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Elliott Brown Squares and public spaces
14 Jul 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

It's Coming Home at Holloway Circus with the Chinese Pagoda

The digital billboard from Suffolk Street Queensway towards the Chinese Pagoda at Holloway Circus and Thomas Garden. It's Coming Home, see on the 10th July 2021. The day later England played Italy at Wembley in the Euro 2020 final. A 1-1 draw after extra time. Usual penalties, and we lost 3-2. First time runners up. Better than semi finalists in 1996, 25 years ago. Well done England!

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Elliott Brown Transport
13 Jul 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Midland Red Private Charter bus at Holloway Circus

Just a quick post. On the 26th June 2021, walking past Holloway Circus from Smallbrook Queensway to Suffolk Street Queensway, saw this vintage Midland Red bus. It was a Private Charter and had white wedding strips at the front. Just the one photo, before it turned up Holloway Head. Hopefully they are exempt from the Clean Air Zone charges from the Council. Let's hope so.

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Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
07 Jul 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Stratford House: a timber framed survivor dating to 1601

Located in Highgate near Highgate Park is a remarkable survival. Stratford House is close to Highgate Middleway on the no 50 bus route. You can see it from the bus on Moseley Road and New Moseley Road. Built in 1601 for Ambrose Rotton and his wife Bridget, it was once surrounded by farmland. In recent years it's been offices and a swingers club. A fire in 2015, led to restoration 2016.

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Stratford House: a timber framed survivor dating to 1601





Located in Highgate near Highgate Park is a remarkable survival. Stratford House is close to Highgate Middleway on the no 50 bus route. You can see it from the bus on Moseley Road and New Moseley Road. Built in 1601 for Ambrose Rotton and his wife Bridget, it was once surrounded by farmland. In recent years it's been offices and a swingers club. A fire in 2015, led to restoration 2016.


On the trail between Digbeth and Kings Heath, if you are getting the no 50 National Express West Midlands Platinum bus (you can catch it from outside Selfridges on Moor Street in the City Centre). Heading past Highgate Park on Moseley Road, you will spot Stratford House. One of the oldest remaining buildings within the City Centre and within the middle ring road, dating to 1601 (last few years of Tudor and Elizabethan England).

 

Stratford House is located at 82 Stratford Place, Highgate, Birmingham B12 0HT. Since 2020 it has been the offices of Age UK Birmingham and Age UK Sandwell.

 

I personally think it could become a museum, run by the Birmingham Museums Trust, or the National Trust. With period furniture. The noise from the passing traffic on Highgate Middleway might causes issues though.

 

The history of Stratford House

The timber framed manor house was built in 1601 for Ambrose Rotton and his wife Bridget. It was originally part of a 20 acre farm that Ambrose owned. He farmed sheep, pigs, oxen and cows on the land.

In 1840, a goods yard was opened nearby at Camp Hill by the Midland Railway. The companies successor, the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, in 1926 bought the house and wanted to demolish it. There was a public outcry and the house was saved.

There was further plans to demolish the house in the 1950s due to it dilapidated state. But it was bought by Ivor Adams in 1954 and it was saved. It has been a Grade II* listed building since 1952.

 

The following two images taken from the Birmingham Museums Trust Collection, Digital Image Resourse and are in the Public Domain and dates to the early 1950s. Under the Creative Commons Zero Licence (CCO).

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1996V79 Stratford House Camp Hill Birmingham.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Stratford House in 1950. Ink drawing by John L. Baker. Topographical view of Birmingham, from the Birmingham Museums Trust collection.

 

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1976V92 Stratford Place Birmingham.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Old houses, Stratford Place, Birmingham in 1951. Watercolour. By Allen Edward Everitt. Topographical view of Birmingham, from the Birmingham Museums Trust collection.

 

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the house was home to Network Records, one of the UK's exponents of Techno music.

 

Stratford House, 2010

By the late 2000s and early 2010s it was occupied by Birmingham Centre for Art Therapies (BCAT).

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford House 2010.JPG" style="width: 100%;" />Stratford House on Stratford Place in 2010.

 

Stratford House, 2016

In 2014 it was a swingers club called the Tudor Lounge (who signed a 10 year lease with Birmingham City Council). This opened in January 2015, but by December 2015 there was a major fire here. The building was extensively restored during 2016.

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford House (Apr 2016) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford House (Apr 2016) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Restoration of Stratford House during April 2016. Views from the no 50 bus.

 

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford House (May 2016) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford House (May 2016) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Restoration of Stratford House during May 2016. Seen from the Moseley Road in Highgate.

 

Stratford House, 2018

By 2018, Stratford House was fully restored, and was available to let.

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford House (April 2018).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford House (Apr 2018).jpg" style="width: 100%;" /> Stratford House fully restored as of April 2018

 

Stratford House, 2021

From 2020, the building is now home to Age UK Birmingham and Age UK Sandwell. In April 2021, Birmingham City Council approved plans for the road in front of Stratford House to be closed to create a Knott Garden. It lies within the Clean Air Zone. If you go onto Highgate Middleway, that is outside of the zone.

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford Place Highgate (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford Place Highgate (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford Place Highgate (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Stratford House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Stratford Place Highgate (Jun 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Stratford House at the end of June 2021.

 

Modern 21st Century photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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Daniel Sturley Construction & regeneration
05 Jul 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Centenary Way - July 2021

One Centenary Way continues to fill out with black girders and beams as well as many floors, the blocky mass of the building is now visable from many vantage points. Photos from 3rd July in this construction update.

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The Construction of One Centenary Way - July 2021





One Centenary Way continues to fill out with black girders and beams as well as many floors, the blocky mass of the building is now visable from many vantage points. Photos from 3rd July in this construction update.


3rd July

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4th July

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Photography by Daniel Sturley

See more in the full gallery here: One Centenary Way Construction Photography

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Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
05 Jul 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Old Crown in Digbeth, dating back to 1368!

The Old Crown in Digbeth claims to date back to 1368. The Grade II* listed building as it is now is more likely to have been built between 1450 and 1500, and could have been established as an inn from the 16th or 17th centuries. It has seen many changes over the centuries. Including road widening in the mid 20th century, and soon the Eastside Metro Extension (by the mid 2020s).

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The Old Crown in Digbeth, dating back to 1368!





The Old Crown in Digbeth claims to date back to 1368. The Grade II* listed building as it is now is more likely to have been built between 1450 and 1500, and could have been established as an inn from the 16th or 17th centuries. It has seen many changes over the centuries. Including road widening in the mid 20th century, and soon the Eastside Metro Extension (by the mid 2020s).


One of the oldest buildings in Birmingham, including within what is now the City Centre (as far as the middle ring road), is The Old Crown. They claim to date back to about 1368. For instance they celebrated their 649th birthday in 2017 with a ribbon on one of the doors.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Old Crown Dbeth (Sep 2017) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

So as of 2021 they are now 653 years old!

 

History of The Old Crown

The Old Crown was probably built sometime between the year 1450 and 1500 (in Medieval and early Tudor times). Some evidence dating back to 1492. A man visiting Birmingham in 1538 described the building as a "mansion house made of timber". It is thought that the building was originally built as the Guildhall and School of St. John, Deritend. In 1589 the building was bought by "John Dyckson, alias Bayleys". It remained in the Dixon family for the next 100 years. It may have began to be used as an inn from this time, especially in the years following the Spanish Armada, and gained the name "Crown".

Although later evidence suggests it was used as an inn by around 1626, and being called the Crowne by 1666. During 1643, the forces of Prince Rupert attacking Birmingham during the Civil War (on the way to fire his musket at the cockerel of the old St Martin's Church), there was some skirmishes near the inn.

The house was converted into two houses in 1684, and then into three by 1693. It remained three houses until the 19th century. Joshua Toulmin Smith saved the building in 1851, from demolition by the Corporation of Birmingham (who wanted to improve the street). The Corporation again proposed to knock it down in 1856 and 1862, but Smith saved it each time.

 

The following three Public Domain Dedication images taken from the Birmingham Museums Trust Collection.

An etching of the Old Crown Inn, Deritend, Birmingham, 1895-1900, by Samuel Henry Baker (d. 1909).

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1970V130 Old Crown Inn Deritend.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A watercolour painting by George Warren Blackham of the Old Crown Inn Deritend, Birmingham. Probably in the late 19th century.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1956V372 Old Crown Inn Deritend Birmingham.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

An etching of the Old Crown Inn, Deritend, Birmingham by J. Alfred Swatkins. Possibly late 19th or early 20th century, with the old tram tracks.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1965V8 Old Crown Inn Deritend Birmingham.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

High Street Deritend, outside of The Old Crown was widened and reopened by 1955. This included removing the old tram tracks, and the old cobbled road surface. Buildings opposite were demolished, and the Bull Ring Trading Estate was later built there (on the site of St. John's Church, Deritend, which was demolished in 1947, after suffering damage during the Second World War in 1940).

 

Two vintage photos taken by the late Phyllis Nicklin, who was a tutor in Geography in the former Department of Extramural Studies, University of Birmingham. They were originally digitised by BrumPic.

The Old Crown in Digbeth taken by Phyllis Nicklin (University of Birmingham). This was probably before the road was widened in the mid 1950s.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Old Crown P Nicklin 2.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Old Crown in Digbeth, taken in 1960 by Phyllis Nicklin (University of Birmingham). High Street Deritend had been widened in the 1950s.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown P Nicklin.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />


The Old Crown was bought by the Brennan family in 1991. In the summer of 1994, they found an old well, while doing repairs, when they were clearing out the old sheds at the rear of the property, which at the time had been closed off for more than 100 years. The Brennan family reopened the pub in 1998.

The pub is a Grade II* listed building (since 1952) at 186, 187 and 188 High Street Deritend, and is on the corner of Heath Mill Lane. It is situated to the right of the Custard Factory.

As of the summer of 2021, roadworks are taking place down on the Digbeth High Street. This is to build the Eastside Metro Extension. Which will be starting properly from July 2021. The route will go past the HS2 Curzon Street Station. Work has also began to built a Sprint bus route towards Solihull and Coventry on the A45 (via the Small Heath Highway and Coventry Road). It could be ready in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

 

The Old Crown in the 21st Century

The following images of The Old Crown were taken during October 2009 by Elliott Brown. This was on the first day that I would take photos around the Digbeth area.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The Old Crown 1368.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (12).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (14).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The Beer Garden / car park at the back from Heath Mill Lane.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (16).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Old Crown Coffee Club, seen from High Street Deritend during January 2014.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Jan 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Irish flags and bunting up, at The Old Crown, during March 2014 for the St Patrick's Day Festival. The parade used to take place down the Digbeth High Street each March until 2019.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Mar 2014) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A red ribbon on The Old Crown during November 2016, getting ready for Christmas. This view taken from the bus.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Nov 2016).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Old Crown during March 2017 for St Patrick's Day. Getting ready for The Father Ted's Lampa. The St Patrick's Fundraiser.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Digbeth 110318.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Seen in March 2018, with snow on the roof, was The Old Crown. Again getting ready for St Patrick's Day. The beer garden around the back, became the Guinness Village, to show the England vs Ireland Six Nations Rugby Union match on the TV. 

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Mar 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

One year on, to March 2019. St Patrick's Day again at The Old Crown. This time it had signs on it for 13 Hop House Lager.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Mar 2019) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Passing The Old Crown in Digbeth on the no 4 bus during the middle of June 2021. This was during the Euro 2020 match between England and Croatia.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Modern 21st Century photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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