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Elliott Brown History & heritage
01 Mar 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Newman Brothers Coffin Works

Did you know that when Newman Brothers Coffin Furniture Factory closed down for good in 1998, they left all the tools and equipment as it was. The building now called the Coffin Works was opened as a museum in 2014 after a period of restoration work under taken by the Birmingham Conservation Trust. In the years since it opened, I've yet to pay a visit to go inside. Fleet Street in JQ.

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Newman Brothers Coffin Works





Did you know that when Newman Brothers Coffin Furniture Factory closed down for good in 1998, they left all the tools and equipment as it was. The building now called the Coffin Works was opened as a museum in 2014 after a period of restoration work under taken by the Birmingham Conservation Trust. In the years since it opened, I've yet to pay a visit to go inside. Fleet Street in JQ.


The Coffin Works

Located on Fleet Street in the Jewellery Quarter is this hiden gem. The Coffin Works is at 13-15 Fleet Street. Between Summer Row (at Parade) and Hotel ibis Styles (which is between Fleet Street and Lionel Street). Also near the head office of Mitchells & Butlers.

The Newman Brothers Coffin Furniture Factory is a part of the Jewellery Quarter conservation area. Founded by the brothers Alfred and Edwin Newman. They moved to this site in 1894 (the building was built from 1892 to 1894 and designed by Roger Harley in 1892). Their company began life as a brass foundry company, before they changed to making coffin furniture (the handles, nameplates etc, all which would get buried with the deceased in the coffin underground).

Edwin ceased to be involved in the company during 1895, leaving his brother Alfred as the sole trader of the business until his death in 1933. He was succeeded by his two sons George and Horace. They ran the company until George Newman passed away in 1944, and his brother Horace Newman passed away in 1952. After that there was a variety of owners of the company. Although their sister Nina continued to hold shares until 1980.

The business passed to the Doggart and Whittington families. The last owner was Joyce Green, who acquired the company following the death of the companies two managing directors in 1976. Green first joined the company as a secretary in 1949. She moved up through the ranks until she bought the company in 1989, and was the sole trader until the business closed for good in 1998.

 

Restoration

During the 1990s, Joyce Green fought for the building to be restored. The factory received a Grade II* listed status in the year 2000 by English Heritage. In 2001 the Birmingham Conservation Trust carried out a study on the building about the threat of redevelopment and the loss of the building. The factory was one of three candidates in the first series of the BBC's Restoration programme in 2003, although it didn't receive enough votes to reach the final.

But it got enough interest for restoration in the future. In 2006 / 2007 the Birmingham Conservation Trust got a grant of £1.5 million. The credit crunch in 2009 caused a minor setback when Advantage West Midlands collapsed. But Birmingham City Council was able to buy the building from AWM in 2010. Restoration finally took place during 2013 to 2014. The museum opened in October 2014. Joyce Green was involved in the project throughout until her death in 2009.

 

Fleet Street, 2014

In June 2014, I was walking up Fleet Street, when I took my first photo of the building. Viet Moon was a restaurant at 5-11 Fleet Street. While the Coffin Works next door was coming to it's conclusion in terms of it's restoration.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Jun 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

By September 2014, the Coffin Works restoration project was complete. Heading down some steps between Lionel Street and Fleet Street in the Jewellery Quarter, saw these painted signs on the wall to the left "to the Coffin Works Visit Newman Bros.".

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The side of the Coffin Works with at least three chimneys.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There was another painted sign further down the steps closer to Fleet Street.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Now a first proper look at Newman Brothers aka The Coffin Works. It would open as a museum in the following month.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A zoom in to the painted Newman Brothers sign looking as good as new!

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Sep 2014) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

This view below from the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal. This view towards Fleet Street from near the Cable-Stay Footbridge and Farmers Bridge Lock No 6. Behind me was the Newhall Square development.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works BF Canal (Sep 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Fleet Street, 2018

By April 2018, I saw this plaque on the Coffin Works. From The Birmingham Civic Society, who presented the Renaiisance Award to the Birmingham Conservation Trust for the Newman Brothers Coffin Works in 2014.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Apr 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A full look at the building with the plaque. In all the years since it opened as a museum, I never once thought of buying tickets in advance to pop in and take photos.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Apr 2018) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Fleet Street, 2020

This was on the evening in December 2020, when I was walking towards Jewellery Quarter Station, to see the Christmas lights at St Paul's Square and The Golden Square, as well as surrounding streets. After passing the Library of Birmingham, via Parade, got onto Fleet Street, and saw the Newman Brothers sign lit up after dark! Bit hard to see in this photo.

dndimg alt="Coffin Works" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Coffin Works (Dec 2020).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Maybe once museums can open again, I may think of buying a ticket on their website and pay them a visit. But this will be when I can travel on buses and trains again. After lockdown restrictions get eased again (hopefully for good this time).

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

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

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.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />
 

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).

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Parkland and gardens

A look down to the Big Pool at Dudmaston Estate.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Greylag geese flying and landing in the Big Pool.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Kitchen Garden. Pumpkins in the greenhouse before Halloween.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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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Elliott Brown 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).

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/History Lapworth Museum (Jun 2018).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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.

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum Geology (Jul 2017) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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.

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum Geology (Jul 2017) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum Geology (Jul 2017) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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.

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum Geology (Jul 2017) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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!

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum Geology (Jun 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another Lapworth Museum of Geology sign in the window.

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum Geology (Jun 2018) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Allosaurus Lapworth Musuem UoB (June 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

There was also a Pteranodon hanging from the ceiling behind.

dndimg alt="Pteranodon Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Pteranodon Lapworth Museum UoB (Jun 2018) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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.

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum (Jun 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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.

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum (Jun 2018) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Death at the end of the Cretaceous


Skull of the dinosaur Deinonychus.

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum (Jun 2018) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />


Skull of the dinosaur Velociraptor.

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum (Jun 2018) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Foot of the tyrannosaurid dinosaur Albertosaurus.

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum (Jun 2018) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Parapuzosia sp. (ammonite).

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum (Jun 2018) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 


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

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum (Jun 2018) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum (Jun 2018) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum (Jun 2018) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Active Earth

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

dndimg alt="Lapworth Museum of Geology" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lapworth Museum (Jun 2018) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
01 Feb 2021 - Elliott Brown
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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.

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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.

dndimg alt="Barber Institute of Fine Arts" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Barber Institute Fine Arts (Dec 2009) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Barber Institute of Fine Arts" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Barber Institute Fine Arts (Dec 2009) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Barber Institute of Fine Arts" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Barber Institute Fine Arts (Dec 2009) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Barber Institute of Fine Arts" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Barber Institute Fine Arts (Dec 2009) (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Barber Institute of Fine Arts" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Barber Institute Fine Arts (Dec 2009) (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Steps leads to a rear entrance at the back.

dndimg alt="Barber Institute of Fine Arts" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Barber Institute Fine Arts (Dec 2009) (9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Barber Institute of Fine Arts" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Barber Institute Fine Arts (Dec 2009) (10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Including the crest of the University of Birmingham.

dndimg alt="Barber Institute of Fine Arts" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Barber Institute Fine Arts (Dec 2009) (11).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Barber Institute of Fine Arts" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Barber Institute Fine Arts (Dec 2009) (12).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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).

dndimg alt="Barber Institute of Fine Arts" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Barber Institute Fine Arts (Dec 2009) (13).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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.

dndimg alt="Barber Institute of Fine Arts" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Barber Inst Fine Arts (Nov 2018) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Barber Institute of Fine Arts" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Barber Inst Fine Arts (Nov 2018) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

 

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.

dndimg alt="George I of Great Britain" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/George I Barber Inst UoB (Dec 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="George I of Great Britain" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/George I Barber Inst UoB (Dec 2009) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="George I of Great Britain" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/George I Barber Inst UoB (Dec 2009) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="George I of Great Britain" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/George I Barber Inst UoB (Dec 2009) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="George I of Great Britain" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/George I Barber Inst UoB (Dec 2009) (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="George I of Great Britain" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/George I Barber Inst UoB (Dec 2009) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The equestrian statue was in silhouette on this side.

dndimg alt="George I of Great Britain" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/George I Barber Inst UoB (Dec 2009) (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="George I of Great Britain" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/George I Barber Inst UoB (Dec 2009) (10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Elliott Brown Environment & green action
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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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The Bird Cages also known as the Aviary.

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

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One of the peacocks that roams around the Botanical Gardens.

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

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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.

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Heading through The Tropical House.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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This Welcome sign on the main entrance building.

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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.

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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.

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern BBG (Dec 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern BBG (Dec 2018) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern BBG (Dec 2018) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Could see this shoe from the bus window.

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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!

dndimg alt="Ice Age The Lost Kingdom" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Ice Age The Lost Kingdom 2019 Bham Botanical Gardens (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

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A close up look at the Bandstand.

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

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At the far end was the statue of Proserpina.

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The garden to the far left is The Medieval Garden.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The garden in the middle is The Roman Garden.

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A view of the Alpine Yard redevelopment.

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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.

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The Arid House, full of cactuses in here.

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It was nice and warm in here for the cactuses.

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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.

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This was the Garden of Tomorrow.

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The pond at the Garden of Memory.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

On the Perennial borders saw a lot of Yellow coneflowers.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

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