Catherine-de-Barnes (known to locals as Catney) is a village in the Warwickshire countryside, uncomfortably close to the edge of the conurbation spreading out from Birmingham but retaining its rural setting. To the west is Elmdon Heath, attached to Solihull, and Solihull itself lies close by to the south-west. Hampton-in-Arden is to the south.
The name of the village appears not to be from any lady named Catherine, but from a man named Ketelberne, who owned it after the Norman Conquest in 1066. While the name is old, the village much later, probably dating from the building of the Grand Union Canal.
The present St Catherine's church, now a village hall, was built by Joseph Gillott in 1879. Its dedication is a back-formation from that of the village.
In 1907, a fever hospital was built in Henwood Lane as a joint operation of the Solihull and Meriden Councils for isolating patients with infectious diseases such as diphtheria, typhoid fever and smallpox. In 1978, Janet Parker, the last known victim of smallpox in the world, died here. The hospital closed in the mid-1980s and in 1987 was converted to residential use.
The main road passing through the village is the east-west B4102 Hampton Lane/Solihull Road from Solihull to Hampton in Arden.
The north-south B4438 Catherine de Barnes Lane starts 300 yards east of the village, leading past Bickenhill, over the A45 to the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International Station all of which are just two miles to the north.
Cricket Club, Canal and Village Life
Behind the village's only pub, The Boat Inn, lies the home of Catherine-de-Barnes (or, more commonly, Catney) Cricket Club, which has been in existence since 1949. The ground abutting the Canal is accessed via the narrow passageway between the pub and the adjacent bungalows. The pub has a large car park which at the date of writing provides easy, free parking for a canal-side walk or picnic. Catney currently has Saturday first and second cricket XIs in the 'Cotswold Hills League' with its President Lord Tim Basnett and Chairman Eddie Hewitt and First Eleven Captain Jimmy Mason. There is also a Sunday team. Support from, both players old and new and from spectators,is always most welcome.
There is an active Residents' Association who run village events, monitor local planning applications and promote and protect village life.
Catherine de Barnes Village Hall has been run by a group of local trustees since 2014 and it is available to hire for parties and events.
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
- Plaque on the front North-facing wall of St Catherine's Church
- Tucker, Jonathan B.: 'Scourge: the once and future threat of smallpox' (Grove Press, 2002) page 129 ISBN 0-8021-3939-6
- Toxic Shock; Twenty five years ago a disease that many thought was dead and gone reared its head in Birmingham: smallpox