Local History Project

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Round and about Water Mill School in Selly Oak Birmingham, 2011.

Water Mill is a school of around 200 pupils, built on the site of Harborne Reservoir and opened in 1974. The aerial photograph was taken about 2008 and shows the school building, the brook, the pond and part of Water Mill Close and Reservoir Rd. The map places the school in its surroundings and shows most of the places mentioned. The school has a long record of expertise in teaching both Arts and Science and has been engaged in major environmental and historical projects, some of which have been nationally recognised through awards and exhibitions.

This project is not intended as a guide to Selly Oak as it is today but is a pulling together of research and resource materials produced by teachers and children in the school over 35 years. It can be used to illustrate changes over time or as starting points for further study but is mainly intended to provide interesting information and ideas for children of primary school age and their families. It is not a definitive or scholarly history as most of the research has been undertaken as part of school topics but is an attempt to enthuse children about the area in which they live. The area is currently, in 2011, undergoing even more dramatic changes and so this project is still an ongoing piece of work to which future pupils and staff will be able to contribute.


The information is split into 5 main sections.

  1. A reprint of the original Selly Oak Trail produced at Water Mill in 1976.
  2. Changes on the trail route shown by photographs from 1996.
  3. Extracts from Resource material produced at Water Mill in 1999.
  4. Further changes in Selly Oak shown through photographs taken in 2009.
  5. Research results and unfinished work undertaken by children in Water Mill School in 2010.
    1. Water Mill School Pond and the Bourn Brook.
    2. Harborne Reservoir
    3. Roads close to Water Mill School
    4. The Monk family
    5. The Mill Farm
    6. Harbourne Mill


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