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Bournbrook High Street.jpg
View of Bournbrook High Street (A38 Bristol Road) looking north towards Edgbaston
West Midlands
 Bournbrook shown within the West Midlands
Metropolitan borough Birmingham
Metropolitan county West Midlands
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district B29
Dialling code 0121
Police West Midlands
Fire West Midlands
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament Birmingham Selly Oak
List of places
West Midlands

Coordinates: 52°26′49″N 1°55′40″W / 52.44685°N 1.9278°W / 52.44685; -1.9278

Bournbrook is a residential suburban district in south-west Birmingham, England. The suburb of Bournbrook is bordered by Selly Oak to the west and south, Selly Park to the east, and Edgbaston to the north. The Worcester and Birmingham Canal and the Birmingham Cross-City Railway Line run along the southern boundary of the area. Much of Bournbrook was developed for industrial housing from the late 19th century, mostly in terraces of small dwellings.


The last remaining district sign for the Bournbrook area, situated on the Bristol Road (A38) near to the University of Birmingham’s South Gate, as seen when entering the district from Edgbaston

The name comes from the Bourn Brook, a tributary of the River Rea, which flows along the northern boundary of the area (Bournville is named after a different Bourn).


The suburb is in the Selly Oak local authority electoral ward, along with the districts of Selly Oak, Selly Park, Ten Acres and a small part of Stirchley. It also comes under the Selly Oak local council constituency, which is managed by its own district committee, and comprises both the Selly Oak ward as well as the wards of Billesley, Bournville and Brandwood.



There are two primary schools: Tiverton Junior and Infant School and Raddlebarn Primary School.

Population and services[edit]

Located adjacent to the main campus of the University of Birmingham the area has become the principal area of private housing for students at the university, with university students representing as much as 76% of the population of Bournbrook and 29% of the total population of the Selly Oak ward as a whole.[1]

Shops on the Bristol Road (A38 road) in Bournbrook

Due to the large concentration of students in Bournbrook, the area has retained many of its pubs. There are also numerous eateries along the Bristol Road (A38). Bournbrook also has a very high concentration of curry houses, largely run by Bengali immigrants.

Public transport[edit]

Both Bournbrook and Selly Oak are served by Selly Oak railway station on the Cross-City Line, providing services to the Birmingham New Street, Lichfield Trent Valley and Redditch stations. The former Bristol Road tram route and its depots were replaced by buses in 1952.

The Goose at the Old Varsity Tavern (formerly the Bournbrook Hotel), Market Place, Bournbrook

Public facilities[edit]

The Tiverton Pool and Fitness Centre originally opened in Bournbrook on 28 January 1906 as Tiverton Road Public Baths. They were built by King's Norton and Northfield District Council and included two swimming baths, one with a gallery for spectators, a children's bath and private baths for men and women. The larger swimming pool would be floored over in the winter months and the floorspace was used for gymnastics. In 1911, it was taken over by Birmingham Baths Committee.[2] More recently it has been converted into a health centre and now includes a "Pulse Point" gym as well as sunbeds and a sauna whilst retaining the swimming pool, the children's pool which is used as a smaller instruction pool and pool spectator seating facilities. King's Norton and Northfield District Council also built the public library.


St Wulstan's, the Anglican church of Bournbrook, was consecrated on 6 and 7 October 1906. Its commemorative foundation stone declares that it was built "To the Glory of God and for the benefit of the People of Bournbrook".[3] It became a separate parish in 1911.[4]

At the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth Bournbrook was home to a small meeting of Conservative Quakers,[5] who also ran a school in Tiverton Road. Sometime in the 1880s the group joined with a like-minded Friends meeting based at Fritchley in Derbyshire, to form an independent General Meeting entirely separate of the London Yearly Meeting, however following disagreements over the fact the Friends in Fritchley refused to travel to Bournbrook for meetings, and also concerns about the increasing permissiveness of the former, the Bournbrook meeting separated from them in 1906.[6] Some members also left for a better life in Canada in the early 1900s, and following the loss of the school because of fire in 1910, what remained of the Bournbrook meeting appears to have emigrated en masse, establishing the Halcyonia Monthly Meeting at Borden in Saskatchewan. [7]

The local Muslim community, which is predominantly of Bangladeshi origin, is served by the Jalalabad Mosque and Islamic Centre in Dartmouth Road.[8]


Industry in the Bournbrook area has included gunmaking, boxmaking and motor cycle manufacture.

Until the mid-sixties, Bournbrook was the home to Ariel motorcycles owned by first Charles Sangster then his son Jack Sangster, and with their main factory in Dale Road. Ariel was the first motorcycle company to employ noted designer Edward Turner from Peckham to join their established engineer, Val Page. He introduced the Ariel Square Four model and re-vamped their Ariel Red Hunter range. Ariel acquired Triumph motorcycles before the Second World War and, with Triumph, was itself later absorbed into the Birmingham Small Arms group when Jack Sangster joined their board. Although introducing new models, the Ariel Leader and Ariel Arrow, the Bournbrook site gradually lost importance within the BSA group with their final model, the ignominious Ariel 3 being wholly produced at Small Heath.

Until recently gunmakers Westley Richards was still in Grange Road.

Notable buildings[edit]

Bournbrook's 14th-century manor house, Selly Manor, was purchased by George Cadbury in 1907 and moved to his nearby model village, Bournville, in the 1910s, and is now a museum.[9]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Selly Oak – a neighbouring area to Bournbrook, with which it is often conflated.


  1. ^ Population statistics for Bournbrook and Selly Oak ("2001 Census: Neighbourhood Statistics". )
  2. ^ Moth, J. (1951). The City of Birmingham Baths Department 1851 - 1951. James Upton Ltd. 
  3. ^ St Wulstan's Church, Bournbrook: Jubilee Day Programme (1956)
  4. ^ The History of St Wulstan's, Bournbrook
  5. ^ Saskatchewan Settlement Experience
  6. ^ Pink Dandelion, Ben (2007). An Introduction to Quakerism. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 114. ISBN 0-521-84111-9. 
  7. ^ Greenfield, Davies ‘Religious Society of Friends’, The Encyclopaedia of Saskatchewan
  8. ^ Jalalabad Mosque and Islamic Centre, UK Mosque Searcher
  9. ^ "Selly Manor Museum". Bournville Village Trust. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 


  • Dowling, Geoff, Giles, Brain and Hayfield, Colin (1987). Selly Oak Past and Present: A Photographic Survey of a Birmingham Suburb. Department of Geography, University of Birmingham.  ISBN 0-7044-0912-7 [Despite the title this book also covers Bournbrook]

External links[edit]