Student help create living history

Pupils bring story of Selly Manor to life with new audio tour.

A 500-year-old Tudor house once home to a host of eccentric characters has launched an exciting new audio tour voiced by pupils from a Birmingham school.

Selly Manor, which is now run as a museum by Bournville Village Trust, has launched the tour in partnership with Kings Norton Girls’ School. Written and performed by year nine pupils from the school, it leads visitors on an entertaining and engaging journey through each room of the Grade II-listed building in Bournville.

Featuring facts about Tudor living, eating and health, it also introduces some of Selly Manor’s former residents, which included a cow-keeper, pub landlord and a bailiff.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the new audio tour is available to download for free from Selly Manor’s website

Nicki Lupton, Learning and Interpretation Officer at Selly Manor Museum, said: “We wanted the tour to really engage with young people so we gave the students an open brief, allowing them creative reign over its style and performance.

“In response, they’ve created a brilliant, engaging and amusing audio tour that is full of quirky historical facts.”

Gill Fox, Head-teacher at Kings Norton Girls’ School, added: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for our girls to get their creative juices flowing and to explore and interpret history in a fun and imaginative way.

“They are very proud and excited to have been a part of such a unique project in their community which will breathe their spirit into the Manor for all to enjoy.”

Dating back to 1474 just before Henry VII founded the Tudor dynasty, Selly Manor was first home to the attorney and bailiff of the Lord of Selly, John Setterford. A prosperous house until 1695, it gradually fell into decline until it was saved from demolition by chocolate-maker and founder of Bournville, George Cadbury.

George, who also established Bournville Village Trust, oversaw Selly Manor’s move from Selly Oak to the heart of Bournville where it proudly stands today. The audio tour is one of a host of resources that the Museum is investing in thanks to a £29,200 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more information about Selly Manor, visit