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West Midlands UK location map.svg
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Location within the West Midlands
Population20,749 (2001 Population Census)
OS grid reference SP055845
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Historic county
  • Warwickshire
Postcode district B15,B5
Dialling code 0121
Police West Midlands
Fire West Midlands
Ambulance West Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
West Midlands
52°27′29″N1°55′08″W / 52.4580°N 1.9190°W / 52.4580; -1.9190 Coordinates: 52°27′29″N1°55′08″W / 52.4580°N 1.9190°W / 52.4580; -1.9190
House on Farquhar Road, typical of the Edgbaston area, demonstrating the affluence Farquhar Road 48.jpg
House on Farquhar Road, typical of the Edgbaston area, demonstrating the affluence

Edgbaston ( /ˈɛbəstən/ ) is an affluent suburban area of central Birmingham, England, historically in Warwickshire, and curved around the southwest of the city centre. [1] It is bordered by Moseley to the south east, Selly Oak to the south west, Harborne to the west, and Smethwick and Winson Green to the north west.


In the 19th century, the area was under the control of the Gough-Calthorpe family and the Gillott family who refused to allow factories or warehouses to be built in Edgbaston, thus making it attractive for the wealthier residents of the city. It then came to be known as "where the trees begin". Since then, it has retained its exclusivity and is one of the most expensive postcodes within the West Midlands and outside of London. One of these private houses is grade one listed and open to the public. [2]

Edgbaston is home to Edgbaston Cricket Ground, a Test match venue, the University of Birmingham, established as Birmingham Medical School in 1825, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, as well as eight out of the nine independent schools within the city, Elmhurst Ballet School, Edgbaston Golf Club, which is one of the private members clubs in the country, as well as the Priory Club, which offers sporting facilities. The area also has the Birmingham Botanical Gardens as well as the Edgbaston Archery and Lawn Tennis Society, which is the oldest lawn tennis club in the world that is still in use today. The first game of lawn tennis was incidentally also played in Edgbaston, in a garden of a house known as "Fairlawn".

The area is also home to a Michelin star restaurant, Simpsons, as well as pubs such as The Highfield, The Physician and the Edgbaston.

The parliamentary constituency of Edgbaston includes the smaller Edgbaston ward and the wards of Bartley Green, Harborne and Quinton. Edgbaston is also a local government district, managed by its own district committee.


Edgbaston means "village of a man called Ecgbald", from the Old English personal name + tun "farm". The personal name Ecgbald means "bold sword" (literally "bold edge"). The name was recorded as a village known as Celboldistane in the Hundred of Coleshill in the 1086 Domesday Book [3] until at least 1139, wrongly suggesting that Old English stān "stone, rock" is the final element of the name.[ citation needed ]


Cattle graze in Edgbaston in 1830 Lines family sketchbook - Disc1 041 - Moseley Park + Edgbaston (bottom).jpg
Cattle graze in Edgbaston in 1830

In 1801, Edgbaston had a population of around 1,000 people. By 1841, this had increased to 16,500 as a result of wealthy manufacturers moving to the area. By 1850, 29 roads had been laid out and uninterrupted growth continued. [4]

The United Kingdom Census 2001 found that 20,749 people were living in the Birmingham City Council ward of Edgbaston, in 8,666 households. This produced an average of 2.4 people per household, slightly below the citywide average of 2.5. The ward, which has an area of 871.6ha, had a population density of 23.8 people per hectare. Like the city of Birmingham, Edgbaston had a slightly higher proportion of females, at 50.1%, to males. 27.1% of the population was in the 25–44 age bracket and 15.1% were aged between 45 and 59. At 14.8%, Edgbaston had a lower proportion of people of a pensionable age than the rest of Birmingham (16.7%). It also had a lower proportion of people of working age at 73.8%, although it was above the national percentage of 61.5%. [5]

Edgbaston has a slightly above average percentage for ethnic minorities with ethnic minorities representing 31.8% of the population as opposed to 29.6% for Birmingham. The largest ethnic minority group was the British Asian group at 16.1%. 25.6% of people were born outside of the United Kingdom, above the Birmingham figure of 16.5%. Christianity was the predominant religion, with 52.5% of the population stating that they were Christians, compared with 59.1% for Birmingham. 8.0% stated that they were Muslims, below the Birmingham figure of 14.3%. Edgbaston was home to a significant Orthodox Jewish community. 19.1% of the Edgbaston population stated that they had no religion. [5]

46.4% of households were owner-occupied, below the Birmingham figure of 60.4%. 19.3% were rented privately, 15.2% were rented from a housing association and 11.6% were rented from Birmingham City Council. There was a total number of 9,191 houses in Edgbaston, 525 of which were vacant. At 45.6%, the largest proportion of houses in Edgbaston were purpose-built blocks of flats. This is much higher than the city average of 17.9%. Detached houses were the second most common housing type in the ward at 19.7%. [5]

Edgbaston had an unemployment rate of 8.1%, below the city average of 9.5% although above the national average of 5%. 13.4% of the population stated themselves as students. Of the unemployed, 42% were in long term unemployment and 15.6% had never worked. At 24.6%, the majority of the population worked in finance, real estate, and business activities. [5] The largest employer in the area was the Heart of Birmingham Primary Care Trust, employing 10,000 people. [6]

The Edgbaston Parliamentary Constituency has a much higher population.

Edgbaston constituency shown within Birmingham BirminghamEdgbastonConstituency.png
Edgbaston constituency shown within Birmingham


Warwickshire County Cricket Club is based at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, the area historically being part of Warwickshire. As well as hosting regular county matches, the ground plays host to the England cricket team during one day internationals and test matches.

The area also has a world class tennis venue; The Edgbaston Priory Club. The DFS Classic for female players has been held there every year since 1982 and some of the world's top players participate. The tournament is part of the WTA Tour and wins count towards world rankings. The oldest lawn tennis club in the world, the Edgbaston Archery and Lawn Tennis Society, founded in 1860 is nearby. [7]

There is also a members-only golf course which offers views over the southern part of the suburb. Edgbaston Croquet Club has been located in the area since 1915. [8]

Places of interest

The Church of England parish churches are St Augustine's Church, St Germain's Church, St. George's Church and St. Bartholomew's Church, also known as Edgbaston Old Church. [9] Birmingham Central Synagogue built in 1961 is also in Edgbaston. The Roman Catholic church of the Birmingham Oratory, on Hagley Road, was built in 1907 in the Baroque style as a memorial to John Henry Newman, who founded the English Oratory here. Its dome is a prominent landmark.

The writer and academic J. R. R. Tolkien lived in Edgbaston during his teenage years, and the two towers of Edgbaston, Perrott's Folly and the Waterworks Tower, both close to the Oratory, are said to have provided inspiration for The Two Towers , part of his The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which is located on the University of Birmingham campus, is a purpose-built gallery which contains a wide range of art from the Old Masters to Picasso.

Edgbaston Reservoir, formerly known as Rotton Park Reservoir, provides a header supply for the Birmingham Canal Navigations and is an important inner city leisure amenity. There are three public gardens located within Edgbaston; the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and the lesser known University of Birmingham Winterbourne Botanic Garden and Martineau Gardens. Adjoining the university gardens is Edgbaston Pool (not to be confused with the reservoir) which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Deer's Leap Wood is a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation in the former Mitchells & Butlers (brewery) land in the north part of Edgbaston. Edgbaston contains the only Grade I listed domestic building in Birmingham, notably one of the Arts & Crafts houses number 21 Yateley Road, designed by Herbert Tudor Buckland, and built for his own use. [2] Edgbaston Hall, a Grade II listed country hall, is located within the ward. It is currently the clubhouse for Edgbaston Golf Club.

The BBC opened its Pebble Mill Studios at Pebble Mill in 1971, which were in use for 33 years until their closure in October 2004 and demolition the following year. The site is now the location of the new Birmingham Dental Hospital. [10]


Birmingham Edgbaston is a constituency, and its Member of Parliament (MP) is Labour's Preet Gill.

The suburb is split into two wards (Edgbaston ward and Edgbaston North ward) on Birmingham City Council. There are two councillors in each. Of the other wards of the Edgbaston constituency, Bartley Green is represented by three Conservative councillors, Harborne by one Conservative and two Labour councillors, and Quinton by three Labour councillors.

The constituency has sent a female candidate to Parliament for the past 54 years. Previous MPs included Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who was born in Edgbaston.


Chancellor's Court, University of Birmingham BirminghamUniversityChancellorsCourt.jpg
Chancellor's Court, University of Birmingham

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Edgbaston has been home to Edgbaston High School for Girls, St Paul's School for Girls, St George's School, King Edward's School, King Edward VI Five Ways School, King Edward VI High School for Girls and Priory School and to the main campus of the University of Birmingham. Because of this, there are numerous university halls of residence in the area. At the centre of the university can be found the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, one of Birmingham's tallest buildings.

In addition, the area is also home to a number of independent preparatory schools namely, West House School and Hallfield School, along with primary intakes at Edgbaston High School for Girls, Priory School and St Georges School.

Edgbaston is also the home of Queen's College, an ecumenical theological college. West House School, independent primary schools Birmingham Blue Coat School and Hallfield School [ St Swithun's School ] are also located in the area. The Elmhurst School for Dance, the oldest vocational dance school in the United Kingdom, relocated to a new building in Edgbaston in 2004. St Philip's Grammar School used to be located adjacent to the Oratory. However, it became a sixth form college in 1976 and then merged with South Birmingham College in 1995.

Transport and amenities

Two railway stations serve the area. The first, University station, is found in south Edgbaston, west of Birmingham University. The second is Five Ways railway station in the north of the ward on the city's Middle Ring Road. Both stations are on the Cross-City Line. Between these two stations used to be another; Somerset Road station. However, this was closed and demolished in 1930.

The A38 road (Bristol Road) runs through the ward and is one of the main traffic arteries of the city reaching out to the south-west of the city and beyond from the city centre and New Street. Along this route buses frequently stop. There are several other bus routes throughout. The Worcester and Birmingham Canal passes through the area, connecting the city centre with the River Severn at Worcester. This was constructed and opened in the 1790s and is used mainly for leisure and recreational purposes as opposed to its originally intended industrial usage.

The A456 road (Hagley Road) runs through the north of Edgbaston and gives a relatively swift link with the city centre as well as faraway places including Halesowen, Kidderminster and Hereford.

The nearest public libraries to the area are in Harborne, Selly Oak and Balsall Heath, whilst the University of Birmingham main library (which members of the public can join for a fee) is in the area. There are a number medical facilities in the area, with some of the most well known being the University Medical Centre, the Edgbaston Dental Centre and the Calthorpe clinic. Two hospitals are nearby: the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Selly Oak Hospital.

Future tram halt

Edgbaston tram stop is projected as the West Midlands Metro system is extended. [11] [12] [13]

Notable residents

Here is a list of notable residents, many of whom have had blue plaques erected on their former houses by The Birmingham Civic Society:

Related Research Articles

Smethwick Human settlement in England

Smethwick is an industrial town in Sandwell, West Midlands, England, historically in Staffordshire. It lies four miles west of Birmingham city centre, and borders West Bromwich and Oldbury to the north and west. Formerly a Staffordshire county borough, Smethwick is situated near the edge of Sandwell metropolitan borough and borders the Birmingham districts of Handsworth, Winson Green, Harborne, Edgbaston and Quinton to the south and east, as well as the Black Country towns of West Bromwich and Oldbury in the north and west.

Harborne Human settlement in England

Harborne is an area of south-west Birmingham, England, three miles (5 km) southwest from Birmingham city centre. It is a Birmingham City Council ward in the formal district and in the parliamentary constituency of Birmingham Edgbaston.

Bournville Human settlement in England

Bournville is a model village on the southwest side of Birmingham, England, founded by the Quaker Cadbury family for employees at its Cadbury's factory, and designed to be a "garden" village where the sale of alcohol was forbidden. Cadbury's is well known for chocolate products – including a dark chocolate bar branded Bournville. Historically in northern Worcestershire, it is also a ward within the council constituency of Selly Oak and home to the Bournville Centre for Visual Arts. Bournville is known as one of the most desirable areas to live in the UK; research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2003 found that it was "one of the nicest places to live in Britain".

Northfield, Birmingham Human settlement in England

Northfield is a residential area on the southern outskirts of metropolitan Birmingham, England, and near the boundary with Worcestershire. It is also a council constituency, managed by its own district committee. The constituency includes the wards of Kings Norton, Longbridge, Weoley Castle and the smaller ward of Northfield that includes West Heath and Turves Green.

Selly Oak Human settlement in England

Selly Oak is an industrial and residential area in south-west Birmingham, England. The area gives its name to Selly Oak ward and includes the neighbourhoods of: Bournbrook, Selly Park, and Ten Acres. The adjoining wards of Edgbaston and Harborne are to the north of the Bourn Brook, which was the former county boundary, and to the south are Weoley, and Bournville. A district committee serves the four wards of Selly Oak, Billesley, Bournville and Brandwood. The same wards form the Birmingham Selly Oak constituency, represented by Steve McCabe (Labour). Selly Oak is connected to Birmingham by the Pershore Road (A441) and the Bristol Road (A38). The Worcester and Birmingham Canal and the Birmingham Cross-City Railway Line run across the Local District Centre.

Bartley Green Human settlement in England

Bartley Green is a residential suburban area and electoral ward to the south west of Birmingham city centre, England. The ward is part of the Birmingham Edgbaston constituency and is represented in parliament by Labour Co-operative MP Preet Gill. Located to the east is the Weoley ward, to the south is Frankley and to the west is the county of Worcestershire as well as Halesowen and Illey, part of Dudley MBC. To the north is Quinton and Woodgate Valley Country Park.

Quinton, Birmingham Ward in England

Quinton, situated in the west of Birmingham, is a ward that is approximately 5 miles from Birmingham city centre. Between the Amber Tavern and Quinton church, the southern side of the Hagley Road is part of the city of Birmingham and the northern side is part of the metropolitan borough of Sandwell. Quinton, along with Bartley Green, Harborne and Edgbaston are a part of the Birmingham Edgbaston constituency. The whole of Quinton is covered by the B32 postal district.

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Although Birmingham in England has existed as a settlement for over a thousand years, today's city is overwhelmingly a product of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, with little surviving from its early history. As it has expanded, it has acquired a variety of architectural styles. Buildings of most modern architectural styles in the United Kingdom are located in Birmingham. In recent years, Birmingham was one of the first cities to exhibit the blobitecture style with the construction of the Selfridges store at the Bullring Shopping Centre.

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Bournbrook Human settlement in England

Bournbrook is an industrial and residential district in southwest Birmingham, England, in both the Selly Oak Council Ward and the Parliamentary District of Selly Oak. Prior to what is commonly termed the Greater Birmingham Act, which came into effect on 9 November 1911, the Bourn Brook watercourse was the North Eastern boundary of Worcestershire, and the area was locally governed by the King’s Norton and Northfield Urban District Council.

Birmingham Oratory

The Birmingham Oratory is an English Catholic religious community of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, located in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham. The community was founded in 1849 by St. John Henry Newman, Cong.Orat., the first house of that congregation in England.

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Bearwood is the southern part of Smethwick, Sandwell, West Midlands, England, and north of the A456 Hagley Road. Bearwood Hill was the original name of the High Street from Smethwick Council House to Windmill Lane. The border at the Shireland Brook where Portland Road (Edgbaston) becomes Shireland Road (Sandwell) is signed "Bearwood".

St Philips School Grammar school in Birmingham, West Midlands, England

St Philip's Grammar School, in Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, was a Roman Catholic state grammar school for boys. It was closed in 1976, but continued as a Sixth Form College until 1995.

Herbert Tudor Buckland

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Hagley Road railway station was a railway station in Birmingham, England, built by the Harborne Railway and operated by the London and North Western Railway in 1874. In addition to the passenger facilities, there was also a goods yard and a coal wharf.

Edgbaston (ward) Ward in England

Edgbaston ward is a local government district, one of 40 wards that make up Birmingham City Council. Edgbaston lies to the south west of Birmingham city centre and is home to the University of Birmingham and the Queen Elizabeth hospital. The ward population at the 2011 census was 24,426.

Harborne (ward) Ward in England

Harborne ward is a local government district, one of 40 wards that make up Birmingham City Council. Harborne lies to the south west of Birmingham city centre. It has a slightly older age profile than the city average. The percentage of ethnic minority residents is below the city average. Unemployment is below the city average. The ward population at the 2011 census was 23,001.

Rotton Park Place in West Midlands, England

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  1. Tom Dyckhoff. "Let's move to Edgbaston, Birmingham". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  2. 1 2 "21 Yateley Road". www.historichouses.org.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Open Domesday Map: Edgbaston
  4. Davidoff, Leonore; Catherine Hall (2002). Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class, 1780–1850. Routledge. p. 369. ISBN   0-415-21064-X.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "2001 Population Census in Birmingham: Ward Profiles". Birmingham City Council. 2001. Archived from the original on 12 March 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2008.
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  7. "The Archery - Edgbaston Archery and Lawn Tennis Society, Edgbaston, Birmingham". www.ealts.net. Archived from the original on 11 September 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  8. "Edgbaston Croquet Club". Edgbaston Croquet Club. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2008.
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) St. Bartholomew's Church, Edgbaston: History
  10. "Birmingham Roundabout - BBC Pebble Mill – Edgbaston". www.birminghamroundabout.co.uk. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  11. "Midland Metro Grand Central extension opens". British Trams Online. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  12. "Birmingham New Street tram extension opens". Rail News. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  13. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 July 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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Further reading