The Davenport Homes was founded in 1935, under the name of the Frank R. Davenport Trust. Mr Davenport was a family director of Davenports Brewery, the famous Birmingham based brewing company founded in 1829. Originally, members of the Davenport family were publicans in Digbeth, Birmingham and their first brewery was located in Brearley Street, moving to Bath Row in the 1930’s. The family went on to own several pubs in the Birmingham area and the famous slogan “Beer at home means Davenports” was coined during the 1960’s when consumers started to buy beer to drink at home as well as in public houses. Davenport beers have been recently revived and they are now being marketed as specialist craft beers.
Mr Davenport endowed the charity in 1935 and built 20 almshouses in Tilehouse Green Lane, Bentley Heath. These almshouses were “bedsit” style with shared kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities. The first board of trustees included Mr Frank Davenport and Mr Herbert John Thornton, who was also chairman of Davenports Brewery. Mr Thornton lived in Bentley Heath and practised as a chartered accountant in Birmingham.
The trust’s name was changed from the Frank R. Davenport Trust to The Davenport Homes Trust in 1974. Mr Charles Ewart Corney, who was the nephew of Mr Thornton, and had been a trustee since 1953, was chairman at this time. When Mr Charles Corney retired in 2000, he was succeeded by his son Mr David John Corney, who had been a trustee since 1988. Mr David Corney is still chairman of the board of trustees.
In 1967 a new development of 3 cottages and a 2 storey building, including the resident’ liaison officer’s flat and guest suite were created. This was enlarged and extended in 1992 using funds donated by the trustees of a charity which was ceasing to exist.
As a result of this work, including the accompanying refurbishment of the original 20 cottages, there were 23 cottages on 2 sites, linked by back land which incorporates Bullivents Coppice.
To mark the Millennium in 2000 the trustees purchased further land adjoining the coppice to form a garden/recreation area for the benefit of residents.
In 2003 the charity merged with the Samuel Welsh Memorial Homes, a charity providing accommodation for retired nurses, who owned four flats in a building on Widney Road. The new charity retained the name of the Davenport Homes.
In October 2014 the charity was granted planning permission for the construction of 12 additional one bedroom cottages, bringing the total number of cottages to 39., The new development was completed in 2017.
In March 2019 work was completed on the conversion of a building containing 3 garages into a new detached one bedroom cottage, The Mews, bringing the total number of cottages to 40.