Firefighters have confirmed children appear to have been using the empty manor house as a playground.
The former home of the Cadbury family was destroyed by fire last night, and investigations are underway to determine how it started - it is thought to have been arson.
Steve Husbands from West Midlands Fire Service says they had received a call to attend the property just 24 hours before, with reports of children leaving the area.
The Vice-Principal of the University of Birmingham says he, and many others at the university are 'saddened' by the damage to the Cadbury Manor House, which was destroyed by fire last.
The university owns the site.
We are deeply saddened that the historic Manor House, which the University bought from the Cadbury family in 1953, has been severely damaged by last night's fire.
We are extremely grateful to the Fire Service and others who worked tirelessly to get the fire under control, make the area safe, and ensure no one was injured.
The Manor House was used by the University as a student residence until 2007. It was awaiting planning approval from the City Council to be sensitively converted into flats as part of a wider redevelopment of the site.
The site, including the Manor House, was boarded up to prevent access and the University employed an external security company to provide 24/7 monitoring of the site.
The University retains its desire to keep the structure of the Manor House but now needs to properly assess its condition. We are working with engineers and the local authority building control to understand the level of damage, make the structure safe and secure the site.
This video shows firefighters tackling the large fire that has ripped through the former home of the Cadbury family in Northfield.
The blaze at the Grade II listed building has been confirmed as arson.
Video courtesy of Youtube/onenarrowdoor
An ITV News Central viewer has sent in a photograph showing the smoke rising up from the Cadbury family's former home in Northfield, Birmingham.
It could be seen from as far away as Kings Norton.
The fire at the former Cadbury family house in Northfield, Birmingham has been confirmed as arson, West MIdlands Fire Service have tweeted.
They also confirmed that a number of crews were still on site, after 6 crews were sent to relieve those that had been tackling the blaze at the six-storey, Grade II listed building since yesterday evening.
Police say they are treated the blaze as suspicious and that there are no reports of anyone injured.
They confirmed the fire started at around 8.30pm yesterday.
More than 100 firefighters are on the scene of a blaze at a former manor house which belonged to the Cadbury family.
Twenty fire crews are at the scene of the fire at the now-derelict Northfield Manor House, off Bristol Road South, with people seeing smoke from as far away as the Lickey Hills.
The fire broke out shortly after 8pm this evening.
Smoke from a major blaze in Northfield has been seen from as far away as the Lickey Hills.
Video footage from the Worcestershire beauty spot shows plumes of smoke billowing from the scene of the fire, which has taken hold of en empty building off Bristol Road South.
West Midlands Fire Service are currently tackling a 'large, serious fire' in Northfield, South Birmingham.
ITV News Central understands crews from 12 fire engines are fighting the fire at a four-storey, empty property at Manor Farm Park on Bristol Road South.