Our story

Selly Manor Museum, made up of two distinct and beautiful buildings, lies at the heart of Bournville garden village in Birmingham and has a surprising history. Selly Manor dates from medieval times and its intriguing past includes an Italian wine merchant, a burglar and a world famous chocolate maker!

Originally called 'Smyths Tenement', it was a prosperous house until 1695 when it had a new owner and its slow decline began. By the end of the 19th century, it was divided into three dwellings known as 'The Rookery' and then it fell into disuse. With an uncertain future, George Cadbury, founder of Bournville, saved the building and arranged its move from nearby Selly Oak into his new village where it stands today. 

Minworth Greaves, our magnificent cruck-framed hall is about 750 years old. It was moved from near Sutton Coldfield in Birmingham and re-built on site in Bournville in 1932 by George Cadbury’s son Laurence. 

A museum since 1916, Selly Manor has welcomed thousands of visitors and schools, giving people of all ages a chance to immerse themselves in our, and Bournville’s, history. Our team of dedicated staff care for the museum’s collection and archives, and are on hand to answer your questions when you visit us.

You can find out more by taking a look at the Selly Manor Museum Guide Book. Printed copies are available to buy from the museum shop, priced at £5.

Or, learn about the Lost History of Selly Manor in this video with historian George Demidowicz