All about Selly Park

Selly Park is the area of Birmingham located between the Bristol Road (A38) in the west and the River Rea in the east. The Pershore Road (A441) runs through the district on its eastern side with the Bourne Brook and the Birmingham Nature Centre at its northern boundary and the Dogpool Lane junction at its southern boundary.

Selly Park was named initially after the park around Selly Hall, now preserved within Selly Convent, and the land to the west of the Pershore Road was laid out for development in the mid nineteenth century with spacious plots and tree-lined streets, where development is still restricted by covenant. On the other side of the Pershore Road, between it and River Rea are several streets of superior 19th and early 20th century terraced housing.

Much of the housing in Selly Park is owner occupied along with a smaller proportion of privately rented accommodation. Selly Park forms part of the Selly Oak Ward of Birmingham City Council and is part of the Selly Oak Constituency. Selly Park is essentially a pleasant part of the inner suburbs of Birmingham, situated 4km (2½ miles) south of the City Centre. The neighbourhood of Selly Park South consists of some 700 households situated in the south eastern part of the district (see Your Forum page for further locational information).

Selly Park is well served by public transport. The Travel West Midlands No 45 and 47 bus route forms the main link with the City Centre, services operating every few minutes during the daytime and every fifteen minutes during the evening. The First National No 146 route from Redditch also follows the Pershore Road. The TWM No 69 route forms a link between Weoley Castle, Selly Oak, Selly Park, Kings Heath and Solihull. Bournville and Selly Oak railway stations on the Cross City Line are within reasonably easy reach.

A completely “green” transport route also passes through Selly Park, namely the Rea Valley Cycle Route. This links the City Centre with the southern suburbs of the city, continuing south via Stirchley, Kings Norton, Northfield and Longbridge to Frankley. Much of this route is via purpose built, asphalt surfaced, traffic-free cycle tracks. The Selly Park section follows this type of route (which is shared with pedestrians) through Cannon Hill Park and the playing fields to the south and then takes to the side roads of Kitchener Road and Cecil Road to pass into Stirchley south of Dogpool Lane. The Rea Valley Cycle Route is part of the long distance National Cycle Route 5 which runs from Reading to Anglesey! For those who do not wish to cycle quite that far, The Rea Valley Route provides a good opportunity for local, safe leisure cycling as well as for commuting to and from work in the City centre!

The area has a number of local shops, hotels, places to eat including inns, schools, churches and medical and dental practices. Larger shopping centres (such as Kings Heath), further services and the Selly Oak and Queen Elizabeth hospital complex are only a short distance away. Birmingham City Centre is likewise within easy reach taking approximately 15 minutes on the 45 or 47 bus.

Selly Park, as the name suggests, has extensive local parkland which lies along the green corridor of the River Rea Valley. Cannon Hill Park in the north consists of formal parkland, grassland and various leisure facilities including boating lakes and children’s playgrounds. The Birmingham Nature Centre lies adjacent to the Park on Pershore Road. Further south the parkland becomes less formal with mixed woodland and grassy areas and also the extensive playing fields including football pitches to the north of Kitchener Road. On the eastern side of the River Rea, just over the Ward boundary into Moseley is a cricket pitch, an all weather playing surface and the Holders Lane Woods.

For further information please see the Local Links page.


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Information for newcomers

We bid all new residents a warm welcome, including students for whom Selly Park will be their temporary home while studing. We hope your time here will be happy and we hope you will get involved in the life of our local community. Please look around the website to find out more about the neighbourhood and if you have any questions please do get in touch with us via the Contact Us page.

In particular you will find it helpful for you to know the City Council arrangements for refuse and recycling collection. Please do stick to these arrangements to avoid uncollected rubbish spoiling the neighbourhood.

Please refer to the appropriate section of our HOME PAGE for latest information on these arrangements.

A Concise History of our neighbourhood
by John Williams

The earliest record of our neighbourhood could be regarded as the entry for the manor of Escelie (Selley?), a holding of William Fitz Ansculf, (son of Ansculf De Picquigny) in the Doomsday Book of 1086 – the map shows the River Rea lying between Escelie and Muselie (Moseley)in the County of Worcestershire. Selley was a manor greater than Birmingham in those days but merely a clearing in the woodlands which dominated this area in those times.

Essentially, the rural nature of the area remained unchanged until the middle of the 19th Century and our area consisted of a few farms and the small hamlet of Ten Acres (named after the field on which it was built) at the cross roads formed by the crossing of the ancient pathways between Selly Oak and Moseley and the later turnpike road between Birmingham and Pershore (Pershore Road). The land was held by various tenant farmers from the Selly Manor which was within sight of each farm. There is a reference to ‘Mill Lane’ as part of the road to Moseley which may indicate that the manorial mill was situated on the river close by and its mill pond would be the ‘Dogpool’ from which this area derives its name.

The mill became the focus for the expansion of the village in the latter part of the Victorian period in line with the general industrialization of the Birmingham area. It became primarily a metal forming establishment and continued in this role as Clifford’s Mill until the 1980s.
Most of the local terraced houses were built to house the workers from the mill and other industrial developments in Stirchley, Selly Oak and Bournville. The main period of development took place in the last decade of the 19th Century until the beginning of the First World War in 1914. A few Georgian style houses were built along the turnpike road in the early Victorian period to house middle class professional people who desired to move out of the smoke and grime of Birmingham. These were the earliest speculative properties encouraged by Robert Dolphin, a Birmingham Solicitor, who had himself moved out of the city when he purchased the Estate of Selly Manor in 1835.

He later was the author of the Selly Hall Estate which became the Selly Park Estate largely built on the parkland which surrounded the Palladian Style Selly Hall, now incorporated into St Paul’s Convent at the top of Kensington Road. The remaining farm lands were developed as the pleasantly green suburb of Selly Park in the inter-war years and the 1950s to result in the present-day neighbourhood we currently share and to which we welcome new residents.