Object of the Month

Object of the Month

This rather lovely Christmas Card was sent by Laurence and Joyce Cadbury to their friends and family in 1932. They had commissioned it especially to celebrate a rather wonderful building.

In 1932 Minworth Greaves, a medieval hall house thought to be about 700 years old was rebuilt in Bournville, alongside the equally impressive Selly Manor. Money had been set aside by Laurence's father George 10 years earlier to finance the project, and the actual timbers had been stored close by for even longer than that. Minworth Greaves had been rescued from a rural site near Sutton Coldfield in 1914 by architect William Alexander Harvey for the sum of £25. But not until 1931 were the timbers finally re-erected in Bournville. 

The Christmas Card features a short description of the building and a print of a painting by Oliver Baker, showing the interior of Minworth Greaves. Laurence Cadbury had overseen the rebuilding project and was obviously pleased with how it turned out. Oliver Baker, as well as being a talented artist, was an antiques dealern and had advised Laurence on how to furnish the ancient buildings of Minworth Greaves and Selly Manor. He seems to have stopped to create a very nice watercolour when visiting. Both the card and the original painting now reside in Selly Manor Museum's archive.