Northfield is an attractive residential suburb in the south-west of Birmingham – historically the area was part of Worcestershire, before becoming part of Birmingham in 1919 following the growth of what had previously been a rural village in the wake of the development of Bournville model village and the Longbridge motor works.
Geographically, Northfield lies to the immediate south of Bournville, Selly Oak and Harborne, and to the west of the historic area of King’s Norton. On the western side of Northfield lie Rubery and Rednal, Frankley, and the Clent Hills, and to the south are the areas of Longbridge and Hopwood just over the Worcestershire border.
Much of Northfield lies between the Pershore and Bristol Roads that run directly into the city centre of Birmingham and south to the M42 and M5 motorways. Northfield railway station enables residents to reach Birmingham New Street in less than 20 minutes and the main commercial, shopping and cultural area of the city. In the opposite direction the train journey for commuters heading to Bromsgrove takes around 35 minutes.
Owing to position of Northfield on the edge of Birmingham the suburb is well-placed for motorway connections. Junction 2 of the M42 is a few minutes’ drive down the Pershore road and provides links to Solihull, the Birmingham Business Park and the NEC, and links to the M40 and onwards to London. The M5 and M42 converge to the south-west of Northfield, with the M5 providing swift access to the north and areas such as Oldbury and West Bromwich, and to the south to Worcester.
The history of Northfield goes as far back as the Stone Age, as prehistoric remains have been uncovered in the area, as well as a hoard of Roman coins. The settlement as it is today was founded in the Anglo-Saxon period and the village features in Domesday Book. During the English Civil War of the 17th century Northfield the area was a Royalist centre. By the 19th century the village was dominated by the cottage industry of nail-making. With the establishment of the Austin Motor Works and the Kalamazoo paper factory in the first decades of the 20th century the village grew to become part of Birmingham.
Modern-day Northfield features a shopping development with stores owned by leading retailers including WHSmith, Holland and Barrett, and Greggs. A farmers’ market comes each month to nearby King’s Norton and there are amenities such as a gym, football club and swimming pool within Northfield.