Silhill

Woodbrooke

Woodbrooke Quaker Centre
Garden Tour - 6 September 2019, immediately following Core Meeting
Cost £15.00
Includes: Introductory Talk, Lunch, Garden Tour, Tea & Coffee
Address: 1046 Bristol Road, Birmingham B29 6LJ

Background:
Woodbrooke was founded in 1903, first as a Quaker Settlement later became a residential adult education college, it's now a ‘study and conference centre’. The house was owned by George Cadbury (1839 – 1922) and donated for the setting up of the new organisation.
The original house, built on a dairy farm, was constructed for Josiah Mason (a founder of Birmingham University) in 1831. It was adapted by George Cadbury when he bought it, and there were later additions when it was adapted to being a college, including an Arts & Crafts wing in the early 1900s and ‘New Wing’ in the 1960s. The bricks for the original building were made of clay dug out on site and the resulting pit became the lake after a nearby stream (‘Woodbrooke’) was diverted.
The Gardens:
The woodland beyond the lake has been designated a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC). The lawns around the house contain specimen trees, some of which go back to the original planting of the garden. Areas of grass either side of the main lawn are left to grow long, used by the wildlife for nesting and food. After flowering, they are scythed once or twice a season for hay which is stored in piles for use as a mulch in the vegetable garden. The arboretum has a collection of exotic trees and the walled garden provides herbs, fruit, vegetables and flowers for cutting.
The grounds cover 10 acres and have always been managed organically. They consist of: lawns with mown labyrinth, herbaceous borders, shrubberies, areas of meadow grass, conservation woodland, chinese garden, arboretum, orchard, lake and boathouse where herons and kingfishers may be seen, walled herb/vegetable garden, a bonfire circle and composting area.
Directions:

Address: 1046 Bristol Road Birmingham, West Midlands, B29 6LJ

Woodbrooke is accessible from the A38 Bristol Road.
If you are travelling south (from Birmingham city centre towards Longbridge): Travel through Selly Oak, continue straight ahead and when the road slopes downhill, carry on past Fircroft College on your left. Woodbrooke is on the left shortly afterwards.
If you are travelling north on the A38 (towards Birmingham city centre): After leaving Northfield, continue straight ahead. When you pass under a footbridge, look out for Woodbrooke 200 yards on the right, on the opposite side of the carriageway. Go further up the hill and do a U-turn through the next gap (as signposted) to come back down the hill to the Woodbrooke entrance.