The Moor Pool Estate

The Moor Pool Estate is a lesser known garden suburb located in Harborne and  has been described as “Possibly the most charming enclave of 20th Century social housing in Birmingham and, arguably, one of the city’s best kept architectural secrets” (Steve Beauchamp & Simon Inglis, Played in Birmingham, May 2006.) It was built between 1907 and 1912 as a low-density co-partnership housing scheme in response to the overcrowded urban dwellings prevalent at the time. Its founder, John Sutton Nettlefold , was the first Chairman of Birmingham’s Housing Committee was a supporter of the Garden City movement. He sought to create a semi-rural housing estate close to the city incorporating green spaces, gardens, allotments, and leisure facilities, to promote a heathier lifestyle. 500 houses on the Moor Pool Estate were built over 54 acres in a humble Arts and Crafts style, at a density of 10 houses per acre at a time when 40 per acre was the norm. The Estate was centred around the Circle, which included the community hall, Estate Office shops, and tennis courts.

Nettlefold’s vision in the design of Moor Pool was about building a sustainable community and homes for people to enjoy. The community leisure facilities and green spaces were integral to this, encouraging physical and psychological wellbeing.

Today the Moor Pool Estate is almost a complete intact example of the Estate as it was originally built. While some of the historic clubs such as the skittles, bowls, rifle and tennis club continue, new groups and societies continue to provide a range of activities for the local and wider community, with the Moor Pool Hall continuing to serve as a community hub.

Moor Pool’s community facilities are now managed by Moor Pool Heritage Trust, which was set up in 2011 by residents to protect and conserve the Estate. In 2014 the Trust was successful in raising £325,000 to purchase the community facilities, ensuring they would be protected for the benefit of the local and wider community. It continues to serve the local and wider community with a variety of activities that continue to serve all ages of the community from Circle Cinema Club, to baby ballet, yoga, Zumba and Kids Karate.

Barbara Nomikos


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