Bearwood is the southern part of Smethwick in Sandwell, though is just west of the city centre of Birmingham and to the north of the suburbs of Edgbaston and Harborne. This means that Bearwood provides easy access to the shops, entertainment venues, and commercial hub of the city centre – it combines this with affordable housing and a strong community spirit to form an attractive area for residents.

The Hagley Road marks the southern edge of Bearwood and Smethwick and divides the area from Harborne and Edgbaston. To the east of Bearwood are Ladywood and then the city centre, with Hurst Green and Warley to the west. Bearwood is focused on the Bearwood Road that runs north-south and in the north forms Smethwick High Street. The suburb is centred on the crossroads where the Bearwood Road is met by the Sandon Road and Three Shire Oaks Road.

The Hagley Road provides a direct route from Bearwood into Birmingham city centre where the three stations of Moor Street, Snow Hill and New Street offer connections to London and the rest of the UK. The Hagley Road also takes motorists through the south-western suburbs of the city and connects with the M5 heading south.

Until the middle of the 19th century the area was untouched by industry and remained devoted to agriculture despite the growth of Birmingham and Smethwick as manufacturing centres. The Bearwood Road was used as a route between the prosperous suburb of Harborne and the industrial area of Smethwick – hence the emergence of taverns such as the Bear Inn and the King’s Head that still stand in Bearwood today.

From the 1880s onwards there were house building projects in the area, especially following the establishment of the Mitchells and Butlers Brewery for which many houses had to be constructed for workers. Many buildings on Bearwood Road remain standing, including Mitchells and Butlers pubs with their trademark terracotta brickwork. Three Shire Oaks Road stands where there was, until 1900, an oak tree that marked the ancient border between the counties of Worcestershire, Shropshire, and Staffordshire.

The terraced homes built in the first decades of the 20th century still form the majority of houses in Bearwood and today offer a hugely attractive option for first-time buyers and young professionals working in the nearby city centre. There are two main parks in Bearwood: Lightwoods Park on the Hagley Road is home to an 18th century house, and Warley Woods is an area of historic parkland. There are several primary schools in Bearwood and the Shireland Collegiate Academy, rated as outstanding by Ofsted. There are various community groups active in Bearwood including the ‘We Are Bearwood’ group who promote cultural and music events.


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