Posts
652
Points
32K
History & heritage
11 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

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.

View feature View community

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

 

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

 

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

Share  Connect with us
70 passion points
History & heritage
11 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

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.

View feature View community

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Locked gate to the Wildflower Meadow.

A grass path roped off, no entry.

Another view of the Wildflower Meadow.

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.

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.

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.

 

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

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
History & heritage
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.

View feature View community

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.

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

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.

 

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.

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.

Spencer Street

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

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

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

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

Share  Connect with us
70 passion points
Squares and public spaces
11 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Church Street Square in the Colmore Business District

Church Street Square is a relatively modern square located in the Colmore BID between Edmund Street and Cornwall Street, and on, of course Church Street. Developed by Birmingham City Council and the Colmore BID. Work on the square started in late 2011 and was completed and opened by the autumn of 2012. The Floral Trail, Big Hoot & Sleuth have all been here. Plus the Christmas tree.

View feature View community

Church Street Square in the Colmore Business District





Church Street Square is a relatively modern square located in the Colmore BID between Edmund Street and Cornwall Street, and on, of course Church Street. Developed by Birmingham City Council and the Colmore BID. Work on the square started in late 2011 and was completed and opened by the autumn of 2012. The Floral Trail, Big Hoot & Sleuth have all been here. Plus the Christmas tree.


CHURCH STREET SQUARE

If you are walking down Church Street towards Great Charles Street Queensway, and the footbridge over to Ludgate Hill and the Jewellery Quarter, you might go past Church Street Square. It is a high quality public realm space in the heart of the Colmore Business District. Developed by Birmingham City Council and the Colmore BID from late 2011 into 2012. It pedestrianised part of Church Street.

There is benches, flower planters, even a large golden globe sculpture. It was the first project in this area for around 20 years.

Every summer, Cofton Nursery usually installs a Floral Trail piece. Between 2014 and 2018 they were commemorating 100 years since the First World War.

In 2015 at least one Big Hoot owl was on display that summer, then two years later in 2017, there was two Big Sleuth bears.

Every Christmas time there is a Christmas tree at the top of the square near Edmund Street. In 2019 they even had a sparkly Christmas arch which looked nice after dark.

 

2012

My first look at Church Street Square was during September 2012.

Here you can see all the (then) new benches, with the flower planters to the back.

Vehicles can still drive down the left hand side of the road towards Great Charles Street Queensway.

The square works well with the Victorian facades and the modern buildings to the left.

The main feature is this giant golden globe in the middle of the square.

Looking up towards Colmore Row, while the globe made a nice shadow.

 

2013

A look in July 2013 at the flower planters near the bench.

Looking at the plants towards Edmund Street.

Plants all around the benches here.

 

2014

The Birmingham City Centre Floral Trail during July 2014 with the Folding Bicycle.

Cofton Nursery were marking the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

 

2015

In July 2015 with War Horse in Church Street Square. This had been in Southside during the summer of 2014 at the Ladywell Walk junction with Dudley Street and Pershore Street. War Horse had been a successful film and stage show.

 

The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015 trail of painted owls was also in Church Street Square as seen during July 2015.

This one was called Nature's Growth, by the artist Goosensei. The sponsor was Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.

A look at the back of the Natures Growth owl.

 

2017

The Big Sleuth Birmingham 2017 trail of painted bears was in Church Street Square as seen here during July 2017.

First up we have, Hettie The Heritage Bear by the artist Alexandra Hatfield. The sponsor was MHA MacIntyre Hudson.

Hattie looking towards St Paul's Square down the rest of Church Street and up Ludgate Hill.

 

The second bear was called Bearjing by the artist Jessica Perrin. The sponsor was Squire Patton Boggs.

Bearjing was close to the top of the square near Edmund Street.

 

The Colmore BID Christmas tree in Church Street Square during November 2017.

 

The Christmas tree looked even more festive in December 2017 after it had snowed!

The snowy Christmasy scene in Church Street Square, as a 101 bus passed by on Edmund Street. Merry Christmas everyone!

 

2018

In July 2018, you could find Bees in Birmingham located in Church Street Square, a floral piece from the folk at Cofton Nursery.

Bee to the right.

Bee to the left.

Both bees toward Smith Cooper.

2019

The Colmore Business District Christmas Tree during November 2019.

That year the Colmore BID had also installed a Christmas arch with stars. This view towards the Christmas tree.

Beyond the golden globe towards Cornwall Street with the Christmas arch.

I went back on evening after work in December 2019, to get the Christmas Arch lit up after dark. This view towards the Christmas tree and golden globe.

2020

My first view of the 2020 Colmore BID Christmas Tree in Church Street Square seen on the 1st December 2020.

 

Second view of the Christmas tree in Church Street Square as seen on the 19th December 2020. No Christmas Arch this time around though.

 

The other public square in the Colmore BID is at Colmore Square. Expect a project and post coming in early 2021. It is located in the middle of Colmore Circus Queensway near The Wesleyan and One Colmore Square.

 

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

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
History & heritage
05 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

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.

View feature View community

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.

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

View of the AD 1902 sign.

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

There was red brick house to the right.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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.

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

 

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.

 

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.

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

Most the surviving buildings were hidden by trees.

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

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

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).

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

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

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

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

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.

 

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.

 

14th December 2019

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

 

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.

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

 

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

Share  Connect with us
50 passion points
Show more