Bournville Heritage Open Day

The leafy Birmingham suburb of Bournville will welcome visitors from all over this weekend when some of the city’s most historic and beautiful buildings will open their doors for Bournville Heritage Open Day 2018 the 15th of September. Bournville of course is incredibly well known for the world famous chocolate-making Cadbury family and their factory, however many of the buildings that will open to the public on the 15th tell the story of the family and the hugely beneficial impact they had on the suburb and the wider city.

Last Saturday 10 lucky members of the IGers Birmingham community visited some of the locations that will be open to the public, as part of a special preview instameet. The attendees visited the stunning Serbian Orthodox Church of Holy Prince Lazar first on the route. This church, every last piece of which came from the former republic of Yugoslavia, is tucked away on Griffins Brook Lane and has the most stunning frescos on the walls and ceilings that were painted by one man over the course of 6 years. Next up on the tour were the Bournville Almshouses and Quadrangle which were built by the Cadbury family. The Quadrangle is a peaceful space that is hidden away in the middle of the Almshouses where residents can relax and enjoy the gardens. Some of the attendees to the instameet were lucky enough to be invited into one of the residents homes for a cup of tea and to hear about life there. Selly Manor, which includes minworth Greaves which at 750 years old is the oldest building in Birmingham, was next up on the tour. After a brief stop at the Rest House on the village green, the attendees were taken into Bournville Junior School and up the Carillon Tower. The Carillon Tower has 47 bells and can regularly be heard playing a wide range of music in the suburb, from the Beatles to classical. Originally not a Carillon due to lack of the requisite number and type of bells, the Cadbury’s had it upgraded from it’s chime status to that of Carillon by adding further bells. At the top of the tower is a cabin room where the attendees took in  views across the village.

Below is a selection of behind the scenes images taken during the meet.

Please see below for a full list of all venues that are opening to the public as part of the open day (please note that some are only open by guided tours which have sold out now).

Selly Manor Museum (Maple Road, B30 2AE)
A beautiful Tudor manor and medieval hall saved by George Cadbury, and surrounded by a cottage garden. Featuring re-enactors Gloriana who will bring the Museum to life with costume and music.

The Rest House (Village Green, B30 1AA)
This distinctive building is home to the Carillon Visitor Centre, built in 1914 to mark the silver wedding anniversary of George and Elizabeth Cadbury. There will also be the opportunity to visit the nearby George Cadbury Carillon School which was opened by Sir Adrian Cadbury in 2007.

Bournville Junior School (Linden Road, B30 1JY)
Opened in 1906, visit the central hall, decorated with frescoes depicting biblical scenes, and view an exhibition of the school’s archives. This site will close at 3pm.

The Carillon (Linden Road, B30 1JY)
The Carillon is made up of 48 bells played serially to produce a melody which can be heard across Bournville. Pre-booked tours to climb the tower and see the instrument and magnificent view of the village take place throughout the day. Please note, pre-booked tours for this venue are now sold out.

Quaker Meeting House (65 Linden Road, B30 1JT)
Built in 1905 this unusual Y-shaped building was designed by architect W.A. Harvey, and will feature an exhibition of old photos of the Meeting House. Quakers will be present to answer questions on Quaker testimonies.

St Francis C of E Church (Sycamore Road, B30 2AA)
Consecrated in 1925, the Church was designed on the early Christian basilica style. There will be a display of archive pictures and an exhibition of work by local artists.

The Bournville Experience (at Cadbury World, Linden Road, B30 1JR)
A visitor centre on the Cadbury World site telling the history of Bournville and the Quaker ethics of the Cadbury family through videos, displays, plus a model of the factory site and village. There is also the Sweet Delights shop which exhibits Cadbury chocolates past and present.

The Church of the Holy Prince Lazar (92 Griffins Brook Lane, B30 1QG)
A beautiful Serbian Orthodox Church decorated with spectacular frescoes and containing many important relics. There will an exhibition in the church hall displaying medieval frescoes from monasteries in Serbia. There is no wheelchair access to the church, but there is access to the hall.
Approximately 25 min walk from Bournville Village Green

Fircroft College of Adult Education (1018 Bristol Road, B29 6LH)
Six acres of gardens to explore and a chance to see some of the rooms in George Cadbury Junior’s former home, with a plant and cake sale.
Approximately 20 min walk from Bournville Village Green

Woodbrooke (1046 Bristol Road, B29 6LJ)
A chance to discover the garden and grounds of one of George Cadbury’s houses. Enjoy the labyrinth, herbaceous borders, lake, walled garden and play garden games.
Approximately 20 min walk from Bournville Village Green

The Quadrangle – Bournville Almshouses (Mary Vale Road, B30 2DJ)
Built in 1898 by architect Ewan Harper for Richard Cadbury, the Quadrangle contains 33 bungalows. Please note that the pre-booked tours for this location are now sold out.