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About Moseley

About Moseley

Moseley is a suburb of Birmingham, England, 2 miles (3 km) south of the city centre. The area is a popular cosmopolitan residential location and leisure destination, with a number of bars and restaurants. The area also has a number of boutiques and other independent retailers.

It is located within the Moseley and Kings Heath Ward of the city, in the constituency of Hall Green.


Moseley was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Museleie.

St. Mary's Church, Moseley was licensed by the Bishop of Worcester (authorised by Pope Innocent VII) in February 1405, and the 600th anniversary was celebrated in 2005 with a series of special events. Moseley itself developed around a Victorian shopping area known as Moseley Village.

Spring Hill College (Moseley School), a Gothic revival construction built in 1857, is located in the south of the district. Former pupils include comedian Jasper Carrott and musician Bev Bevan of the Electric Light Orchestra.

St. Anne's Church, Moseley was opened in 1874.

Moseley was served by Moseley railway station from 1867 to 1941. It was opened by the Midland Railway on the Camp Hill line. A previously named Moseley Station on the same line changed its name to Kings Heath Station upon the opening of the station.[1]

Moseley and the surrounding areas were much developed after 1910, being built upon the once extensive farm land that was predominant in this area. The new properties being mostly of large houses, designed to cater for the Edwardian middle-class families that settled in the suburbs surrounding Birmingham's industrial centre. These large houses relied upon at least one servant or "tweeny" as they were often termed, to help the lady of the house run the household. With the advent of the First World War, staff were hard to find to maintain houses of this size. The heating bills and high maintenance made them unpopular after the war and many were split into flats to cater for the requirements of the expanding working population who moved from the city centre as extensive redevelopment took place in the 1960s.

In some respects Moseley and the surrounding area suffered a serious decline in the last part of the 20th century. Much property fell into neglect, and problems with crime, drugs and prostitution became commonplace in the areas bordering Balsall Heath. During this same period, however, with a great deal of cheap accommodation on offer, it is arguable that Moseley also enjoyed its most creative and cosmopolitan phase as the focus of artistic and student communities.

The area has since recovered and is now one of the more affluent suburbs in Birmingham, although parts of north Moseley continue to suffer deprivation. The area has a mixture of residential properties, with some streets being among the most expensive in the city and others consisting largely of social housing and other rented accommodation.

Local band Ocean Colour Scene flourished in the mid-1990s British Britpop–indie scene with songs such as "The Riverboat Song", inspired by locations within the suburb of Moseley. Their most successful[citation needed] album was Moseley Shoals. Moseley is also the birthplace of Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran.

The suburb is the spiritual home of the great Moseley Rugby Football Club, regular cup finalists in the 1970s and 80s, and still regularly hosting one of the top 14 games in the country. Their new home is a few yards from the Moseley border at Billesley.

The politician Joseph Chamberlain had his Birmingham residence at Highbury, on the edge of Moseley. The property was entrusted to the city after Chamberlain's death and is currently used as a conference venue and location for civil ceremonies.

Literary inspiration

J. R. R. Tolkien spent his early years in Moseley, living close to Sarehole Mill in Hall Green. Sarehole Mill is believed to have been his inspiration for the tranquil Shire in The Lord of the Rings. He also drew inspiration from Moseley Bog for the landscape of Middle-earth.[2]

Planning permission has been acquired for the erection on Moseley Green of a 20-foot (6.1 m) high statue of Treebeard, an Ent from The Lord of the Rings, made by Tolkien's great-nephew, Tim Tolkien.

Local author, Jonathan Coe has drawn on Moseley for inspiration, including the suburb in scenes in his books The Rotters' Club and The Closed Circle.

Sporting success

Moseley has a rich history of success in Rugby Union. Its most famous team is Moseley Rugby Football Club[3] who were one of Europe's best teams in the late 1960s to the 1980s. Notable players include Sam Doble, J. F. Byrne, Peter Cranmer, Alain Rolland, Ian Smith, Mike Teague and Victor Ubogu.

The Moseley Wanderers team of 1900 won the Silver Medal in the 1900 Olympics.

On the border of Moseley is Edgbaston Cricket Ground scene of an heroic Ian Botham performance in 1981 and home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club for whom Brian Lara scored 501 not out in the 1994 County Championship; a record in First Class Cricket which stands to this day, and will most likely never be broken.

Literary inspiration

Today, a monthly Farmers' Market in Moseley - set up by the Moseley Neighbourhood Forum- has won various awards including best FARMA Certified Urban Farmers' Market 2009 and in 2009 local farmer Dominic Butler won the Most Unique Produce award with his micro blue beetroots. Similarly, Moseley has a well defined and established community spirit and ethos, exemplified by Moseley Neighbourhood Forum - a neighbourhood forum - that works to develop the area for the betterment of everyone. The Moseley Society exists to protect the heritage of the area; meetings of the Society discuss and debate a wide range of local issues and the interests of its residents.

The Moseley Community Development Trust (CDT) invests in the social and physical capital of the area. Established with funding from charitable trust funds and with the support of the Moseley and Kings Heath Ward Committee, the CDT is now managing a series of initiatives to improve the environment of Moseley. www.moseleyCDT.com

It has its own monthly magazine, Moseley B13 (formerly Birmingham 13), reporting on local events and personalities. It has been printing since May 1973. www.moseleyb13.com

A group of volunteers have formed Moseley in Bloom (MiB). Much like the Moseley Community Development Trust, the group undertake many projects which look at the greener issues around Moseley. Many projects take place throughout the year to enhance the landscape of Moseley as well as renovate dilapidated areas.

Every summer Moseley hosts Moseley Festival, a festival of arts and culture that sees people in the community come together and hold a series of music, art, food, cultural and sporting events.

Moseley Folk festival happens later in the year, and attracts big names from the world of folk. Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul festival takes place in the park during the summer as well.

Moseley is also home to many pubs, restaurants and cafés.


Moseley has two secondary schools, Moseley School, a language college and Queensbridge School, an Arts College.It also has a couple of Primary schools such as : Moseley C of E Primary School a one form entry school that has lots of connections with St. Mary's Church.

Moseley is also home to Uffculme School, an all age special school for children on the Autistic Spectrum.

Notable residents

Many people who have been born, lived or worked in Moseley have made important contributions, a few of the more high profile ones are:

  • J. R. R. Tolkien, Author of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings
  • Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister, MP and Lord Mayor of Birmingham (declared World War II)[4]
  • Joseph Austen Chamberlain MP, Statesman, Lord Mayor of Birmingham and philanthropist[5]
  • Austen Chamberlain, Statesman and Nobel Peace Prize winner[6]
  • Fyfe Dangerfield, musician, solo artist and lead singer of the Guillemots[7]
  • Nick Rhodes, Keyboardist for Duran Duran[8]
  • Ali Campbell, Singer UB40[9]
  • Brian Travers, Saxophone UB40[10]
  • Simon Fowler, Musician and lead singer of Ocean Colour Scene
  • Frederick W. Lanchester, Pioneer of the motor car
  • Nigel Howard, Game Theorist and originator of Drama Theory[11]
  • Carl Chinn, Historian, radio presenter, newspaper columnist, and media personality
  • Roger Jon Ellory, Author[12]
  • Bob Haines, Chief Sub Editor for the Independent[13]
  • Joanne Malin, TV presenter, co-presenter of Central Tonight
  • Kabir Ali, Worcestershire & England cricketer
  • Bach, Edward. Doctor who created a Flower Remedies System.
  • Alan Cottrell, materials scientist.


  • ^ Rail Around Birmingham and the West Midlands: Moseley Station
  • ^ Middleton, Christopher (15 December 2007). "Birmingham Lord of the Rings Tour". The Daily Telegraph (London).
  • ^ "Moseley Rugby Football Club".
  • ^ "Number10.gov.uk".
  • ^ "Joseph Chamberlain, Moseley CDT".
  • ^ "Austen Chamberlain, Wikipedia".
  • ^ "Fyfe Dangerfield, Moseley Folk Festival".
  • ^ "Nick Rhodes Wikipedia".)
  • ^ "UB40 Homepage".)
  • ^ "UB40 Homepage".)
  • ^ "Nigel Howard, Times Obituary". The Times (London). 29 April 2008.
  • ^ "RJ Ellory Profile".
  • ^ "Bob Haines, Independent Obituary". The Independent (London). 4 December 2009.

Last updated: 7th Jan 2013

Please note all information has been taken from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moseley)