Thursday, 1 November 2012

Bournville Village Green

Bournville is a suburb in south Birmingham, about 4 miles from the city centre. The original area of Bournville is centred around a village green with amenities such as places of worship, shops and open parkland for recreation. The original layout remains to this day, and the area is now a designated conservation area.

The village green, surrounding parkland and houses were all planned and built by the Cadbury brothers (George and Richard), who were the sons of John, founder of the Cadbury business. The brothers built the Cadbury factory which is next door to the green.

The Cadbury brothers believed that workers needed a suitable place to live and work, close to the factory, but with large, spacious houses and clean air. The area of Bournville reflects this; houses are semi-detached 3 or 4 bedroom buildings, with large gardens. The land along the river was opened out into parkland, the canal network provided links to the countryside, and at the time, this part of Birmingham was in the countryside anyway, not the modern urban sprawl we are used to. You can read more here, here and here. You can see some pictures here.

Bournville Village Green was the centre of this masterpiece, with a Carillion, a Quakers meeting house,  and local shops including a butchers and a bakers. There are also schools in the area.

I love walking around the Green – it feels very nostalgic and is really quite nice when it’s sunny! All of the buildings retain their original character, and the sounds from the Carillion carry for quite a distance. You can get to the village green area in a number of ways. The 27 and 11 bus services serve this area well, and you can also catch a train to Bournville and then walk up Bournville Lane (follow the signs for Cadbury World). You could also walk or cycle along the Worcester and Birmingham canal, exiting at Mary Vale Road (also the exit for the railway station). You can also drive, though parking during the week is limited.

There is also an information board to tell you more:

Bonus Pics:

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