Go Popular Tags

Posts

Let our community keep you entertained with regular articles that they would like to share with you.

Search our posts by passion or by type of post to find what you are looking for.

Elliott Brown Green open spaces
23 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Walsall Arboretum - a historic Victorian public park!

A short walk away from Walsall Town Centre is Walsall Arboretum, which is Walsall's public park. First opened in 1874, originally as a paid for attraction, the local council bought it and reopened it as a free to enter public park in 1884. From 2010 to 2015 there was a refurbishment programme here, including opening a Visitor Centre. Hatherton Lake has a boat house and bandstand.

View feature View community

Walsall Arboretum - a historic Victorian public park!





A short walk away from Walsall Town Centre is Walsall Arboretum, which is Walsall's public park. First opened in 1874, originally as a paid for attraction, the local council bought it and reopened it as a free to enter public park in 1884. From 2010 to 2015 there was a refurbishment programme here, including opening a Visitor Centre. Hatherton Lake has a boat house and bandstand.


Walsall Arboretum

 

I got the train back to Walsall from Birmingham New Street. Starting from platform 4c, the train went via the Soho Loop Line (meaning it bypasses Perry Barr and Aston, and doesn't stop at Hamstead or Bescot Stadium as it was the train to Rugeley Trent Valley). The only stop before Walsall was Tame Bridge Parkway. From the station, it was around a 15 minute walk, via the High Street and Council House in Walsall. Then you have to cross the traffic lights at the busy junction of Broadway North with Littleton Street East. Which was also near Queen Mary's High School. Your first sight of the arboretum is the Arboretum Lodge.

 

History of Walsall Arboretum

The Arboretum was built on the site of Reynolds Hall, which was the home of the Persehouse family from the 16th century. By the 18th century the estate had been inherited by the Littleton family, who developed lime quarries in Walsall. By the 1840s, one of the quarries had been flooded, and was used by local people for bathing and skiing. The then Mayor of Walsall during 1844 drowned in the lake, by then known as Hatherton Lake. By the 1850s, the quarries was being surrounded by villas and Queen Mary's Grammar School.

The Walsall Arboretum and Lake Company was formed in 1870, and plans started to turn the estate into a park. Plans included the building of two lodges, a boat house and bandstand by the county surveyor Robert Griffiths. The Arboretum was laid out from 1872 and opened to paying customers by 1874. In the following decade the Arboretum Company ran into financial difficulties, and it was sold to the Town Council, who opened it up as a free public park in 1884.

There was a major refurbishment programme in the park from 2010 until 2015, this included restoring the buildings, the lakes etc, and building a new Visitor Centre. 

A bronze bust of Jerome K. Jerome, an author born in Walsall was unveiled in 2016, while a bronze statue of a horse was relocated to the park in 2017.

 

West Midlands Cycle Hire

Before entering the park, I spotted a new West Midlands Cycle Hire docking point on Broadway North, so checked that out first. At least two bikes were not properly in the dock.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMCH Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later after leaving the park, saw a man with a white van, loading some bikes into the van, and making sure the other bikes were properly in the dock. I did not find any other West Midlands Cycle Hire docks in Walsall on this visit.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMCH Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Arboretum Lodge

This is the main entrance to the park at the corner of Lichfield Street and Broadway North. Built in 1872, it was originally the subscription paid for entrance to the park, but has been free to enter here since the local Council bought the park in 1884. It is now near the busy traffic junction on the Walsall ring road. It has a distinctive clock tower.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lodge Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

As I entered, I saw the bronze bust of Jerome K. Jerome and a man riding one of the new West Midlands Cycle Hire bikes out of the park.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lodge Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Bronze bust of Jerome K. Jerome

The Walsall born author of Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome (1859 - 1927) was honoured with a bronze bust, close to The Arboretum Lodge. It was sculpted by local artist Phil Kelly, and was unveiled in June 2016. Jerome was a Freeman of the Borough of Walsall, and the Jerome K. Jerome Society lobbied for a sculpture to be made to recognise him, in the town of his birth.

dndimg alt="Jerome K. Jerome" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JKJ Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Jerome K. Jerome was born on the 2nd May 1859 at Belsize House on Bradford Street in Walsall. The Grade II listed house used to be a museum from the 1980s until 2007-08. The Jerome K. Jerome Society is hoping to find a new home for the exhibits that used to be in the museum.

dndimg alt="Jerome K. Jerome" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JKJ Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Hatherton Lake

Originally a quarry pit, it was later flooded, and by the middle of the 19th century it was a lake used for bathing and skiing. There is a boat house on one side (built 1874) and a Bandstand (built 1924) on the other side.

This view of Hatherton Lake towards the bandstand.

dndimg alt="Hatherton Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hatheron Lk Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This view of Hatherton Lake towards the boat house.

dndimg alt="Hatherton Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hatheron Lk Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later found an upper path that led back to the lake, and got this view with a distinctive Victorian style lamppost.

dndimg alt="Hatherton Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hatheron Lk Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another view towards the boat house on the opposite side of the lake. Hard to believe it used to be a quarry pit until the mid 19th Century.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Walsall Arb (June 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One more view from the benches viewing area on Broadway North of the lake. Noticed that there is no steps or ramp down to the park from up here, you have to enter via the lodge, or anther gate.

dndimg alt="Hatherton Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hatheron Lk Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Boat House

The Boat House is the only Grade II listed building in the park, dating to 1874. Probably designed by the county surveyor Robert Griffiths. It is a timber-framed building with hipped tiled roofs and a raised lantern. It has cast-iron columns and a concrete base supports above the water level. It is on Hatherton Lake.

First saw the boat house going in a clockwise direction around the lake.

dndimg alt="Boat House Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boat House Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later saw the boat house on the walk back to the lodge,  just after passing the poppy field, and from the opposite side of the lake. Hard to believe it was opened around 1874-75. Especially with all the modern alterations to it.

dndimg alt="Boat House Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boat House Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Bandstand

The present bandstand was erected in 1924, replacing a previous structure on the same site that was built in 1873, which was of the conventional octagonal form. It is near Hatherton Lake.

The first view of the bandstand from the opposite side of the lake, shortly after I first arrived in the park.

dndimg alt="Bandstand Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bandstand Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The second view going off the upper path, was an area where you could look down at the bandstand and the lake below.

dndimg alt="Bandstand Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bandstand Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre was opened in November 2015. The opening of the visitor centre was the culmination of the arboretum restoration programme, delivered 2010 - 2015. Within the new building is retained a former agricultural building that pre dates the park. The new centre was wrapped around this key historic feature.

On the left is the Industrial Garden featuring Fluffy the Oss.

dndimg alt="Visitor Centre Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/VC Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Bronze horse statue of Fluffy the Oss

This statue of a bronze horse was originally commissioned by Walsall Council in the 1990s, and used to be outside of the Civic Centre. But due to vandalism, it was removed to storage. Years later it was restored to the condition it is in now, and installed in the Industrial Garden near the Visitor Centre at the Arboretum in 2017. It was originally sculpted by Marjan Wouda. The garden celebrates Walsall's industrial heritage and is situated by the site of the old limestone workings.

Fluffy the Oss is a feature of the Industrial Garden at Walsall Arboretum.

dndimg alt="Fluffy the Oss" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Fluffy Oss Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Leckie Building

This building was built from 1902, and opened in 1904 as the Pavillion Refreshment Room. It was designed by H. E. Lavender, and was the focal point of the park. It closed down in 1931, but reopened in 1936 as the  Joseph Leckie Sons of Rest Social Club for older adults which it remains to this day.

First view from the path to the centre of the park, but was a pair of trees in the way of the view.

dndimg alt="The Leckie Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Leckie Bldg Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later walking back to the lake and lodge, got a pair of rear views.

dndimg alt="The Leckie Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Leckie Bldg Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was a stone dated 1902 at the back of The Leckie Building.

dndimg alt="The Leckie Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Leckie Bldg Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Ladies Bowl Pavillion

This was originally a refreshment pavillion built in 1934. It was called the Richard B Sutton shelter. It was built of Cotswold Stone under a tiled hipped roof, with a locally supported by circular section rustic stone columns. In 2003 it became the club house for the Ladies Bowls Club.

This was near the halfway point of the park, saw a Welcome to Walsall Arboretum sign / map, and then followed another path back towards the lodge and lake.

dndimg alt="Ladies Bowl Pavillion" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Ladies Bowl Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Rose Garden

The Rose Garden was quite close to The Leckie Building. This was an upper path view of it.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rose Gdn Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was these steps with railings down the middle and a semi circlular arch above.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rose Gdn Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Summer Poppy Field

The poppy field is quite a sight to see at Walsall Arboretum each summer. It is close to Broadway North and Arboretum Road, and not far from the bandstand.

dndimg alt="Poppy field" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Poppies Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I wasn't the only one to stop and take photos of this poppy field, even dog walkers stopped to take a look!

dndimg alt="Poppy field" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Poppies Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A macro zoom in to one of the poppies.

dndimg alt="Poppy field" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Poppies Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After I left the park, a look at the poppy field over the wall from Broadway North.

dndimg alt="Poppy field" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Poppies Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The best of the rest of the park

Having just passed the Arboretum Lodge, and bust of Jerome K. Jerome, I saw these flower beds to the right of the path.

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

The paths around the Arboretum. This one (below) was between Hatherton Lake (right) and the Deep Pond (left).

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

While I was checking out the Hatherton Lake, I also saw the small pool to the left of the path. This is also called the Deep Pond. Behind is the villas on Victoria Terrace, which indirectly led to the quarry here closing, and the land being landscaped as a arboretum / park.

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

After the Visitor Centre, the long path that runs past The Leckie Building. A lot of tree coverage here.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path Leckie Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A view of the Hoar Brook that flows through the Arboretum. Didn't see much of it, other than this view.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hoar Brook Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Near an area called The Lion's Den. Briefly went off the main path to the left. Then back over the area with picnic benches near the Ladies Bowls Pavillion (on the right).

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lions Den Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This path was after the halfway point of the park, and the start of the walk back to the lake and lodge. Lots of trees, after all this is an arboretum!

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Some hills as the path goes around a curve, and more trees. Perhaps this landscape was carved out as the quarry, then later grassed over from the 1870s.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now on the path that follows the wall (on the left) near Arboretum Road. Down below (to the right) is Hatherton Lake and the Hoar Brook.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Eventually the path goes back down towards the lake, as you can see here.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

After I left the park I saw WM bus 6600. It was on the National Express West Midlands, Black Country Bus Rally from Walsall to Wolverhampton. This was the only bus I saw. It was on Broadway North crossing the lights onto Littleton Street East (the Walsall ring road). Click the link above for the photos.

 

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

Share  Spend Points  Connect with us
80 passion points
Elliott Brown Transport
21 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

WM 6600 bus in Walsall

On Saturday 19th June 2021, National Express West Midlands had a vintage bus rally around the Black Country. From Walsall to Wolverhampton. I travelled up to Walsall by train and went to Walsall Arboretum. After leaving, I only saw the WM 6600 bus on Broadway North, before it went up Littleton Street East. I did not spot any other heritage buses around.

View feature View community

WM 6600 bus in Walsall





On Saturday 19th June 2021, National Express West Midlands had a vintage bus rally around the Black Country. From Walsall to Wolverhampton. I travelled up to Walsall by train and went to Walsall Arboretum. After leaving, I only saw the WM 6600 bus on Broadway North, before it went up Littleton Street East. I did not spot any other heritage buses around.


WM Travel bus 6600

I was aware of National Express West Midlands having a vintage bus rally in the Black Country. This included their modern buses in the heritage liveries. This was on Saturday 19th June 2021.

Got the train up to Walsall Station, and walked to Walsall Arboretum. After a walk around the park, I exited from the Arboretum Lodge that I entered earier, I saw a vintage bus on Broadway North.

 

I quickly got some photos of it while it was at the traffic lights, but was a car in the way.

dndimg alt="WM 6600 bus" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM 6600 Walsall (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was no time to wait for the car to move out of the way.

dndimg alt="WM 6600 bus" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM 6600 Walsall (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Was able to get one more shot of the bus with licence plate no: NOC 600R as it passed the lights. With route 39 on the rear. It was heading onto Littleton Street East. These roads are part of the Walsall ring road.

dndimg alt="WM 6600 bus" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM 6600 Walsall (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

I'd previously seen the same bus (WM Travel 6600, NOC 600R) at the Yardley Wood Bus Garage open day, back in November 2018. When it was displaying as route 74 to Wednesbury via Wednesbury (The modern 74 bus route goes from Birmingham to Dudley via West Bromwich).

dndimg alt="Yardley Wood bus garage 2018" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Yardley Wood Bus Garage Open Day 2018 (2) .jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Look out for a Walsall Arboretum post coming soon!

 

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

Share  Spend Points  Connect with us
70 passion points
Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
14 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

Look no clock hands on Old Joe (at the University of Birmingham)!

The Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower at the University of Birmingham, known more famously by his nickname of 'Old Joe' has been stuck at 12 for ages now. On Tuesday 8th June 2021, mobile cranes / cherry pickers went up to remove the hands from the clock faces. This is the start of work to repair the clock mechanisms. Before long you'll be able to read the time again!

View feature View community

Look no clock hands on Old Joe (at the University of Birmingham)!





The Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower at the University of Birmingham, known more famously by his nickname of 'Old Joe' has been stuck at 12 for ages now. On Tuesday 8th June 2021, mobile cranes / cherry pickers went up to remove the hands from the clock faces. This is the start of work to repair the clock mechanisms. Before long you'll be able to read the time again!


See this Twitter thread from the University of Birmingham for more.

Having noticed some posts on Twitter about the clock tower at lunchtime, Tuesday 8th June 2021, I travelled down to the University of Birmingham, catching a no 61 bus from Bristol Street to the Bristol Road in Edgbaston (getting off near Edgbaston Park Road).

I walked up to the East Gate, and headed towards the Chancellor's Court via University Road East. This is between the Guild of Students and Barber Institute of Fine Arts (and opposite King Edward's School).

dndimg alt="East Gate University of Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/East Gate UoB (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Heading towards University Square, I could already see the missing clock hands on one of the clock faces of Old Joe over the Watson Building (School of Mathematics).

dndimg alt="Old Joe University of Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Joe UoB (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This building is linked to the Poynting Building (Physics Department). Heading under the bridge and turning left into the Chancellor's Court.

dndimg alt="Old Joe University of Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Joe UoB (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was barriers around the lawn, but you could still walk around the paths near the Aston Webb Building (in a semi circle).

dndimg alt="Old Joe University of Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Joe UoB (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A zoom up to one of the clock faces, looks so weird without any clock hands. Also the brickwork could do with a clean, so much bird muck to wash off.

dndimg alt="Old Joe University of Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Joe UoB (Jun 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I arrived in the afternoon, so missed the mobile cranes going up. Although they were still around the clock tower.

dndimg alt="Old Joe University of Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Joe UoB (Jun 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Better lighting from this angle, two clock faces without hands!

dndimg alt="Old Joe University of Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Joe UoB (Jun 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Not all hands had been taken down, the hand pointing to 6.

dndimg alt="Old Joe University of Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Joe UoB (Jun 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading out past the Law Building, then down some steps towards the West Gate. The Aston Webb Building seen to the right of here.

dndimg alt="Old Joe University of Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Joe UoB (Jun 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Now on University Road West, a look at the Faraday statue and Old Joe. The statue was a gift from the artist, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, in the Centenary Year of the University of Birmingham (2000).

dndimg alt="Old Joe Faraday" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Joe Faraday (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Towards the West Gate and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, I initially got this rear view of the bronze Faraday statue. The University recently celebrated their 121st birthday, since their inception by a Royal Charter issued by Queen Victoria in 1900.

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

 

Heading past University Station, and crossing over New Fosse Way, followed the path towards the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, to catch my next bus, the 76. I initially waited at the next stop, but realised the 76 was extended from the QE to Northfield, and I wanted the 76 to Solihull. Other buses I saw included the 48 and 25. This was the closest I've got to the QE since the pandemic began in 2020.

dndimg alt="Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/QEHB Hospital Way (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

Share  Spend Points  Connect with us
80 passion points
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.

View feature View community

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

Share  Spend Points  Connect with us
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.

View feature View community

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

Share  Spend Points  Connect with us
80 passion points
Show more