Five Ways Island - A wonderful open space!

At the busy Five Ways Island is a small public space with wonderful flower beds. Subways called walkways links the pavements to all surrounding roads. Site of a Grammar School 1883-1958.


Five Ways Island is located between Ladywood, Edgbaston and Westside in Birmingham.

This is a lovely spot to relax and a great location to complete a trail of some of Birmingham's public squares and public spaces. This pubic space is surrounded by many buildings of note and interest.

Flower beds Five Ways Island

Flower beds at Five Ways Island (April 2013). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Surrounded by Broad Street, Islington Row Middleway, Calthorpe Road, Harborne Road, Hagley Road and Ladywood Middleway.

Five Ways Island

The top deck bus view of Five Ways Island (December 2019). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Public Transport

A useful route to get from getting off the buses to Broadway Plaza (to go to the cinema or other facilities). Bus routes include the 1, 8A, 8C, X8, 9, 10, X10, 12, 12A, 13, 13A, 23 and 24, 25, 80A, and 126. Five Ways Station is a short walk away down Islington Row Middleway. From the end of 2021, there should be a new Five Ways Tram Stop at the end of Broad Street, and an Edgbaston Tram Stop on Hagley Road. Tram tracks have been laid through the Five Ways underpass.

 

History of Five Ways Island

The name Five Ways dates back to 1565, when the roads to Harborne and Halesowen were recorded as being located there. A lady who lived at Five Ways until 1785 described it as being the junction of five roadways. Today they are called: Broad Street, Islington Row Middleway, Calthorpe Road, Harborne Road, Hagley Road and Ladywood Middleway. Five Ways was disturnpiked in 1841. From 1883 until 1958, it was home to King Edward VI Five Ways School (before it was relocated to Bartley Green). The site is marked by a plaque unveiled by Councillor Hollingworth in 1983 (as Lord Mayor of Birmingham). A memorial statue to Joseph Sturge was unveiled in 1862 (today it is outside of the Marriott Hotel). The raised roads with subways underneath was developed during the 1960s. Although they are referred to as Walkways (as they just go under the roads and are not very long).

Five Ways Island

Five Ways Island being rebuilt during September 1968. Copyright Birmingham Mail

 

Buildings of Five Ways Island

Buildings around Five Ways include the Marriott Hotel, Costa Coffee Drive Thru, Lloyds Bank, Park Regis Birmingham, No 1 Hagley Road and Broadway Residences.

 

Marriott Hotel

Marriott Hotel (formerly known as the Swallow Hotel) is between Harborne Road and Hagley Road. President Bill Clinton stayed here during the G8 in 1998.

Marriott Hotel Five Ways

Marriott Hotel on Hagley Road near Five Ways Island (June 2009). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Costa Coffee Drive Thru

60 Calthorpe Road (dates to 1800) is a Grade II listed building, and was converted into a Costa Coffee Drive Thru (with extension) in 2014. This is between Harborne Road and Calthorpe Road. Was formerly Solace Spa until the early 2010s.

Costa Coffee Five Ways

Costa Coffee Drive Thru at 60 Calthorpe Road, Edgbaston (October 2014). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Bank (completed in 1909) is at the corner of Calthorpe Road and Islington Row Middleway.

Lloyds Bank Five Ways

Lloyds Bank at Five Ways Island (January 2014). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Park Regis Birmingham

Auchinleck House (completed in 1962) between Broad Street and Islington Row Middleway. This was converted into the Park Regis Birmingham hotel (which opened in 2016).

Five Ways Island

No 1 Hagley Road and Park Regis Birmingham from Islington Row Middleway (February 2021). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

No 1 Hagley Road

No 1 Hagley Road (designed by John Madin and opened in 1974). Also known as Metropolitan House. It was converted from offices into flats between 2015 and 2016. This is between Hagley Road and Ladywood Middleway.

No 1 Hagley Road Five Ways

The Lansdowne and No 1 Hagley Road from Islington Row Middleway (February 2021). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Broadway Residences

Broadway was home to Tesco (from 1977 to 2015). This was converted into the Broadway Residences with retail space, such as The Gym (completed in 2016). This is at the corner of Ladywood Middleway and Broad Street.

Broadway Five Ways

Broadway Residences at Five Ways Island (October 2016). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Joseph Sturge statue

The statue of Joseph Sturge is located outside of the Marriott Hotel between Harborne Road and Hagley Road at Five Ways Island. It was sculpted by John Thomas and unveiled in 1862. The statue was last cleaned during 2006-07. Joseph Sturge (1793 - 1859) was a Quaker born in Gloucestershire. He moved to Birmingham in 1822. He lived in a house on a site on Wheeleys Road in Edgbaston from 1824 until his death in 1859 (marked today by a blue plaque from the Birmingham Civic Society at Eden Croft). The Act of Parliament to abolish slavery was passed in 1833. He travelled to the West Indies in 1836 and on his return to England, he ran a campaign and full freedom was achieved in 1838. He later campaigned for peace in the 1850s, to try and stop or prevent wars.

Joseph Sturge statue

Joseph Sturge statue outside the Marriott Hotel (June 2009). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

 

Stainless Steel Sculpture

At the centre of Five Ways Island is the Stainless Steel Sculpture, designed by Alexander Mann, and made and erected by Tube Investments Limited as a joint venture with the City of Birmingham in June 1973.

Stainless Steel Sculpture Five Ways Island

Stainless Steel Sculpture at Five Ways Island (May 2009). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

King Edward VI Five Ways School

There used to be a Grammar School in the centre of Five Ways Island. It was called King Edward VI Five Ways School. It was located at Five Ways from January 1883 until it closed down in April 1958 (as they relocated to Bartley Green). The architect was J. A. Chatwin, and it was built from 1882 to 1883. Demolished in the late 1950s, ahead of the building of Five Ways Island in the 1960s.

King Edward VI Five Ways SchoolKing Edward VI Five Ways School circa 1888 by photographer John Collier (died 1910). Public Domain.

 

The school was one of eleven Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham. The Foundation dates back to 1552. The site at Five Ways was just west of the City Centre. It moved in 1958 to a particularly attractive 32 acre site in Bartley Green, 7 miles to the south west of the City Centre, where it remains today.

King Edward VI Five Ways School

King Edward VI Five Ways School at Scotland Lane, Bartley Green (March 2021). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

On the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the inception of the school, in January 1983, the then Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Peter Hollingworth, unveiled this pavement plaque, just below the Stainless Steel Sculpture.

King Edward VI Five Ways School

Plaque of King Edward VI Five Ways School at Five Ways Island (July 2009). Photography by Elliott Brown

Project dates

22 Feb 2021 - On-going

Passions

Environment & green action, Green open spaces, Squares and public spaces

Contact

Your Place Your Space

Jonathan Bostock

0121 410 5520
jonathan.bostock@ yourplaceyourspace.com