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Elliott Brown History & heritage
18 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

A visit to Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses during September 2020

On the afternoon of the 6th September 2020, we booked to go to the National Trust property and grounds of Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses. Located in Staffordshire near the village of Kinver (and not too far from Stourbridge). The Holy Austin Rock Houses were still lived in until the 1960s. Due to the pandemic, you couldn't go into the houses, just peek into them.

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A visit to Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses during September 2020





On the afternoon of the 6th September 2020, we booked to go to the National Trust property and grounds of Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses. Located in Staffordshire near the village of Kinver (and not too far from Stourbridge). The Holy Austin Rock Houses were still lived in until the 1960s. Due to the pandemic, you couldn't go into the houses, just peek into them.


Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses

 

A visit to Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses during September 2020. This was on the afternoon of the 6th September 2020. As before, we booked the tickets via the National Trust website (which goes onto the EventBrite app). Outside of the forest was a car park, and we passed an ice cream van. We booked in for 2:30pm. You head up to the gate, and get your ticket scanned, then proceed to walk up to the Rock Houses.

 

This National Trust site is near the village of Kinver in Staffordshire, and isn't too far from Stourbridge (around 4 miles away). There is caves in the hills, some that had houses built into them. Kinver Edge includes a heath and woodland. The National Trust was first given the estate in 1917 (around 198 acres) by the children of Thomas Grosvenor Lee (who was a Birmingham solicitor born in Kinver). The Trust acquired a further 85 acres between 1964 and 1980. In 2014 Worcestershire County Council approved the transfer of Kingsford Forest Park to the National Trust. By 2018 the parks signs were now reading National Trust Kinver Edge.

Kinver Edge was home to the last troglodyte homes in England. One of the rock houses was called Holy Austin (which you can visit). It was a hermitage until the Reformation. The Holy Austin Rock Houses were lived in until the 1960s. In normal times you can visit them, but during the summer and autumn of 2020, you could only peek into the rock houses.

Further up was a tearoom and caves. You could put your mask on, and order a coffee and cake and sit at the tables outside (this was when restrictions were eased, and before they were strengthened again).

Also located here was Nanny's Rock, which was a large cave, but it was never converted into a house. There was also Vale's Rock, which had also been known as Crow's Rock. It had been converted into houses and was last occupied in the 1960s. But due to it's dangerous condition it is out of bounds to visitors. Although you can see it from the tables and chairs of the Tearoom area.

From 1901 to 1930, it used to be possible for visitors to get the Kinver Light Railway, which connected to Birmingham's original tram network (operated from 1904 to 1953 by Birmingham Corporation Tramways). But it closed due to the popularity of the motorbus and motorcars. These days, only cars and coaches can get to Kinver Edge on Compton Road. Although I only remember parking spaces available for cars.

 

After you explore the rock houses and caves, you can head up into the Woodland and climb up to the Toposcope (if you want to).

 

After showing our tickets in the EventBrite app, we walked around to the Rock Houses. This was the first glimpse of one of them.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

These are the Holy Austin Rock Houses at Kinver Edge.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Teas written on the wall of one of the Rock Houses. Probably Vale's Rock.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There is at least three levels to the Rock Houses here at Kinver Edge, along with some caves.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It wouldn't be long before I got to see this Rock House up and close, but first had to walk up some steps.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A Keep Out sign near the rocks. Not all areas are safe for the public to go.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I would get a better view of these Rock Houses once we went up the steps.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Close up to the first Rock House at the corner. The Holy Austin Rock Houses on the Lower Level.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

You could peek into the Rock Houses, but a rope prevented you from entering.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A look at the objects on the table in this Rock House.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Pots and pans in this small cave.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Some Rock Houses had open windows, and you could peek into them. Looks like a bedroom.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The window of this Rock House was only slightly open.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A path goes around the Rock Houses to view some more of them. These are the Holy Austin Rock Houses. Ghost sign above barely readable.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Doors on the Rock Houses to the left were closed, so you couldn't see inside of these ones.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A look at Nanny's Rock (I think). Caves that were never converted into Rock Houses. For many years it was known as Meg-o-Fox-Hole. Someone may have died here in 1617 known as Margaret of the fox earth. Visible from the Middle Level, near tables and chairs from the Tearoom (over a fence).

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

When you get to the Upper Level, there is a cave you can enter. The ground is covered in sand, plus I think graffiti had been scratched into the rocks over the years. This is near the Tearoom. These are the Martindale Caves and have a 1930s appearance.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Tearoom is on the Upper Level, to the left of the caves. Tables and chairs were outside to the right (in front of the caves). But if occupied, you had to stand up having your coffee or tea. Toilets were around to the left. This house has been restored to a Victorian appearance.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After going through the gate, exiting the Rock Houses, saw a view of the Victorian style Tearoom house. Toilets on the left. From here you can follow the paths and steps up the hill to the summit of Kinver Edge.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Toposcope at the top of the hill on Kinver Edge. It has a map of the Midlands, which was restored by the Rotary Club of Kinver in 2014 (it was originally presented by them in 1990). Showing all the counties of the West Midlands region. Plus the major towns and cities (including Birmingham). Plus major hills such as the Lickey Hills and Clent Hills.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
11 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
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Return to Packwood House during July 2020

The second National Trust we booked to go back to was Packwood House. This was near the end of July 2020. This time though, we were able to go inside of the house. But the entrance was moved to the back. And only a limited number of people inside at one time. Some parts of the garden wasn't open. But you could go all the way around the lake, and have a picnic on the lawn.

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Return to Packwood House during July 2020





The second National Trust we booked to go back to was Packwood House. This was near the end of July 2020. This time though, we were able to go inside of the house. But the entrance was moved to the back. And only a limited number of people inside at one time. Some parts of the garden wasn't open. But you could go all the way around the lake, and have a picnic on the lawn.


This visit to Packwood House was booked for the 20th July 2020 for around 12pm. As before you go to the National Trust website, and book the tickets in the EventBrite app. The way into the grounds from the car park had changed. You still go through the Barnyard, but a different gate was opened near the house.

You could get in the queue to go into the house, which had only just reopened (many other National Trust properties around the country, the inside of properties were not open). Use the hand sanitiser and put your face mask on. Only the ground floor was open this time. The door at the back was the way in. And you exit via the Great Hall.

One reason to go back was to go all the way around the lake. As back in 2018 they were restoring a path. This time though the path was open, and you could go through gates to the field at the back.

 

Heading from the car park to the Barnyard, saw these social distancing signs. Please keep 2 metres apart.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

In the Barnyard saw Fergie the tractor. It is over 70 years old.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Yew Garden was closed. Saw this view from the back of the house.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Queuing to go into Packwood House. There was hand sanitiser and buckets to bin your paper towels.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Bit weird having the rooms to just your household bubble. This was the Drawing Room.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

In the Long Gallery. Was the odd National Trust volunteer around.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now in the Great Hall. The long table and chairs had been moved. The door to the far right was the way back outside.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Checking out the lake, was gulls taking off and landing all the time.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

View of the back of the house. This was The West Front, and last summer it was the way to queue to go into the house. First up it was time to have a sandwich on the lawn to the right.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After having a sandwich, we continued the walk. Now heading around the lake.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Quite a lot of Canada geese and ducks around as you would expect with a lake like this.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The gate from the Packwood Causeway leads into the Pool Tail Copse.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A woodland to walk through. Tall trees, lush and green in the height of summer.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was an Orchard on the way back towards the gardens with a view of the lake.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Glimpses of the Carolean Garden. Most of the garden was roped off, and you couldn't go any further. This was one of the brick Gazebos.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another one of the Gazebos near the South Front of the house.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A wheelbarrow and rope. You couldn't go any further in the Carolean Garden.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The East Front of Packwood House used to be the main entrance to go into the house. But not during the pandemic. This door was closed. And now this garden was the way out. The Sundial Gift Shop in the outbuildings to the right was also closed.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Some of the flowers and plants in the garden near The East Front of Packwood House.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

On the way out, saw that The Barnyard Cafe was closed. But instead, you could get a coffee in the Barnyard from a trailer. The Kitchen Garden was also closed (I think, might have missed the entrance to it this time). The extensive grounds were open for people to walk around if they wanted to.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

See also my post on the return to Baddesley Clinton in July 2020.

 

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

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
11 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
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Return to Baddesley Clinton during July 2020

It might seem like a while ago now, but way back in the summer of 2020, when lockdown restrictions were being eased. You could book to visit National Trust properties again. The first one we booked for was Baddesley Clinton in early July 2020. You choose a date and time in advance and a number of tickets. And you could go around the site in about 90 minutes. The house wasn't open.

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Return to Baddesley Clinton during July 2020





It might seem like a while ago now, but way back in the summer of 2020, when lockdown restrictions were being eased. You could book to visit National Trust properties again. The first one we booked for was Baddesley Clinton in early July 2020. You choose a date and time in advance and a number of tickets. And you could go around the site in about 90 minutes. The house wasn't open.


From March to June 2020, most National Trust properties were completely closed during the first lockdown. Then in the summer, as restrictions were being eased, they were able to reopen certain properties, but just the gardens and estate, but not the interior of the houses. The first one we booked to return to was Baddesley Clinton.

Tickets were usually released on the Friday, and were available to the Sunday, and they were going fast. We booked to go on the 6th July 2020, at around 11:30am in the morning.

There was a one way system in place. They scanned the QR code on the EventBrite app outside. The shop was reopened, but you had to wear your face mask inside. The cafe was only open to buy your coffee and anything else for takeaway, so you had to sit outside to have your drink.

 

Arriving in the car park, on the walk to the entrance. Saw these two signs. One about how to stay safe and enjoy your visit. The other about keeping 2 metres apart.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Welcome to Baddesley Clinton sign. With (then) updated signs. Including one about the one way system.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After the tickets in the EventBrite app were scanned, could already see that part of the Courtyard was roped off.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

To the back of the house in the garden, they had five pots blocking off access to that path.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This was the way to go in the garden. The box hedges were interesting to look at.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

They only had maybe one or two gardeners during the first lockdown, but the plants looked impressive. This was the borders and the Glasshouse. To the left you pass through the Vegetable Garden.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

View of the hall over the Wildflower Meadow. Some paths were closed to the public.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Going around The Great Pool with the usual water lilies. View to the familiar footbridge opposite.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Went around the long path. Benches were turned around. You could only turn left from here.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The bridge over the moat. The hall was closed to the public.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Nice to see Baddesley Clinton hall again. Had been inside there only once, back in June 2018.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Back through the courtyard. Another area roped off. Taped on the ground showing you which way to go.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another lap around the grounds. Another look at the Walled Garden. Sundial in the middle.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

No Entry Follow one-way system. Had to go around the lake twice.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Locked gate to the Wildflower Meadow.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A grass path roped off, no entry.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another view of the Wildflower Meadow.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Barn Restaurant was open for takeaway only. Payments by card or app only. All tables and chairs out of use. Socially distant queue. Had our drinks outside in the Courtyard.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The shop was open from 10am to 4:30pm. I think at this point it had only just reopened. During this time, the path to the gardens, coffee shop and toilets was the temporary way in.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A pair of hares. This used to be the Visitor Centre where you used to buy your tickets. Seen on the way out of the shop.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The next post will be on the Return to Packwood House. Near the end of July 2020.

 

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

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11 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Old Victorian letterboxes around the Jewellery Quarter

There is quite a few unique letterboxes on the old buildings around the Jewellery Quarter. Mostly on buildings built in the Victorian period. Many are semi circles, with LETTERS written at the bottom. Most of these photos in the post below were taken by Elliott between 2009 and 2013, so nothing recent.

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Old Victorian letterboxes around the Jewellery Quarter





There is quite a few unique letterboxes on the old buildings around the Jewellery Quarter. Mostly on buildings built in the Victorian period. Many are semi circles, with LETTERS written at the bottom. Most of these photos in the post below were taken by Elliott between 2009 and 2013, so nothing recent.


 

Happy New Year 2021! 

Vittoria Street

A pair of letterboxes at 85, 87 and 87a Vittoria Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Seen in late November 2009.

This black one with LETTERS at the bottom is located to the right of the door at 85 and 87 Vittoria Street. It was a purpose built brickworks dating to 1870.

dndimg alt="Letterboxes Vittoria St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Vittoria St (Nov 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Further to the left is this rectangular letterbox with LETTERS written in the middle. I'd say that this is at 89 Vittoria Street.

dndimg alt="Letterboxes Vittoria St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Vittoria St (Nov 2009) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The next one is at the Unity Works at 36 - 46 Vittoria Street. The letterbox was for Henry Jenkins & Sons Ltd (their registered offices). Also Masefield & Co and Beverley Hall Ltd. It was built in 1865 as a toolmaker works. The architect was J P Osborne for  Henry Jenkins and Son.

dndimg alt="Letterboxes Vittoria St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Vittoria St (Nov 2009) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Caroline Street

Seen on New Years Day, 1st January 2013 was this letterbox on Caroline Street at what was the Registered Offices of Pickering & Mayell Limited. At the Reliance Works at 42 Caroline Street. Was a Manufactory built in the early 19th Century. With workshops to the rear.

dndimg alt="JQ letterbox Caroline St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Caroline St (Jan 2013).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Vyse Street

This letterbox was originally for H. Aston Ltd, but this building on Vyse Street is now the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. Formerly two jewellery manufactories. 75 Vyse Street was built in 1909 by George E. Pepper for F. Moore. While 77 Vyse Street was built in 1914, also by Pepper. 79 Vyse Street was replaced in 1990. The site was converted into a museum in 1999.

dndimg alt="JQ letterbox Vyse St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Vyse St (Jan 2013).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Spencer Street

Three letterboxes on Spencer Street in the Jewellery Quarter. The first one was originally for T. Hirschfeld.

dndimg alt="JQ letterbox Spencer St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Spencer St (Jan 2013) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The next blue one, the name had been painted over.

dndimg alt="JQ letterbox Spencer St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Spencer St (Jan 2013) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

One more painted in black. If it had a name at the top, it was painted over so was unreadable.

dndimg alt="JQ letterbox Spencer St" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JQ letterbox Spencer St (Jan 2013) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
05 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
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Remaining buildings of Kings Norton Workhouse at the former site of Selly Oak Hospital

You'd be surprised to know that there are several surviving Victorian (and Edwardian) red brick buildings at the site of Selly Oak Hospital, despite all the new houses that have been built at The Oaks. Originally built as the Kings Norton Union Workhouse around 1870. The site became Selly Oak Hospital from 1897. But it closed in 2011 after the QEHB opened in Edgbaston in 2010.

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Remaining buildings of Kings Norton Workhouse at the former site of Selly Oak Hospital





You'd be surprised to know that there are several surviving Victorian (and Edwardian) red brick buildings at the site of Selly Oak Hospital, despite all the new houses that have been built at The Oaks. Originally built as the Kings Norton Union Workhouse around 1870. The site became Selly Oak Hospital from 1897. But it closed in 2011 after the QEHB opened in Edgbaston in 2010.


If you go to Selly Oak now, you will find a housing development called The Oaks, from MIA Property Group. The houses are built on (and more are still being built) at the former site of Selly Oak Hospital. Located between Oak Tree Lane and Raddlebarn Road in Selly Oak. You will find that many Victorian red brick buildings have survived (some dating to the early Edwardian period).

The site was originally opened in 1870 as the Kings Norton Union Workhouse, which was designed by Edward Holmes. It was to be a place to care for the the poor. In 1897 a new Workhouse Infirmary was built (this was the start of Selly Oak Hospital). At the time it was known as Kings Norton Union Infirmary at Selly Oak.

An entrance block was opened on Raddlebarn Road in 1902, plus a large nurses home in 1908 (known as Woodlands). The workhouse became a home for the sick known as Selly Oak House. When the NHS was formed in 1948, the whole site was renamed to Selly Oak Hospital.

In later years there was an Outpatients building near Oak Tree Lane (probably dating to the 1960s or 1970s).

In the years before the Birmingham Super Hospital opened in Edgbaston (now Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham), many injured soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan were treated here (in the 2000s).

Selly Oak Hospital began transferring over to the QEHB in 2010, and this process was completed in 2011.

The site lay derelict for years, until the hospital Trust exchanged contracts with developers to build houses on the site in 2015.

But many of the red brick buildings have survived, while many others were demolished to make room for the houses.

 

2nd January 2012

I first got photos of the red brick buildings from Raddlebarn Road back in 2012. By this point was a green fence around the site.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2012) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A first look at the red brick entrance block dated AD 1902.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2012) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

View of the AD 1902 sign.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2012) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The ornate gates were closed. Private Property signs on both sides.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2012) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There was red brick house to the right.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2012) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

It was demolished by 2018 to make way for a new road called Arkell Way.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2012) (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Raddlebarn Road was lined with these ornate railings, probably dating back to the late 19th century I would guess.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2012) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

These modern extensions to the older red brick block were demolished in 2018. Used to be Therapy Services there.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2012) (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There was quite a lot of old red brick blocks on site. Many of the NHS signs were still around at the time.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2012) (9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

They were advising, "Don't go to Selly Oak if you have had an Accident, go to the QE!". Or something along those lines.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2012) (10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

14th December 2014

By this point, there was already signs of demolition having taken place on site from this view on Raddlebarn Road in Selly Oak. This was from Elm Road near Bournville. The view today is of a line of houses (built in 2016). Most of these buildings have been demolished, apart from the tower in the middle.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Dec 2014) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

First view of the tower to the back. I think the red brick buildings at the front were demolished in 2015.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Dec 2014) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2nd May 2017

View from the 11A bus on Oak Tree Lane of the red brick building behind the fence. While new houses were going up behind it at the time, it wasn't clear what would happen to this building. It would later be restored and opened as nursery in 2020.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (May 2017).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

18th January 2018

An early 2018 update from Raddlebarn Road in the sunshine. The 1902 entrance block was looking good, was some cars parked in front of the gates. By this point many new houses had been built around The Oaks.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Surprised to see many of the old red brick buildings here, plus the old Victorian railings were still in place.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2018) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Most the surviving buildings were hidden by trees.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2018) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The building with the fire escape (on the left) was still there a couple of years later.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2018) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I saw this building again on my last walk past (with the octagonal roof).

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2018) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One of the main Victorian landmarks is this tall red brick tower. Possibly a water tower (although I'm not sure of it's use in the past).

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2018) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One last look at this 20th century extensions to the Victorian or Edwardian blocks.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2018) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Therapy Services extension blocks would be knocked down later in 2018.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2018) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Close up zoom in of the tall red brick tower. Is it water tower, or what was it used for at the Workhouse?

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2018) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I can imagine that the surviving workhouse buildings will be converted into flats and apartments.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2018) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was another building being restored. This was probably the Woodlands nurses home originally. It's near Willow Road in Bournville. Woodlands Drive on the right leads to a new housing development. There is also a green to the far right.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Jan 2018) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

12th October 2019

Work was finally under way to restore the red brick building on Oak Tree Lane. Scaffolding going up. When finished it would get occupied by Busy Bees as the Selly Oak Nursery by the following summer. This view from 11C bus.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Oct 2019).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

14th December 2019

Another view of the red brick tower, this time seen behind the new houses from Elliott Road in Selly Oak.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Dec 2019).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

3rd August 2020

One of my first visits back to Selly Oak while restrictions were eased, I'd gotten off the 11C on Oak Tree Lane. Saw the fully restored red brick building now as a nursery. Was heading for bit of a walk on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Aug 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It is being operated by Busy Bees as the Selly Oak Nursery.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Aug 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

29th December 2020

When Birmingham was still in Tier 3 restrictions (Tier 4 wouldn't start until 31/12/2020), and when it was snowing that day, I headed to Bournville for a short walk. I ended up on Willow Road and saw the Woodlands again.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Dec 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The old house in the middle was surrounded by scaffolding, as seen from Raddlebarn Road. It wa surrounded by new housing all around, plus the old red brick tower was behind.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Dec 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Oaks sign and a MIA Property Group banner on the remaining workhouse building. Hopefully they will restore it for use in 2021. The 20th Century extension blocks had been knocked down a few years before.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Dec 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One building remaining but without windows was the one with the fire escape.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Dec 2020) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

On a closer look, it looked a bit derelict. All windows had been removed. Hoardings next to the old brick wall.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Dec 2020) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The octagonal building to the right. After this the snow started to get a bit heavier. So by the time I got back to Oak Tree Lane, got the 11A home.

dndimg alt="Selly Oak Hospital" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Selly Oak Hospital KNWH (Dec 2020) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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