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History | History of Bournville Village Trust | Birmingham City Council

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History

In 1879 George and Richard Cadbury, makers of chocolate and cocoa moved their factory from the city centre to the healthier environment of the countryside. They chose the Bournbrook Estate, four miles from the city with fresher air quality. Transport links were good and a source of clean water from the nearby River Bourn was available.

They completed the move in September 1879 and named it Bournville. They adopted a French sounding name as France had a good reputation for food, in the hope that their chocolate sales would improve. George Cadbury was appalled at working class living conditions and wanted to provide decent housing for his workers. He planned a model village of well-built cottages with large gardens. The village would also have spaces for recreation and leisure.