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22 Feb 2021 - Elliott Brown
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A visit to Dudmaston Estate during October 2020

The last National Trust property visit of 2020 was to Dudmaston Estate in October 2020. It's in Shropshire. A 17th Century country house (not open apart from a gallery inside). Near the village of Quatt. As before booked the tickets online for a slot. The grounds you could walk about and explore. Tea Room was open, but you had to have your tea or coffee at picnic tables outside.

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A visit to Dudmaston Estate during October 2020





The last National Trust property visit of 2020 was to Dudmaston Estate in October 2020. It's in Shropshire. A 17th Century country house (not open apart from a gallery inside). Near the village of Quatt. As before booked the tickets online for a slot. The grounds you could walk about and explore. Tea Room was open, but you had to have your tea or coffee at picnic tables outside.


Dudmaston

The National Trust property of Dudmaston is located near the village of Quatt in Shropshire. The country house dates to the 17th century. There is former farm buildings, some of which have been converted into a tea room and second hand book shop. There was a gallery you could visit (sanitise your hands before going in), but no photography allowed inside for copyright reasons (I think the family still live in the house). Tickets and time slot as before booked via the National Trust website (with tickets on EventBrite). If there was a gift shop, I think it was closed.

This visit was on the 18th October 2020 (so was about half a month before the second lockdown began).

 

Outbuildings at Dudmaston

The Outbuildings from the lawn. Near here was picnic tables. A queue for the toilets, sanitise your hands, wer your mask if you go in.

 

A courtyard near the Outbuildings. All the rooms here were closed. There was a one way system in place, so if you wanted, you could enter the gardens from this gate on the right.

 

The Outbuildings from the garden. Due to the one way system in place, if you went out of the garden, then back in, you had to head this way to get out.

 

This gate to the courtyard looked nice, but it was no entry this way (you could only walk through them from the other direction).

 

Private garden seen over the fence from the Kitchen Garden. Far end of the Outbuildings.


 

Dudmaston Hall

Round the back of Dudmaston Hall. A tent with National Trust volunteer, to register you before going into the exhibition / gallery. Sanitise your hands again, mask on. No photos allowed inside (tempting as it was).

 

The back of Dudmaston Hall. It is a Grade II* listed building. A Queen Anne mansion. Built of red brick with stone dressings. Was also a 19th Century office and stable wing built in the Elizabethan style. Couldn't cross the rope on the left.

 

Heading down the hill, a look at Dudmaston Hall, an impresive looking house.

 

There was this Red Ivy going down the house. A bit like those poppy art installations around Remembrance time. Some old steps with urns.

 

Another view of the house with the Red Ivy in the middle.

 

The Red Ivy looked wonderful from any angle in the parkland.

 

You could have a walk around the Dingle Walk. Eventually you would end up at the back of the Big Pool, with this wonderful picturesque view of Dudmaston Hall.

 

Parkland and gardens

A look down to the Big Pool at Dudmaston Estate.

 

Sculpture in the garden, part of a trail. Spaceframe sculpted by Anthony Twentyman during 1985.

 

Seated bench area for relaxing and looking at the views of the picturesque parkland.

 

Greylag geese flying and landing in the Big Pool.

 

The Kitchen Garden. Pumpkins in the greenhouse before Halloween.

 

Fingerpost on the Dingle Walk. Head right to the Garden, or left to the Dingle Walk.

 

Kept spotting this brick boathouse near the Big Pool, although didn't see any boats in the lake.

 

The South Lodge seen from the car as we left Dudmaston Estate. Now a private house. A Grade II listed building dating to the early 19th Century. Made of coursed sandstone rubble, with a tiled roof. The gate on exiting the estate was an automatic electric gate.

 

Hope to visit more National Trust properties in 2021, after the 3rd lockdown ends, if we are allowed to travel far again. Especially in the Spring or Summer months.

 

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

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History & heritage
03 Feb 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham

If you miss seeing dinosaur skeletons and fossils at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, why not give the Lapworth Museum of Geology a try? It's free to enter and located at the University of Birmingham in the Aston Webb Building (Quadrant Range). The museum dates back to 1880 (when at Mason College), but has been on this site since the 1920s. Named after Charles Lapworth.

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The Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham





If you miss seeing dinosaur skeletons and fossils at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, why not give the Lapworth Museum of Geology a try? It's free to enter and located at the University of Birmingham in the Aston Webb Building (Quadrant Range). The museum dates back to 1880 (when at Mason College), but has been on this site since the 1920s. Named after Charles Lapworth.


Lapworth Museum of Geology

The Lapworth Museum of Geology is hidden away to the back of the Quadrant Range at the University of Birmingham. Located near Ring Road South.

 

History of the Lapworth Museum of Geology

The Lapworth Museum of Geology is a geological museum at the University of Birmingham. It was named after the Professor of Geology, Charles Lapworth, with origins dating back to 1880 (when the Geology Department was a Mason College, then located in Chamberlain Square). The museum has been located at the Grade II* listed Aston Webb Building (designed by Sir Aston Webb and Ingress Bell and built from 1900 to 1909) on the Edgbaston Campus of the University of Birmingham since the 1920s. The museum was redeveloped from 2014 and reopened in 2016.

I saw this history board below during my visit in June 2018. The image showing Mason College. Sadly the building was demolished in the 1960s to make way for Birmingham Central Library (which opened in 1974, closed in 2013 and was demolished itself in 2016).

 

In July 2017, I got my first photos of the Lapworth Museum of Geology, but didn't go in at the time. It is an impressive looking building to house the museum.

There is a pair of blue plaques here from the University of Birmingham, one for Frederick Shotton, who furthered understanding of climate change 1949-1974.

Also a blue plaque for Charles Lapworth, who undertook pioneering work into the formation of mountain belts 1882-1883.

This is the modern door that welcomes you to the Lapworth Museum. At the time I was on the hunt for the Big Sleuth bears located around the University grounds, so didn't end up going into the museum until about a year later.

 

About 11 months later in June 2018, I was inspired to visit the Lapworth Museum of Geology after seeing Dippy on Tour at the Gas Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

A sign pointing the way on campus to the Lapworth Museum of Geology. Looks like it is being held in place by a tape with a key!

Another Lapworth Museum of Geology sign in the window.

 

The main reason for this visit was to see the replica skeleton of an Allosaurus.

 

There was also a Pteranodon hanging from the ceiling behind.

 

To the back of the museum, was all these fossils and rocks in the tables and on the shelves, behind glass windows. The Pteranodon and Allosaurus seen near the front of the museum.

 

A Portrait of Charles Lapworth, the founder of the museum. Charles Lapworth, LL. D.M. Sc. F.R.S. was the Professor of Geology at Mason College (later University of Birmingham) from 1881-1913. He became Emeritus Professor in 1913. His portrait was presented to the museum by Mr. W. Waters Butler.

 

Death at the end of the Cretaceous


Skull of the dinosaur Deinonychus.


Skull of the dinosaur Velociraptor.

 

Foot of the tyrannosaurid dinosaur Albertosaurus.

 

Parapuzosia sp. (ammonite).

 


Skull of the carnivorous dinosaur Allosaurus fragilis. From the Late Jurassic.

 

Skull and jaws of Dimetrodon (synapsid). From the Permian period (before the Triassic).

 

Smilodon (sabre-toothed cat) from the Quaternary (Ice Age).

 

Active Earth

Globe - Earth's Palaeogeography. These maps show how Earth may have appeared over the last 600 million years.

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

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01 Feb 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham

Did you know that there is an art gallery at the University of Birmingham? This is the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. Founded in 1932, it's first director was called Thomas Bodkin, who was responsible for purchasing the Equestrian Statue of King George I from the City of Dublin, Ireland in 1937. The gallery is close to Edgbaston Park Road in an Art Deco building completed in 1939.

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The Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham





Did you know that there is an art gallery at the University of Birmingham? This is the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. Founded in 1932, it's first director was called Thomas Bodkin, who was responsible for purchasing the Equestrian Statue of King George I from the City of Dublin, Ireland in 1937. The gallery is close to Edgbaston Park Road in an Art Deco building completed in 1939.


The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

If you go to the University of Birmingham's main campus in Edgbaston, and head up Edgbaston Park Road from the Bristol Road, you might see the Barber Institute of Fine Arts on the left. It is opposite King Edward's School and King Edward VI High School for Girls. Also near by is the University of Birmingham Guild of Students (BUGS).

 

Some history of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts

The building was built from 1935 to 1939, it was designed by the architect Robert Atkinson. It is now a Grade II listed building. It is an art gallery and concert hall, and is an Art Deco building. It was opened by Queen Mary (the Queen Consort and later widow of King George V of the United Kingdom). It was set up by Martha Constance Hattie Barber, in memory of her late husband Henry Barber. Who was a wealthy property developer in Birmingham's suburbs. He became a baron in 1924. He died three years later. Lady Barber decided to make a permanent contribution to the city in his memory. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts was founded in 1932. The founding director was Thomas Bodkin.

 

I've only been inside once back in 2008, but at the time wasn't allowed to take photos inside the gallery, and I've never been back. But I did get photos of the exterior of the gallery in the snow of December 2009.

First view of the Art Deco building with the Statue of George I in the snow.

There was a light dusting of snow on the grass around the statue.

At the time cars were allowed to park outside of the Barber Institute.

It's lucky that this building was completed before the start of World War 2.

The building curves around, with unique Art Deco detailing of the 1930s.

Steps leads to a rear entrance at the back.

To shields on the building. A Latin motto "Esto Quod Esse Videris". This means in English "Suppose that you are".

Including the crest of the University of Birmingham.

Snow on the steps to the main entrance, but at the time this could also have been grit salt.

The main entrance steps and doorway. Above the doors it says "UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM BARBER INSTITUTE OF FINE ARTS AD MCMXXXV". This stone would have been laid in 1935, the year that construction of the gallery began (it would be completed by 1939).

 

In my subsequent walks around the Edgbaston Campus at the University of Birmingham, I rarely take new photos of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, but took this pair during one walk in November 2018, heading off the campus via the East Gate.

There was a sculpture on the wall of a harp. A sign that they also cover music here.

 

 

Equestrian Statue of King George I of Great Britain

George I of Great Britain was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1714 until his death in 1727. He had come from Hanover in what is now part of Germany, with the title Elector of Hanover. It is unlikely that he would have ever travelled up to the Town of Birmingham at the time.

The statue was bought by the first director of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Thomas Bodkin in 1937. It was originally commissioned by the City of Dublin in 1717, and was unveiled in the City in 1722. It was sculpted by the Dutch sculptor John van Nost the Elder. When in the early part of the 20th Century when Ireland was becoming Independent of the UK, and on it's way to form a Republic, the statue could have been destroyed by the Republicans, but thankfully Mr Bodkin bought it and took it to Birmingham. Today it stands just outside of the gallery on the lawn between University Road East, Ring Road North and Edgbaston Park Road.

 

One of the main reasons for coming to the University of Birmingham on a snowy day in December 2009 was to see the Equestrian Statue of George I.

It is quite impressive, probably the only statue of Birmingham with a King on a horse.

It is similar to a later statue of George IV that I previously saw in Trafalfar Square, London.

There is raser sharp spikes all the way around the plinth, to prevent someone climbing up onto the statue.

It isn't worth trying unless you want to harm yourself.

George I is looking towards King Edward's School, which moved here in 1936. All of this land was part of the Calthorpe Estates.

The equestrian statue was in silhouette on this side.

Back then, I tended to get loads of photos of statues and buildings, when I was new to Birmingham photography.

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

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28 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
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Exploring the Birmingham Botanical Gardens over the years from multiple visits

I've been to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens several times over the last 5 or more years. Usually to attend something like the Magical Lantern Festival, Jurassic Kingdom or Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom events. More recently attended a free open day during Birmingham Heritage Week back in 2019. You can see various birds in cages, a roaming peacock, and butterflies in a greenhouse and more

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Exploring the Birmingham Botanical Gardens over the years from multiple visits





I've been to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens several times over the last 5 or more years. Usually to attend something like the Magical Lantern Festival, Jurassic Kingdom or Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom events. More recently attended a free open day during Birmingham Heritage Week back in 2019. You can see various birds in cages, a roaming peacock, and butterflies in a greenhouse and more


Birmingham Botanical Gardens

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is located on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham. The Birmingham Botanical and Horticultural Society was founded in 1829 with the intent to found a botanical garden. It opened in 1832. The gardens are Grade II listed and was designed by J. C. Loudon. The Tropical House was built in 1852, followed by the Subtropical House in 1871. The Terrace glasshouses were built in 1884.

The gardens features a Bandstand and Aviary, four glasshouses (Tropical, Subtropical, Mediterranean and Arid glasshouses), plus a Alpine House and Butterfly House. There is a sunken Rose Garden, a cast iron Gazebo built in 1850. A rock garden and pool dating to 1895. Various walks that were laid out in 1862. Three period gardens (Tudor, Roman and Medieval) was created in 1994.

The gardens has a gift shop, plant sale centre, tea room, meeting and conference rooms. Famously the leaders of the G8 had a dinner party in the Pavilion Restaurant here in 1998.

 

2012

One of my earliest photos of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens taken during August 2012, walked past on Westbourne Road. I have been here as a child back in the 1980s, but didn't start taking photos here until this point.

 

 

2016

The first event I paid to go to the Botanical Gardens was at the Magical Lantern Festival during December 2016. Hung around the City Centre until it got dark and arrived for my time just before 5pm, but it was heavily raining.

Go here for the Magical Lantern Festival 2016 post.

While there (in the heavy rain) I got some photos of the Glasshouses. Bit hard to see in the dark, but was lit up inside.

View to the Pavilion Restaurant. That was where in 1998, the leaders of the G8 had a dinner party. Including the Clinton's and Blair's.

 

2017

In May 2017 I booked to see the Jurassic Kingdom event at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Better weather this time and was in the daytime. Animatronic dinosaurs. Plus while there got general photos of the gardens.

Got a post here for both Jurassic Kingdom 2017 and Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom 2019.

 

The Bandstand was installed here in 1873. It was renovated on it's centenary in 1973.

The Bird Cages also known as the Aviary.

Red-crowned parakeet in the Aviary (Bird Cage).

One of the peacocks that roams around the Botanical Gardens.

The fountain was built in 1850. It ceased to flow in 1940 but was restored to working order in 1982.

The Gazebo dates to 1850 and was originally located at 32 Church Road, Edgbaston and was made of Cast Iron. Donated by the Lord Chancellor's Department in 1993. Restored in 1994.

Heading through The Tropical House.

It is very warm in The Tropical House. A bench to sit down on.

Heading out of the Botanical Gardens, saw the blue plaque of Ernest Henry Wilson (1876 - 1930). Placed here by the Birmingham Civic Society in 2010.

 

A few months later in August 2017, I was walking past the Botanical Gardens, and saw a view with Old Joe (the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower) at the University of Birmingham.

 

By December 2017, there was a Christmas Lights Trail on at the Botanical Gardens, although I didn't go to it myself. But at the time I could see this Helter Skelter and a Carousel from the Westbourne Road. Taken from the no 24 bus. It looks like a fun fair was close to the car park.

 

2018

In July 2018, I got off the no 24 bus on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston to see a new blue plaque at Birmingham City University. Got these photos of the Welcome signs on the walk up the road. This car park is usually full during events, and is best for people to park their cars elsewhere in Edgbaston and walk there.

This Welcome sign on the main entrance building.

 

During the open day at the Tyseley Locomotive Works in September 2018, West Midlands Railway was showing off 172 339 with it's purple livery. On the side was 2 for 1 offers, including at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This livery has since been replaced with the standard orange one on all of their Class 172 trains on the Snow Hill Lines. I previously caught this at Birmingham Moor Street Station back in April 2018.

 

The Magical Lantern Festival returned to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in December 2018 (it was at Kings Heath Park in 2017). That year I didn't pay to go to it, just saw from either the no 23 or 24 buses. Santa was outside.

Was better to get off the bus to see Santa and the presents from Westbourne Road.

They had unicorns with wings at the main entrance. Can you spot Old Joe on the right?

A few days later, tried to get some more shots from the top of a bus. Christmas tree near the main entrance.

Could see this shoe from the bus window.

 

2019

Returned in April 2019 for the Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom event. Link to that post is further up this post. It was another opportunity to get general shots of the Botanical Gardens, as well as the animatronic wild beasts! Due to going to the previous event I attended, got an early bird ticket and went quite early on it's run!

 

Saw the peacock on the path near the ice age beasts.

A close up look at the Bandstand.

Into the Historic Gardens. On the right was The Tudor Knott Garden.

At the far end was the statue of Proserpina.

The garden to the far left is The Medieval Garden.

The garden in the middle is The Roman Garden.

A view of the Alpine Yard redevelopment.

 

By September 2019, it was Birmingham Heritage Week, and the gardens was packed! But on the Sunday it was free to visit, so had a full walk around this time. Go here for the Birmingham Heritage Week post of the weekend 14th and 15th September 2019. 5 photos in the original post (plus three other venues I visited that weekend).

More views below.

The entrance to the Botanical Gardens, with the stone dated 1832 above the Welcome canopy and Heritage Open Day bunting.

The Arid House, full of cactuses in here.

It was nice and warm in here for the cactuses.

Outside to the Loudon Terrace. The border looked very colourful. Was also a lot of people around. Probably the last time it was this busy before the pandemic started in 2020.

This was the Garden of Tomorrow.

The pond at the Garden of Memory.

A look at the Rock Garden and Pool. Lots of water lilies in the pool.

Was on the path from Farrer Walk to Wilson Walk. Saw this unique looking flower called Impatiens niamiamensis. Red, yellow and green.

In the Butterfly House, was several butterflies, the rest were hibernating.

Saw these Rosy-faced lovebirds in one of the bird cages. There was a lot of them in there.

On the Perennial borders saw a lot of Yellow coneflowers.

There was also this flower called Tagetes patula. Had red and yellow petals.

There was a parrot in the Aviary (Bird House). Saw plenty of other birds in there as well.

 

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

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100 passion points
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26 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
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An Edwardian gem that is Winterbourne House & Garden

I've only visited the garden at Winterbourne once, way back in August 2008, so was before I picked up Birmingham photography. One of the last places we went to with my late brother (passed November 2008). In the years since, I took some exteriors of the house fro Edgbaston Park Road when it was being restored, and another time for the blue plaque of John Nettlefold, who lived here.

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An Edwardian gem that is Winterbourne House & Garden





I've only visited the garden at Winterbourne once, way back in August 2008, so was before I picked up Birmingham photography. One of the last places we went to with my late brother (passed November 2008). In the years since, I took some exteriors of the house fro Edgbaston Park Road when it was being restored, and another time for the blue plaque of John Nettlefold, who lived here.


Winterbourne House & Garden

Winterbourne House and Winterbourne Botanic Garden is located on Edgbaston Park Road in Edgbaston and belongs to the University of Birmingham. It has been on the site since 1903, and been part of the University since 1944.

 

History of Winterbourne

Winterbourne House was built between 1903 and 1904 as the family home of John & Margaret Nettlefold. They commissioned the local architect Joseph Lancaster Bell to design and build the house. It was made of brick and tiles. The original garden was designed by Margaret Nettlefold herself. They lived here with their children until 1919, when John was getting a bit unwell.

The property was sold to the Wheelock family, who had 9 children. They lived here until 1925. It was then purchased by John Nicholson, who was a local businessman, and a keen gardener. He made improvements to the garden, adding a rock garden and alpine area. He was here until his death in 1944.

Winterbourne was then passed onto the University of Birmingham. Initially the house was used as student halls. The house has had a variety of uses since 1944. During 2009 to 2010, the house was fully restored. During this time the Birmingham Civic Society placed a blue plaque on the house for John Nettlefold.

The garden has many plants from around the world. The house now has a gift shop and tearoom. Plus an Art Gallery. During the Pandemic, the garden has only been open to members.

 

2008

So far the visit of August 2008 was the only time I've been to Winterbourne House & Garden, so is a bit hard to remember this visit (from 12 to 13 years ago). Other than it was one of the places we went to that year before my brother passed away of cancer in November 2008.

View from the garden of Winterbourne House.

Below, one of my late brothers photos of a small boggy pond.

A pond with water lilies (my late brothers photo below). Not sure if this is the Chad Brook or not.

Large leaves over the pond (or Chad Brook). (One of my late brothers photos below).

Looking at my archive photos from that visit, I didn't take much, so only had a handle of photos like this. The pond / Chad Brook with water lilies.

One of my late brothers photos towards the house.

He also took this one in the garden.

Yes this was one of his photos as well (I Photoshopped myself out of it).

What looks a ships deck.

The ships deck from the front.

 

2009

About a year or so after loosing my brother, during December 2009,  I was walking past Winterbourne House on Edgbaston Park Road, while there was so on the ground at the University of Birmingham. Work was underway to restore the house. Was the same day as I got the statue of George I outside of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts (another place we visited back in 2008, but couldn't take photos inside unfortunately).

A University of Birmingham sign says this is part of the Green Zone. G.11 is Winterbourne House and G.12 is Winterbourne Botanic Garden.

Looked like at the time they were also doing work on the grounds outside near the car park entrance.

Details of the first and second floor with the roof covered in snow.

A sign welcomes you to Winterbourne. Garden Entrance to the left.

It was a blue sky day, snow everywhere but settled. The front drive was quite big. Public car park is also on this side.

 

2013

The last time I got photos of Winterbourne House & Garden from Edgbaston Park Road was during February 2013, to see the blue plaque that had been installed there. Although I have walked up Edgbaston Park Road in the years since, just not taken any more photos of Winterbourne since then.

Saw this sign as I got close to Winterbourne House & Garden. Tearoom * Gifts * Gallery * Plants. University of Birmingham.

The house was looking as good as new, cars in the car park to the right.

The drive on the left is the entrance to cars going to the car park.

Heading to the blue plaque on the right.

The Birmingham Civic Society unveiled this blue plaque in 2010 in memory of John Sutton Nettlefold (1866 - 1930). He lived in this house from 1903 until 1919.

 

Winterbourne during the pandemic

During the pandemic, Winterbourne Garden is open, but the house, shop and tearoom remain closed until further notice. But you can order gifts online and click & collect only (they don't offer a postal service). You can also get a Winterbourne Membership if you want to.

They are not operating a pre-booked system. They have reduced the number of visitors they can have at one time. Only University members or students with ID's can visit at the moment. So it looks like if you are not a member, or don't belong to the University you can't visit right now.

Would be nice to go again one day in the future when things get better.

 

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

 

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