamington Spa
Leamington Spa
Royal Leamington Spa, commonly known as Leamington Spa or Leamington or Leam to locals, is a spa town in central Warwickshire, England. Formerly known as Leamington Priors, its expansion began following the popularisation of the medicinal qualities of its water by Dr Kerr in 1784, and by Dr Lambe...

, from Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...


Dorridge is neither urban nor a village. However, it sits right next to the Warwickshire countryside, with green fields being a short walk from the town centre.

It has a small shopping centre, a village hall, at least three churches and also an excellent primary school (Dorridge Junior School). It has a substantial park bordering the countryside. There are a few small restaurants, and three pubs: The Railway Inn (nowhere near the railway), the Forest Hotel (right next to the railway) and the Drum and Monkey near the Four Ashes estate.

Accommodation is available at the Forest Hotel and at Hogarths. Nearby is a golf driving range and a riding Club. It has two cricket clubs. It also has a tennis club and Ye Olde Knowle Bowling Club[sic]. Solihull is just five minutes' drive away with its modern shopping centre, cinema and variety of sports facilities.

The property prices around Dorridge are amongst the highest in the West Midlands region, in part driven by the perception of desirability of the local state schools, the easy access to the main motorway system and the airport, as well as the train links mentioned earlier, but in part it is also a reflection of the well-spaced gardens and large houses. In 2005, several houses changed hands for over £1,000,000 according to the land registry.

There are a number of notable residents who live here or very nearby, Jasper Carrott
Jasper Carrott
Jasper Carrott OBE is a British comedian, actor, television presenter and personality.-Early life:...

, The Office
The Office (UK TV series)
The Office is a British sitcom television series that was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 9 July 2001. Created, written, and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the programme is about the day-to-day lives of office employees in the Slough branch of the fictitious...

 actress Lucy Davis
Lucy Davis
Lucy Clare Davis is an English actress. She is best known for playing the character Dawn Tinsley in the BBC comedy The Office and as Dianne in the horror-comedy movie Shaun of the Dead.-Career:...

, Sir Adrian Cadbury
Adrian Cadbury
Sir George Adrian Hayhurst Cadbury is a former British Olympic rower and Chairman of Cadbury and Cadbury Schweppes for 24 years. He has been a pioneer in raising the awareness and stimulating the debate on corporate governance and produced the Cadbury Report, a code of best practice which served...

, Karren Brady
Karren Brady
Karren Brady is an English sporting executive, television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, author and novelist. She is the former managing director of Birmingham City Football Club and current vice-chairman of West Ham United...

 former Managing Director of Birmingham City F.C, Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce
Stephen Roger "Steve" Bruce is an English football manager and former player. Born in Corbridge, Northumberland, he was a promising schoolboy footballer but was rejected by a number of professional clubs. He was on the verge of quitting the game altogether when he was offered a trial with Gillingham...

, former manager of Birmingham City F.C, former England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 International Lee Hendrie
Lee Hendrie
Lee Andrew Hendrie is an English footballer who plays as a midfielder for Kidderminster Harriers in the Football Conference. The majority of his career was spent with Premier League club Aston Villa, where he spent fourteen years and became known as a somewhat controversial figure...

 alongside many other professional footballers and Musicians Bev Bevan
Bev Bevan
Bev Bevan is an English rock musician, who was the drummer and one of the original members of The Move and Electric Light Orchestra...

, Harry Sutcliffe and Russell Leetch
Russell Leetch
Russell Jonathan Leetch is the bass guitarist for Birmingham-based indie rock band Editors. He studied music technology at Staffordshire University where he met his fellow Editors band members. He went to secondary school at Arden School, Knowle.He used to work with bandmate Tom Smith in a call...


Dorridge is part of the Meriden
Meriden, West Midlands
-External links:*****...

 constituency, MP Caroline Spelman
Caroline Spelman
Caroline Alice Spelman is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom who has served as the Member of Parliament for Meriden in the West Midlands since 1997...

 who also lives nearby, though is due to be split from Meriden under the current boundary review, forming a separate constituency of Dorridge and Kenilworth with the nearby castle town of Kenilworth
Kenilworth is a town in central Warwickshire, England. In 2001 the town had a population of 22,582 . It is situated south of Coventry, north of Warwick and northwest of London....

. Dorridge is regarded as a Conservative stronghold.

Community groups

Aside from the strong church communities, the town benefits from a Round Table
Round Table (club)
Round Table is a social networking and charitable organisation for men in their 20s, 30s and early 40s, founded in Norwich, England, in 1927. It is open to all men aged between 18 and 45...

, a Residents' Association, drama groups and youth organisations including the strong Dorridge Scout Group. Some of the organisations are shared with Knowle, such as Knowle Sea Scout Group for young people aged 6 to 18.

Residents' Association

The Residents' Association was formed in 1961. It was formed in response to concerns over unwelcome developments and also helped develop facilities for local residents. In 1974, Dorridge Day was first held as a fundraising event for the Village Hall which was opened in 1976. The Dorridge & District Residents Association first ran the event, though in recent years, Knowle and Dorridge Round Table have run this popular annual fair.

Anglican Church

With the growing population, the need for a Church was recognised and St. Phillip's Church was built in 1878. It soon had to be expanded.

Catholic Church

Originally, the Catholic population had no formal meeting place but meet in Cross Close, a house in Arden Drive. In 1917 St. George & St. Teresa's church was built on Station Road. This burnt down in 1935 and was replaced with the substantial building on the same site, which still exists today. In 2006, a parish centre was added to the church.

Methodist Church

The Methodists put down their roots in 1958 with the arrival of their church in Mill Lane. The church has proved very popular and now has a substantial congregation.

Baptist Church

In 1877, George Fredrick Muntz founded the Baptist Church at Nuthurst, adjoining Hockley Heath. In later years, due to ill-health, he had a microphone system installed and linked to Umberslade Hall so he could hear the services.

Christadelphian Church

Knowle and Dorridge Christadelphians
Christadelphians is a Christian group that developed in the United Kingdom and North America in the 19th century...

 meet in Dorridge Village Hall on Sundays.

Round Table

Knowle and Dorridge Round Table 812 was founded in 1964. For many years its regular meeting place was in Knowle, but the membership has always been drawn from the two communities. Whilst primarily a friendship organisation, it supports local charities, with the two main events it runs being Dorridge Day and the Christmas sleigh, visiting nearly every street in the area every December.

Dorridge Scout Group

Dorridge Scout Group was formed from the old 1st and 2nd Dorridge Scouts. It is a strong group providing adventure to over 300 young people each week. It also has an Explorer Scout Unit for older children called Darwin.

Places of interest

Nearby there are the historic buildings of Packwood House and Baddesley Clinton
Baddesley Clinton
The moated manor house of Baddesley Clinton , located just north of the historic town of Warwick in the English county of Warwickshire, was probably established sometime in the 13th century. When large areas of the Forest of Arden were cleared and eventually converted to farmland this large...

 now in the care of the National Trust
National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, usually known as the National Trust, is a conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

, and the Grand Union Canal
Grand Union Canal
The Grand Union Canal in England is part of the British canal system. Its main line connects London and Birmingham, stretching for 137 miles with 166 locks...

 is in walking distance with both the Heron's Nest and Black Boy pubs being accessible. The Stratford-upon-Avon Canal
Stratford-upon-Avon Canal
The Stratford-upon-Avon Canal is a canal in the south Midlands of England.The canal, which was built between 1793 and 1816, runs for in total, and consists of two sections. The dividing line is at Kingswood Junction, which gives access to the Grand Union Canal...

 also links in and is notable for a large flight of locks that descend into nearby Lapworth
Lapworth is a village and civil parish situated in the east of the county of Warwickshire, England. It lies close to the border with the West Midlands and in the 2001 census had a population of 2,100....

 from Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...


A short distance away, Knowle
Knowle is a large village a few miles southeast of the town of Solihull, UK. Knowle lies within the historic county boundaries of Warwickshire, and since 1974 it has been part of the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull within the West Midlands...

 has a 600 year-old church, and a number of buildings dating back to the 16th century, including a recreation of a knot garden
Knot garden
A knot garden is a garden of very formal design in a square frame, consisting of a variety of aromatic plants and culinary herbs including germander, marjoram, thyme, southernwood, lemon balm, hyssop, costmary, acanthus, mallow, chamomile, rosemary, Calendulas, Violas and Santolina...


The ancient town of Warwick
Warwick is the county town of Warwickshire, England. The town lies upon the River Avon, south of Coventry and just west of Leamington Spa and Whitnash with which it is conjoined. As of the 2001 United Kingdom census, it had a population of 23,350...

 is a short drive away, notable for its castle.

To the West, just across the M42, there is a nature reserve at Blythe Valley Business Park. The park is next to the River Blythe
River Blythe
The Blythe is a river in the English Midlands which runs from Warwickshire, through the borough of Solihull and on to Coleshill. It runs along the Meriden Gap in the Midlands Plateau,...

 which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest
Site of Special Scientific Interest
A Site of Special Scientific Interest is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom. SSSIs are the basic building block of site-based nature conservation legislation and most other legal nature/geological conservation designations in Great Britain are based upon...

. Footpaths run from Dorridge both to the Park and to Solihull
Solihull is a town in the West Midlands of England with a population of 94,753. It is a part of the West Midlands conurbation and is located 9 miles southeast of Birmingham city centre...

's Brueton Park, the latter at times running alongside the River Blythe.

Also to the West located along Four Ashes Road is a Golf Driving Range established in 1983

Further reading

  • Around Knowle & Dorridge. Charles Lines, 1996. Alan Sutton Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-7509-0817-3
  • The Rise of the Commuter Village of Dorridge. Gem Bradley. Unpublished Thesis, 1972.
  • Personal Recollections of Birmingham. E Edwards, 1877.
  • Bentley Heath and Widney Manor. Edna G Handley, 1992. ISBN 0-9519897-0-7

External links

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