Yardley is not a town. Yardley is named in the Domesday Book and was referred to as early as 972 in King Edgar's Charter where it is named Gyrdleah. It was mentioned as being under the possession of Pershore Abbey.
The parish of Yardley, historically part of Worcestershire, became the only parish in the Yardley Rural District under the Local Government Act 1894, and was added to Birmingham and Warwickshire in 1911. The ancient parish of Yardley included the areas known as Stechford and Hall Green. The area of Gilbertstone straddles the border of Yardley and South Yardley.
Yardley has a Tudor hall called Blakesley Hall and an old church, St Edburgha's, that dates back to the 13th century, with the church tower and spire dating to the 15th century. It was not established by the abbey, but by Aston Church in the Diocese of Lichfield. A Tudor addition to the church is a doorway surrounded by Tudor roses and a pomegranate, commemorating the marriage of Prince Arthur, Prince of Wales, to Catherine of Aragon.
Yardley had a manor that was owned by various lords. It remained unoccupied from 1700 onwards. It was owned by the Royal Family until 1626, when it was bought by Richard Grevis of Moseley Hall. His descendants sold it in 1759 to pay off debts. John Taylor, one of the founders of Lloyds Bank, bought the lordship in 1766. Most of the land, had by then, been purchased by other people so Taylor owned only a small portion of the original grounds.
A small amount of Yardley, called Old Yardley, was granted conservation area status in 1969, becoming Birmingham's first conservation area.
Yardley also contains a moated medieval site called "Kent's Moat". Now dry, it has retained its depth and shape remarkably well considering its age, as excavations have shown evidence of inhabitation from as early as the 12th century.