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Birmingham's history & heritage - 'Did you know' facts by people with passion

A catalogue of facts and photography of the 'go and see' Historic Gems across the City of Birmingham. Take the link for more from Birmingham's People with Passion

A community-led digital project filled with contributions about the City and its must 'go and see' historic gems 

What we found out

What difference has it made

Passions

History & heritage, Architecture

Project dates

22 Oct 2017 - On-going

Contact (for more details)

Jonathan Bostock

0121 410 5520
jonathan.bostock@ freetimepays.com

Architecture
15 Apr 2019 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

A Tale of Two Hampton Courts (don't confuse them!)

You've all heard of the world famous Hampton Court Palace in London, but have you heard of the other Hampton Court in Herefordshire! Hampton Court Castle is in the West Midlands Region, and is closer to Birmingham, than the former home of Henry VIII in the capital! Some people may even get sent to the wrong one on their SatNav! Both are well worth a visit. I visited both in 2016.

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Hampton Court Castle

A visit on the August Bank Holiday Weekend of 2016 to Hampton Court Castle in Herefordshire. This was only a month or so after my visit to the other more famous Hampton Court down in London! It is located in Hope under Dinmore, south of Leominster and is a Grade I listed building. It dates to 1427 and was built by Sir Rowland Lenthall, on land that was a gift of King Henry IV. It's been beside the River Lugg for 600 years. The Lenthall's stayed here for 300 years. In the 19th century it was bought by Richard Arkwright. His descendants lived here until 1912. In the 20th century it went through various owners until the American millionaire Robert Van Kampen bought it in the 1990s. It was sold again after his death. The postcode for your SatNav is . Distance from Birmingham around 58 to 61 miles, via the M5.

 

First up a look at the Gatehouse, this would be the first and last thing you would see if arriving by car (or coach if one would be able to fit through the archway). The gatehouse is a Grade I listed building, and it listed with the main castle building. Hampton Court, Hope under Dinmore. It dates to the 15th century, with 19th century remodelling. There is two small towers either side of the entranceway.

Hampton Court Castle gatehouse

First view of the castle itself at the end of the drive. This Hampton Court is a castellated country house built between 1427 and 1436. It was altered in the early 18th century by Colen Campbell for Lord Coningsby and remodelled and restored in the early 19th century by Sir Jeffrey Wyatville for Richard Arkwright.

Hampton Court Castle

On this side was the Orangery Tearoom, where we had some lunch. Some picnic tables outside.

Hampton Court Castle

The view of the castle from the lawn. It was from near here that you could watch the falconry display on the Bank Holiday Weekend in late August 2016. The grounds are also used for various other special events, such as outdoor theatre productions, small concerts and family days out.

Hampton Court Castle

A look at the castle round to the right side from the lawn. The Orangery Tearoom was to the far left. The building itself is much smaller than the other Hampton Court. There has been many owners of the building over the centuries. It was owned by the noble Coningsby family from 1510 until 1781. John Arkwright grandson of Richard Arkwright purchased it in 1810. John Stanhope Arkwright sold it in 1910. It was the seat of the Viscount Hereford from 1924 and 1972. American businessman Robert Van Kampen bought it in 1994, but he died in 1999. The Van Kampen family sold the castle and grounds in 2008. The house was last for sale in January 2016.

Hampton Court Castle

Now a look inside. There was not a problem with taking photos inside of the castle (as long as you don't use flash).

In this corridor was suits of armour and deer heads. Saw lots of suits of armour on the ground floor over various corridors / rooms.

Hampton Court Castle

Suits of armour and a chandelier in this room. Also on the wall was an armoured horse with a suit of armour (on the left). And half a deer on the right side!

Hampton Court Castle

Another corridor with more suits of armour (on the left) and deer heads (on the right). A tapestry at the far end.

Hampton Court Castle

Shields and more suits of armour around this staircase. Also heraldic flags. A chandelier hanging on the ceiling.

Hampton Court Castle

This dining room with a long dining table and chairs, looks like to be from the 19th century. Was a dress on a dummy to the far left. Paintings of flowers on the wall either side of the mirror.

Hampton Court Castle

For more photos, please check out my album on Flickr: Hampton Court Castle - the castle.

Hampton Court Palace

This was a group visit during July 2016 (went on a mini coach). A nice day out, where you could see the Tudor palace of King Henry VIII and the late 17th century palace of King William III & Mary II. As well as watch jousting displays and explore the vast gardens. It's next to the River Thames, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Postcode for your SatNav is . Distance from Birmingham approximately 130 miles, if you go via the M40 and M25.

The palace is a Grade I listed building Hampton Court Palace. This view from the main entrance looking up to the Tudor Palace. Built from 1514 onwards, originally by Cardinal Wolsey. King Henry VIII  took it over from the Cardinal, and became one of his main palaces. He made alterations from 1529 to 1540 including the building of the Great Hall. Lots of tourists about in a busy hot summer!

Hampton Court Palace

Entering into the next courtyard. This is The Base Court. It's the entrance to Henry VIII's Apartments. The palace is now managed by Historic Royal Palaces. No Monarch has lived here since George II. From here you can visit Henry VIII's Kitchens. There was busts of Roman Emperor's around this court.

Hampton Court Palace

The Baroque palace was built from 1689 until about 1694 for King William III by the architect Sir Christopher Wren. This are is the Fountain Court. From here you can access The Georgian Story and William III's Apartments. But I think that you couldn't take photos inside of those galleries unfortunately. I think there was a tea room around here somewhere!

Hampton Court Palace

Heading out to the palace's gardens. This view was taken from The Wilderness (near the Rose Garden) and is a view of the Great Hall. That was rebuilt from 1532 and the Chapel was remodelled in 1536, including the building of the Chapel Court. We were heading to the River Thames.

Hampton Court Palace

View of the palace from the River Thames. There is a park on the other side of the Thames called Cigarette Island Park, and it has nice views of the palace, the further you go down the path! The boat was called Connaught and was at Hampton Court Landing Stage, Pier No 3. Tudor Palace seen on the left. Baroque Palace to the right!

Hampton Court Palace

Kitchen's - seving place. There wasn't many interiors where you could take photos, but it was ok in the Henry VIII's Kitchens

Hampton Court Palace

The Queen's Staircase.  Decorated in 1734 for Queen Caroline by the architect and designer William Kent. Nice looking Royal ceiling! Taking photos in the King William III apartments was not allowed, so I had to respect that, so was not much that I could take up here! That led to the The Georgian Story, but wasn't much to take photo wise when I got there (at the time).

Hampton Court Palace

The Great Hall - stained glass window - Henry VIII. Not as much restrictions in King Henry VIII's Apartments though (for taking photos). This stained glass window has the Royal Tudor Coat of Arms, with an image of King Henry VIII in the middle of it.

Hampton Court Palace

Henry VIII and Katherine Parr married in her Privy Closet at Hampton Court on the morning of 12th July 1543. This was seen in a room off a corridor. Nearby was a portrait of Henry VIII on the wall.

Hampton Court Palace

The Clock Court. Part of the Tudor Palace. Some benches here for people to sit down. At this point we were on our way to have a quick look at the Young Henry VIII's Story exhibition. The entrance to the Henry VIII Apartments was further to the left. This was just after exiting those apartments (probably from the door behind me).

Hampton Court Palace

For more photos, please check out my album on Flickr: Hampton Court Palace.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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28 Nov 2018 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Castles within the West Midlands region

Lets take a look at some of the castles that remain in the West Midlands region. Dudley Castle (West Midlands county), Tamworth Castle (Staffordshire), Kenilworth Castle and Warwick Castle (Warwickshire). Dudley also includes a zoo. Warwick is now like a Merlin Entertainments place. Kenilworth is English Heritage ruins and gardens. Tamworth is small but intact.

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Dudley Castle

Located in Dudley, West Midlands, these days it is a part of Dudley Zoo. It is on Castle Hill. A Grade I listed building.

A castle was built here soon after the Norman Conquest and was a wooden motte and bailey castle. The castle was rebuilt as a stone fortification in the 12th century, but was demolished in the orders of King Henry II. The castle was rebuilt during the 13th century. The tower we see today above the zoo was built in the 14th century. It was slighted by Parliamentarian forces during the English Civil War. There is a pair of Russian cannons that were brought back from the Crimean War. They were brought to Dudley in 1857. You can see one below from the view above the track at the zoo.

Dudley Castle

One of the stone walls and corner turrets at Dudley Castle, seen within the grounds of Dudley Zoo. This dates from the 14th century.

Dudley Castle

Dudley Castle can be seen from many places in Dudley Town Centre. This is the view from close to Dudley Sixth Form College. You can see how badly slighted the tower was on the right from here.

Dudley Castle

This view was from Priory Park in Dudley. England flag flying proudly.

Dudley Castle

This view of Dudley Castle was from Trindle Road in Dudley. The turret from the wall is seen below. From this view taken in October 2016, you can see both of the Russian cannons. Dudley currently has no railway station, but there might be a future Midland Metro line through the town. At present you can get buses there from Birmingham (bus stops are close to outside of the zoo).

Dudley Castle

Tamworth Castle

Located in Tamworth, Staffordshire. While the castle is now in Staffordshire, before boundary changes in 1889 it used to be in Warwickshire.

You might enter the castle grounds via the Holloway Lodge. A Grade II listed building, it resembles a castle gatehouse. The lodge was built in 1810. Tamworth Castle itself can be seen from above and is a Grade I listed building. A Norman castle built in 1080. The site served as the residence of the Mercian kings during the Anglo Saxon period, but fell into disuse during the Viking invasions.

Tamworth Castle - Holloway Lodge

Within the Castle Grounds there is a statue of Ethelfleda (also known as Æthelflæd). She was the The Lady of the Mercians in 913. The statue dates to 1000 years later in 1913 and is Grade II listed. She was the daughter of Alfred the Great. She led the defence of Mercia against the Danes, fortified Tamworth and other towns.

Tamworth Castle - Statue of Ethelfleda

Tamworth Castle seen on top of the hill. Was a motte and bailey castle. Rebuilt in the 12th century, with repairs and reconstruction during the 13th century. The castle is now a museum. In March 2012 I couldn't see if it was open or not.

Tamworth Castle

Heading up the path, getting closer to Tamworth Castle for a walk around the perimeter. Was nice views of the River Anker from up here. The castle was continuously in use from the 11th and 12th centuries until the 17th century. From the 16th century it was adapted as a residence, but fell into disrepair by the 18th century. The castle was sold to the Tamworth Corporation in the late 19th century (now Tamworth Borough Council).

Tamworth Castle

A look round the back of the castle close up. The council has regularly maintained the castle and turned it into a tourist attraction. The grounds have been landscaped. You can get a train to Tamworth Station from Birmingham New Street, if you wish to visit this castle.

Tamworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle

Located in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. It is now managed by English Heritage. It's a Grade I listed building, and was built from the Norman period to the Tudor period. The castle was the subject of a six month long Siege of Kenilworth in 1266. The castle was founded in the 1120s around a Norman great tower.

From this view you can see the Leicester's Building and The Great Tower, as you enter the castle grounds. On the August 2017 bank holiday weekend was an event called the Clash of Knights (actors were in medieval costumes).

Kenilworth Castle

A view of the ruined  Leicester's Building. Below was tents and canopies for that medieval bank holiday weekend event that took place at the time. Recreating what it could have been like in the 12th, 13th or 14th centuries. This tower block was built between 1571 and 1572 by Queen Elizabeth I's favourite Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. It was built to provide private lodgings for the queen and her close servants. She visited in 1572 and again in 1575.

Kenilworth Castle

This is The Great Tower. Kenilworth Castle was founded in the 1120s by Geoffrey de Clinton, Lord Chamberlain and treasurer to Henry I. The tower is one of the castles earliest surviving features. The Norman keep, or 'great tower' was always the most commanding building at the castle. Most of the base structure was built from 1124 until 1130. King John added an open fighting gallery around 1210 to 1215. Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester altered it in the late 16th century. He enlarged the window openings and may have used the upper floors to display paintings. During the Civil War in the 1640s, it was slighted.

Kenilworth Castle

There are steps up to the Strong Tower. This view was from outside of the Great Tower. You can climb up to the top. There are views of the Outer Court from the window openings of the ruined tower. Underneath there was also cellars that you can have a look at. This tower, along with the Great Hall to the left was built between 1373 and 1380 by John of Gaunt, the third son of Edward III. These parts of the castle were slighted during the Civil War in the 1640s and 1650s.

Kenilworth Castle

The view of the castle from the Elizabethan Garden. From here you can see the Great Tower on the left. The garden is a recreation of the The Queen's Privy Garden. There are car parks at the castle, but you can also park at car parks in Kenilworth Town Centre, and get a free bus to the castle from Johnsons (this was on the Bank Holiday visit, not sure if they do that when it's not a bank holiday). Since Spring 2018 when Kenilworth Station opened, that has given visitors from Birmingham an alternate route to get to the castle. Trains from Birmingham New Street to Coventry, then on the branch line to Leamington Spa (get off at Kenilworth). Or from Birmingham Snow Hill (or Solihull) towards Leamington Spa. Change trains towards Coventry. The castle is a 20 minute walk away from the station in Kenilworth.

Kenilworth Castle

Warwick Castle

Located in Warwick, Warwickshire. It is operated by Merlin Entertainments. It's a medieval castle that started after the Norman Conquest and was developed from 1068 onwards. It is next to the River Avon.

Seen from Castle Hill next to this roundabout is the Warwick Castle Lodge. It is a Grade II listed building and was built from 1796 until 1797 by Samuel Muddiman and John Williams. It has Neo-Gothic details. You can enter the castle grounds from this lodge. Tickets for the castle can be quite pricey, but it maybe possible to get an online discount.

Warwick Castle Lodge

The castle was bought by the Tussauds Group in 1978, hence why there are loads of waxwork figures around the castle. The castle started off as a motte and bailey castle. It was later rebuilt in stone during the 12th century. The facade opposite the town was refortified during the Hundred Years War in the 14th century. In 1604 it was granted to Sir Fulke Greville by James I. The Greville family, who became Earls of Warwick in 1759 held it until Tussauds bought it in 1978.

This is a view of Guy's Tower. Probably named after Guy de Beauchamp, 10th Earl of Warwick, during the 14th century.

Warwick Castle

This is a view of the Caesar's Tower. The view was from Banbury Road in Warwick. It also dates to the 14th century. The towers dominate the skyline of Warwick from the nearby houses in the area. The town centre isn't that far from the castle. It's well worth a look for it's mix of architecture.

Warwick Castle

Usually on my visits to Warwick, I'm just there to have a look around the town, so the earlier photos didn't get to see the castle from the river. In May 2016 I found a view of the castle from the Castle Bridge on Banbury Road. From here you can see people on paddle boats that look like swans or dragons. Boat hire is from St Nicholas Park. There is a weir at the far end of the river, so people in the boats have to turn back.

Warwick Castle

The castle really does look magnificent from here! Queen Elizabeth I visited the castle in 1566 and again in 1572. John Dudley was granted the castle in 1547 and was given the title Earl of Warwick. The title went extinct in 1590 on the death of Ambrose Dudley, 3rd Earl of Warwick (an elder brother of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester who owned Kenilworth Castle). There is almshouses in Warwick called Lord Leycester Hospital. Robert Dudley founded it in 1571. You can get trains on the Chiltern Mainline from Birmingham Snow Hill or Solihull to Warwick. The castle is a short walk away from there.

Warwick Castle

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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26 Nov 2018 - Elliott Brown
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National Trust properties in Warwickshire

Let's head out of Birmingham and into Shakespeare's County, Warwickshire with a look at four National Trust properties that you can visit. Coughton Court, Packwood House, Baddesley Clinton and Charlecote Park. The best time to go is usually in the spring or summer, although early autumn the weather would be fine to go. But you can visit them in any season!

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Coughton Court

It's a Grade I listed building, located between Studley and Alcester in Warwickshire. It is an English Tudor country house. The Coughton estate has been owned by the Throckmorton family since 1409. The gatehouse at Coughton was built as early as 1536. The courtyard was closed on all four sides until 1651, when Parliamentary soldiers burnt the fourth (east) wing during the English Civil War.

The West Front with two wings either side of it. The North Wing is on the left, while The South Wing is to the right. The Gatehouse is made of Limestone ashlar. The wings are timber framed with lath, plaster infill and brick.

Coughton Court - West Front

This view of the courtyard seen with the Formal Garden from the other side of the River Arrow. The entrance is via the bottom of the Gatehouse. You can only go into the South Wing of the house. The North Wing is the private residence of the current members of the family. The East Wing must have survived until a fire in 1688. It was demolished in the 1780s.

Coughton Court - court yard view

You can head up a spiral staircase while on your visit to the house and get wonderful views of the estate from the roof. It is on the top of the Gatehouse. This view towards the Formal Garden, with the North Wing on the left and the South Wing on the right. The missing East Wing (burnt in the 17th century, demolished in the 18th) would have completed the courtyard.

Coughton Court - roof top view

The Dining Room. It was the Great Chamber in Elizabethan times. The principal first-floor reception room where the Throckmortons would have entertained important guests. It appears to have become a Dining Room in the early 19th century.

Coughton Court - Dining Room

The Parlour. A bit like a lounge or living room. The room was off The Saloon Passage. It couldn't be The Yellow Drawing Room  as that room is in The Gatehouse to the left of the staircase.

Coughton Court - Parlour

Packwood House

It's a Grade I listed building, located near Lapworth in Warwickshire. The National Trust has owned it since 1941. It's a timber-framed Tudor manor house. The house was built for  John Fetherston between 1556 and 1560. The  last member of the Fetherston family died in 1876. In 1904 a Birmingham industrialist Alfred Ash purchased the house. It was inherited by Graham Baron Ash in 1925. The great barn of the farm was converted into a Tudor-style hall and was connected to the main house by the addition of a Long Gallery in 1931.

The West Front of Packwood House. There is sundial on this side. There is a drive around the lawn. There used to be an uninterrupted view of the house from this side. The 'Birmingham entrance' is how the owner Graham Baron Ash used to refer to this part of his estate. So when he requested a ride in his white Rolls Royce for business his chauffeur would know which entrance to park in readiness. But there has been a hedge in the way since the National Trust took over. They are hoping to reinstate the old carriageway to it's former glory.

Packwood House - West Front

The South Front seen from the Raised Terrace and Carolean Garden. The house is also known as Mr Ash's House. Baron Ash donated the house to the National Trust in 1941, but continued to live here until 1947, when he moved to Wingfield Castle.

Packwood House - South Front

The main entrance to the house and gardens is via the gate to the left. Seen from Packwood Lane to the right is the Outbuildings. Built in the mid 17th century, they were originally barns. Baron Ash converted them to rooms as part of the house, as if they were always like that (they weren't). Inside during your visit you will go into the Long Gallery and the Great Hall. Both are lined with old tapestries and period furniture. The Great Hall is a Tudor style hall with a sprung floor for dancing.

Packwood House - Outbuildings

The Entrance Hall is the first room you would enter. If you have a large bag, then you can give it to a volunteer who would put it in trunk, and they would give you a token (which you would give back when coming back to collect your bag before going back outside). There is a portrait of King Henry VIII to the right. Above is a balcony / passageway that leads to the Fetherston Room (which has photos from the early 20th century showing Baron Ash's change to the house).

Packwood House - Entrance Hall

The Drawing Room. There is two rooms dedicated to Queen Mary (the wife of George V) as she visited the house in 1927. A chair she sat in the Great Hall is in this room, and a cup she drank tea from is now in a glass case. There is a piano to the right of the room.

Packwood House - Drawing Room

Baddesley Clinton

A Grade I listed building, it is a moated manor house, located 8 miles north-west of Warwick in Warwickshire. The house originated in the 13th century. The manor was purchased in 1438 by John Brome, who passed it to his son, Nicholas Brome. The house ended up in the Ferrers family possession from the 16th century until they sold it to the National Trust in 1980.

The view of the moated manor house from the Forecourt. There is a bridge over the moat that leads to the inner courtyard.

Baddesley Clinton - from the Forecourt

The moat goes all the way around the house. This view is from the Walled Garden. There is coat of arms on all the windows around the house. There used to be a bridge on this side, if you notice the stonework to the bottom of the middle chimney breast. There is a room with a view on the first floor that was built in 1460, which is to the left of where the bridge used to be. It was probably removed when the current bridge was built along with the gatehouse in 1536.

Baddesley Clinton - from the Walled Garden

After crossing the bridge over the moat, you enter the Inner Courtyard. It has a formal garden in the middle. One side of the garden you can see the moat and the path on the other side. Entrance to the house is this way.

Baddesley Clinton - Inner Courtyard

The Great Hall. At this end is a fireplace in the middle of the room, and a pair of doors leading to the drawing room and a small dining room. Tapestry was on the wall to the left.

Baddesley Clinton - Great Hall

The Priest's Bedroom on the first floor. A bit of a small Catholic chapel. During Elizabethan times it was illegal to be Catholic, and houses like this had a priest hole (to hide the priest). You can find the priest hole from the kitchen (steps goes below a trapdoor). It would have been used in the 1590s.

Baddesley Clinton - Priest's Bedroom

Charlecote Park

A Grade I listed building surrounded by it's own deer park, on the banks of the River Avon near Wellesbourne, about 4 miles east of Stratford-upon-Avon and 5.5 miles south of Warwick. It is a grand 16th century country house. The National Trust has administered it since 1946. The Lucy family owned the land from 1247. Charlecote Park was built in 1558 by Sir Thomas Lucy.

As you approach the house from the entrance gate, you see the Gatehouse. Don't be surprised if you see deer crossing from one section of the lawn to the other (over the path), after all this is a deer park! The Gatehouse is a Grade I listed building and was built in 1560. Brick laid to English bond with limestone ashlar dressings. There is exhibition rooms on both sides of the gatehouse, although you can't go to the upper floors. One room had a bit of Lucy family history. The other room at the time of my visit was set up like a Red Cross World War One hospital room (with a bed). People with walking difficulties, can get a golf buggy to take them around the estate.

Charlecote Park - Gatehouse

After passing the Gatehouse, you get your first view of the house. Once known as Charlecote Hall, today it is simply known as just Charlecote Park. A magnificent view, especially on a day with a blue sky (like this one in early September 2018). The house begun construction in 1558. It was expanded in the 19th century. The extensions were built for George and Mary Elizabeth Lucy. The house entrance is straight ahead.

Charlecote Park - The House

This view of the house from the Parterre. A formal garden with colourful flowers. It is next to the River Avon on this side, with fine views of the Deer Park. The area to the right of the house is private.

Charlecote Park - from the Parterre

The Dining Room at Charlecote Park. A long table laid out as it could have been like in the 19th century for the Lucy family. The house is now much more Victorian than Elizabethan, as George Hammond Lucy (who inherited in 1823), recreated the house in his own style (he was High Sheriff of Warwickshire in 1831).

Charlecote Park - Dining Room

The Library. Table and chairs laid out for reading next to the fireplace. There is portraits around the room with Tudor and Stuart King's and Queen's as well as members of the Lucy family. Elizabeth I and Charles I are above the fireplace. Queen Elizabeth I actually once stayed at Charlecote in the room that is now the Drawing Room.

Charlecote Park - The Library

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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14 Oct 2018 - FreeTimePays
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Great architecture at Kings Norton

Another great 'Did you Know' post from Birmingham's People with Passion: Did you know that the area, now known as Kings Norton, was given to Queen Henrietta Maria as part of her wedding dowry. She also stayed over night in a building there in 1643. Photo and post credited to Pat Taylor.

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14 Oct 2018 - FreeTimePays
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The magnificent Old Crown Pub in Digbeth

The 'Old Crown Pub' in Birmingham. Be great if they did tours, they'd be very popular. Stunning architecture all over Birmingham.

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60 passion points
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02 Sep 2018 - Elliott Brown
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The Old Grammar Schools of Kings Norton and Yardley

Did you know that there are buildings in Kings Norton and Yardley both called The Old Grammar School (no relation).

The Old School in Kings Norton is in the churchyard of St Nicholas's Church. The one in Yardley is close to St Edburgha's Church.

This post and all photography courtesy Elliott Brown. 

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The Old Grammar School Kings Norton

Old Grammar School, Kings Norton was probably built as a priest's house to St Nicholas's Church, and it dates to the early 15th century. The building was expanded in the early 16th century. Along with the Saracen's Head it won the BBC Restoration programme in 2004, and was restored and reopened by 2008.

Old Grammar School Kings Norton

Old Grammar School Kings Norton

Old Grammar School Kings Norton

Old Grammar School Kings Norton

 

The Old Grammar School Yardley

Known as The Trust School. There is evidence of a school in Yardley by 1260 AD. The Masters were Monks from Maxstoke Priory. The present building dates to around the 15th century. It was originally a guild hall. The school closed in 1908. Now used as Parish Rooms with a Youth Club upstairs and a lounge downstairs.

The Old Grammar School Yardley

The Old Grammar School Yardley

The Old Grammar School Yardley

The Old Grammar School Yardley

All photos by Elliott Brown

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29 Aug 2018 - PMNet Support
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A selection of Birmingham's great Manor Houses - more 'Did you know' facts from Elliott!

There are many manor houses around Birmingham, some open to the public, some not. In Handsworth is Soho House. In Tyseley not far from the local tip is Hay Hall. Over in Highgate is Stratford House. In Bournville is Selly Manor with Minworth Greaves.

Take our full post for great 'Did you know' facts from Elliott Brown.

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Soho House

Soho House was the home of Matthew Boulton from 1766 until his death in 1809. Now a museum ran by the Birmingham Museums Trust. The Lunar Society regularly had meetings here in the dining room. This Grade II* listed the house is in Handsworth. After Boulton's death it has had various uses as a hotel / hostel. Birmingham City Council acquired it in 1990 and it's been a museum since 1995.

Soho House

Photo courtesy Elliott Brown.

The Dining Room at Soho House became known as the Lunar Room where members of the Lunar Society met. The architecture of the room dates to the late 18th century. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery acquired the dining table in 1987. Other furniture was bought with assistance from the Lunar Society in 1994 - 95.

Lunar Room

Photo courtesy Elliott Brown

Hay Hall

Hay Hall was a 15th century moated manor house near Redfern Road in Hay Mills (Tyseley). Now used as offices. A manor house has been on this site since around 1260 and was built for the De La Haye family. It passed to the Este family in 1423. By the 20th century the whole area had become industrial, but Hay Hall was saved. It's been Grade II listed since 1952.

Hay Hall

Hay Hall wide view

Photos courtesy Elliott Brown

Stratford House

Stratford House is located close to Highgate Middleway and can be seen from the no 50 bus route on the Moseley Road in Highgate. Grade II* listed, the building dates to around 1601 and is one of the oldest surviving houses in Birmingham. It was built for Ambrose and Bridget Rotton. In recent years it's been used as offices and a club. There was a fire here in late 2015, but the building has since been fully restored and is vacant once again.

Stratford House

Stratford House in 2010

Photos courtesy Elliott Brown

Selly Manor

Selly Manor was moved to Bournville in 1907 by George Cadbury. It's a timber framed building dating back to the 14th century, at least to around 1327. The Manor House used to be in Bournbrook, before it was relocated with Minworth Greaves to the corner of Sycamore Road and Maple Road in Bournville.

Selly Manor

Selly Manor view 2

All photos by Elliott Brown

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70 passion points
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23 Aug 2018 - Elliott Brown
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Birmingham's architectural gems - we go back in time!

Every month with the help of our People with Passion, FreeTimePays will feature great historic architecture of Birmingham.

In this article we feature Highbury Hall, Aston Hall, Sarehole Mill and Blakesley Hall, 4 of Birmingham's magnificent buildings.

Take the full post and view more for more great historic gems and 'Did you know' facts.

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Highbury Hall - a historic gem in Moseley, Birmingham

Photo courtesy Christine Wright

Highbury Hall is a wonderful Grade II listed building that nestles in Highbury Park. It was built in 1879 by J H Chamberlain for Joseph Chamberlain (no relation). Joseph Chamberlain lived here from 1880 until 1914.

Photo courtesy Elliott Brown

Highbury Hall (August 2018)

Photo courtesy Elliott Brown

Aston Hall - a historic gem in Aston, Birmingham

Photo courtesy Elliott Brown

Aston Hall was built between 1618 and 1635 for Sir Thomas Holte. It was then leased by James Watt Jr from 1817. It became a museum from 1858 with ownership passing to Birmingham Corporation soon after.

Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust

The Great Parlour at Aston Hall was the Holte family's principal living room. Around 1700 it was converted into a chapel.

The Great Parlour at Aston Hall

Photo courtesy Elliott Brown

 

Sarehole Mill - a historic gem in Hall Green, Birmingham 

Photo courtesy Elliott Brown

The original Sarehole Mill was built in 1542. The Mill standing now was built in 1771. JRR Tolkien lived in the area as a child and got much of his inspiration from the Sarehole Mill.

Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust

Here is Mill machinery as seen inside Sarehole Mill.

Mill Machinery at Sarehole Mill

Photo courtesy Elliott Brown

 

Blakesley Hall - historic gem in Yardley, Birmingham.

Photo courtesy Elliott Brown

Blakesley Hall is a timber framed farmhouse in Yardley which was built for Richard Smallbroke towards the end of the 16th century.

Blakesley Hall is now owned and run as a museum by the Birmingham Museums Trust.

Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust

The Great Parlour at Blakesley Hall was used for private dining, sitting and entertaining. Had a door to the garden so people could come and go without passing through the main Hall.

The Great Parlour at Blakesley Hall

Photo courtesy Elliott Brown

 

Follow us for more great history and 'Did you Know' facts as we build a gallery and catalogue of wonderful architecture to be found across Birmingham.

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50 passion points
Architecture
17 Aug 2018 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower inspired by the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy

The Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower at the University of Birmingham, also known as Old Joe, built from 1900 to 1908, was based on the Torre del Mangia in the Piazza del Campo in Siena, Tuscany, Italy (that was built from 1338 to 1348). 

Take the full post for more great 'Did you know' facts on 'Old Joe' plus stunning photography courtesy Elliott Brown.

Related

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Chamberlain_Memorial_Clock_Tower

The Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock tower was designed by Aston Webb and Ingress Bell and it was built from 1900 to 1908. Old Joe was designed by Aston Webb & Ingress Bell and is the tallest free standing clock tower in the world at 110 metres.

Old Joe at University of Birmingham

The clock tower is the tallest free standing clock tower in the world, recorded at 110 metres high. It stands in the middle of the University campus and is visible from many places, not just from the campus!

Quadrangle Old Joe view

This view of Old Joe is from South Yardley seen from the Oaklands Recreation Ground (a good site for viewing the city skyline).

Old Joe from Oaklands Recreation Ground

This view of Old Joe is from Holders Lane Woods. It leads onto Cannon Hill Park starting at either Selly Park or Moseley, towards Edgbaston.

Old Joe from Holders Lane Woods

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torre_del_Mangia

The tower that inspired Old Joe was the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy, in the Tuscany region of the country. It is in the Piazza del Campo also known as Il Campo. Each summer there is a horse race called the Palio of Siena and the square gets quite busy. On my visit it was just days away from the first horse race and the various teams were getting prepared, so sand was in the square as the horse racing track.

The tower is 102 metres high and was one of the tallest towers of medieval Italy.

Torre del Mangia, Il Campo, Siena, Italy

Torre del Mangia in Piazza del Campo, Siena

You can tell that Old Joe was based on the Torre del Mangia as it has a similar design. Both towers dominate the skyline in their respective cities.

Siena Skyline with Torre del Mangia

For some more great posts and photography from Elliott. connect HERE

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