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Stephen Giles Construction & regeneration
27 Apr 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

Demolition and Site Prep for Octagon at Paradise Birmingham

Demolition is well underway at 77 Paradise Circus. The building's roof and supports have now been fully dismantled, and a long reacher is now on site to quickly demolish the body. 

Take a look at our article for a full reverse photo journey of the building from February 2021, to the present day.

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Demolition and Site Prep for Octagon at Paradise Birmingham





Demolition is well underway at 77 Paradise Circus. The building's roof and supports have now been fully dismantled, and a long reacher is now on site to quickly demolish the body. 

Take a look at our article for a full reverse photo journey of the building from February 2021, to the present day.


25th September 2021

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21st February 2022

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23rd February 2022

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Photography by Daniel Sturley.

26th February 2022

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Photography by Stephen Giles.

8th March 2022

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Photography by Daniel Sturley.

26th March 2022

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Photography by Daniel Sturley.

28th March 2022

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Image from Paradise Birmingham webcam.

5th April 2022

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8th April 2022

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12th April 2022

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20th April 2022

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Photography by Daniel Sturley.

26 April 2022

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Image from Paradise Birmingham webcam.

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Octagon; ©Glenn Howells Architects.

There are now nearly 100 photos of the demolition and site preparation for this building, which can be seen in reverse date order in our full gallery here: One The Octagon Full Construction Gallery

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Stephen Giles Construction & regeneration
27 Apr 2022 - Stephen Giles
Gallery

The Construction of The Square on Broad Street - April 2022 - Update Two

Cortland Broad Street's concrete core is huge! It currently sits on floor 34, just short of its maximum height.

The lower levels of the 35-storey residential tower are also progressing, now up to level 5/6, with its six-storey lower extension now climbing above the hoardings on Ryland Street.

Lots of construction images here in this April Part 2 update.

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The Construction of The Square on Broad Street - April 2022 - Update Two





Cortland Broad Street's concrete core is huge! It currently sits on floor 34, just short of its maximum height.

The lower levels of the 35-storey residential tower are also progressing, now up to level 5/6, with its six-storey lower extension now climbing above the hoardings on Ryland Street.

Lots of construction images here in this April Part 2 update.


3rd April 2022

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7th April 2022

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8th April 2022

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11th April 2022

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13th April 2022

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17th April 2022

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26th April 2022

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Photography by Daniel Sturley.

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Image kindly taken by Kingsheathen.

There are now nearly 200 photos of the construction of this building, and these can now be seen in reverse date order in the full gallery here: The Square, Broad Street - Full Construction Photo Gallery

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Daniel Sturley Classic Architecture
27 Apr 2022 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

The Samuel Heath Building

The Samuel Heath Building now a protected listed building - Wonderful photography of this great building of historic importance from Stephen Hartland of the Victorian Society (West Midlands). 

Enjoy! 

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The Samuel Heath Building





The Samuel Heath Building now a protected listed building - Wonderful photography of this great building of historic importance from Stephen Hartland of the Victorian Society (West Midlands). 

Enjoy! 


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Photography by Stephen Hartland

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Elliott Brown Art; Culture & creativity
12 Apr 2022 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Return of the Floozie in the Jacuzzi after six months in storage

In the autumn of 2021, work began to restore the River and Youth fountains in Victoria Square. By October 2021 the Floozie in the Jacuzzi was removed to storage (The River) as well as the other statue (The Youth). As of early April 2022, the Floozie is back, but as of yet, the fountains haven't been turned on, as workmen are working round the clock to get it finished.

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Return of the Floozie in the Jacuzzi after six months in storage





In the autumn of 2021, work began to restore the River and Youth fountains in Victoria Square. By October 2021 the Floozie in the Jacuzzi was removed to storage (The River) as well as the other statue (The Youth). As of early April 2022, the Floozie is back, but as of yet, the fountains haven't been turned on, as workmen are working round the clock to get it finished.


If you want to see our existing Floozie in the Jacuzzi posts, click the links below:

Floozie post, November 2020

Floozie post, September 2019

 

River and Youth, 1993 by Dhruva Mistry was installed during the 1992-94 works to regenerate Victoria Square (it was opened by the late Diana, Princess of Wales). The Floozie in the Jacuzzi is the bronze female statue at the top known as 'The River', while the pair of children at the bottom was 'The Youth'.

 

September 2021

Fences start to go around the River and Youth stepped area, with the Floozie still at the top.

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October 2021

The last time that you could see the Floozie in the Jacuzzi was back in October 2021. Days after this, she would be removed to storage. This was also before the return of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market in November. The Floozie getting one last bath from the rain.

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December 2021

Last few days of 2021, and there is now scaffolding and a white plastic wrap around the site of River and Youth. The bronze statues are now in storage for a couple of months now. Colourful hoardings up with the Be Bold Be Birmingham slogan, and facts about the Floozie in the Jacuzzi, ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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January 2022

Still the white plastic wraps and scaffolding around the River and Youth site in Victoria Square, as well as the Be Bold Be Birmingham hoardings, as work continues to repair the fountain, that has been leaking on and off since 2008.

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April 2022

On April Fools Day, the basin of The River, has days to wait before the goddess returns to sit in her beloved bath. The stone balls and the basin of the upper pool are visible again, but there is still fences around the site.

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She is back! On the 7th April 2022, the Floozie is back in her Jacuzzi! But the site is still a Public Realm works site, and workmen are still putting the finishing touches to the repairs. But we don't yet know when they will turn the fountain back on. Lets hope it never leaks again! While 'The River' is back, 'The Youth' part of the sculpture has not yet been reinstalled in the lower basin.

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

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Elliott Brown People & community
11 Apr 2022 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration
Northfield - Take a tour with us!

Northfield - Take a tour with us!

Birmingham has much more to offer than its magnificent city centre. There are some fascinating places to experience out in the neighbourhoods. Here's a look at Northfield. Well worth a visit. For history, there's St Laurence's Church and the Great Stone. Victoria Common is a great open space and not far away is Manor Farm Park.

Take our article.

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Northfield - Take a tour with us!





Birmingham has much more to offer than its magnificent city centre. There are some fascinating places to experience out in the neighbourhoods. Here's a look at Northfield. Well worth a visit. For history, there's St Laurence's Church and the Great Stone. Victoria Common is a great open space and not far away is Manor Farm Park.

Take our article.


How to get to Northfield?

Take the no 61 or 63 bus from Birmingham and travel along Bristol Road South to Northfield High Street; catch a train on the Cross City Line to Northfield station; or take a cycle ride which will take in some great sights along the canal.

If travelling by train, we recommend you buy a ticket in advance using the West Midlands Railway app and you will get a QR code to scan at the ticket gates at Birmingham New Street. Paper tickets are still available to buy at the automatic ticket machines or at staffed ticket desks.

The train takes a scenic route via Five Ways, Birmingham University, Selly Oak and Bournville, before arriving at Northfield. Some sections of this run alongside the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

 

Northfield Station

Welcome to Northfield Station. You get off the train at Platform 4. Head towards the exit via the subway. You can either take the exit towards Station Road, or via the subway head to the station building and exit at Copse Close via Quarry Lane.

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Take the Station Road exit if you want to head to the old Northfield Village, where you will find St Laurence's Church and the Great Stone Inn.

From Station Road, walk up to Church Hill Road. Walk under the railway bridge, until you get to St Laurence's Church.

 

St Laurence's Church

St Laurence's Church has origins going back to the 12th century, with elements dating from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. The church is part of a conservation area.

The last major change to the church took place in the year 1900, when G F Bodley built the north aisle in the 14th century style.

The major 13th century feature is the chancel. The south chancel and lower stage of the west tower also dates to the 13th Century.

A 4 bay octagonal pier arcade at the south chancel dates to the 14th Century.

The upper tower was built during the 15th Century.

The roof is most likely a 15th century replacement of an earlier 13th century nave roof.

The church has Royal Arms from the Hanoverian period. The church was built of sandstone.

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After the church, it is a short distance to the Great Stone Inn and the Village Pound, at the corner of Church Hill and Church Road.

 

The Great Stone and the Village Pound

The Great Stone Inn is an historic public house at the corner of Church Hill and Church Road.

The Inn probably dates back to the 18th century. 

It is a timber-framed building with painted brick and a tile roof.

The Inn is close to St Laurence Church in the historic old Northfield village. It is now a traditional pub with a beer garden run by Great Pubs.

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A few meters away on Church Road is The Village Pound, and the current location of the historic Great Stone which the Inn was named after.

Dating back to the 17th century, The Village Pound was a high walled structure used to keep livestock in, such as stray cattle, pigs and sheep.

The Village Pound is now the home of the Great Stone, moved by Birmingham City Council to this site in 1954. It is a glacial bolder formed in a volcanic eruption 450 - 460 million years ago. 

For generations The Great Stone was at the corner of Church Road and Church Hill in Northfield, where it protected the Inn wall. A glacial erratic bolder that was former in an explosive volcanic eruption during the Ordovician period, 450-460 million years ago. During the ice age, possibly up to 400,000 years ago, it was carried by an ice sheet from the Snowdon area of North Wales and deposited with many others around Northfield when the area was a frozen wasteland.

Birmingham City Council moved the boulder to this site in 1954 for road safety reasons.

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Next, we recommend taking a short walk up Church Road towards Great Stone Road.

Cross over the road at the traffic lights, then walk towards Northfield Library.

Walk up Meeting House Lane to get into Victoria Common Recreation Ground.

 

Victoria Common

This is a great recreation ground hidden behind Northfield Shopping Centre.

You will find playgrounds and tennis courts here plus paths for walking. There's plenty of green open spaces to enjoy.

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After your walk round Victoria Common head to the path that leads to the Bristol Road South, and walk down Northfield High Street for a bit of retail therapy. 

You can alternatively walk down Sir Herbert Austin Way and pop into the Starbucks Coffee Drive Thru. Alternatively, there are many cafes and places to eat in Northfield.

If you fancy a meal in a traditional pub, in addition to the Great Stone Inn, there's The Black Horse located on Bristol Road South (near Frankley Beeches Road).

 

The Black Horse

The Black Horse opened on the 1st December1929  and was designed for the Davenport Brewery,by Francis Goldsbrough (from the local architectural practice of Bateman and Bateman).

The Black Horse is one of the largest and finest examples of a Brewer’s Tudor-style public house in the country.

It was registered a Grade II listed building in 1981. JD Wetherspoon refurbished the pub in May 2010. 

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If you are not too full, next have a walk to Ley Hill Park. Leave the Black Horse, and head past Sainsbury's via Sir Herbert Austin Way. Or if you had a toastie or panini with your coffee at Starbucks, you just have to walk up Vineyard Road, past Bellfield Junior School. The park is at the top of the hill.

 

Ley Hill Park

You can enter this park from the entrance at Merritt's Brook Lane. Take any path you want for your walk, or walk onto the grass if it's not too wet. Head up to the top of the hill for views down to the Northfield High Street.

There is a play area, plus benches to sit on.

You can exit the park at Merritt's Hill and walk down the road towards Brookside.

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Now head into Merritt's Brook Greenway, and walk along the path, following the Merritt's Brook towards Bell Hill. Cross over the road at the traffic lights near Whitehill Lane and enter Manor Farm Park.

 

Manor Farm Park

This park was once the home of George and Elizabeth Cadbury, who lived at the Northfield Manor House (until their respective deaths).

The park opened to the public in 1951.

Follow the paths around the park with a 2 kilometre walking route. See our suggested trail HERE.

You will walk past a lake. The Manor House is nearby. The park also has a play area and old farm buildings. dndimg dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Manor%20Farm%20Park%20(April%202017)%20(1)%20.jpg" />

If you exit near the lake at New House Farm Drive, perhaps have a detour up to the Northfield Manor House? Just walk until you get to Manor House Drive.

 

Northfield Manor House

The original house was built in the early 1800s.

George Cadbury purchased the property in 1890, and he moved in with his wife Elizabeth in 1894.

They named it Manor Farm.

The lived here until his death in 1922 and her's in 1951.

The University of Birmingham took it over, and converted it into a hall of residence from 1958, but it ceased this function by 2007.

Years of dereliction lead to arsonists (teenagers) burning it down in 2014.

Partial demolition in 2015, followed by a full restoration between 2019 and 2021.

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Head down Manor House Drive, back onto New House Farm Drive and onto Bristol Road South.

Leave the park at Bristol Road South. A short walk away is another property once owned by George Cadbury. This is the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.

 

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

A house called The Woodlands was built on this site around 1840.

It was later to become one of George Cadbury's homes, who in 1907 gave it to the then named "Cripples Children's Union".

After various mergers, what has now become known as the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, was firmly based on this site.

At one point they had an Outpatients Department on Broad Street at Islington House (this lasted until the end of the 20th century). One of the surgeons based here was Mr Naughton Dunn (from 1913 to 1939), who was a national pioneer and Birmingham's first orthopaedic specialist.

The hospital has been part of the NHS since it's founding in 1948.

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We hope you enjoyed this tour of Northfield. 

If you have return tickets on the train, walk back to Northfield Station. Alternatively, head to a bus stop on Bristol Road South. If getting a bus, we recommend that you have a Swift card, and buy your ticket at National Express West Midlands in advance. Otherwise, you will need to pay a cash fare, or use contactless. Alternatively, you can have the NXWM app and buy your ticket on there. Bus routes include the 20, 61 and 63 from National Express West Midlands or the 144 from First Midland Red.

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Photography by Elliott Brown

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