A selection of heritage gems which combined tell the fascinating story of the famous chocolate-making Cadbury family, are to throw open their doors for free.

The Bournville Heritage Open Day takes place on Saturday 15th September, the event has been organised by Selly Manor Museum and Bournville Village Trust as part of the national Heritage Open Day Festival.

The festival that will see 5,000 events taking place across England in celebration of the country’s rich history and culture, attracts families and individuals locally and internationally.

In Bournville, 11 venues will open to the public from 10am onwards with each providing an insight into the wonderful story of the Cadbury family.

There will be tours of the famous Bournville Carillon, made up of 48 bells and one of only two working carillons in Britain. It was installed by Bournville’s founder George Cadbury following a visit to Belgium in 1906.

Pre-booked tours to climb the tower and see the instrument and magnificent view of the village will take place throughout the day.

Visitors can also pre-book to see a stunning set of houses, dating back to 1897, originally built for retired factory workers by George and his brother Richard.

The Bournville Experience visitor centre, which tells the history of Bournville through film and archives, will open for the day too and includes the ‘Sweet Delights shop’, which exhibits Cadbury chocolates past and present.

Daniel Callicott, Manager of Selly Manor Museum which was founded by George Cadbury and will also open for free on the day, said: “Last year over 2,000 people enjoyed Bournville Heritage Open Day, exploring historic gems on their doorstep for free.

“This year the event will be even better, with more to do and explore at each venue including guided tours, live music, trails and activities for all ages.

Father Nenad, from the Church of the Holy Prince Lazar, which will be opening for the event, said: “We are thrilled to invite the extended community to see our richly decorated Serbian Orthodox Church in the heart of Bournville.

“The Church Hall will also be hosting an exhibition of Serbian medieval fresco copies from the monasteries of Kosovo and Metohija. This is a very exciting time for us and we hope to share this experience with you all.”

Other buildings that will be taking part in the Bournville Heritage Open Day include:

  • Selly Manor Museum – dating back to 1474, Selly Manor was rescued from demolition by George Cadbury and founded as a museum
  • Bournville Junior School – opened by George and his second wife Dame Elizabeth, the school features Bournville-inspired frescoes painted in 1914
  • St Francis Church – completed in 1925, George ensured land was set aside for this Anglican church despite being a Quaker himself
  • Quaker Meeting House – built in 1905, there is a bust of George Cadbury here where his ashes, and those of Dame Elizabeth, are buried.
  • Woodbrooke College – the Quaker study centre was founded in 1903 by George Cadbury and is Europe’s only centre of this type. It also features beautiful grounds and gardens.
  • Rest House – paid for by employees of Cadbury, this building marks the silver wedding anniversary of George and Elizabeth in 1913.
  • The Church of the Holy Prince Lazar – highly decorative, the church was built for political refugees from Yugoslavia after World War II. Dame Elizabeth sponsored thirteen Serbian refugee children during World War I.
  • Fircroft College – a former home of George Cadbury’s son, George Cadbury Junior, which is now a college.

Click below for more information.

For information on the national festival, please visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk


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