I first went to Manor Farm Park in June 2010. Thought there would be views of the skyline (but there weren't). The park has a large pond that runs near the Merritt's Brook. The Bristol Road South runs past (at White Hill). Always thought it to be in Northfield, although Bournville isn't that far away. The Cadbury's used to have a house on the land of Northfield Manor House.

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Manor Farm Park: a park down the Bristol Road South I've always considered to be in Northfield





I first went to Manor Farm Park in June 2010. Thought there would be views of the skyline (but there weren't). The park has a large pond that runs near the Merritt's Brook. The Bristol Road South runs past (at White Hill). Always thought it to be in Northfield, although Bournville isn't that far away. The Cadbury's used to have a house on the land of Northfield Manor House.


Manor Farm Park is a 50 acre open space with woodlands, meadows and a lake. The park opened to the public in 1951 and was originally the grounds of Northfield Manor House.

My first full visit to the park was back in June 2010. I never did find the manor house at the time. But then there was probably no public access. Looking on Google Maps Street View, there is security barriers on the roads that I think probably led to the house. Sadly arsonists burnt down the house years ago and it is now demolished.

George and Elizabeth Cadbury lived in the house that they called Manor Farm. George Cadbury bought the house in 1890, moving in there in 1894. They lived there together until George's death in 1922. Elizabeth continued to live there until her own death in 1951. It was acquired by the University of Birmingham in 1953. The fire happened there in 2014, and there was a partial demolition in 2015. It was located up Manor House Drive.

 

June 2010

My first full walk around the park near Northfield. Getting on from the Bristol Road South in Northfield (shows up as White Hill on Google Maps). At look at Whitehill Lane which curves around past the park.

No paths on this section, so had to walk over the field part of the park past the trees.

In the lake / pond was some Canada geese.

They do have paths in the park, this one near the trees and shrubs.

Also saw a swan in the lake at the time.

The lake / pond in the park. A path does go around it on both sides. They lead to the roads that probably led to the Cadbury's old house.

I took the exit to the road that leads to the car park near White Hill. Before I left saw this old wooded barn.

Glad that I got photos of this barn, as arsonists sadly burnt it down in 2017. Historic Cadbury park set for revamp after £250,000 barn fire payout.

The barn was built by the Cadbury's in 1895. The Friends of Manor Farm Park had hoped to restore the barn before the fire. It was hoped that the building could be restored, but it's future is uncertain at the moment.

Saw these old farm buildings on the way out.

Hopefully they could be restored and turned into a cafe, toilets and a public space.

I'm not sure if they were in use back in 2010 or not. Looked derelict. The park and the buildings have been owned by the City Council since the 1950s.

June 2011

Since I initial visit, I have not been back to the park that much. This is actually a recreation ground in Northfield, taken during a walk down to Longbridge. Coming up on Google Maps as Hilltop Park.

A playground in this recreation ground, just seen in passing at the time. Google Maps calls this a Play Park.

March 2012

I can confirm that this is from or near Manor Farm Park. This was during a walk from the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital to the demolished former Bournville College. A squirrel on the leaf covered lawn.

This was near the Bristol Road South / White Hill in Northfield (I did not actually enter the park at this time).

Purple crocuses growing out of the grass at the beginning of Spring.

Another squirrel.

April 2017

My last actual visit to Manor Farm Park was during a walk on the Merritt's Brook Greenway. Probably starting at the new Starbucks Drive Thru in Northfield, I headed up towards Ley Hill Park, then across the Merritt's Brook Greenway, until I crossed over the road on Shenley Lane, and into the park.

Newly laid paths takes you into the park from here.

Footbridge over the Merritt's Brook.

A look from the footbridge at the Merritt's Brook.

I was now heading through the park up Whitehill Lane. Daffodils lining the roadside.

Up Whitehill Lane back to the Bristol Road South / White Hill.

Saw this man with a metal detector. Did he find anything?

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.