Harborne is an area of south-west Birmingham, England. It is located three miles (five kilometres) southwest from Birmingham city centre. It is a Birmingham City Council ward in the formal district and in the parliamentary constituency of Birmingham Edgbaston.

The Clock Tower, Harborne
Harborne is located in West Midlands county
Location within the West Midlands
Population23,001 (2011.Ward)[1]
OS grid referenceSP020836
Metropolitan borough
Shire county
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtB17 & B32
Dialling code0121
PoliceWest Midlands
FireWest Midlands
AmbulanceWest Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
West Midlands
52°28′N 1°57′W / 52.46°N 1.95°W / 52.46; -1.95



Harborne lies to the west of Edgbaston, to the north of Selly Oak, to the east of Quinton, and to the south of the Bearwood and Warley areas of neighbouring Sandwell.

As a parish, it covered an area of 3,300 acres (1,300 hectares), 100 acres (40 hectares) of which was of woodland and plantations[citation needed].

Harts Green is an area of Harborne.[2]


The former City of Birmingham fire station, now divided up and converted into private homes.
St Mary's RC Church, Vivian Road, Harborne

There is 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. 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.[6][7]

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[citation needed].

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).

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[citation needed]. Building work started on the current church, in Vivian Road, on 8 September 1875 and it opened on 6 February 1877.[8] The Augustinians (Austin Friars) arrived at St Mary's in 1973[citation needed][9] 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[citation needed]. The St Mary's Parish Centre was opened in 1990 and is next door to the church[citation needed].

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.[10] 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.

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), or in 1894[11] It then became part of the West Midlands in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972.



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.[12]



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

There are six primary schools: Birmingham Blue Coat School, Chad Vale Primary School (which both sit on the border between Harborne and Edgbaston), Harborne Primary School, St Mary's Catholic Primary School, St Peter's Church of England 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.[13]

Harborne Primary School

Harborne Primary School
Station Road


, ,
B17 9LU

Coordinates52°27′32″N 1°57′11″W / 52.459°N 1.953°W / 52.459; -1.953
TypeCommunity School
Established1 September 2000 (2000-09-01)
Local authorityBirmingham
Department for Education URN132261 Tables
Chair of the GovernorsKaren Mackenzie[14]
PrincipalMr Mark Slater
Head of SchoolMrs Mandy Hughes
Age4 to 11
Houses  Hanover
Colour(s)    Red and Yellow

Harborne Primary School is a coeducational primary school for pupils aged 4 to 11. As of September 2014, the school had 629 students.[16]

The Edwardian infant school opened in 1902; a junior school was added to the site in 1912. In September 2000 the two schools were merged, forming Harborne Primary School as it is today.[17]

On 27 April 2011, a roof fire caused significant damage to the structure of the junior school.[18] More than 60 firefighters tackled the blaze. None of the pupils or staff were injured. The infant school reopened a week later, with the juniors moved to nearby Harborne Hall hotel for six months whilst the rebuild took place.[19] Birmingham City Council awarded the school £1.3 million for the rebuild project, which was completed a year later, in April 2012.[20]

In 2015 the school submitted plans to build an annex site, on the ground of Lordswood Girls' School, to expand the school from 630 to 1050 places. The plans were opposed by residents of the nearby Hagley Road Retirement Village.[21] Further plans were submitted for a site on Court Oak Road, near Queen Alexandra College, to expand the school to 840 pupil places. In preparation for the expansion, the school will accept a further 30 reception children on its main site in September 2018. The one form entry annexe opened in September 2019.[22][23]



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.[24]

The ward has a Ward Support Officer.[5]

Public transport




Harborne is served by the following bus routes:[25]



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

The Cricket Ground, Harborne, c. 1906

Harborne Hockey Club was founded in 1903 and is the highest ranked Club in the local area. The club has six ladies and five mens teams as well as a thriving youth section. It is the only club in the West Midlands to be affiliated to Flyerz Hockey which actively supports people with disabilities play sport.

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.[26] Harborne is bordered by Bourn Brook Walkway on the south and Harborne Walkway to the north east.[27][28]

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.[29]

Current pubs
Former pubs

Notable residents

David Cox, 1856
Mike Whitby, 2008



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. ^ a b c d "Harborne Ward". Birmingham City Council.
  6. ^ Duignan, William Henry (1902). Notes on Staffordshire Place Names. Oxford university press. p. 74. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Birmingham Mail". 2 May 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  8. ^ "History of St Mary's RC harborne". Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  9. ^ "History of St Marys RC harborne". Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Harborne Railway History". Birmingham City Council.
  11. ^ Kings Norton Registration District: Harborne. UK BMD. Accessed 3 January 2023.
  12. ^ "Harborne ward Economic Key Facts" (PDF). Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Harborne Local History: Harborne Library". Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Governors". Harborne Primary School. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  15. ^ "EduBase Harborne Primary School". Department for Education. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Ofsted Information". Ofsted. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  17. ^ "Harborne Primary School fire update: All staff and children evacuated safely". Birmingham Mail. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  18. ^ "Harborne Primary School roof catches fire in Birmingham". BBC News. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  19. ^ "Hotel to house fire-struck Harborne school". BBC News. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  20. ^ "Harborne Primary School work to start after fire". BBC News. September 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  21. ^ "Harborne Primary School - retirement village residents oppose new annexe". 5 October 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  22. ^ "School Organisation: Harborne Primary School Expansion 2019". 12 April 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  23. ^ "SProposal for enlargement of a community primary school by expansion" (PDF). Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  24. ^ "No. 60625". The London Gazette. 12 September 2013. p. 18033.
  25. ^ "Bus Route Search Harborne". National Express West Midlands.
  26. ^ "Harborne public swimming pool opens". BBC. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  27. ^ "The West Midlands 'secret' parks". Birmingham Mail". 14 April 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  28. ^ "Harborne Ward Map". Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  29. ^ "On your marks for the Harborne pub run". 6 October 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  30. ^ Historic England. "The White Swan Public House (1343047)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  31. ^ "Harborne has got a brand new pub - and The Hop Garden is very different". Birmingham Mail. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  32. ^ "Harborne Slug And Lettuce: First look inside the new bar". Birmingham Mail. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  33. ^ "Our Story". Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  34. ^ "The New Inn in Harborne is under new management". Birmingham Mail. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  35. ^ Historic England. "The Bell Public House (1343091)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  36. ^ "Birmingham Lord of the Rings pub wrecked by fire to be demolished". Birmingham Mail. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  37. ^ Squire, William Barclay (1911). "Cox, David" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 7 (11th ed.). pp. 351–352.
  38. ^ Hunt, William (1911). "Freeman, Edward Augustus" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 11 (11th ed.). pp. 76–77.
  39. ^ "Obituary: Mr. Alfred Priest". The Times. London. 28 November 1929. p. 19.
  40. ^ Plaque #1616 on Open Plaques
  41. ^ Pyne, Anne (1990). "George Hunt Art Jeweller". The Antique Collector.
  42. ^ "Emmerdale star Corrinne Wicks on why she lives apart from her husband". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  43. ^ Laws, Roz. "7 things you never knew about Sarah Manners". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 24 October 2023.
  44. ^ "Nostalgia: See how much Harborne has changed in 13 archive images from yesteryear". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  45. ^ Where are they now ? West Bromwich Albion Archived 20 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  46. ^ Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. pp. 12–13. ISBN 1-869833-21-X.