News Chimney Conservation Mission Historic Cadbury Bungalows

Bournville Village Trust (BVT) is set to embark on a mission to preserve the heart of its historic identity over the next five years with a programme to refurbish some of its oldest properties.

The Quadrangle in Bournville (main picture) was originally built for retired Cadbury workers 119 years ago, but time and the elements have taken their toll on the historic bungalows’ ornate chimney stacks.

Constructed from handmade bricks and stone, the chimneys at the Quadrangle, built by George Cadbury’s brother Richard, are suffering from age and frost damage.

Given the building’s listed status, BVT has employed expert stonemasons Treasures & Sons Ltd based in Ludlow, to carry out the repair and rebuilding work using traditional techniques.

Stone sourced from the same quarry as the original chimneys will also be used for the work and the trust plan to restore all of the scheme’s 33 chimney stacks within the next five years.

“The Quadrangle is often described as Bournville’s ‘hidden gem’ and this work is vital in ensuring that the building’s unique characteristics are conserved,” said Steve Fellows, BVT’s head of asset management.

“We’ve sought experts stonemasons to carry out the work and help us bring the chimneys back to how they looked when they were first built 119 years ago.

“Importantly, over the last few years we’ve also installed new bathrooms, kitchens and boilers in the bungalows to ensure residents can live in a beautiful historic building but with modern facilities.”

Built in 1897, the Quadrangle is made up of 33 bungalows all set within beautiful grounds complete with its own clock tower and orchard.

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They were built by George’s elder brother Richard Cadbury who never lived to see Bournville develop as he died from diphtheria in 1899.

Originally intended for retired Cadbury workers, the bungalows are still home to former employees today, BVT said, as well as non-Cadbury employees aged over 60.

Last year 160 metres of new ornate metal fencing was installed around the rear of the Quadrangle to protect its orchard and gardens from vandalism, and was funded in part by a £10,000 grant from Mondelez International which now own Cadbury.

Refurbishment work has also previously included new lighting, pathways and the replacement of damaged railings and gates.

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