Bournville, Birmingham

article submitted to everything2.com

Each of the houses in Bournville were planted with six fruit trees. George Cadbury would visit personally every once in a while, to ensure that the gardens of his properties were being properly tended for. This was no vision of sustainability, his primary goal was to ensure that his staff were kept busy during their ‘leisure’ time; thus keeping them away from the Gin and the bedroom.

The Bournville Village Trust have a specific colour that all the external woodwork on the houses must be painted in. The British Standard for it is BS 10 B 15.

William Morris and his merry band of pre-Raphaelites were one of the major influences on domestic architectural style of the time. Their interest in the medieval period was born of a desire to return to a time of perceived simplicity and moral righteousness. The fact that they were often busy bedding each other’s wives didn’t seem to prevent them from being both prolific and influential.

I would advise that anyone who is in the area of Birmingham should take the time to at least go through Bournville once, to see an example of some fantastic social engineering, and experience an architectural vision that was to influence the aesthetic of City Council estates in Britain for years to come.

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