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Birmingham City Council

Longbridge before Longbridge



A series of small excavations has revealed the rural landscape preceding the car factory - Longbridge before Longbridge This included remains of Longbridge House and Longbridge Farm and the infill of the former course of the River Rea, which contains information on how the landscape has changed over hundreds of years.

Longbridge House and Longbridge Farm Excavations

The remains of Longbridge House and Longbridge Farm, which stood on opposite sides of Longbridge Lane, consisted of brick and sandstone walls and pebble yard surfaces. Pottery showed that they had both been constructed in the 18th century.

Pollen in former stream channels and alluvium buried under the North Works Car Park showed how the vegetation of the area had changed since the Anglo-Saxon period. The lowest levels, dated by radiocarbon to around AD 948, had equal proportions of grasses and trees, mainly alder and hazel. There was a slight rise in the proportion of trees following this but this was followed by a marked rise in grasses and a decline in trees as the landscape was opened up.

The upper levels were dated to around AD 1555. The clearance of trees and development of riverside pasture in the Middle Ages is related to the construction of nearby sites like Hawkesley Farm Moat.


Longbridge Car Factory

A photographic record has been made of the car factory itself. A number of buildings in the North Works area date to the First World War: the effluent plant, the power house and the eastern and southern elevations of the main building.

These buildings were purpose built for ammunition manufacture between 1916 and 1917, and were subsequently converted to engine production between 1919 and 1928. The North Works continued to expand until the late 1960s.


Regeneration of the former MG Rover site is underway in accordance with an Area Action Plan (AAP) produced by the City Council, together with landowners, St Modwens and Advantage West Midlands.


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Last Updated : 4th September 2013