As a parish, it covered an area of 3,300 acres (13 km2), 100 acres (0.40 km2) of which was of woodland and plantations.

Harts Green is an area of Harborne.[2]


Harborne is a Victorian suburb with a large stock of housing dating from pre-1900 (found mainly around the High Street), and the early 20th century. The oldest part of what is known locally as 'Harborne Village' is centred on St Peter's Church, (Church of England), Old Church Road, which dates from Anglo-Saxon times (St Chad preached there) and whose tower was (re)constructed in the 14th century.

There is also some evidence of a Roman fort around the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and Metchley Park,[3][4] near Harborne.

The earliest written mention of Harborne is an entry in the Domesday Book of 1086,[5] however the settlement pre-dates this.

As a non-Quaker area of the city, Harborne became well-supplied with public houses compared to nearby areas such as Edgbaston and Bournville. There is a famous "Harborne Run" pub crawl consisting of from 10 to 15 pubs (the agreed itinerary varies).

The spelling of Harborne has appeared with several variations through the centuries, and the derivation of the place name has often been disputed. One of the more probable suggestions is 'boundary brook', although 'high brow' and 'dirty brook' are also possibilities.

St Mary’s Church was the first Roman Catholic congregation formed by the Passionists who worshiped in a disused Methodist Chapel on Harborne High Street from 1870. Building work started on the current church, in Vivian Road, on 8 September 1875 and it opened on 6 February 1877.[6] The Augustinians (Austin Friars) arrived at St Mary’s in 1973[7] to a growing catholic population and work on a new church, attached to the side of the old church, started on 1 August 1977 and was finished in 56 weeks. The St Mary's Parish Centre was opened in 1990 and is next door to the church.

Harborne became part of the county borough of Birmingham and thus transferred from Staffordshire to Warwickshire in 1891[5] by the Local Govt. Bd.'s Prov. Orders Conf. (No. 13) Act, 54 & 55 Vic. c. 161 (local act). It then became part of the West Midlands in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972.

Harborne railway station, at the end of the short Harborne Branch Line off the LMS Birmingham-Wolverhampton line at Ladywood, opened on 10 August 1874. It closed to passengers on 26 November 1934 and to freight traffic in November 1963.[8] It is now the Harborne Walkway, a two-mile (3 km) nature walk and cycling route from Harborne to Ladywood, where the canal can be followed either to Birmingham or Wolverhampton.


The 2011 census revealed that 23,001 lived in Harborne and that 17% of people were aged under 16, 69% were aged between 16 and 64, while 14% were aged over 65. The minority ethnic population made up 33% of the ward’s population, compared with 41% for Birmingham. The census found that 75% (11,997) of the population aged 16 to 74 were working or seeking work, this compared with 69% for Birmingham.[9]

Many residents of the area are academics from the nearby University of Birmingham, as well as medical staff from nearby hospitals including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.


There are four secondary schools in Harborne: Baskerville School, Harborne Academy, Lordswood Boys' School and Lordswood Girls' School.

There are five primary schools: Birmingham Blue Coat School (which sits on the border between Harborne and Edgbaston), Harborne Primary School, St Mary's Catholic Primary School, St Peter's CofE Primary School, and Welsh House Farm Community School.

Harborne is currently served by Harborne Library which formally opened on 12 November 1892, occupying a former Masonic Hall, which was built in 1879.[10]


Harborne ward forms part of the Birmingham Edgbaston constituency at Westminster, represented by Labour's Preet Gill since 2017. At local government level, Harborne ward is represented on Birmingham City Council by one councillor from the Labour Party and one councillor from the Conservative Party. The former leader of Birmingham City Council Mike Whitby was a councillor in Harborne from 1997 to 2014 and was made a life peer taking the title of Baron Whitby, of Harborne in the City of Birmingham.[11]

The ward has a Ward Support Officer.[5]

Public transport


Harborne is served by the following bus routes:[12]


The suburb had a railway station which opened in 1874. The station however closed to passenger traffic in 1934 and to freight in 1963. Since the closure of Harborne railway station, Harborne's closest station has been University. Which is on the Cross-City Line, as well as West Midlands Trains' longer-distance services to Hereford and CrossCountry services to Cardiff and Nottingham. There are frequent services to Birmingham New Street.


Sport and leisure

Harborne's tennis court facilities can be found in Moorpool at The Circle and on Moor Pool Avenue. Harborne has three bowling greens, two at public houses (Green Man and The Bell) and one in Moorpool. Grove Park and Queens Park are both in Harborne. There are two golf courses (Harborne Golf Course and Harborne Municipal Golf Course), as well as a cricket ground. When the swimming pool was rebuilt and opened in 2012, it was Birmingham's first new swimming pool for more than twenty years; the centre also houses fitness facilities.[13] Harborne is bordered by Bourn Brook Walkway on the south and Harborne Walkway to the north east.[14][15]

Food and drink

Harborne Run

The Harborne Mile is a pub crawl from one end of Harborne High Street (and ancillary roads) to the other, involving all or some of the public houses listed below.[16]

Current pubs
Former pubs

Notable residents

See also


  1. "Birmingham Ward population 2011". Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  2. "A history of BIRMINGHAM places and place-names from A to Y". Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  3. "Roman Military Sites in Britain". Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
  4. "Birminghams Roman Fort". Retrieved 17 January 2011.
  5. "Harborne Ward". Birmingham City Council.
  6. "History of St Mary's RC harborne". Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  7. "History of St Marys RC harborne". Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  8. "Harborne Railway History". Birmingham City Council.
  9. "Harborne ward Economic Key Facts" (PDF). Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  10. "Harborne Local History: Harborne Library". Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  11. "No. 60625". The London Gazette. 12 September 2013. p. 18033.
  12. "Bus Route Search Harborne". National Express West Midlands.
  13. "Harborne public swimming pool opens". BBC. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  14. "The West Midlands 'secret' parks". Birmingham Mail". 14 April 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  15. "Harborne Ward Map". Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  16. "On your marks for the Harborne pub run". 6 October 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  17. Historic England. "The White Swan Public House (1343047)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  18. "Harborne has got a brand new pub - and The Hop Garden is very different". Birmingham Mail. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  19. "Harborne Slug And Lettuce: First look inside the new bar". Birmingham Mail. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  20. "Our Story". Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  21. "The New Inn in Harborne is under new management". Birmingham Mail. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  22. Historic England. "The Bell Public House (1343091)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  23. "Birmingham Lord of the Rings pub wrecked by fire to be demolished". Birmingham Mail. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  24. Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. pp. 12–13. ISBN 1-869833-21-X.
  25. Plaque #1616 on Open Plaques.
  26. Where are they now ? West Bromwich Albion Archived 20 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  27. Pyne, Anne (1990). "George Hunt Art Jeweller". The Antique Collector.
  28. "Nostalgia: See how much Harborne has changed in 13 archive images from yesteryear". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  29. "Emmerdale star Corrinne Wicks on why she lives apart from her husband". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
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