Historic demolished buildings in Birmingham

HS2 have demolished the Eagle & Tun, and a few years ago the Fox & Grapes. Other old buildings in the area have been reduced to rubble, such as Island House. Gone, but not forgotten!


Remembering historic Victorian or Edwardian buildings sadly knocked down. Even a Grade II listing didn't save them. Pubs left to go derelict for years, then are sadly knocked down. Some targetted by arsonists.

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20 Oct 2020 - On-going

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History & heritage, Photography, People & community
Classic Architecture

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History & heritage
09 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Island House, demolished after standing for 99 years

Island House was located at a site on Moor Street Queensway with Albert Street and Fazeley Street. Built during 1912 to 1913. It was demolished in 2012. Neighbour Hotel La Tour was built from 2010 to 2012. The land was for a time a temporary car park for the hotel, now called the Clayton Hotel. The land is now part of the HS2 Curzon Street Station building site.

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Island House, demolished after standing for 99 years





Island House was located at a site on Moor Street Queensway with Albert Street and Fazeley Street. Built during 1912 to 1913. It was demolished in 2012. Neighbour Hotel La Tour was built from 2010 to 2012. The land was for a time a temporary car park for the hotel, now called the Clayton Hotel. The land is now part of the HS2 Curzon Street Station building site.


Island House

Island House initially survived the demolition of Masshouse Circus in the early 2000s, and was originally going to be part of the proposed City Park Gate scheme, on the land running down Moor Street Queensway. The building was on a site on Moor Street Queensway, Albert Street and Fazeley Street. The address was 2 Fazeley Street.

Built during 1912 to 1913 by G. E. Pepper, in the Mannerist style. The entrance had columns in the Ionic style at the bottom, Doric in the middle and Tuscan at the top. It was built as offices and a warehouse for Churchill & Co. Birmingham City Council had locally listed the building at the time as Grade B. It may have been Grade II listed, but I was never able to find any listing text for it. The building was refurbished in 2005, when it was acquired by a design firm.

Everything changed when HS2 was announced, and City Park Gate was quietly cancelled.

Hotel La Tour was built on what was City Park Gate Plot 4, from 2010 until early 2012. Island House was demolished by February 2012. After that, hoardings went up around the site, and was for a time used as a car park for the hotel. Now the land is part of the HS2 Curzon Street Station site, and is behind hoardings and fences on Moor Street Queensway.

The hotel was renamed to Clayton Hotel in 2017 after getting new owners, and was having extra floors built during 2020.

 

 

Earliest views of Island House taken during April 2009. This was at the time a convenient route to get to Eastside from the City Centre. Masshouse to the left.

The snow of January 2010, and got some close up details of Island House. There was an art installation outside, but it looks like the design company had long since moved out by then. Last view of Masshouse before the site to the left was taken over by Hotel La Tour.

By December 2010, the Hotel La Tour site to the left was hoarded, ready to be built in 2011. Island House on the right had the lower windows boarded off. It's future looked bleak.

The view of Island House from Park Street during March 2011, as the crane was behind for the building of Hotel La Tour. This was the end of Fazeley Street to Moor Street Queensway.

By June 2011, Hotel La Tour was up to the first floor, as seen from Moor Street Queensway. Less than a year left for Island House.

Walking down Moor Street Queensway during September 2011, towards Hotel La Tour, Masshouse and Island House. They were building the 2nd and 3rd floor on the hotel at this point, and was already higher than the doomed Island House.

In February 2012, scaffolding went up on Island House to prepare for it's demolition, as Hotel La Tour next door was almost complete.

Later that month, Island House was under white wrappings, while the Bus Interchange works were being built on Moor Street Queensway. Hotel La Tour was almost finished and ready to open.

By March 2013 there was nothing left of Island House. Just a brownfield site next to Hotel La Tour.

Skipping ahead to January 2020, this view from Moor Street Car Park. There is nothing left of the Island House site, even the Fox & Grapes had gone (in 2018). While the Clayton Hotel (renamed from Hotel La Tour in 2017), was preparing to build some additional floors. All the land here now is part of the HS2 Curzon Street Station. That part of Park Street would later be permanently closed off by HS2 as well. Masshouse was joined by Exchange Square on the left.

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

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History & heritage
23 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Fox & Grapes, another Eastside pub demolished by HS2 back in 2018

Of the three pubs on the site of the HS2 Curzon Street Station only The Woodman survives and is open. The Eagle & Tun was demolished in October 2020. We have to go back to about September 2018 for the demolition of the Fox & Grapes. This former Mitchells & Butlers pub had been left derelict for a long time, on the Freeman Street corner with Park Street. Was also a fire in 2014.

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The Fox & Grapes, another Eastside pub demolished by HS2 back in 2018





Of the three pubs on the site of the HS2 Curzon Street Station only The Woodman survives and is open. The Eagle & Tun was demolished in October 2020. We have to go back to about September 2018 for the demolition of the Fox & Grapes. This former Mitchells & Butlers pub had been left derelict for a long time, on the Freeman Street corner with Park Street. Was also a fire in 2014.


The Fox & Grapes was a Grade II listed building. It's origins might have gone back to the late 17th or early 18th centuries. So there had been a pub on this site for well over 200 years or more. The pub had alterations in the mid 19th century. It was originally listed back in 1982. I'm not sure if Historic England is aware that it was demolished back in 2018.

Before HS2 was even thought of, the pub was originally saved for the now cancelled City Park Gate scheme (which would have been on the land of the now future HS2 Curzon Street Station). But by the early 2010s the pub was boarded up and derelict. Then in 2014 arsonists targeted the pub and burnt it down, leaving it in ruins, and there was no effort at all to restore this historic building.

Sadly the decision was taken by HS2 to knock this listed building down, and it was reduced to rubble in September 2018.

The Eagle & Tun would survive for another 2 years until it to was demolished in October 2020. But it was able to reopen as a pub between 2016 and early 2020.

 

 

The views below of the Fox & Grapes from June 2010 as seen on the corner of Freeman Street and Park Street. It was near the entrance to the surface car park that was on the land between Moor Street Queensway and Park Street. Showing all the signs of it being a Mitchells & Butlers pub in the past.

 

A bit of sunshine on the Fox & Grapes during March 2011, as seen from Park Street. Hotel La Tour was under construction to the far right. Island House was still standing, but would itself be demolished by 2012.

 

A March 2013 view of this Thomas Caffrey's Irish Ale sign. Perhaps the Fox & Grapes later years was as an Irish pub until it closed down?

 

After a series of fires / arson attacks to the Fox & Grapes in 2014, the pub was in ruins, and the roof was exposed, as I saw in April 2015. No effort by any organisation to fully repair the pub, not even by the Council or HS2.

 

The Journey Starts Here. HS2. Sadly that didn't include the Fox & Grapes, still visible (below) in January 2018. This view from Eastside Green. The trees would be cut down as well to make way for the station.

 

Perhaps my last indirect photo of the Fox & Grapes during March 2018. In this view of Millennium Point and Curzon Street Station, with The Woodman. It was the day that Prince Harry and Meghan visited Millennium Point (before they tied the knot and became the Duke & Duchess of Sussex). View from a train.

 

In September 2018, HS2 performed an act of cultural vandalism by demolishing the Grade II listed Fox & Grapes pub. I was walking back from the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre at the time from another open day. 200 years of history down the toilet.

 

The view from a bus of the HS2 site from Moor Street Queensway. The car park had been closed down by this point. But you could still kind of see the site of the Fox & Grapes at the corner of Park Street and Freeman Street during November 2018.

 

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

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History & heritage
21 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The demolition of The Eagle & Tun for HS2 in Eastside

The Eagle & Tun has been on the corner of Banbury Street and New Canal Street since perhaps the middle of the 19th century. Although the building just demolished may have been built at the beginning of the 20th Century from a design by James & Lister Lea. Previously closed down in 2008, reopened in 2016. Closed again in 2020 by HS2 in January, and demolished sadly in October.

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The demolition of The Eagle & Tun for HS2 in Eastside





The Eagle & Tun has been on the corner of Banbury Street and New Canal Street since perhaps the middle of the 19th century. Although the building just demolished may have been built at the beginning of the 20th Century from a design by James & Lister Lea. Previously closed down in 2008, reopened in 2016. Closed again in 2020 by HS2 in January, and demolished sadly in October.


The Eagle & Tun was a pub in Digbeth (later Eastside). Close to the viaduct of the West Coast Mainline (also used by the Cross City Line and other routes in and out of Birmingham New Street). It was located on the corner of Banbury Street and New Canal Street. But HS2's plans changed, and it was decided that the pub would have to be demolished.

Originally HS2 had planned to incorporate the pub into the new Curzon Street HS2 Station, but for some reason this changed. This was in 2014, when it was then thought construction on the station would start by 2017 (it didn't).

There has been a pub on this site since at least the late 1850s. The Eagle & Tun originally closed down in 2008, and was derelict for many years. Only to get new landlords in late 2015. It reopened in 2016. Only for HS2 to change their minds again, and the pub closed down by January 2020. By October 2020, demolition was well under way on the pub. It would be gone by the end of the month.

The council had locally listed the pub as Grade B. It never received a Grade II listing from English Heritage (now Historic England).

 

My first photo of The Eagle & Tun, taken during January 2010, from what was then Albert Street. At this point at had been closed for about 2 years.

 

I took more photos of The Eagle & Tun back in February 2010. These shots originally came out dark (on my old camera). And I have just fixed them in Photoshop Elements 2020. You can see that a derelict building was still there on Banbury Street next to the pub (it would be demolished within a few years and become a temporary car park).

 

Below, The Eagle & Tun in late March 2016 after the pub had reopened to the public.

 

The Eagle & Tun in late December 2019. Within the next couple of weeks, HS2 had it closed down for good. See my post from January 2020 when I visited the inside of the pub for the first and only time.

 

A couple of days before the National Lockdown came into force in late March 2020, I got my last full photo of the Eagle & Tun on New Canal Street before it would be demolished. In the months that followed the roads would be closed by HS2 for Enabling Works.

 

By October 2020, I was aware of The Eagle & Tun undergoing demolition. I took this series of photos from New Canal Street on Sunday 4th October 2020. Until then, I wasn't sure if I could walk up New Canal Street, what with the road being closed to cars. But it seems it is open to pedestrians. At this point only the ground floor remained.

 

One more walk past on the 20th October 2020. Heading from Eastside City Park. Nothing left now. HS2 workers were putting up new hoardings around the site of the pub. I found that you could also walk onto Fazeley Street (the road is closed for roadworks as well but there was access for pedestrians).

 

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

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