The Moor Pool Estate is a Garden Suburb in Harborne, Birmingham. The estate was designed to be a low-density housing scheme and the concept was drawn up by John Sutton Nettleford who was the first Chairman of Birmingham’s town planning committee. Moor Pool area has around 500 houses spread across 54 acres. There are 6 different house styles in the roads that link together across the estate. The houses also take advantage of the contours of the land, and this gives pleasing views of the area.
John Nettleford was appalled with the living conditions in the back to backs which were typical of the housing in the City. Moor Pool Estate was seen as a solution that catered for the expanding urban population of Birmingham. The policy of building garden suburbs ensured that people would enjoy access to clean air and green spaces. The estate was built between 1907 and 1912 and is maintained by the Moor Pool Heritage Trust. The area is an example of how Garden suburbs were planned to provide low-cost housing in a semi-rural environment.
A visit to Moor Pool Estate was organised as an Instameet by IgersbirminghamUK. Luckily it was a glorious sunny day. We met at the entrance to the Hall and then walked around the Circle to overlook the tennis courts. This is where Louise Deakin who is the Education, Engagement and Outdoors Officer for the Trust gave us an enthusiastic account of the Moor Pool Estate past, present and future. I learnt about the connection of the Nettleford family and Winterbourne House which was interesting. Louise handed out an information leaflet that included a map of the area. I have reproduced the map below as I can refer to it during my blog.
Once the briefing had finished, I wandered around the Circle and the tennis courts and the beginning of Carless Avenue. Following this I made my way around to the shops on the circle. There was a colourful banner celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee over the optician’s shop. My path went along Park Edge towards Margaret Grove and the listed flats on Ravenhurst Road. There is a viewing point over Mill Pool giving a traditional view of the area. It is these pictures that you first encounter when searching on the Internet about the Trust. There was a person fishing in the pool and he had many photographs taken by the IgersbirminghamUK group. Margaret Grove was very pretty with the houses nestling into the lie of the land. I also discovered the various alleyways through the area. Louise mentioned that these were not paths to personal properties but pathways to encourage the garden suburb approach. Where Margaret Grove met Moor Pool Avenue are the Nettlefold Gardens and the Moorpool tennis club. The latter being the second tennis club in the Trust. I walked up to the disused railway line which is now a footpath. Here the residents would have had train access to the City of Birmingham. Moving back to the Circle via Moor Pool I encountered a few cats taking advantage of the warm sun. The houses here are of a different style and sit up and away from the road.
I caught up with the rest of the group and took one of the footpaths to the side of the Pool. I took a few more pictures of the fisherman who was still there. This footpath led onto the bowling green. It is not a level crown surface as the picture shows so it must be a challenging game to play. Back to the Circle to meet up the rest of the IgersbirminghamUK participants and we adjourned to Harborne high street to the pub and a chance to talk about our pictures and the ones that got away.
Thank you to Louise Deakin and the Moor Pool Heritage Trust for inviting us to their home. I enjoyed the visit, and hope that these pictures along with those from IgersbirminghamUK will go a long way to advertising a real gem of a place to visit with a great history to match.
Please follow @igersbirminghamUK to learn more about our activities and upcoming Instameets. Thank you to Nicky Butler who organised this Instameet on behalf of the IgersbirminghamUK team. Thanks to Lena and John for their support of IgersbirminghamUK as well.