Northfield's history -

Quakers

George Cadbury and his brother were Quakers who took over the family business and in 1878 opened the later world-famous Cadbury’s chocolate factory in Bournville, two miles from Northfield. They were philanthropists concerned about the quality of life of their workers and providing an alternative to grimy city life.

 

Northfield Manor is situated in what is now Manor Farm Park, and was home to George and Elizabeth Cadbury until the 1950's. It’s since been used as University of Birmingham halls of residence and housed nurses from the Woodlands Hospital, but now stands empty.

 

Northfield Library was built in 1906 on land donated by the Cadbury family, but was destroyed by a fire in 1914 (reputedly by suffragettes). The current library was built later that year, preserving the original façade.

 

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital was formed from the union of two hospitals, and opened in 1909 at The Woodlands, a building also gifted by George Cadbury. While Northfield’s Adult Education Centre building was built in 1930 on more land given by the Cadburys, and used to be the Quaker Friends Meeting House as well as the village post office.

 

The area still has strong Quaker links with Northfield Ecocentre, the current Quaker Meeting House on Church Road and many surrounding homes on Bournville Village Trust estate (a garden village originally built to house Cadbury workers).