A look at Joseph Chamberlain who as well as later being an MP for Birmingham, before that served several years as the Mayor of the town (it didn't become a City until 1888). A member of the Liberal Party, he was elected Mayor of Birmingham in 1873, holding that title until 1876 when he was elected to Parliament. Various clocks and monuments are around the city in his name.


Joseph Chamberlain

The Chamberlain Memorial is in Chamberlain Square in the centre of Birmingham (now the Paradise Birmingham construction site). It was erected in 1880 to commemorate the public service of Joseph Chamberlain. It was erected during Chamberlain's lifetime. By the time the memorial was installed, Chamberlain has been an MP for Birmingham since 1876.  Chamberlain was elected to the Town Council in November 1869. He was elected Mayor in November 1873 and resigned the office in June 1876 on being returned as a representative of the borough to Parliament. During his Mayoralty many great works were advanced. And his devotion to the Water & Gas undertakings. (there is halls at the Council House called Water Hall and Gas Hall that are now part of the Museum & Art Gallery).

Seen here with Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, the vantage point with the statue of James Watt.

Chamberlain Memorial in Chamberlain Square

Seen with the now demolished Birmingham Central Library.

Chamberlain Memorial in Chamberlain Square

Medallion bus of Joseph Chamberlain on the memorial.

Chamberlain Memorial in Chamberlain Square

Birmingham's failed bid for UK City of Culture in 2010 for 2013.

Chamberlain Memorial in Chamberlain Square

A more recent photo of the Chamberlain Memorial with One and Two Chamberlain Square under construction during July 2018. Part of Paradise Birmingham. Apart from the Museum & Art Gallery and the Town Hall, it is the only thing to survive from the late 19th century period (the other buildings demolished and the statues gone into storage).

Chamberlain Memorial with One and Two Chamberlain Square


Seen at the University of Birmingham is the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, also known as Old Joe. It is the tallest free standing clock tower in the world. The tower was built to commemorate Joseph Chamberlain who was the first Chancellor of the University. Construction started in 1900 and finished in 1908. It held the record for the tallest building in Birmingham from 1908 until 1965 (when the BT Tower opened).

Please also have a look at my post comparing this tower to the campanile tower that inspired it in Italy here Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower inspired by the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy.

Seen with the Great Hall from Aston Webb Boulevard (Selly Oak New Road). Designed by Sir Aston Webb and Ingress Bell (built 1900 - 1909).

Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower at the University of Birmingham

Close up of the tower in 2009.

Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower at the University of Birmingham

The view from Mindelsohn Way, Selly Oak in 2017.

Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower at the University of Birmingham

For a period earlier during 2018 the clock was stuck at 12 o'clock, but after it was repaired the clock was once again seen to be ticking again!

Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower at the University of Birmingham

Welcome to University Station in Edgbaston, on the University of Birmingham's main Edgbaston campus. When you get off the train, take a look at this image of Joseph Chamberlain before heading up the steps. And read the message to the left. You may also notice the Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower on the steps as you go up.

Joseph Chamberlain at University Station


In the Jewellery Quarter there is a clock at the junction with Vyse Street, Warstone Lane and Frederick Street called the Chamberlain Clock. It commemorated the visit of Joseph Chamberlain to South Africa between 1902 and 1903 when he was the Secretary for State for the Colonies. It was erected by his constituents the electors of West Birmingham. Mr Chamberlain landed at Durban on the 26th December 1902 and sailed from Cape Town on the 25th February 1903. The clock was unveiled in 1904 during Chamberlain's lifetime.

There is also a clock like this one in Five Ways, but that one does not commemorate Joseph Chamberlain. And also another similar clock at Aston Cross.

Chamberlain Clock Jewellery Quarter

Seen with the Rose Villa Tavern in the Jewellery Quarter.

Chamberlain Jewellery Quarter clock

These views were from 2009, and was traffic constantly going past the clock, so got cars in some of these old photos.

Chamberlain Clock Jewellery Quarter

The clock is one of the main landmarks in the Jewellery Quarter. It's a short walk from Jewellery Quarter Station. It's also close to Warstone Lane Cemetery (also known as Brookfields Cemetery).

Chamberlain Clock Jewellery Quarter

Highbury Hall was the Birmingham residence of Joseph Chamberlain from 1880 until his death in 1914. Was commissioned in 1878 and built in 1879. Is now a Grade II* listed building and in the care of the Chamberlain Highbury Trust (formerly Birmingham City Council). It took it's name from the Highbury area of London that Chamberlain lived in as a child. There is extensive grounds that now includes Highbury Park. John Henry Chamberlain was the architect (he wasn't a relation of the Chamberlain family).

The main entrance with the car park. A blue plaque is on the left.

Highbury Hall

The garden to the hall. There is paths that leads out to Highbury Park and surviving parts of Highbury Hall's original gardens via an orchard.

Highbury Hall

The first floor landing at Highbury Hall.

Highbury Hall interior landing

Portrait of Joseph Chamberlain MP painted by Nestor Cambier at Highbury Hall.

Portrait of Joseph Chamberlain

Artefacts seen at the Birmingham History Galleries about Chamberlain's Birmingham.

Including a postcard of Corporation Street dated 1902. Home Rule and the Irish Question by Joseph Chamberlain, MP 1887.

A mug with the head of Joseph Chamberlain.

Joseph Chamberlain artifacts at the Birmingham History Galleries

Close up look at the mug that looks like Joseph Chamberlain.

Joseph Chamberlain artifacts at the Birmingham History Galleries

Souvenir from the 30th anniversary of Joseph Chamberlain being elected to Parliament for Birmingham in 1876, from 1906.

Joseph Chamberlain 30 years 1876 - 1906

Photos by Elliott Brown