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The Wilson Arms, Knowle Lodge and Park

Wilson Arms

The Rising Sun was a popular inn on the road to Warwick at the north end of Knowle High Street. It changed its name in the 1830s and took the new name from the then Lord of the Manor of Knowle, William Wilson. Since then it has been known as the Wilson Arms, now a popular Toby Carvery and pictured above as it appeared at the turn of the millennium.

Opposite the Rising Sun on the other side of the road to Warwick stood Knowle Lodge, a fine house at the fringe of its substantial estate.

It was, however, demolished in 1939. In its place in 1960 was built a new Police Station, but this was short lived, for Knowle Police Station closed in 1972. In 1974 these premises re-opened as Knowle Surgery. Now more change is imminent here, following the division into two practices. The Arden Practice will shortly move to Downing Close.

The heart of the Knowle Lodge estate became Jobs Close Park and also a small nature reserve. When the land to the west of the park was due for development in the early 1970s the Knowle Society fought for and established a small oasis for wild flowers, frogs and birds in between the park and the housing. It lies in a triangle between Starbold Crescent, Hillmorton Road and Landor Road and can also be accessed from the park.

At the Lodge Road fringe of the park, stands a building that overlooks it. Deceivingly, this is not yet a century old. Originally a private dwelling and subsequently a school, it has now been a home for our older citizens for four and a half decades. It is known today as Jobs Close Residential Home for the Elderly.

Beside the nature reserve and along the northern fringe of the park runs Purnells Brook, a tributary of the River Blythe which flows on between the higher ground of Knowle village on one side and Copt Heath on the other. According to Joy Woodall and Mollie Varley in their 1979 book 'Solihull Place Names' the name Purnels (sic) is recorded as the name of the area around this brook as early as 1605, in the Survey of Knowle. The name lives on, of course, as Purnells Way, built in the early 1970s.