Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bourneville and Cadbury World

I have just spent the weekend with my youngest daughter and her fiancé, we decided to meet up and stay in a hotel somewhere instead of them driving all the way up to Wales. The decision was made to stay in Bourneville, just four miles outside Birmingham, an easy train journey for me, which gave me the opportunity to put my Senior Railcard to good use instead of driving! There was an ulterior motive in selecting the Birmingham area as my daughter wanted to visit Cadbury World, I must admit I was a little sceptical but was looking forward to exploring the village of Bourneville as I had heard a lot about it. Well I was pleasantly surprised as the tour of Cadbury World  was very much more interesting than I had anticipated and far more orientated towards adults and the history of chocolate than I had expected.

The hotel where we stayed is one of the original buildings that were there in 1879. 
Bourneville village is a very special place as it was set up by the Cadbury family. In 1879, they moved their business to Bournbrook Hall, 4 miles (6.4 km) to the south of Birmingham. The location was chosen as it was regarded as cleaner, healthier and more amenable to longer-term expansion plans. Although rural, it was already serviced by a railway station, which itself was located right next to the canal.
The Cadburys named the area 'Bournville' after the Bourn Brook (now known as The Bourn); with 'ville' being French for 'town' then  the Cadburys began to develop their factory in the new suburb. Loyal and hard-working workers were treated with great respect and relatively high wages and good working conditions; Cadbury also pioneered pension schemes, joint works committees and a full staff medical service, way ahead of the times!
In 1893, George Cadbury bought 120 acres of land close to the works and planned, at his own expense, a model village which would 'alleviate the evils of modern more cramped living conditions'. By 1900, the estate included 313 cottages and houses set on 330 acres of land and many more similar properties were built in the years leading up to World War I, with smaller developments taking place later on in the 20C. These almost 'Arts and Crafts' houses were traditional in design but with large gardens and modern interiors, and were designed by a resident architect William Alexander Harvey. These designs became a blueprint for many other model village estates around Britain. It is also noteworthy that, because George Cadbury was a temperance Quaker, no public houses have ever been built in Bournville; however, since the late 1940s, there has been a licensed members' bar at Rowheath Pavilion.

The above photos show Bourneville Village shops, the Village Green and the Parish Church 'St Francis of Assisi'which was built in 1925. Up until that time services had been held in the adjacent village hall, to which the church was later connected to by cloisters.
The Rest House was built in 1914, designed by local architect W.Alexander Harvey, based on a medieval market hall in Dunster, Somerset, the original home of the Cadbury family. The Rest House was a gift from Cadbury employees around the world in recognition of the Silver Wedding Anniversary of George and Elizabeth Cadbury. As the name suggests it offers space to sit, reflect and enjoy the surroundings. The building is now a visitor centre, selling local crafts and souvenirs as well as exhibiting the history of  the Bourneville Carillon

The Bournville Carillon was erected in a semi-rural location in 1906, before the onslaught of urban development and the building of the busy main road by which it now stands adjacent. 
This carillon ranks as one of the finest and largest in Great Britain, having 48 bells hung below a domed copper cupola above the tower of of the junior and infant schools on Bournville Village Green. It is owned and administered by the Bournville Village Trust,  Normally the carillon will be played twice every Saturday commencing at 12.00 noon and 3.00 p.m. for approximately one hour on each occasion. We were able to enjoy the live concert broadcast live whilst we were exploring the village on Saturday afternoon.
Selly Manor Museum
Selly Manor is a historic building that George Cadbury rescued from a nearby location when it was threatened with demolition and had re-erected in the village. It is now a museum, which sadly this time I did not have time to visit. Maybe a return trip one day!
Men's Sports Pavilion
The Men's Recreation Ground was laid in 1896 and the Men's Pavilion was opened in 1902, a gift from the firm to the male employees to celebrate the coronation of Edward VII.

Having found the concept of Bourneville Village of great interest I was intrigued about our visit to Cadbury World on Sunday. As I mentioned at the start of this post I found the tour more interesting than I had anticipated and far more orientated towards adults and the history of chocolate than I had expected. Below is a brief description of what to expect from your visit followed by some of my photos. The link to my full album of the visit can be found at the end of this post.

About Cadbury World

A trip to Cadbury World will uncover a world of chocolate delights and interesting facts about the history,  making and the magic of Cadbury confectionery.

With fourteen different zones, there is plenty to interest the whole family. From learning how your favourite confectionery is being made and uncovering the fascinating story of Cadbury chocolate, choosing your own delicious taste sensation covered in warm liquid Dairy Milk.

You'll discover the origins of the cocoa bean amidst trees and waterfalls in the Aztec jungle, before jumping on board the magical Cadabra ride and meeting the infamous Cadbury drumming gorilla!

The average visit time to Cadbury World is around three hours. There are places to eat and drink, and you'll be able to stock up on all your favourite treats at The World's Biggest Cadbury Shop

Photos above from the areas where photography is allowed from tableaus in the Aztec Jungle to Advertising and finally. Did you know how long various Cadbury chocolate products have been in production?

Official visitor video produced by Cadbury World.

 I actually enjoyed letting the train take the strain and look forward to more weekends like this one.

I hope you have enjoyed your virtual visit today. I have included some further information and links in case you are planning your own trip, or just wish to learn a little more about Bourneville and Cadbury's World.

  1. Address: Linden Road, Bourneville, Birmingham, B30 2LU
    Phone: 0844 880 7667


    Monday10:30 am – 4:30 pm
    Tuesday10:30 am – 4:30 pm
    Wednesday10:30 am – 4:30 pm
    Thursday10:30 am – 4:30 pm
    Friday10:30 am – 4:30 pm
    Saturday10:00 am – 5:30 pm
    Sunday10:00 am – 5:30 pm

There is car parking on site, but it is also just a short walk from Bourneville Station which is on the Longbridge Line from Birmingham New Street.

The following website links where with thanks to the sites, I obtained the factual information used here may also be of interest:

Bourneville - Wikipedia  Bourneville Carillon  Bourneville Village Trust  Bourneville News

All photos are my own taken in November 2013. 
 Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection 
More photos from this trip may also be viewed individually in the collection entitled  


  1. We visited Cadbury World a few years ago, and I too found it much more interesting than I anticipated. I loved Bourneville Village - the Cadbury's were such enlightened employers who took a great paternal interest in their workers.
    I loved the carillon - it was Christmas time when we visited and it was playing carols which were lovely to hear and created a festive atmosphere.

  2. Hi Linda, happy that you had a super time with your daughter , I have never been , even though I have passed this place many a time .. .. I do not drive , and take the train everywhere , but I do not have a senior railcard yet , :-( .. in one way good and one way not ..:-) ,, you will use it a lot I think , now that you have done it once. :-) xox

  3. Sounds like you had a great trip. Best I stay away from there, I would come back loaded down with chocolate and put on a lot of weight!! I try to keep chocolate out of the house as if there I eat the whole lot!! Glad you are getting out and about. Take care Diane

  4. Your posts are the next best thing to being there myself. I loved this place. So much history and it's beautiful. I knew Cadbury was around a long time but not exactly how long! Thanks so much for the lesson :-)


  5. Glad you had an opportunity to visit such a fun place with your daughter. I love Cadbury chocolates, and knowing the family had been good to their employees will make future bites and purchases much more enjoyable.

  6. Great post, and my mouth started watering as soon as i saw the word CADBURY. I am on a diet, and I do miss my chocolate. So nice to have a trip with family. HOpe you are well and making plans for something different and special for the holidays!

  7. I love your photos of the village and of course I love chocolate too.

  8. I would like to visit Bourneville one day. I wish there were a few more philanthropists around who would do this kind of thing, although to be fair I suppose it was much cheaper to build properties inthose days. But how marvellous it would be if employers provided subsidised housing. I have been less keen on the idea of Cadbury World, although as a kid I always wanted to take a tour of a food factory, specially a chocolate one! I suppose food hygiene regulations preclude that now.

  9. Hi Linda. I thought I was following this blog, but apparently not! I have now rectified this. Lovely that you had that visit with your daughter and her fiancé, and a great idea to meet up somewhere in the middle like that. I really must try to arrange a visit to Cadbury World. Some very interesting facts there, and it looks like a lovely village. I did know that Cadburys were Quakers and very good and caring employers.

  10. Wonderful history. Who does not love cadbbury?

  11. The tour was great fun (and I'm even hungrier for chocolate than I was on your photo blog). Love love love the idea of taking the train for your visit and am envious that you can..... our public transportation basically is non-existent. We used to do a lot of factory tours when we first started full-time RVing... they are great learning experiences ... we did also once spend time in Hershey PA...where the whole town smells like chocolate.

  12. What a delightful excursion! The town is so pretty and tidy - I just love those buildings. :-) And I'm glad the chocolate tour was better than you expected. :-)


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