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Bournville Heritage Open Day 2021

Bournville Heritage Open Day is back for 2021, on Saturday 11th September from 10am-4pm.

Visit George Cadbury’s famous garden village as 11 historic venues open for FREE as part of Heritage Open Days.

Enjoy tours, exhibitions, activities and family fun and experience the stunning architecture and design of this very special community.

The event will be a little different this year as not all venues are currently suitable for visitors. However, we have a great array of buildings and sites for you to visit

Venues opening include:

Selly Manor Museum

Explore the Tudor manor and medieval hall, saved from demolition by chocolate manufacturer George Cadbury, and rebuilt in the heart of historic Bournville. Enjoy an exhibition by the Birmingham Watercolour Society and get involved in hands on history with dressing up, games and a family trail. Plus pick up a George Cadbury souvenir to remember your day.

The Rest House

Situated in the centre of Bournville Village Green, The Rest House was paid for by the employees of Cadbury Brothers Ltd to commemorate the Silver Wedding Anniversary of George and Elizabeth Cadbury on 19 June 1913. The design is taken from a medieval butter market in Dunster, Somerset.

The Carillon

An opportunity to hear the carillon live and to see the Carillonneur in action via a video link at the Rest House, demonstrating the playing technique and performance possibilities.

Quaker Meeting House

Visit an unusually elaborate Quaker Meeting House and the only one housing an organ. The Quaker Meeting House was built in 1905 and was designed by William Alexander Harvey, an influential architect on the Bournville estate. Especially for our Heritage Open Day there will be an exhibition of old photos of the Meeting House and a display board of Quaker testimonies.

St Francis Church

St Francis Church stands at the heart of the Bournville Village, designed in the early Christian basilica style and consecrated in 1925. The architect, William Alexander Harvey, created a robust and open space, filled with light, which is simple but not plain. 

The Bournville Experience

Fascinating for all ages, the Bournville Experience focuses on the Quaker ethics of the Cadbury family and how Bournville Village came to be built. A display showcases historical artefacts, including the original pestle and mortar used by founder John Cadbury to grind cocoa beans at his first shop in Bull Street, Birmingham. Find out about the Cadbury’s Suggested Rules of Health and Enjoy reminiscing over Cadbury packaging and products from the early 1900s right through to the present day. Please note: The Bournville Experience will only be open from 9.30am – 11am.

Fircroft College of Adult Education

Founded in 1909 by George Cadbury Jr, grandson of Cadbury’s co-founder John, Fircroft College of Adult Education is based in his former family home; a beautiful Edwardian building set in six acres of gardens. Fircroft was originally created to provide educational opportunities for some of the most disadvantaged and excluded members of society. Light refreshments will be on sale, and there will also be medieval battle re-enactments taking place.

Rowheath Pavilion

Rowheath Pavilion was built in 1924 for the Cadburys as a sports and social club for the factory workers. At the time it had 14 football pitches, 13 cricket, four hockey and two rugby, 31 tennis courts, two bowling greens, two croquet lawns, an athletics track, clock golf and a boating and fishing lake. In 1937 a modernist lido was added. After the second world war there was a decline in usage leading to the closure of many of the sports facilities and the bulldozers ready to demolish the Italianate building. On HOD we’ll tell the story of how people power saved the building and created a vibrant community hub with an exhibition of the history and a tour of the parkland and playing fields.

Bournville Model Boat Club

Bournville Model Yachting Club was founded in the early 1900s at Rowheath Park. By 1926 George Cadbury had commissioned an area of marshland on the now-famous Bournville Village Trust to be reclaimed and a concrete pool of even depth was constructed. This is an opportunity to see our updated boathouse and get close to the model boats. Visitors will see the sailing model boats in action on the water and a number of boats will be available for visitors to sail.

And NEW for 2021…

Manor Farm Park Heritage Trail

A 2 km Trail takes visitors to ten sites in the beautiful Manor Farm Park that show the changes from farmland in the 16th Century to the development of a country estate, finally owned by the Cadbury Family, to the creation of a public park in 1955. The trail is self-guided but tours will take place at 11am and 1pm and must be pre-booked by emailing john.stewart@blueyonder.co.uk

Weoley Hill Centenary

Weoley Hill, is one of the Bournville estates original garden villages. Join us for our centenary photographic exhibition at the United Reformed Church, enjoy refreshments and wander this arts and crafts village, which is also home to BBC1’s Doctors!


A map for the event is now available (see below) showing the locations of each participating site, along with essential information such as toilet facilities, refreshments and suggested visit times. You can download and print the map too.

To keep up to date with plans for Bournville Heritage Open Day 2021 please visit he Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2991173694460165/

There are more detailed descriptions about each site on the Heritage Open Day website: https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/

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