Today Northfield is an outer suburb of Birmingham, but its origin was in a Saxon settlement in North Worcestershire, which in 1086 became part of the lands of William Fitz-Ansculf, a Norman knight.
In 1879 the Cadbury brothers moved their business to Bournville just two miles from Northfield and established a garden village between Bournville and Northfield to house their workers. This village was well planned with wide tree-lined roads, parks, and a variety of other amenities. Herbert Austin founded his Austin Works in Longbridge in 1905. These industrialists were influential and active in the area and many buildings, parks and other amenities are the result of their generosity.
Northfield is centred around the A38, a tree lined dual carriageway leading from Birmingham centre to Bromsgrove Worcester and beyond. A new bypass has been built around the centre with its excellent shopping facilities and there are a range of other facilities including schools and colleges. The very well thought of areas of Bournville and Kings Norton lie close by offering a fine selection of individual homes.
Northfield changed rapidly during the 20th century, large areas of housing were built in the 1930s, and housing estates were developed at Ley Hill, West Heath, Bunbury Road and Vineyard Road in the 1960s. The Northfield of today is a very busy place, but the area around the church has been a conservation area for over twenty years and reminds us of earlier times.
St Laurence Church tower has been renovated and a new ground floor ringing chamber created at the foot of the tower. The bells were dismantled while this work was done, but have now been re-hung with an addition of two new bells making a peal of ten. These bells were 'blessed' on November 20th 1999 and rang in the 21st century.