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Harborne Hall
  • Quality conference and training facilities
  • Superb wedding venue with landscaped gardens
  • Free Wi-Fi in all public areas
  • 24 hour on-site, secure parking
  • Fully licensed bar

The History of Harborne Hall

The Hall's history has fascinated many people over the years and a book was written by Frances Wilmot wife of J.P.S Wilmot (great grandson of Edward D Wilmot a Victorian occupant of the Hall). In 1991 Frances Wilmot put an exhibition together to commemorate Harborne's centenary in Birmingham; the exhibition can now be found in the gallery next to the resource centre.

History of Harborne Hall
Thomas Green known as squire Green built Harborne Hall for his daughter Elizabeth at the end of the eighteenth century. He was Lord of the Manor of Harborne, a Justice of the Peace and also founder of Harborne Sunday schools in 1794 in a small cottage in the grounds of Harborne Hall. His residence was Harborne House (Bishop's Croft') which was built before Harborne Hall.

Elizabeth Green (daughter of Thomas Green) who died in 1795 lived with her husband George Simcox at Harborne Hall. After her death he remarried and continued to live at Harborne Hall with his second wife Elizabeth Pratt, who lived until 1843. He owned a brass foundry business in Livery St, Birmingham and was Justice of the Peace in Warwickshire. He provided the family with a coat of arms in 1821. His son inherited the Lordship of the Manor of Harborne from Thomas Green's son who died childless. The Hall was then owned by the Simcox family who were very wealthy and had great social influence on the Parish of Harborne. They lived at the Hall for at least three generations after which Edward Dinwoody Wilmot a businessman (in the Jewellery trade) took up residence at the Hall in 1850. Over the next thirty years many influential businessmen lived at Harborne Hall.

Charles Joseph Hart moved to the Hall with father 1868 & lived there until 1883 and became captain of the First Volunteer Regiment in 1901. After 50 years service he was buried at St Peter's. Charles J. Hart and his brother Dr. George Hart (Surgeon for Birmingham General Hospital) founded the Harborne Volunteer Fire Brigade. Charles also wrote a book 'History of the Royal Warwick Regiment' in 1906.

Walter Chamberlain 1847-1920 lived at Harborne Hall between 1885-1902. He was the youngest brother of Joseph Chamberlain the Politician. He worked for many businesses including his family firm of Messrs. Nettlefold & Chamberlain and W & T Avery Ltd. He kept a small private zoo at the Hall. He moved to Surrey in 1902 but was buried at St Peter's Church. Edward Nettlefold lived at Harborne Hall 1902 - 1909. He was an active unionist and was Justice of the Peace for Staffordshire.

Harborne Hall was later used as a military hospital known as Avery Hospital 1916-1918 during the First World War. Financed by employees of W&T Avery Ltd. An annexe ward was built on the grounds during the war. The Hall was then turned into a Preparatory School 1919-1924; it became one of the most well equipped boarding schools in the Midlands.

Harborne Hall became a convent in 1925 by the Sisters of La Retraite; a movement founded in France & Bruges. The aim of the society of the Retreat of Sacred Heart was personal sanctification of others in a life of action and prayer. They are still the owners of Harborne Hall but since 1988 they vacated the premises to allow Harborne Hall to become a Multifaith Centre and since 1993 the Hall has been a training centre and conference centre for Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO).