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Selly Manor

Selly Manor in the 1920s

Selly Manor in 2008

Selly Manor dates back to the 1300s. Court rolls of 1327 first mention it as Bournbrook’s manor house, home to local tax collectors the Jouette family.

It was built by making a strong frame of oak beams fixed together with mortice and tenon joints. These were secured with pegs, and the gaps packed with a mixture of wood, earth, dung and straw, known as wattle and daub, in the frame.

By the turn of the 20th century, the Manor had been divided into three separate homes, known as Rookery Cottages, and fallen into disrepair.

In 1907, busy establishing his vision of a Bournville village, local chocolate maker and philanthropist, George Cadbury, saved it from demolition, securing its future.

He employed the architect William Alexander Harvey to oversee its dismantling and moving, to Bournville Green, one mile away.

Each beam was carefully marked, and meticulous plans drawn to ensure the building would be reassembled correctly.

Completed in 1916, at a cost of over £6000 – equivalent to £250,000 today – Selly Manor opened as a museum the following year.

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