Bournville in 1898

1898 bournville

A map of Bournville from 1898 gives an intriguing glimpse of how the suburb evolved following the development of the Cadbury Factory. Although much of the layout of the suburb is similar to how it is now, the map, an illustration from a 1964 book entitled ‘A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 7’, predates the erection of the Primary school, Friend’s Meeting House, Ruskin Hall and even the shops on the green.

A copy of the book has been digitised for the History Online website which is a “digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles.” The Warwickshire book has a chapter on ‘secular’ building in which it notes that Bournville “grew up at a time when many architects were showing an increasing interest in traditional domestic building and were turning away from the various imported late 19th-century styles, with their often meaningless applied decoration.”

The map shows how Linden road comes to an abrupt halt at Maryvale road and indicates the first group of houses to be built by George Cadbury on Bournville Lane. The green is enclosed by roads on all sides. The book also has an entry for St Francis of Assisi church on Linden road: “a red brick building designed by W. A. Harvey of Birmingham (fn. 3) in the Romanesque style and comprising chancel, nave and baptistery.”

“Many of the architectural features of the earliest houses, mostly arranged in pairs along tree-lined roads, can be recognized in suburbs built all over the country in the following 40 years”