You'd be surprised to know that there are several surviving Victorian (and Edwardian) red brick buildings at the site of Selly Oak Hospital, despite all the new houses that have been built at The Oaks. Originally built as the Kings Norton Union Workhouse around 1870. The site became Selly Oak Hospital from 1897. But it closed in 2011 after the QEHB opened in Edgbaston in 2010.

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Remaining buildings of Kings Norton Workhouse at the former site of Selly Oak Hospital





You'd be surprised to know that there are several surviving Victorian (and Edwardian) red brick buildings at the site of Selly Oak Hospital, despite all the new houses that have been built at The Oaks. Originally built as the Kings Norton Union Workhouse around 1870. The site became Selly Oak Hospital from 1897. But it closed in 2011 after the QEHB opened in Edgbaston in 2010.


If you go to Selly Oak now, you will find a housing development called The Oaks, from MIA Property Group. The houses are built on (and more are still being built) at the former site of Selly Oak Hospital. Located between Oak Tree Lane and Raddlebarn Road in Selly Oak. You will find that many Victorian red brick buildings have survived (some dating to the early Edwardian period).

The site was originally opened in 1870 as the Kings Norton Union Workhouse, which was designed by Edward Holmes. It was to be a place to care for the the poor. In 1897 a new Workhouse Infirmary was built (this was the start of Selly Oak Hospital). At the time it was known as Kings Norton Union Infirmary at Selly Oak.

An entrance block was opened on Raddlebarn Road in 1902, plus a large nurses home in 1908 (known as Woodlands). The workhouse became a home for the sick known as Selly Oak House. When the NHS was formed in 1948, the whole site was renamed to Selly Oak Hospital.

In later years there was an Outpatients building near Oak Tree Lane (probably dating to the 1960s or 1970s).

In the years before the Birmingham Super Hospital opened in Edgbaston (now Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham), many injured soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan were treated here (in the 2000s).

Selly Oak Hospital began transferring over to the QEHB in 2010, and this process was completed in 2011.

The site lay derelict for years, until the hospital Trust exchanged contracts with developers to build houses on the site in 2015.

But many of the red brick buildings have survived, while many others were demolished to make room for the houses.

 

2nd January 2012

I first got photos of the red brick buildings from Raddlebarn Road back in 2012. By this point was a green fence around the site.

A first look at the red brick entrance block dated AD 1902.

View of the AD 1902 sign.

The ornate gates were closed. Private Property signs on both sides.

There was red brick house to the right.

It was demolished by 2018 to make way for a new road called Arkell Way.

Raddlebarn Road was lined with these ornate railings, probably dating back to the late 19th century I would guess.

These modern extensions to the older red brick block were demolished in 2018. Used to be Therapy Services there.

There was quite a lot of old red brick blocks on site. Many of the NHS signs were still around at the time.

They were advising, "Don't go to Selly Oak if you have had an Accident, go to the QE!". Or something along those lines.

 

14th December 2014

By this point, there was already signs of demolition having taken place on site from this view on Raddlebarn Road in Selly Oak. This was from Elm Road near Bournville. The view today is of a line of houses (built in 2016). Most of these buildings have been demolished, apart from the tower in the middle.

First view of the tower to the back. I think the red brick buildings at the front were demolished in 2015.

 

2nd May 2017

View from the 11A bus on Oak Tree Lane of the red brick building behind the fence. While new houses were going up behind it at the time, it wasn't clear what would happen to this building. It would later be restored and opened as nursery in 2020.

 

18th January 2018

An early 2018 update from Raddlebarn Road in the sunshine. The 1902 entrance block was looking good, was some cars parked in front of the gates. By this point many new houses had been built around The Oaks.

Surprised to see many of the old red brick buildings here, plus the old Victorian railings were still in place.

Most the surviving buildings were hidden by trees.

The building with the fire escape (on the left) was still there a couple of years later.

I saw this building again on my last walk past (with the octagonal roof).

One of the main Victorian landmarks is this tall red brick tower. Possibly a water tower (although I'm not sure of it's use in the past).

One last look at this 20th century extensions to the Victorian or Edwardian blocks.

The Therapy Services extension blocks would be knocked down later in 2018.

Close up zoom in of the tall red brick tower. Is it water tower, or what was it used for at the Workhouse?

I can imagine that the surviving workhouse buildings will be converted into flats and apartments.

There was another building being restored. This was probably the Woodlands nurses home originally. It's near Willow Road in Bournville. Woodlands Drive on the right leads to a new housing development. There is also a green to the far right.

 

12th October 2019

Work was finally under way to restore the red brick building on Oak Tree Lane. Scaffolding going up. When finished it would get occupied by Busy Bees as the Selly Oak Nursery by the following summer. This view from 11C bus.

 

14th December 2019

Another view of the red brick tower, this time seen behind the new houses from Elliott Road in Selly Oak.

 

3rd August 2020

One of my first visits back to Selly Oak while restrictions were eased, I'd gotten off the 11C on Oak Tree Lane. Saw the fully restored red brick building now as a nursery. Was heading for bit of a walk on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

It is being operated by Busy Bees as the Selly Oak Nursery.

 

29th December 2020

When Birmingham was still in Tier 3 restrictions (Tier 4 wouldn't start until 31/12/2020), and when it was snowing that day, I headed to Bournville for a short walk. I ended up on Willow Road and saw the Woodlands again.

The old house in the middle was surrounded by scaffolding, as seen from Raddlebarn Road. It wa surrounded by new housing all around, plus the old red brick tower was behind.

The Oaks sign and a MIA Property Group banner on the remaining workhouse building. Hopefully they will restore it for use in 2021. The 20th Century extension blocks had been knocked down a few years before.

One building remaining but without windows was the one with the fire escape.

On a closer look, it looked a bit derelict. All windows had been removed. Hoardings next to the old brick wall.

The octagonal building to the right. After this the snow started to get a bit heavier. So by the time I got back to Oak Tree Lane, got the 11A home.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown