Highbury’s Garden Project

The Chamberlain Highbury Trust has begun phase 1 of Highbury’s Garden restoration and accessibility project to renovate a portion of the Grade II historic grounds that surround the suburban mansion house built by Joseph Chamberlain in 1878. The grounds were placed on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register in September 2019. The property is located in Moseley, Birmingham and was the political base of Chamberlain until 1914 when he died. Work is expected to start this summer.

The ‘Highbury’s Gardens’ project will reinstate the original driveway from the Lodge up to the house, restore the Rhododendron Garden, open up a view between the lake and the house and improve the footpath network to the east of the house. 

The Trust has secured grants of £100k from both The National Lottery Heritage Fund with money raised by National Lottery players and Historic England towards the cost of the work, together with £80k from Birmingham City Council’s Highbury Trust and £20k from a local charitable trust.  The Highbury’s Gardens project marks the first phase of a historic landscape restoration programme for the 30 acres of gardens around the house designed by Edward Milner in 1879.  There are also plans to restore the house and more of the grounds at an anticipated cost of £8m.

Estate Design by Edward Milner 1879

We are well on the way to recruiting around 50 garden volunteers to lend their skills and time to the project. If you are keen to join the team please fill in this form or visit the Recruitment page

Volunteers are currently onsite two days per week and are working in small groups with our Volunteer Coordinators contracted from Sustainable Life Birmingham. They are working to the Landscape plans of Birmingham City Councils Landscape Practice Group and are clearing the way for contractors to lay new paths from December.

Plans of the new path network
Volunteers working on Highbury’s driveway clearance

Everyone onsite is working in a way that is sympathetic to the built and natural heritage features of the landscape, they are creating new habitats and wildlife pathways through the grounds. Sustainable and renewable resources are being used wherever possible and every care is being taken to use locally sourced labour and materials.

The paths will be similar to this when they are finished

This project will open up a view from the pool in the middle of Highbury Park back up to the Grade II listed mansion. Experts are undertaking pruning propagation and replanting of the Rhododendron Garden. The gates and piers at the Lodge entrance will be renovated.

The Chamberlain Highbury Trust continue to work in close partnership with other organised park groups such as the Friends of Highbury Park, the Bee Keepers and Highbury Orchard Community and the Parks Department to ensure that our work is complementary and everyones knowledge of the site has fed in to the design.

We also welcome feedback from park users and thank you to those who completed our survey in September. Please add your comments or questions on this page and we will strive to answer them.

Thank you for your continued support and we hope you can enjoy the new path network, and estate improvements next Spring/Summer.