Bournville Heritage Open Day

Bournville Heritage Open Day
From 14 September 2019 at 10:00 AM
To 14 September 2019 at 4:00 PM
Cost free entry
Refreshments Served

Visit George Cadbury’s famous garden village as 15 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.

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 building is now home to the Carillon Visitor Centre. In addition the Coach House will be open to see Bournville’s practice clavier.

The Carillon
Join tours to climb the tower and enjoy magnificent views of the village, as well as an opportunity to visit the Carillon playing cabin to see the Carillonneur in action demonstrating the playing technique and performance possibilities.
Pre-booked tours are FULLY BOOKED.

Bournville Village Primary School
See the central hall fringed by classrooms, and lit by dormer windows in the roof. The hall rises from lance curved braces and there are frescoes of 1914 by mural painter and suffragist, Mary Sargant Florence and illustrator Mary Creighton McDowall, depicting scenes from the Bible. The carving throughout is by artist and sculptor, Benjamin Creswick. Please note the school will close at 3pm.

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. On the day there will be a display celebrating the work of stone and woodcarver John Poole, who has 9 examples of his work in the Church. The members of Shapeshifters Sculpture Group will be demonstrating wood and stone carving during the day. There will also be musical performances, refreshments and activities for children.

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.

The Church of the Holy Prince Lazar

A beautiful church with spectacular frescoes, and the first purpose-built Serbian Orthodox church in the UK (known locally as Lazarica) is opening its doors giving you an opportunity to meet a thriving and friendly Anglo-Serbian community. Presentations explaining the background of the Church and its founding members, along with a short film on Serbian culture will all be available on the day.

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. Now celebrating its 110th year, Fircroft was originally created to provide educational opportunities for some of the most disadvantaged and excluded members of society. Light refreshments and cakes will be on sale, and there will also be plants available to purchase.

A chance to discover the gardens and grounds of one of George Cadbury’s houses, enjoy activities and play games. For our Heritage Open Day, Woodbrooke will be hosting an "open garden day" where visitors can enjoy tours of our 10 acres of organically managed grounds including woodland, boating lake, walled garden and labyrinth. Tea, coffee and cake will also be available to purchase.

Bournville Almshouses
Built in 1898 for Richard Cadbury, this is a rare opportunity to visit the Almshouses as part of a pre-booked tour. The visit will include a talk by the Scheme Manager about the building and it’s past. Plus there will be an opportunity to meet a resident and a chance to enjoy a guided tour by a member of staff.
Pre-booked tours are FULLY BOOKED.

And NEW for 2019…

Rowheath Pavilion
Built in 1924 as a sports and social centre for Cadbury 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. On Heritage Open Day 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.

The Beeches Hotel and Conference Centre
Built in the early 1900s by the Cadbury family, The Beeches is a beautiful, historic property and was formerly The Beeches College. A residential college for men and women who intend to make careers in the grocery and confectionary trade. Wander around each of our Conference Rooms where you can view a different segment of our Buildings History all displayed on our walls and presented through PowerPoint. With children's activities, games and cakes sales as well as an opportunity to view our fascinating history, with displays throughout. 

Bournville Model Boat Club
Bournville Model Yachting Club was founded in the early 1900's 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 boat house 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.

The Bournville Society and Bournville Works Housing Society
Visit Bournville Village Trust’s head office at 350 Bournville Lane as the Bournville Society history group and Bournville Works Housing Society (BWHS) residents are presenting an exhibition of photographs from various archives titled The Sweet Life in Bournville. Some photographs are exhibited for the first time. 


We have produced a Bournville Heritage Open Day 2019 Map showing the locations of each participating site, along with essential information such as toilet facilities, refreshments and suggested visit times.

To keep up to date with plans for Bournville Heritage Open Day 2019 please visit the Facebook event.

There are more detailed descriptions about each site on the Heritage Open Day website.


We strongly recommend that visitors use public transport when visiting Bournville Heritage Open Day 2019. For travel information visit the Network West Midlands website

Bournville train station is a 10 – 15 minute walk to Bournville village green. The number 11 outer circle bus service stops at Bournville village green, as does the 27 and 48 buses.

Once in Bournville, many sites are accessible by bike or on foot. Seven sites are located around Bournville village green and you can also enjoy Bournville by walking through Bournville Park to the Model Boat Club where there is another cluster of four sites.

There is limited car parking in Bournville. Please look for the symbols on the map for locations of car parks. We also ask that you respect local residents when parking on the surrounding streets. In particular please note that there is a one way traffic system and very limited street parking around the Serbian Orthodox Church on Griffins Brook Lane.


We welcome everyone to Bournville Heritage Open Day 2019. Due to the historic nature of some of the buildings they may be difficult to access. If you would like to know more please contact individual sites for specific accessibility details.