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Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
09 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The original Curzon Street Station (1838 to 1893 / 1966)

Did you know that the first railway passenger station in Birmingham was opened at Curzon Street in 1838? Built by the London & Birmingham Railway, engineered by Robert Stephenson. The building was designed by the architect Philip Hardwick. It's time as the Birmingham terminus was shortlived after New Street opened in 1854. But continued for excursions to 1893 / goods to 1966.

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The original Curzon Street Station (1838 to 1893 / 1966)





Did you know that the first railway passenger station in Birmingham was opened at Curzon Street in 1838? Built by the London & Birmingham Railway, engineered by Robert Stephenson. The building was designed by the architect Philip Hardwick. It's time as the Birmingham terminus was shortlived after New Street opened in 1854. But continued for excursions to 1893 / goods to 1966.


Curzon Street Station

(1838 - passengers 1893 / goods 1966)

The first passenger railway linking London to Birmingham was opened in 1838. From London Euston to Birmingham Curzon Street. The station was originally called simply Birmingham Station (it was renamed Birmingham Curzon Street Station in 1852 after Birmingham New Street Station was being built and opened in 1854).

It was the terminus for both the London & Birmingham Railway and the Grand Junction Railway, with lines from London, Manchester and Liverpool.

The station located at New Canal Street and Curzon Street in what we now call Eastside, was first opened in June 1838, and the first passenger train arrived from London on the 17th September 1838. The station also had platforms for parcels, but there was no through trains.

The architect of the station was Philip Hardwick, while Robert Stephenson was the engineer in charge of building the line from London to Birmingham. The building was inspired by classical Roman architecture, following Hardwick's trip to Italy in 1818-19.

 

The following image shows Curzon Street Station as it was in 1838. It was published by E C & W Osborne and printed by E Y Moody Bros.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/2002V6 Curzon Street Station Birmingham 1838.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The next sketch shows Curzon Street from New Canal Street in 1839. It was an Engraving from Topographical Views  in Wilkinson Collection Vol iii.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1996V145.12 Birmingham Station Curzon Street.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A more recent drawing of Curzon Street Station dated 1950. It was an ink drawing by John L. Baker. Topographical view of Birmingham. By then the station was only being used for goods. It closed in 1966.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1996V86 Curzon Street Station Birmingham.jpg" style="width: 100%;" /> Images above are free to download from the Birmingham Museums Trust collection, Public Domain. Digital Image Resource. Creative Commons Zero Licence (CCO).

 

The coming of New Street Station to the closure of Curzon Street Station

The problem was that Curzon Street was not centrally located to the centre of town. So the railway companies decided to build a new station in the heard of the town centre. This would become Birmingham New Street Station, and it's first incarnation opened in 1854. Many services were transferred away from Curzon Street at the time. The station was modified at Banbury Street and New Canal Street by 1874, and was used from Easter that year for passenger excursion trips. Which it continued to do so, until it closed by Easter 1893. Such as on public bank holidays to Sutton Coldfield. The old 1838 platforms were not used as much by then.

Going into the 20th Century, the station continued to be used for goods until it closed for good in 1966. The platforms and original good sheds were demolished in the same year. The site was then used as a Parcelforce depot until that closed in 2006.

In the years before HS2 the land behind the station building was used as a public surface car park, and at one point could have been a redevelopment site called Curzone (which never happened in the end). The HS2 announcement in 2009 changed everything.

The surviving building became a Grade I listed building in 1952. At one point it was modified in 1839 to become a hotel called the Victoria. In 1841 a hotel extension was built and this was the Queen's Hotel. It was on Curzon Street. It was later renamed to The Railway Hotel, when another Queen's Hotel opened at New Street. The hotel at Curzon Street closed in 1900 and was demolished by 1980.

The council purchased the station building from British Rail in 1979 and was used by a University of Birmingham student group called 'Three Bugs Fringe Theatre'.

 

Plaques

Inside of Curzon Street Station is this plaque installed during 1947, which was the Centenary Year of the founding of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers on this site on the 27th January 1847. Photo taken in June 2014, during a visit to Birmingham's Hidden Spaces at Curzon Street Station.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BHS Curzon St Stn (Jun 2014) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The building also received a Civic Trust Award in 1983. This was probably after Curzon Street Station was restored in the late 1970s and early 1980s (after it had fell into disrepair by 1979). Also seen at Birmingham's Hidden Spaces.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BHS Curzon St Stn (Jun 2014) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

There is a plaque on the front of the building that was placed on the New Canal Street side of the building in 1988, on the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first train from London to Birmingham on Monday 17th September 1838. Photo below taken in April 2009. It is now longer possible to see this plaque while HS2 build their new station.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Curzon St Station (Apr 2009) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Curzon Street Station - exterior of the building 2009 to 2021

Now a gallery of photos of Curzon Street Station taken over the last 12 years or so.

 

View of Curzon Street Station from New Canal Street, taken April 2009. Millennium Point can be seen to the left.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Curzon St Station (Apr 2009) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A view taken during August 2009 of Curzon Street Station from a now lost road called Bartholomew Street. By then it had long since been closed off. And would disappear by 2011-12 when Eastside City Park was built.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Curzon St Station (Aug 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

It is now January 2010, and Curzon Street Station can again be seen from Bartholomew Street, but in the snow. The Woodman public house seen on the left.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Curzon St Station (Jan 2010) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

By February 2011, I was having a look at Curzon Street Station from the public car park on Curzon Street. All the windows and doors were boarded up. The Rotunda and Pavilions shopping centre were visible to the left of here. Sometimes this car park had been used for the odd fun fair over the years.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Curzon St Station (Feb 2011).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The hoardings on the left have not gone up for HS2, but for the building of Eastside City Park. Curzon Street Station seen from New Canal Street during September 2011.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Curzon St Station (Sep 2011) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

As late as March 2014, the site behind the old Curzon Street Station building was still being used as a public car park. Selfridges, Beetham Tower, Centre City Tower and the Rotunda were visible on the skyline at the time.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Curzon St Station (Mar 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

By March 2017, it was clear that HS2 would soon take over the building. Hoarding artwork and banners had gone up. It was planned that Curzon Street would become a new cultural hub. The art was from a HS2 / BCU competition, which was won by Sarina Kaur, called Curzon Railway 1838 - 1966.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Curzon St Station (Mar 2017) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

By March 2020, and before the first lockdown, one last walk down New Canal Street before HS2 closed it off, it was also one last chance to see the Eagle & Tun pub before it was demolished. By then the Curzon Railway BCU art banners had been taken down, but the hoardings were still there.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Curzon St Station (Mar 2020).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A view from the train of Curzon Street Station during August 2020. After the first lockdown restrictions were being eased, I got a train from Stechford to Birmingham New Street. New Canal Street is now closed off, you can also see Millennium Point and The Woodman.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Curzon St Station (Aug 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

October 2020 from Curzon Street. The road beyond was closed by HS2. Was taking a pedestrian diversion from Digbeth to Eastside the long way around (via Lawley Middleway). As HS2 had cut off my old routes. This was before the second lockdown began.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Curzon St Station (Oct 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

By April 2021, the third lockdown restrictions were being eased, and got the train to Birmingham Moor Street for a walk around Eastside and Digbeth. This time via the Digbeth Branch Canal (which was faster than the route I took the autumn before). Took this view of Curzon Street Station from the canal.  The land all being prepared by HS2. The view might be lost in the future once the station is built, and it might bridge over the canal as well (not like the original brick Curzon Street Tunnel that crosses the canal towards New Street in Eastside).

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Curzon St Station (Apr 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Early June 2021, and a view of Curzon Street Station taken from the Cross City Line, I caught the train at Birmingham New Street and got it to Sutton Coldfield. It looks like the turntable (to the far right of here) has been filled in. It's hard to imagine the other buildings that was here over 180 years ago. Millennium Point seen behind from the train. HS2 is a hive of activity.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Curzon St Stn HS2 (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

For more photos and the feature, go here for the full gallery of Curzon Street Station in Birmingham Gems.

 

Birmingham's Hidden Spaces, June 2014

From the 21st to 29th June 2014, Birmingham's Hidden Spaces opened up Curzon Street Station to the public. It was an exhibition by Associated Architects, and in association with the Birmingham Post. I saw it on the 28th June 2014. This banner was on the outside of the building.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BHS Curzon St Stn (Jun 2014) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Inside the main foyer and a look up the staircase to the ceiling. Unfortunately it was too unsafe to go upstairs, so you could only see the ground floor and basement of the building.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BHS Curzon St Stn (Jun 2014) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Zooming up to the ceiling window.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BHS Curzon St Stn (Jun 2014) (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

This sign shows A Brief History of Curzon Street Station. Similar to the information I have presented above.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BHS Curzon St Stn (Jun 2014) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Another sign about Curzon Street Station built 1838. Philip Hardwick, architect, Robert Stephenson, engineer. Plus the restoration task force in 1983.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BHS Curzon St Stn (Jun 2014) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Going down the steps to the basement, would have been an exhibition on down here.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BHS Curzon St Stn (Jun 2014) (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The rear door was open, so you could have a look outside. There wasn't much to see out there.

dndimg alt="Curzon Street Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BHS Curzon St Stn (Jun 2014) (9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

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90 passion points
Elliott Brown Green open spaces
07 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Sutton Park Town Gate to Boldmere Gate

I got the train to Sutton Coldfield on the 5th June 2021, on a nice and warm sunny morning in The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield. I headed for the Town Gate for a bit of a walk in Sutton Park. Followed Google Maps to Keepers Pool and Keepers Well. Before changing direction for Powell's Pool and the Boldmere Gate. Much more to explore on a future visit, can't do it all in one go.

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Sutton Park Town Gate to Boldmere Gate





I got the train to Sutton Coldfield on the 5th June 2021, on a nice and warm sunny morning in The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield. I headed for the Town Gate for a bit of a walk in Sutton Park. Followed Google Maps to Keepers Pool and Keepers Well. Before changing direction for Powell's Pool and the Boldmere Gate. Much more to explore on a future visit, can't do it all in one go.


This was more of a proper walk into Sutton Park. As back in August 2017 I only popped into the Boldmere Gate to find the Big Sleuth bear nearby. See this post here: The outer fringes of Sutton Park.

Got the train to Sutton Coldfield Station on the morning of Saturday 5th June 2021 (Cross City Line, now operated by West Midlands Railway). I walked around Railway Road, Tudor Road and Upper Clifton Road, before I got to a roundabout at Park Road. This leads to the Town Gate.

 

Town Gate

On the island was a thatched sculpture of what I think is a Cello.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/TG island Sutton Park (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading up Park Road to the Sutton Park Town Gate. Either side is a pair of gatehouses (looked boarded up). There is a Toby Carvery this way. Tudor Hill to the right had a pair of old gateposts.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Town Gate Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The main road in from the Town Gate. Was a play area on the left, the car park up ahead.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Town Gate Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading around the back of the play area, over a footbridge that crosses over the Plants Brook.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I could see the Visitor Centre to the far left of my then position in the park.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Crossing over the lawn back onto the main path. I wanted to find the Keepers Pool, so checked Google Maps, and left this road for the route to where I wanted to go.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Crossing over to the path I needed, saw this tree stump and cut tree log on the ground.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Keepers Pool and Keepers Well

The Keepers Pool looked nice and peaceful in the early summer sunshine. It dates to the 15th Century. In 1887, a lido was built here, an open-air swimming pool. It survived until 2003 when it was burnt by arsonists, another fire in 2004 meant it was lost for good. But the area has returned to woodland and wetland.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Keepers Pool Sutton Park (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Further up was the Keepers Well. Despite the grass being dry saw a bit of mud, so didn't want to get too close. Would assume it also dates back to the same period as Keepers Pool.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Keepers Well Sutton Park (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Deer Park Subdivision

Not far from Keepers Pool and Well was this marker for Deer Park Subdivision. The land had been a Norman deer park from the early 12th century. There used to be banks and ditches. But over time they subsided and were filled in, so is nothing much to see now. Although I did cross over some raised bits of earth near the paths and roads.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This is the path close to the Deer Park Subdivision marker.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The road continues on towards Streetly. But it was near here that I left the path to make my way towards the Boldmere Gate and Sutton Coldfield Town Centre. Didn't want to go too far in the park.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Going off the path over the field, so many people walking or cycling over the land had left a trail towards the next path.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now back onto a path / road that leads back to the Boldmere Gate.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

But first a diversion into an open field I found. Was wooden markers with yellow warning signs. Apparently this is where people fly their model aeroplanes, but not on the day of my visit to the park.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Into the heathland, and another path well troden by many other people over the years.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Saw this weird looking tree, leaning to the left. I was getting close to Powell's Pool and the Boldmere Gate.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Powell's Pool

Back to the path leading to the Boldmere Gate, then one last detour to see Powell's Pool again. Saw this boat with gulls perched on it.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Powells Pool Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A perfect morning with a blue sky and little clouds above the pool.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Powells Pool Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Taking the gate exit near Miller & Carter. Saw this view of the pool from the car park area on the left.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Powells Pool Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Couldn't resist getting a couple more shots from Stonehouse Road of the pool. Yachts as usual to the far left.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Powells Pool Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Boldmere Gate

Leaving at the park at the Boldmere Gate, via Stonehouse Road, saw another thatched sculpture on an island resembling a harp.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BG island Sutton Park (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Not far from the Boldmere Gate on Monmouth Drive was a new West Midlands Cycle Hire point with bikes.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire Sutton Park (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Down on Monmouth Drive was a football field, was kids taking part in an activity here, was a van near the road, but I didn't get a shot of it, so didn't remember the name of it.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KFB Sutton Park (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Leaving via Monmouth Drive, Digby Road, Driffold, Bishops Road and Birmingham Road. Walking back into Sutton Coldfield Town Centre. With a stop for a coffee and a toastie at Caffe Nero at the Gracechurch Shopping Centre.

By the time I walked back to Sutton Coldfield Station, I'd managed 10,000 steps.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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80 passion points
Elliott Brown Green open spaces
07 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Cannon Hill Park - a green space trail

This trail takes you through this wonderful park to some great landmarks and includes the option (which we most certainly recommend) of a visit to the Nature Centre and the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park. 

Explore a few places on the trail over an hour or two or spend a full day at Cannon Hill Park.  

Enjoy!   

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Cannon Hill Park - a green space trail





This trail takes you through this wonderful park to some great landmarks and includes the option (which we most certainly recommend) of a visit to the Nature Centre and the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park. 

Explore a few places on the trail over an hour or two or spend a full day at Cannon Hill Park.  

Enjoy!   


Can we recommend you start the trail at The Midlands Art Centre (The MAC).

 

The Midlands Art Centre (The MAC).

Grab a coffee and a bite to eat at the cafe.  Explore this wonderful arts complex which hosts a mix of theatre, dance, and music, complete with its own cinema and workshops. 

dndimg alt="The MAC Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/MAC Bham Cannon Hill (Feb 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Explore more about the MAC HERE

From the Mac you pass the Outdoor Arena and The Children's Adventure Playground.

The Outdoor Arena and The Adventure Playground.

450-seater open-air performance space with an exciting series of outdoor events planned. Next to this, there's a great open space for the youngsters to enjoy at the park's Adventure Playground. 

dndimg alt="" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_4550b_ARCV.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now walk on past the Fishing Lake on your left.

Fishing Lake.

Go and enjoy a range of recreational activities on the lake including boating and fishing,

Maybe the swans have tempted you.

dndimg alt="Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park (May 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

From here you could take a small detour out of the park to enjoy an hour or two at Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park.

Boy Scouts War Memorial.

On your way to what was formerly called the Nature Centre is the Boy Scouts War Memorial, Grade II listed. Unveiled in July 1924, in the form of an obelisk. In memory of the lives of the Boy Scouts lost during the First World War. Designed by local architect William Hayward.

dndimg alt="Boy Scouts War Memorial" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boy Scouts War Memorial Cannon Hill Park (July 2018).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Continue along the path towards the Pershore Road.

Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park.

The Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park is home to a unique collection of animals including Red Pandas, Lemurs, Reptiles, Wallabies, Meerkats, Otters, Birds and a large collection of Monkeys. Some of the animals at this park are endangered and the park plays an important role in protecting and preserving many species.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park " dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park (Aug 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Explore more about the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park HERE.

Now on to explore the wonderful woodlands at Cannon Hill Park.

Woodlands at Cannon Hill Park.

Cannon Hill Park is made up of 80 acres of formal parkland and 120 acres of conservation area and woodland plantation. Enjoy a wonderful stroll through the woodland! 

dndimg alt="Centenary Woodland Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Woodland CHP (Aug 2019) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

From here on to the Sons of Rest.

Sons of Rest.  

Sons of Rest was a movement established by a group of retired working men in 1927. They met to play cards, dominoes and enjoy each others company. The Cannon Hill Sons of Rest was built in 1937.

dndimg alt="Sons of Rest Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sons of Rest CHP (Nov 2009) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

From here on to The Golden Lion.

The Golden Lion.

The Golden Lion was originally built in 1520 in Deritend.  The original site is believed to have been a clergy house and a school before becoming an Inn.  It was moved to Cannon Hill Park in 1911.  Sadly over the last couple of decades, the pub has been behind scaffolding, and is in a poor statue of disrepair. Campaigners are hoping to get it restored, or moved back to Digbeth?

dndimg alt="The Golden Lion Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Golden Lion CHP (Nov 2009) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The Friends of the Golden Lion have a Facebook page HERE.

From here on to The Bandstand.

The Bandstand.

This is a Grade II listed Victorian bandstand built in the 19th century with a blue-brick and stone base, cast iron columns and a curved pavilion roof.  It dates to circa 1880 to 1890.

dndimg alt="Bandstand Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bandstand CHP (May 2020).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now go and see a fascinating sculpture and Sousse memorial.

"Infinite Wave".

Prince Harry unveiled this memorial dedicated to those killed and affected by the two terrorist attacks in Tunisia in 2015.  Infinite Wave was designed by George King Architects.

dndimg alt="" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_6464b_Brum.jpg" />

How about a bit of fun at the Park's International Mini-Golf course.

Mini Golf at Cannon Hill Park.

36 holes of fantastic mini golf fun complete with water hazards.  An 18 hole mini golf course previously opened in 2012. It is now Golden Putter Mini Golf.

dndimg alt="Golden Putter Mini Golf Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Mini Golf CHP (Apr 2017) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

More information on Golden Putter Mini Golf HERE.

Now for something a little different.

Train Station.

Fancy a ride on the park's train. You can pick it up at the park's train station. 

dndimg alt="Cannon Hill Park Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Cannon Hill Park Station (Nov 2009) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Now for a detour to the Boer War Memorial.

Boer War Memorial.

This statue is in memory of the British lives lost during the Second Boer War (1899 - 1902) in South Africa. When Joseph Chamberlain was the British Colonial Secretary. The bronze memorial was sculpted by Albert Toft and unveiled in Cannon Hill Park in 1906. It was cleaned and restored in 2012, now Grade II* listed. Surrounded with benches where you can sit down and relax.

dndimg alt="Boer War Memorial" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boer War Memorial Cannon Hill Park (Nov 2009) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Time for a cup of tea or a sandwich?

The Garden Tea Room.

After exploring so much of what's available at this wonderful park, take a break at the tea rooms.

dndimg alt="The Garden Tea Room" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Garden TR CHP (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now onto remembering a lady who was instrumental to the park's existence as a fantastic open space for us all to enjoy.

Louisa Ryland Monument.

Louisa Ann Ryland (1814 - 1889) gifted the park to the city in 1873.  The blue plaque from the Birmingham Civic Society unveiled at the gatehouse / lodge at 143 Edgbaston Road in 1990. The Rea Valley Cycle Route was officially opened here in 1991.

dndimg alt="Louisa Ryland blue plaque" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Gatehouse CHP (Nov 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

On now to a model of the Elan Valley Project in Wales.

Elan Valley Project Model.

Explore the city's connection with Elan Valley in Wales which supplied much of the city's water for more than 100 years.

dndimg alt="" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_4768b_ARCV.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now onto the Canoe Pool.

The Canoe Pool.

More great wildlife to enjoy as we near the end of the trail around the park.

dndimg alt="" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_4694b_ARCV.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A short walk back to the Mac.

We hope you have enjoyed our trail. 

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40 passion points
Elliott Brown History & heritage
04 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

A visit to Winterbourne House and Garden during May 2021

It's been a long time coming, but we went to Winterbourne House and Garden on Wednesday 26th May 2021. You enter via the house. Tickets can be bought inside the house, £7.20 for adults or £6.20 for seniors. You can also choose to have time to go around the house. We went in the house at 3pm. The Tearoom is also open, but you can have your tea and coffee on the terrace.

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A visit to Winterbourne House and Garden during May 2021





It's been a long time coming, but we went to Winterbourne House and Garden on Wednesday 26th May 2021. You enter via the house. Tickets can be bought inside the house, £7.20 for adults or £6.20 for seniors. You can also choose to have time to go around the house. We went in the house at 3pm. The Tearoom is also open, but you can have your tea and coffee on the terrace.


Winterbourne House and Garden

It's been a long time coming. But after almost 13 years, we went back to Winterbourne House and Garden. In 2008 only the garden was open to visitors. Since then, the Arts and Crafts style house was fully restored and given full museum status by 2017. Some things had changed with the garden as well. Plus this time I remembered to go down to the Edgbaston Pool. The ground floor and first floor of the house are open to visitors, but only a limited number of people at each time, on timed slots. The Tearoom was open as well. Only one household bubble can go up to the counter to order their drinks, card or app payment only. Have your drinks and cakes out on the terrace outside (tables and chairs). I think the indoor tearoom was open, but wasn't sure as everyone went to have their drinks outside.

 

Recap of the History of Winterbourne

The house was built in 1904 for John and Margaret Nettlefold. They were a wealthy Edwardian couple, who lived and raised their children here. Built in the Arts and Crafts style, John Nettlefold commissioned the architect Joseph Lancaster Ball to design the house. An unusual feature of Winterbourne is the wavy roof line, making the house look older than it actually is. The Nettlefold's were insistent that all the main rooms faced south, including the nursery, to get the maximum amount of sunlight and the best views. The house was built by Isaac Langley of Tyburn, Birmingham. The plaster work was undertaken by local craftsperson G P Bankart. It had all the mod cons of the time including electric lighting and gas fires in several rooms. Many people were moving to Edgbaston in the early 1900s, so it was the perfect place to built their family home. Winterbourne was also close to the new University of Birmingham which was founded by Margaret's uncle Joseph Chamberlain in 1900.

The Nettlefold's lived here from 1904 until 1919 (when John got ill). They were followed by the Wheelock family who lived here from 1919 until 1925. A gardener called John Nicholson bought the house in 1925. When he passed away in 1944, he bequeathed the house to the University of Birmingham.  The house at 58 Edgbaston Park Road has been a Grade II listed building since 1982. The house was fully restored in 2010. It gained full museum status in 2017, with the ground and first floor open to visitors to have a look around at.

 

 

This visit of May 2021, was by chance a couple of days after the 121st anniversary of the founding of the University of Birmingham by a Royal Charter.

 

View of Winterbourne House from the terrace. To the left is the entrance to the house, and also the area for having your teas and coffees outside.

 

 

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The house seen from the Lower Lawn, in the middle is the Pergola.

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The house seen from the Top Lawn. The terrace in front, parasols mostly closed as it was a dry day.

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The house seen from near the exit. The former garden entrance on the left. You now enter the house via  the door to the far right.

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A tour of the house inside

Starting your tour (without a guide) at The Drawing Room. It was a place for the family to relax and for entertaining guests. The plasterwork on the walls and ceilings are typical of Arts and Crafts design.

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We next to into The Hallway. It was inspired by 17th century long galleries.

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On the left is a portrait of John Nettlefold (1866 - 1930). The family lived in the house until 1919, when John got ill. It is a photograph of a portrait of John Nettlefold by John Byam Liston Shaw in 1904.

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At the far end of the Hallway is a portrait of Margaret Nettlefold (nee Chamberlain) (1871 - 1949). Born into the Chamberlain family, she was the niece of Joseph Chamberlain (1836 - 1914) and first cousin of Neville Chamberlain (1869 - 1940). The painting was also by John Byam Liston Shaw and done in 1904 (this is a photograph reproduction of the original).

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The next room on the ground floor was The Study. This room is dedicated to John Nettlefold and his work. On his desk lies the plans for the Moorpool estate. The wallpaper is 'Brier Rabbit' by William Morris.

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Up to the first foor and we are now in the Nurses' Room. It is the room on the left of the top of the stairs. It's the kind of room where the servants would have lived in the house.

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That is followed by The Nursery. It was a large and airy room for the children and faced the garden. The children would have played and slept in the room, and even had their lessons here from the Nurse before they were old enough to attend local schools.

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The next room is Nina's Room. It has been styled for a 16 year old girl from the period. The outfit near the window is an example of Edwardian summer dress worn by young girls of Nina's social standing.

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The final bedroom you can view is Ken's Room. Named after John Kenrick Nettlefold, he was the Nettlefold's only surviving son. It represents what the room could have looked like before he left the family home.

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In The Exhibition Room near the door was this sculpture. Standing Lovers, 1974. Made of Terracotta by John Tonks (1927-2012). It was originally exhibited at Winterbourne House in 1974, as part of a restrospective of John Tonks' work.

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The Winterbourne Press

This building was originally the garage, to house the Nettlefold's first motor car which they bought in 1906. Today the building houses the Winterbourne Press, which shows the early printing techniques of those used in Arts and Crafts design, with a collection of working 19th and early 20th century printing presses.

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When you go in, only one person is allowed at one time. Beyond this gate is staff only. There was several old printing presses inside, plus examples of prints that they had produced.

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Former farm buildings at Winterbourne

There is several former farm buildings and stables at Winterbourne. From the Walled Garden you can see The Old Hayloft houses, which is now the Winterbourne Shop. It is also now the exit from the garden. Various items can be bought here, such as the Guide Book for £5 (card or app payment only at present).

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Exiting the shop, you see the Coach House Gallery, which is now home to the Second-hand Bookshop.

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Garden tour at Winterbourne

First up is The Walled Garden. Through here is the shop, second-hand bookshop, the toilets, Winterbourne Press, and  Edwardian Kitchen. In the centre is the Dipping Pool. It was restored after a leak in 2008. To the far end is the Lean-to Glasshouse which was restored in 2005.

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The next area is the Glasshouse and Alpine Garden. Here you can visit The Gilbert Orchid House (pictured below). Also the Arid House and Alpine House. The Glasshouses were first included in this area as early as the 1930s. The Gilbert Orchid House was built in the 1960s.

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The Nut Walk is near the Geographic collections. It is an original feature of the garden, and provides a focal point for this area. It is in a tunnel shape. The hazelnut trees growing here are the same ones planted by Margaret Nettlefold over 100 years ago. By the 1980s the original structure had decayed, and was replaced with a new, longer lasting iron frame, domed in shape.

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The Rhododendron Walk runs straight towards the stream. There is also a gate on one side that leads to the Edgbaston Pool. It is the first part of the garden to burst into colour in the spring. There is the remains of an Oak Tree here, that has been left as a memorial to it.

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Taking a detour of the garden, down a path (from the unlocked gate) to the Edgbaston Pool. It belongs to Edgbaston Golf Club. Visitors to Winterbourne can walk along the path, and sit at the benches. The gate beyond is private property of the golf club. Visitors must leave the pool by 4:45pm, when the gate at Winterbourne is padlocked for the evening. The pool was part of the Edgbaston Estate of the Gough family, later members of the Calthorpe's, whose Calthorpe Estates owns much of the land in Edgbaston.

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Back in Winterbourne Garden, and now walking past the stream. This is the Japanese Bridge and Sandstone Rock Garden. On the day of our visit, the bridge was closed for maintenance, so couldn't do the Woodland Walk.

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The furthest part of the garden you can go to. The Stream Lawn, Streamside Borders and Magnolia Border. It's hard to believe that you are two miles away from the city centre. It was originally used in 1904 to grow vegetables. Later in the 1970s it was home to a small nursery, before it was removed to make way for the present day lawn and flowering shrub borders.

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Next up is the Lower Lawn. In this view you can see the Pergola (view towards the house). The Herb Circle is to the right. The Pergola is a true Arts and Crafts feature, added by John Nicolson. It was restored in 2005. Currently there is no access to it, while you are walking around the lawn.

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The Old Meadow is a part of the Winter Garden. It is alongside Winterbourne's western boundary. Originally pastureland during the Edwardian period, it was tamed by gardening staff in 1969, when it was used to house a series of plant family beds. Later it became a commemorative garden to celebrate the centenary of the City of Birmingham in 1989. The Old Meadow contains The White Border, The Mediterranean Bed and the Winter Border.

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The Top Lawn can be seen from the terrace in front of the house. The Lime Walk is to the right of here. This is the lawn where the Nettlefold's would have played boules and croquet. The Wheelocks, who followed them, used it for family games and tennis.

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Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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02 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
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King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools - from Camp Hill in 1883 to Kings Heath in 1956-58

King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools is two Grammar schools on one site. The boys and the girls school. Founded in 1883, they were at a site at Camp Hill until they moved to Vicarage Road in Kings Heath (boys in 1956, girls in 1958). The old building survives at Camp Hill Circus near Bordesley Middleway and Stratford Road as The Bordesley Centre. The current school is next to Kings Heath Park.

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King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools - from Camp Hill in 1883 to Kings Heath in 1956-58





King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools is two Grammar schools on one site. The boys and the girls school. Founded in 1883, they were at a site at Camp Hill until they moved to Vicarage Road in Kings Heath (boys in 1956, girls in 1958). The old building survives at Camp Hill Circus near Bordesley Middleway and Stratford Road as The Bordesley Centre. The current school is next to Kings Heath Park.


King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools

In this third post on the King Edward VI schools founded in 1883, we look at King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys and King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls. Originally located at the top of the Stratford Road, near Sparkbrook and Bordesley. They relocated to a site at Vicarage Road and Cartland Road between 1956 and 1958. Unlike Five Ways, the old building at Camp Hill Circus still stands today, as The Bordesley Centre.

 

History of King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools

Today you can see the old building at the corner of Bordesley Middleway and the Stratford Road, if you are getting the bus around Camp Hill Circus (or travelling in other forms of transport). It was designed by Martin and Chamberlain, and first opened in 1883 for the King Edward VI Foundation. The building is now a Grade II* listed building. The builder was James Moffat. There was later additions to the building during the 20th century, with more alterations in the early 21st century.

The school of 1883 was the boys school, later the girls school was built by 1890. The school was built in the Gothic style. After the school moved to Kings Heath, the buildings was first used as a Teachers Training College, then by the City of Birmingham Polytechnic (later University of Central England, now Birmingham City University). It is now The Bordesley Centre, a religious, educational and advisory centre for Birmingham's Yemeni community, and run by the Muath Trust. The building was remodelled and refurbished in 2004-06.

Photos below taken during March 2012. First photo taken from Camp Hill near Camp Hill Circus. Bordesley Middleway on the left.

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Second photo taken from Bordesley Middleway near Camp Hill Circus. At the time went to see a plaque about The Ship Inn, the site of a pub that used to stand here. Was used by Prince Rupert, before his Royalist army attacked Birmingham at Easter 1643. The Ship Inn stood here from 1560 until 1972. It was rebuilt in the late 19th Century.

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King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools today in Kings Heath

The boys school relocated to a site in Kings Heath at Vicarage Road and Cartland Road during 1956. This is next to Kings Heath Park. While the house of the former estate here is now within Kings Heath Park, the gatehouse is in the grounds of the school near the Vicarage Road. Formerly owned by the Cartland family from 1880 until the 1900s (ancestors of the late Romance novel author Barbara Cartland). The girls school relocated to the site in 1958, and both the boys and girls schools share buildings. They also have playing fields at Kings Heath, which they would have had no room for at Camp Hill.

 

During October 2017 from the Vicarage Road in Kings Heath. Pupils can get off the 11C, 11A or 35 bus routes down here. Main entrance to the school is on the right. Just cross at the lights.

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This is the pedestrian entrance for pupils and visitors to the schools. Looked very autumnal that day.

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In April 2019, a walk past King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools. Starting at Vicarage Road in Kings Heath near this sign (gatehouse behind).

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Sign seen on Cartland Road. Reception for both schools on Vicarage Road.

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The sports field with rugby goalpost, modern buildings behind. Seen behind the fence on Cartland Road.

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Modern buildings shared by both the boys and girls school. I think they also share the sports field. Barbed wire on the fence at Cartland Road.

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A December 2019 view up the main drive to King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools. Looks like they built modern extensions to the 1950s buildings here. Lined by trees. At the time, the gate on Vicarage Road was open. There is ramps, so vehicles will have to drive slowly towards the schools.

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A more recent view of King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools, taken from Kings Heath Park during March 2021. The Cartland family formed the Priory Trust Co Ltd to manage the grounds. They wanted to develop houses, but ended up selling the land to the local council (Kings Norton and Northfield Urban District Council). The council opened the land as a park. Birmingham City Council took over the park and Kings Heath in 1911. The remaining land was sold to the council in 1914. The rest of the land of what is now King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools would have been purchased by the Foundation of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham in the mid 1950s.

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The Lodge to King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools

This is the Lodge to King Edward VI Camp Hill Schools. One of the oldest buildings at the school, it dates to the early 19th Century, and is a Grade II listed building. It is rendered, and Battlemented according to the Historic England listing, at 142 Vicarage Road. The lodge was formerly part of the estate of Kings Heath House, and was separated when a fence was erected between the schools and Kings Heath Park (probably in the late 1950s).

First view (below) taken from the 11A bus on Vicarage Road in Kings Heath during April 2017.

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The next view was taken from Kings Heath Park during Febraury 2018. You can see the modern fence separating the park and school grounds here.

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Another bus view, this time taken from the 11C during April 2018. You can see the lodge on the left, and the vehicle entrance driveway on the right to the schools.

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School bus

In May 2017, I was on an 11A bus, when I passed this school bus for both King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys and King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, seen on the Vicarage Road. Bus ID 112.

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On this side advertising the girls school and their outstanding results! Co-education for all.

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My own history with King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys. I would have done the 11+ here during 1993-94, but I didn't pass it. I recall putting King Edward VI Five Ways School as my first choice, and King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys as my second. I ended up at my local Comprehensive school (which was in walking distance). Years later got the 11C on the way to my Sixth Form College (1999 - 2001). I now think I should have put Camp Hill as my number one. My late brother later got into Camp Hill. Of course I pass it now whenever I get the 11C or 11A past the school. Or go to Kings Heath Park.

 

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Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

 

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