Northfield – is a residential area on the southern outskirts of Birmingham. The northern reaches of Northfield fall within the Bournville model village and the southern housing estates were originally built by Austin Motors for their workforce.
Today Northfield is predominately a residential suburb for metropolitan Birmingham. Northfield stands on either side of the main A38, heading south from the centre of Birmingham.
As recently as 1900 Northfield was still a village within the rural north Worcestershire countryside. The residential Austin Village was built during the first World War to house factory workers. Northfield was absorbed into Birmingham in 1919 and within 20 years, a succession of private and council housing developments had been completed. The extensive house building continued before and after the second World War through extensions to the Bournville Model Village.
The River Rea runs through Northfield on its way from its source to the North Sea. The river rises in Waseley Hills Country Park and after dropping 70 metres in the first mile passes through Northfield.
Northfield is perhaps most famous for the Austin Rover car factory which was in Longbridge. This factory was built in 1905 making Austin Cars, and gradually expanded over the next 70 years to build higher volumes of vehicles. The majority of the factory site was demolished, with plans to regenerate the area with a new town centre for Longbridge, new shops, parks and homes.
Famous people linked to Northfield include:-
George Cadbury – Industrialist and founder of the famous chocolate brand
Ian Lavender – Actor playing Private Pike in Dad’s Army
The Rockin Berries – 1960s chart topping pop band