The Briars, Weeford Road, Roughley

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Date:1965 - 1983 (c.)

Description:This was an existing building in countryside not far from Sutton Coldfield when it was acquired by Birmingham Council for use as a children’s home in 1965.

It was one of several children’s homes adapted or built in the 1960s and 1970s when there was a huge growth in the number of children brought into care and significant growth in the number of residential homes. Many appear to have been acquired in a hurry to meet an urgent need for accommodation, the Briars is perhaps one such unplanned acquisition.

It differed very much from many of the new homes of the time in Birmingham as they were in the new housing estates or closer to the city centre. The Briars was surrounded by farmland.

It was initially leased (from the Smallholdings and Allotments Committee) for three years but the lease was then extended for a further three years ‘because of continuing demand’. In 1971, it was extended again.

The Briars had accommodation for eight children although in the early 1980s only six children in care lived there as two beds were taken by the house parents’ own children.

The home was closed in 1981 (although the lease on the property wasn’t surrendered until 1983).

Image: Plan submitted to the Children's Committee when considering the lease of the property to be used as a children's home (shaded in pink) on Weeford Road in 1965.
Source: This history was compiled by the Birmingham Children's Homes Project, an initiative to explore Birmingham City Council-run children’s homes between 1949 and 1990.