Mere Green, Erdington
B23 - Grid reference SP107915
The term mere derives from Old or Middle English and means 'pool'; to this has been added green meaning 'common grazing land'. In 1655 Thomas Fox was given permission by Sir Robert Holte to make two pools near Erdington. These were very likely for fish, a valuable commodity in the winter months when food of any kind could be scarce. The name of one, Mere Pool, suggests there may have been a pool here already; mere was a term used of a pool or lake that was broad in relation to its depth ie. wide and shallow. Perhaps Fox was enlarging it rather than creating it.
Mere Green is shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1834 around the junction of Church Road and Moor Green Lane; it is not shown on the 1887 OS map. Fox's other pool was Marle Pool. Marl is clay dug to be spread on the land to improve its fertility. Again the name perhaps suggests that a pool or pit already existed here.
See also Moor End Green.
William Dargue 06.04.09
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For 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps of Birmingham go to British History Online.