|Manor House was home of George and Elizabeth Cadbury from the 1890s until Elizabeth Cadbury's death in 1951. Parts of the original house date from 1701, encased in later remodelling in the nineteenth century. The University of Birmingham acquired the building and part of the grounds in 1952. The remainder of the estate was donated to the city of Birmingham for use as a public park.
During 1953 the University converted the original Manor House building for use as a hall of residence, and it opened for forty men students in January 1954. The first Warden was Dr C. E. Harrold, and members of academic staff were appointed Senior Common Room members to act as hall tutors. The architect H. W. Hobbiss was commissioned to design an extension to the building so that the hall of residence could accommodate one hundred and fifty residents, and construction work took place in the late 1950s. The west wing was opened in 1957, and the east wing in 1958. Manor House was managed by the Warden, and governed by the Manor House Committee. This was a committee of University Council which seems to have been disbanded by 1967. After this date business relating to Manor House is likely to have been dealt with by the Halls of Residence Committee which also administered business of the new halls of residence on the Vale site. It is likely that a Hall Council was established at Manor House, as was the case at the Vale halls of residence, to regulate day to day life. C. E. Harrold was replaced by Professor A. D. McQuillan, who served as Senior Common Room President of Manor House from 1969 to 1975, presumably on the same basis as the Senior Common Room Presidents at the Vale halls of residence.
All Manor House students were automatically members of the Junior Common Room, and were required to pay a compulsory subscription. The Junior Common Room Committee was elected by its members and had some influence in the hall of residence, controlling its own social functions. It was represented on the Hall Council at which the views of students could be put to the Senior Common Room, hall management, and University representatives. Because of its distance from the Edgbaston campus and the Vale halls of residence, Manor House Junior Common Room Committee tended to be more active in organising social events, and the Manor Ball, held each February and the 'Manor Bang' accompanied by fireworks each November, were regular well attended functions. Senior Common Room members included a President and a number of hall tutors, who were responsible for helping to sustain hall regulations, to help students with any academic or personal problems, and to participate and assist in the social and community life of the hall.
Facilities at the hall of residence included the Manor House Club, which had a bar, tv room, and games room. Meals were served by waitresses until 1993.
Manor House became a mixed hall of residence for the 1980-1981 academic session, with the completion of a new wing in October 1980, called the Wolfson wing. Professor McQuillan had been replaced as hall President by Dr A. E. Staton in 1975, and Staton was replaced by Professor Clive Neal Sturgess in 1982. A new wing, named for Joyce Cadbury, former chair of the Manor House Committee and supporter of the hall of residence, was opened in September 1993, which resulted in a fifty per cent increase in the number of students accommodated at Manor House, to just over three hundred. The new wing was constructed on the site of the rose gardens and provided en suite accommodation. The bar was also extended in 1993
Professor Neal Sturgess was replaced as hall President by Dr Jules Whicker in 2005, and the number of Senior Common Room staff was reduced, with University halls management probably taking on a greater role in the running of the hall. Student mentors were also recruited in addition to Junior Common Room Committee members. Manor House closed as a hall of residence in the summer of 2007, and the property was sold by the University of Birmingham
|Records are likely to have been kept at Manor House until its closure as a hall of residence in 2007. Some records were transferred to Special Collections at that point by the hall manager at the time, Brynda Kirk. Other records were stored in other University owned student accommodation until their transfer to Special Collections in 2013. Further records of Manor House and of Manor House Association were transferred by Professor C. N. Sturgess and his wife, Elle, in 2014 and 2016. The bulk of the governance records of Manor House do not appear to survive