[New] Berry Hall

Berry Hall is a name that has been used for two different buildings in Solihull. The name originally referred to the 15th-century half-timbered farm house on Ravenshaw Lane. However, this building was renamed Berry Hall Farm after the estate was bought by Birmingham steel pen-nib manufacturer, Joseph Gillott (junior), from Henry Ludlow on 21st January 1867.

Joseph Gillott transferred the Berry Hall name to a new mansion which was designed for him by architect Julius Alfred Chatwin. Work on the new house apparently began in 1870 and was completed in 1880.

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Malvern Hall and the Greswold, Lewis and Wigley families

Malvern Hall was built some 300 years ago on the site of Malvern Farm. The farm was sold by Robert, Lord Brooke to a Mr Aglionby of Balsall about 1640. Mr Aglionby sold the farm to Job and Ann Murcott in 1657 and they, in turn, sold the estate to the Rev. Henry Greswold (1628-1700) in 1680. It was Henry’s eldest son, Humphrey, who built Malvern Hall.

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Schools at Malvern Hall

On 13th July 1990 the official opening took place of the new Sixth Form block at Saint Martin’s Girls’ School. The Sixth Form occupied the site of the former stables at Malvern Hall, adjacent to the former Solihull Lido in Malvern Park.

Saint Martin’s School had moved to Malvern Hall, Solihull in 1989 and was the third school to occupy the historic site – the previous two being Solihull High School for Girls (1931-1974) and Malvern Hall Comprehensive School (1974-1989).

On 1st September 2020, Saint Martin’s School merged with Solihull School, so Malvern Hall now houses its fourth educational establishment – Solihull Preparatory School. It seems timely to look back at the schools that have occupied this stately home over the last 70 years. 

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