Rookery House is where the Wilberforces planned their antislavery campaigns.
The house in Rookery Park, originally known as Birches Green House, probably stands on the site of an earlier medieval building. It was built early in the Georgian period perhaps around 1730 by Birmingham ironmaster Abraham Spooner who ran both Bromford Forge and Aston Furnace. He moved to Elmdon Hall in 1760 and his son Isaac and family lived here until Abraham’s death in 1789 when they moved to Elmdon. One of the family, Dorothy Spooner married the celebrated anti-slavery campaigner, William Wilberforce. Birmingham’s first Tory Member of Parliament, Richard Spooner (served 1844-1847) was born here in 1783.
From 1816 Rookery House was occupied by the noted glass manufacturer, Brueton Gibbons who installed here the first etched plate-glass doors in the country. From 1871 wealthy pencil-case manufacturer William Wiley leased the house, which then became known as Rookery House.
In 1894 Erdington separated from Aston manor to which it had belonged since before the Norman Conquest to become a self-governing urban district council. Rookery House was subsequently bought for use as Erdington’s Council House. At the same its gardens were opened as Erdington’s first public park, Rookery Park. The house was so used until 1911 when Erdington amalgamated with Birmingham.