Local History Group

Moseley Local History group have been successful in securing funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to make the Moseley archives accessible to local people. This project has been completed now.

Press release can be download at the bottom of this page.

Moseley Village: A History Overview

Moseley has a long and rich history dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. In fact, the name Moseley gives a clue to its Saxon past as the suffix ‘ley’ means clearing in a forest.

Listed in the Domesday Book with Kings Norton, Lindsworth, Rednal and Wythall as one of a number of berewicks of Bromsgrove, it was later treated as a sub-manor of Kings Norton.

Moseley village wasn’t always the busy place that we know it as now, in fact there was a time when it was not much more than the meeting of Alcester Road and St Mary’s Row, both of which date back over a thousand years. The more recently built Salisbury Road was named after Lord Salisbury in 1896, the three times elected Conservative Prime Minister.

Moseley Village around 1870Moseley Village around 1870Pre 1890Pre 1890189518951939193920052005



Moseley itself developed around a Victorian shopping area known quite obviously as Moseley Village.

During the last quarter of the 20th century Moseley developed a reputation as Birmingham's "Bohemian" quarter. There is consequently a wide social mix in the district and a village centre with a variety of restaurants, pubs and music venues as well as some independent small shops.

But long before this, Moseley consisted of a much different environment. Before the heavy traffic of vehicles driving down Moseley roads, in 1860 a regular horse-bus service ran from Birmingham making the district accessible to the middle class, and in 1867 the railway station opened on the Birmingham & Gloucester line with a very frequent service, attracting even more people to the area.

Moseley Hall

The largest estate of the area was then and still is Moseley Hall, owned by John Taylor (cofounder of Lloyds Bank). It was originally built in the 1700’s but was burnt down in the Priestley riots of 1791 and had to be rebuilt. The new building was completed in 1797 and was used as Taylor's family home. The large estate had a park which was landscaped based on Humphrey Repton’s suggestions. A portion of this park has been protected from being built upon by a group of local residents who formed The Moseley Park and Pool Company. This park remains a gem of the Village.

In 1884, the house was leased to Richard Cadbury, who, in 1890 offered Moseley Hall to the Children’s Hospital Committee and upon this agreement, purchased the hall and some neighbouring acreage from the Taylor Family at a cost of £16,450. This building still stands today.

Moseley really started to grow in 1910 when they began to develop on what was then an extensive plot of farm land. The properties that were being built at that time were mostly large extravagant houses for the purpose of best suiting the Edwardian Middle Class Families that were at that time looking to settle outside of the hustle and bustle of central Birmingham. This drew them to the area, and these large houses are still seen all over Moseley today, only now they are mostly split into flats.

Famous People of Moseley

Moseley’s history isn’t just in its buildings; it also lends itself as host to some very famous people.

Arguably its most noteworthy resident was J. R. R. Tolkien, who spent his early years in Moseley, living close to Sarehole Mill. It is this area that is believed to have been his inspiration for the tranquil Shire in The Lord of the Rings. He also drew inspiration from Moseley Bog for the landscape of Middle-earth.

Who knew that our quaint little village had such a huge impact on the creation of this well known and popular series?

Moseley was also home to the political dynasty, The Chamberlains, who had their Birmingham residence at Highbury, on the edge of Moseley.

Moseley village has been the hometown of some famous musicians including the starting place of bands UB40 and Ocean Colour Scene and hometown to a well known member of pop sensation Duran Duran.

This is just the beginning to unveiling Moseley’s History, but if you’d like to find out more, contact the Moseley Local History Group.

Help the Project. Get Involved.

The Moseley Local History Group is always looking for new motivated employee’s and/or volunteers to help out and take on the exciting new initiatives that are happening. This could be your chance to make a mark and be part of Moseley’s growing history.

Want to have some input into conserving Moseley’s History? Feel free to contact The Moseley Society and give us your feedback.

  • Let us know what parts of Moseley's History are important to you?
  • We’re also interested to know how you would use the historical records?
  • If you have any photographs, maps, newspaper articles or other material that could contribute to the Moseley archive, please get in touch with us.

The Moseley History Group has its own website www.MoseleyHistory.co.uk

If you would like to support the Moseley Local History Group, donations are always welcome.
Local contacts: www.Moseley-Society.org.uk

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Local history Booklet.pdf491.37 KB
Local History_HLF_Press Release pdf918.6 KB