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Elliott Brown Environment & green action
28 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Exploring the Birmingham Botanical Gardens over the years from multiple visits

I've been to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens several times over the last 5 or more years. Usually to attend something like the Magical Lantern Festival, Jurassic Kingdom or Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom events. More recently attended a free open day during Birmingham Heritage Week back in 2019. You can see various birds in cages, a roaming peacock, and butterflies in a greenhouse and more

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Exploring the Birmingham Botanical Gardens over the years from multiple visits





I've been to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens several times over the last 5 or more years. Usually to attend something like the Magical Lantern Festival, Jurassic Kingdom or Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom events. More recently attended a free open day during Birmingham Heritage Week back in 2019. You can see various birds in cages, a roaming peacock, and butterflies in a greenhouse and more


Birmingham Botanical Gardens

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is located on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham. The Birmingham Botanical and Horticultural Society was founded in 1829 with the intent to found a botanical garden. It opened in 1832. The gardens are Grade II listed and was designed by J. C. Loudon. The Tropical House was built in 1852, followed by the Subtropical House in 1871. The Terrace glasshouses were built in 1884.

The gardens features a Bandstand and Aviary, four glasshouses (Tropical, Subtropical, Mediterranean and Arid glasshouses), plus a Alpine House and Butterfly House. There is a sunken Rose Garden, a cast iron Gazebo built in 1850. A rock garden and pool dating to 1895. Various walks that were laid out in 1862. Three period gardens (Tudor, Roman and Medieval) was created in 1994.

The gardens has a gift shop, plant sale centre, tea room, meeting and conference rooms. Famously the leaders of the G8 had a dinner party in the Pavilion Restaurant here in 1998.

 

2012

One of my earliest photos of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens taken during August 2012, walked past on Westbourne Road. I have been here as a child back in the 1980s, but didn't start taking photos here until this point.

 

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Aug 2012).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2016

The first event I paid to go to the Botanical Gardens was at the Magical Lantern Festival during December 2016. Hung around the City Centre until it got dark and arrived for my time just before 5pm, but it was heavily raining.

Go here for the Magical Lantern Festival 2016 post.

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern Festival (Dec 2016) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

While there (in the heavy rain) I got some photos of the Glasshouses. Bit hard to see in the dark, but was lit up inside.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Glasshouses Bham BotG (Dec 2016) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

View to the Pavilion Restaurant. That was where in 1998, the leaders of the G8 had a dinner party. Including the Clinton's and Blair's.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Glasshouses Bham BotG (Dec 2016) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2017

In May 2017 I booked to see the Jurassic Kingdom event at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Better weather this time and was in the daytime. Animatronic dinosaurs. Plus while there got general photos of the gardens.

Got a post here for both Jurassic Kingdom 2017 and Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom 2019.

dndimg alt="Jurassic Kingdom" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Jurassic Kingdom 2017 Bham Botanical Gardens (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Bandstand was installed here in 1873. It was renovated on it's centenary in 1973.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Bird Cages also known as the Aviary.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Red-crowned parakeet in the Aviary (Bird Cage).

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One of the peacocks that roams around the Botanical Gardens.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The fountain was built in 1850. It ceased to flow in 1940 but was restored to working order in 1982.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Gazebo dates to 1850 and was originally located at 32 Church Road, Edgbaston and was made of Cast Iron. Donated by the Lord Chancellor's Department in 1993. Restored in 1994.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading through The Tropical House.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It is very warm in The Tropical House. A bench to sit down on.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading out of the Botanical Gardens, saw the blue plaque of Ernest Henry Wilson (1876 - 1930). Placed here by the Birmingham Civic Society in 2010.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A few months later in August 2017, I was walking past the Botanical Gardens, and saw a view with Old Joe (the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower) at the University of Birmingham.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Aug 2017).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

By December 2017, there was a Christmas Lights Trail on at the Botanical Gardens, although I didn't go to it myself. But at the time I could see this Helter Skelter and a Carousel from the Westbourne Road. Taken from the no 24 bus. It looks like a fun fair was close to the car park.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Dec 2017).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2018

In July 2018, I got off the no 24 bus on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston to see a new blue plaque at Birmingham City University. Got these photos of the Welcome signs on the walk up the road. This car park is usually full during events, and is best for people to park their cars elsewhere in Edgbaston and walk there.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Jul 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This Welcome sign on the main entrance building.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Jul 2018) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

During the open day at the Tyseley Locomotive Works in September 2018, West Midlands Railway was showing off 172 339 with it's purple livery. On the side was 2 for 1 offers, including at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This livery has since been replaced with the standard orange one on all of their Class 172 trains on the Snow Hill Lines. I previously caught this at Birmingham Moor Street Station back in April 2018.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Tyseley WMR 172339 (Sep 2018) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Magical Lantern Festival returned to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in December 2018 (it was at Kings Heath Park in 2017). That year I didn't pay to go to it, just saw from either the no 23 or 24 buses. Santa was outside.

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern BBG (Dec 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Was better to get off the bus to see Santa and the presents from Westbourne Road.

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern BBG (Dec 2018) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

They had unicorns with wings at the main entrance. Can you spot Old Joe on the right?

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern BBG (Dec 2018) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A few days later, tried to get some more shots from the top of a bus. Christmas tree near the main entrance.

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern BBG (Dec 2018) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Could see this shoe from the bus window.

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern BBG (Dec 2018) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2019

Returned in April 2019 for the Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom event. Link to that post is further up this post. It was another opportunity to get general shots of the Botanical Gardens, as well as the animatronic wild beasts! Due to going to the previous event I attended, got an early bird ticket and went quite early on it's run!

dndimg alt="Ice Age The Lost Kingdom" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Ice Age The Lost Kingdom 2019 Bham Botanical Gardens (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Saw the peacock on the path near the ice age beasts.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A close up look at the Bandstand.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Into the Historic Gardens. On the right was The Tudor Knott Garden.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

At the far end was the statue of Proserpina.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The garden to the far left is The Medieval Garden.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The garden in the middle is The Roman Garden.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A view of the Alpine Yard redevelopment.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

By September 2019, it was Birmingham Heritage Week, and the gardens was packed! But on the Sunday it was free to visit, so had a full walk around this time. Go here for the Birmingham Heritage Week post of the weekend 14th and 15th September 2019. 5 photos in the original post (plus three other venues I visited that weekend).

More views below.

The entrance to the Botanical Gardens, with the stone dated 1832 above the Welcome canopy and Heritage Open Day bunting.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Arid House, full of cactuses in here.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It was nice and warm in here for the cactuses.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Outside to the Loudon Terrace. The border looked very colourful. Was also a lot of people around. Probably the last time it was this busy before the pandemic started in 2020.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This was the Garden of Tomorrow.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The pond at the Garden of Memory.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A look at the Rock Garden and Pool. Lots of water lilies in the pool.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Was on the path from Farrer Walk to Wilson Walk. Saw this unique looking flower called Impatiens niamiamensis. Red, yellow and green.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

In the Butterfly House, was several butterflies, the rest were hibernating.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Saw these Rosy-faced lovebirds in one of the bird cages. There was a lot of them in there.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

On the Perennial borders saw a lot of Yellow coneflowers.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was also this flower called Tagetes patula. Had red and yellow petals.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was a parrot in the Aviary (Bird House). Saw plenty of other birds in there as well.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

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100 passion points
Elliott Brown Environment & green action
26 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

An Edwardian gem that is Winterbourne House & Garden

I've only visited the garden at Winterbourne once, way back in August 2008, so was before I picked up Birmingham photography. One of the last places we went to with my late brother (passed November 2008). In the years since, I took some exteriors of the house fro Edgbaston Park Road when it was being restored, and another time for the blue plaque of John Nettlefold, who lived here.

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An Edwardian gem that is Winterbourne House & Garden





I've only visited the garden at Winterbourne once, way back in August 2008, so was before I picked up Birmingham photography. One of the last places we went to with my late brother (passed November 2008). In the years since, I took some exteriors of the house fro Edgbaston Park Road when it was being restored, and another time for the blue plaque of John Nettlefold, who lived here.


Winterbourne House & Garden

Winterbourne House and Winterbourne Botanic Garden is located on Edgbaston Park Road in Edgbaston and belongs to the University of Birmingham. It has been on the site since 1903, and been part of the University since 1944.

 

History of Winterbourne

Winterbourne House was built between 1903 and 1904 as the family home of John & Margaret Nettlefold. They commissioned the local architect Joseph Lancaster Bell to design and build the house. It was made of brick and tiles. The original garden was designed by Margaret Nettlefold herself. They lived here with their children until 1919, when John was getting a bit unwell.

The property was sold to the Wheelock family, who had 9 children. They lived here until 1925. It was then purchased by John Nicholson, who was a local businessman, and a keen gardener. He made improvements to the garden, adding a rock garden and alpine area. He was here until his death in 1944.

Winterbourne was then passed onto the University of Birmingham. Initially the house was used as student halls. The house has had a variety of uses since 1944. During 2009 to 2010, the house was fully restored. During this time the Birmingham Civic Society placed a blue plaque on the house for John Nettlefold.

The garden has many plants from around the world. The house now has a gift shop and tearoom. Plus an Art Gallery. During the Pandemic, the garden has only been open to members.

 

2008

So far the visit of August 2008 was the only time I've been to Winterbourne House & Garden, so is a bit hard to remember this visit (from 12 to 13 years ago). Other than it was one of the places we went to that year before my brother passed away of cancer in November 2008.

View from the garden of Winterbourne House.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Below, one of my late brothers photos of a small boggy pond.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A pond with water lilies (my late brothers photo below). Not sure if this is the Chad Brook or not.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Large leaves over the pond (or Chad Brook). (One of my late brothers photos below).

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Looking at my archive photos from that visit, I didn't take much, so only had a handle of photos like this. The pond / Chad Brook with water lilies.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

One of my late brothers photos towards the house.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

He also took this one in the garden.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Yes this was one of his photos as well (I Photoshopped myself out of it).

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

What looks a ships deck.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (11).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The ships deck from the front.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (12).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2009

About a year or so after loosing my brother, during December 2009,  I was walking past Winterbourne House on Edgbaston Park Road, while there was so on the ground at the University of Birmingham. Work was underway to restore the house. Was the same day as I got the statue of George I outside of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts (another place we visited back in 2008, but couldn't take photos inside unfortunately).

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Dec 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A University of Birmingham sign says this is part of the Green Zone. G.11 is Winterbourne House and G.12 is Winterbourne Botanic Garden.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Dec 2009) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Looked like at the time they were also doing work on the grounds outside near the car park entrance.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Dec 2009) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Details of the first and second floor with the roof covered in snow.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Dec 2009) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A sign welcomes you to Winterbourne. Garden Entrance to the left.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Dec 2009) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

It was a blue sky day, snow everywhere but settled. The front drive was quite big. Public car park is also on this side.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Dec 2009) (9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2013

The last time I got photos of Winterbourne House & Garden from Edgbaston Park Road was during February 2013, to see the blue plaque that had been installed there. Although I have walked up Edgbaston Park Road in the years since, just not taken any more photos of Winterbourne since then.

Saw this sign as I got close to Winterbourne House & Garden. Tearoom * Gifts * Gallery * Plants. University of Birmingham.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House & Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Feb 2013) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The house was looking as good as new, cars in the car park to the right.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House & Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Feb 2013) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The drive on the left is the entrance to cars going to the car park.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House & Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Feb 2013) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading to the blue plaque on the right.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House & Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Feb 2013) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The Birmingham Civic Society unveiled this blue plaque in 2010 in memory of John Sutton Nettlefold (1866 - 1930). He lived in this house from 1903 until 1919.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House & Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Feb 2013) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Winterbourne during the pandemic

During the pandemic, Winterbourne Garden is open, but the house, shop and tearoom remain closed until further notice. But you can order gifts online and click & collect only (they don't offer a postal service). You can also get a Winterbourne Membership if you want to.

They are not operating a pre-booked system. They have reduced the number of visitors they can have at one time. Only University members or students with ID's can visit at the moment. So it looks like if you are not a member, or don't belong to the University you can't visit right now.

Would be nice to go again one day in the future when things get better.

 

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

 

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Daniel Sturley Art; Culture & creativity
26 Jan 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Weekend snow in Birmingham enjoyed by our creatives

The snow overnight on Saturday the 24th January gave a great opportunity for some families and other socially 'bubbled' people to come out for a while and create some great snow sculptures in Centenary Square, as well as all over the city we reckon. Daniel was out to grab some photos later in the day to record some for posterity and inspiration.

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Weekend snow in Birmingham enjoyed by our creatives





The snow overnight on Saturday the 24th January gave a great opportunity for some families and other socially 'bubbled' people to come out for a while and create some great snow sculptures in Centenary Square, as well as all over the city we reckon. Daniel was out to grab some photos later in the day to record some for posterity and inspiration.


Creativity in Centenary Square

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Creativity by the canals at Old Turn Junction

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Creativity at Victoria Square

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Creativity in Central Square, Brindleyplace

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Elliott Brown Squares and public spaces
20 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Kings Heath Village Square at Vicarage Road and High Street near All Saints Church

The churchyard of All Saints Church in Kings Heath was refurbished into Kings Heath Village Square back in 2011. Located near Vicarage Road and the Kings Heath High Street. There is a regular Famers Market, once a month on the first Saturday of the month. Other events have taken place here over the years. Such as National Express West Midlands promoting the then new no 50 bus.

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Kings Heath Village Square at Vicarage Road and High Street near All Saints Church





The churchyard of All Saints Church in Kings Heath was refurbished into Kings Heath Village Square back in 2011. Located near Vicarage Road and the Kings Heath High Street. There is a regular Famers Market, once a month on the first Saturday of the month. Other events have taken place here over the years. Such as National Express West Midlands promoting the then new no 50 bus.


KINGS HEATH VILLAGE SQUARE

The Village Square opened in Kings Heath back in October 2011. The land was originally the churchyard of All Saints Church (some graves and grave stones remain, plus a war memorial). It's like an old village green now but in the heart of Kings Heath. One of the main features is a Labyrinth that people can walk around for fun. The All Saints Centre was also built around the same time (it includes a cafe and pharmacy).

Many cultural events and markets have taken place here over the years (before the pandemic). Such as the Kings Heath Farmers Market, taking place on the first Saturday of each month. Sometimes even a small fun fair with rides. Or collections for charity at Christmas time.

Kings Heath Village Square is located at a site between Vicarage Road and the High Street in Kings Heath, with All Saints Church to the far end of the square.

Bus routes include the 11A, 11C, 35, 50 and 76.

 

Kings Heath Village Square over the years

One of my earliest photos of Kings Heath Village Square, taken during February 2012, of the Labyrinth. You can see some market stalls near the Kings Heath All Saints Centre. Taken during the Kings Heath Farmers Market on Saturday 4th February 2012.

dndimg alt="Kings Heath Village Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kings Heath Village Square (Feb 2012).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A day later on Sunday 5th February 2012, I returned to Kings Heath when there was a snowfall. This view of Kings Heath Village Square towards the All Saints Centre.

dndimg alt="Kings Heath Village Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/All Saints Kings Heath Village Sq (Feb 2012) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A blue sky during the middle of January 2020 as seen in Kings Heath Village Square. The Platinum buses had been on the 50 for over a year by this point. All Saints Church seen to the left.

dndimg alt="Kings Heath Village Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kings Heath Village Square (Jan 2020).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Some snow in Kings  Heath Village Square, as seen from the no 11A bus on Vicarage Road. This was near the end of December 2020 (while still in Tier 3 restrictions at the time). View to All Saints Church.

dndimg alt="Kings Heath Village Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kings Heath Village Sq snowing 29122020 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Markets and fairs in the Village Square over the years

 

Kings Heath Farmers Market

This was the Kings Heath Farmers Market as held on Saturday 7th December 2013. It was Christmas time, so there was also some rides there for kids, as well as Father Christmas.

dndimg alt="Kings Heath Farmers Market" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Farmers Market Kings Heath Village Sq (Dec 2013) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It was open from 9am until 2pm. The Christmas Gift & Craft Fayre was also being held by the Moseley & Kings Heath Lions Club.

dndimg alt="Kings Heath Farmers Market" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Farmers Market Kings Heath Village Sq (Dec 2013) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Plenty of market stalls all around the square that day.

dndimg alt="Kings Heath Farmers Market" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Farmers Market Kings Heath Village Sq (Dec 2013) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Bottles of a drink for sale.

dndimg alt="Kings Heath Farmers Market" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Farmers Market Kings Heath Village Sq (Dec 2013) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A Disney style teacups ride for kids to enjoy.

dndimg alt="Kings Heath Farmers Market" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Farmers Market Kings Heath Village Sq (Dec 2013) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Oh look, it's Father Christmas in his sleigh with a couple of reindeer! From the Moseley & Kings Heath Lions Club.

dndimg alt="Kings Heath Farmers Market" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Farmers Market Kings Heath Village Sq (Dec 2013) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Kings Heath Winter Fest

This took place on Saturday the 15th November 2014 in Kings Heath Village Square. Plenty of rides for kids to go on.

dndimg alt="Kings Heath Winter Fest" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kings Heath Winter Fest Kings Heath Village Sq (Nov 2014) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A small ferris wheel.

dndimg alt="Kings Heath Winter Fest" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kings Heath Winter Fest Kings Heath Village Sq (Nov 2014) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Hook A Duck

dndimg alt="Kings Heath Winter Fest" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kings Heath Winter Fest Kings Heath Village Sq (Nov 2014) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Signs showing that the All Saints Centre had hall & rooms available for hire. Also the banner for this event.

dndimg alt="Kings Heath Winter Fest" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kings Heath Winter Fest Kings Heath Village Sq (Nov 2014) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Brum Yum Yum Kings Heath

This event took place on the 9th April 2016. It was part of the KingshEATh Streetfood Market.

From this VW Campervan you could buy Mexican Street Food. Cafe Borchata.

dndimg alt="Brum Yum Yum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Brum Yum Yum Kings Heath Vil Sq (Apr 2016) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The British Bus Bar, was next to something about Virgin Media.

dndimg alt="Brum Yum Yum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Brum Yum Yum Kings Heath Vil Sq (Apr 2016) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The Food Yule Love trailer.

dndimg alt="Brum Yum Yum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Brum Yum Yum Kings Heath Vil Sq (Apr 2016) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Drink Up.

dndimg alt="Brum Yum Yum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Brum Yum Yum Kings Heath Vil Sq (Apr 2016) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Charlie Dumpling was outside of the All Saints Centre.

dndimg alt="Brum Yum Yum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Brum Yum Yum Kings Heath Vil Sq (Apr 2016) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The 50 bus from National Express West Midlands

On Saturday the 18th April 2015, National Express West Midlands launched the (then) new bus to be used on the no 50 bus route between Birmingham City Centre and Druids Heath (via Balsall Heath, Kings Heath, Moseley and the Maypole).

dndimg alt="The 50" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The 50 Kings Heath Village Square (April 2015) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It was 6132 Julie.

dndimg alt="The 50" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The 50 Kings Heath Village Square (April 2015) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This fleet of buses was on the 50 from 2015 to 2018, before being transferred to the 11A and 11C, when the 50 went Platinum from December 2018.

dndimg alt="The 50" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The 50 Kings Heath Village Square (April 2015) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

These buses have since been rebranded from 50 to 11A or 11C, with hints of yellow over the red. So it's more likely that you might be on the 11 on Vicarage Road, than on a 50 on the High Street (as you'd be in Platinum bus instead).

dndimg alt="The 50" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The 50 Kings Heath Village Square (April 2015) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015

The trail of painted owls wasn't only in the City Centre back in the summer of 2015, but you could find some in Kings Heath (as well as the little owls). One owl was here in Kings Heath Village Square, plus you could find another one in Kings Heath Park and outside of Kings Heath Library at the time. The trail ran for 10 weeks (after which the owls were auctioned off for charity).

In Kings Heath Village Square you could find: The Owl and the Pussycat Went to Sea by the artist Mik Richardson. It was sponsored by the Kings Heath BID. Seen during July 2015.

dndimg alt="The Big Hoot" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kings Heath Village Square (July 2015).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Classic Car Meet

Click here for the full Classic Car Meet post. This was held on the August Bank Holiday Monday, 26th August 2019 in Kings Heath Village Square. I was changing buses from the 50 to 11A when I spotted all these classic cars and I went to have a look before going home.

dndimg alt="Classic Car Meet" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Classic Car Meet Kings Heath Village Square (Aug 2019) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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90 passion points
Elliott Brown Squares and public spaces
19 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

A look round Colmore Square, between Colmore Row and Steelhouse Lane

If you are walking down Colmore Row or up Steelhouse Lane, you will get to Colmore Circus Queensway. In the middle of that is Colmore Square. Redeveloped in the early 2000s, from the subways and lowered areas that were filled in. The Wesleyan had already been there since 1991, while No 1 Colmore Square opened in 2004. The square was refurbished in 2014 with new benches and flower planters.

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A look round Colmore Square, between Colmore Row and Steelhouse Lane





If you are walking down Colmore Row or up Steelhouse Lane, you will get to Colmore Circus Queensway. In the middle of that is Colmore Square. Redeveloped in the early 2000s, from the subways and lowered areas that were filled in. The Wesleyan had already been there since 1991, while No 1 Colmore Square opened in 2004. The square was refurbished in 2014 with new benches and flower planters.


COLMORE SQUARE

 

Colmore Square is in the centre of Colmore Circus Queensway. It is connected to Colmore Row, Bull Street, The Priory Queensway, Steelhouse Lane, Weaman Street and Snow Hill Queensway.

 

Colmore Circus Queensway was rebuilt in 2002, replacing the old roundabout of the Inner Ring Road with a square (this was around the same time when Masshouse Circus Queensway was demolished, breaking up the Concrete Collar, which had stopped development in Birmingham for decades). Out went the subways, and in came traffic lights and pelican crossings and road level. It is now safer to walk from Birmingham Snow Hill Station, on Colmore Row to Birmingham Children's Hospital on Steelhouse Lane, without having to go into subways (which you had to do from 1998 to sometime before 2002). It is also an alternate walking route to Aston University and the Magistrate and Law Courts, through the Steelhouse Conservation Area.

 

The Wesleyan was built from 1988 to 1991, so some changes had to be made to get the square to be level with the outside of the building, including a fountain.

No 1 Colmore Square was completed opposite The Wesleyan in 2004. No 2 Colmore Square is on the corner of The Priory Queensway and Steelhouse Lane, also known as Cannon House and Priory House (refurbished in 2006). There is a Matthew Boulton plaque, on the corner, as he was born nearby in the area (in 1728).

Colmore Plaza is on the opposite corner of Colmore Circus and Steelhouse Lane, this was completed in 2007 (replacing the Post & Mail Building of 1965-2006). It was renamed to The Colmore Building since 2016.

 

The original Midland Metro extension was built on the part of Colmore Circus near Colmore Row from 2012 to 2015. The first part opened to Bull Street Tram Stop in December 2016 (reaching Grand Central Tram Stop by 2016).

Minor refurbishment of Colmore Square in 2014 with new benches and flower planters, plus some chess table benches.

 

Every Christmas the Colmore BID places a Christmas tree here, and in the summer, Cofton Nursery places one of their Floral Trail pieces. The Big Hoot had 3 painted owls in summer 2015, and The Big Sleuth 3 painted bears in the summer of 2017. The trails were to help the Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity.

 

Colmore Square as it was during May 2009. This view: The Wesleyan on the left, then the view down Steelhouse Lane with Colmore Plaza on the left and No 2 Colmore Square on the right (near the end of The Priory Queensway).

dndimg alt="Colmore Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Square (May 2009) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A look down Steelhouse Lane from Colmore Square. Fountain Court and the back of the Victoria Law Courts are visible from here.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Square (May 2009) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

In the other direction towards Colmore Gate and Colmore Row with Bull Street to the left. The old 103 Colmore Row (NatWest Tower) was just about visible to the right (behind Barclays Bank).

dndimg alt="Colmore Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Square (May 2009) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Shadow near No 1 Colmore Square, which is the office building on the left.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Square (May 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Colmore Square Then and Now

Spot the difference. The old NatWest Tower stood at 103 Colmore Row until 2015. After demolition, the new 103 Colmore Row was built during 2019 into 2020, and will open sometime later in 2021.

A July 2009 view of Colmore Square. Beyond Colmore Gate and The Wesleyan towards the NatWest Tower (the old 103 Colmore Row).

dndimg alt="Colmore Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Wesleyan (July 2009) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

This view of Colmore Square taken during July 2020. While the new 103 Colmore Square was under construction. Seen between Colmore Gate, Barclays Bank, 9 Colmore Row, 1 Colmore Row and The Wesleyan.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/103 Colmore Row from Colmore Square 16072020.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2014 refurbishment of Colmore Square

This was during April 2014. This view from the construction site of the Midland Metro extension.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Square refurb (Apr 2014) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

New flower planters with trees and benches, close to The Wesleyan.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Square refurb (Apr 2014) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

They were also installed close to No 1 Colmore Square.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Square refurb (Apr 2014) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There was also brand new bins installed at the time.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Square refurb (Apr 2014) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

More new trees close to The Priory Queensway.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Square refurb (Apr 2014) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The chess table benches. Whether anyone played chess or checkers here, I'm not sure. More like people having their lunch on them!

dndimg alt="Colmore Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Square refurb (Apr 2014) (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There was also new bike racks, near Colmore Plaza and The Wesleyan.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Square refurb (Apr 2014) (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The reverse view of Colmore Square back towards the Midland Metro extension. The Grand Hotel was under scaffolding, but was before the renovation works started.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Square refurb (Apr 2014) (10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Birmingham City Centre Floral Trail

Cofton Nursery is responsible for placing the various floral trail pieces all over the City Centre, every summer. Some for special occasions.

 

Seen in early August 2012 in Colmore Square was this floral trail piece called Female Weightlifter. It was the year of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It was based on Zoe Smith and Natasha Perdue. It was one of 23 features that you could see along the route that summer in 2012. The Colmore BID sponsored it, supporting Birmingham Bloom in celebrating Team GB.

dndimg alt="Female Weightlifter" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Floral (Aug 2012).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

From July 2015, the Folding Bicyle was back in the City Centre, this time in Colmore Square. The summer before (2014) it was located in Church Street Square. In 2014 it was one of 12 WW1 features to commemorate Britain's entry into the First World War (1914-18). The commemorations continued into 2015.

dndimg alt="Folding Bicycle" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Floral bike (Jul 2015) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Wasn't so much of a Floral Trail by the summer of 2019, just the odd piece around the City Centre. From July 2019, was this Rock 'N' Roll Drums located in Colmore Square. Probably as it was Black Sabbath's 50th Anniversary, and they had an exhibition on at the Gas Hall that summer. Called Home of Metal Presents: Black Sabbath 50 Years.

dndimg alt="Rock 'N' Roll Drums" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Drums Colmore Sq (Jul 2019).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015

Seen in Colmore Square during July 2015 was The Big Hoot, a trail of painted owls. This trail would be on for around 10 weeks before being auctioned for charity.

Leo by the artist Ruth Green. The sponsor was Pinsent Masons.

dndimg alt="The Big Hoot" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Big Hoot (Jul 2015) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Tessellated Triangles was by the artist Deven Bhurke. The sponsor was Shoosmiths.

dndimg alt="The Big Hoot" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Big Hoot (Jul 2015) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Graduate by the artist Deven Bhurke. The sponsor was The Wesleyan.

dndimg alt="The Big Hoot" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Big Hoot (Jul 2015) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Big Sleuth Birmingham 2017

Seen in Colmore Square during July 2017 was The Big Sleuth, a trail of painted bears. Running for 10 weeks, before the painted bears were auctioned off for charity.

Get Your Bearings was designed by Tom Crotty and painted by G-Anders.The sponsor was Amey.

dndimg alt="The Big Sleuth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Big Sleuth (Jul 2017) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Birminghamshire by the artist Rachel Blackwell. The sponsor was The Wesleyan.

dndimg alt="The Big Sleuth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Big Sleuth (Jul 2017) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Captain Blue Bear by the artist Maria Burns. The sponsor was Vodafone.

dndimg alt="The Big Sleuth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Big Sleuth (Jul 2017) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Christmas Tree's over the years in Colmore Square

The Colmore BID usually installs a variety of Christmas tree's in Colmore Square over the years, close to the part of Colmore Circus with Colmore Row. Sometimes artificial baubles, other years a real grown tree.

The Baubles Christmas Tree in Colmore Square seen during November 2011. Celebrate Christmas with Colmore Business District. The view towards No 1 Colmore Square.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square Xmas Tree" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Xmas tree (Nov 2011) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Early in January 2012, the same Christmas Tree was still up, and I caught it lit up after dark in Colmore Square.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square Xmas Tree" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Xmas tree (Jan 2012).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

In December 2014, you could see a real Christmas Tree in Colmore Square. This view towards 9 and 1 Colmore Row.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square Xmas Tree" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Xmas Tree (Dec 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

There was also a real Christmas Tree in Colmore Square during December 2015. This view towards Colmore Gate.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square Xmas Tree" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Xmas Tree (Dec 2015).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Same again in November 2017 with this Christmas Tree. View towards The Wesleyan.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square Xmas Tree" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Xmas Tree (Nov 2017).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The last real Christmas Tree in Colmore Square, seen during November 2019. The view between 1 Colmore Row and The Wesleyan.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square Xmas Tree" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Xmas Tree (Nov 2019).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

During the 2nd lockdown, close to the end of November 2020, I saw this artificial Christmas Tree in Colmore Square, as a West Midlands Metro tram passed by.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square Xmas Tree" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Xmas Tree Colmore Square 26112020 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later that day, before I got the bus home, I saw it lit up after dark. The last time I went through Colmore Square during December 2020, it had been removed. Probably due to the Snow Hill Public Realm works taking place nearby on Colmore Row.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square Xmas Tree" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Xmas Tree Colmore Square 26112020 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Other events

A few more observations in Colmore Square over the years. Usually when I was heading to get some lunch from Colmore Row (and on the walk back to work).

 

The Microsoft Office 365 bench was in Colmore Square on the 29th March 2013. You could sit here and enjoy free WiFi while you work (outside).

dndimg alt="Colmore Square bench" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Bench (Mar 2013).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A band was playing some musical instruments in Colmore Square, and there was an audience watching from those deckchairs. This was on the 23rd July 2014. Lots of office workers out to buy their lunch that day.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square band" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq band (Jul 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Exercise bikes were being ridden in Colmore Square, as seen on the 15th July 2015. Quite close to the Folding Bike floral trail feature. They were riding for the Birmingham Children's Hospital charity. From "Lands End to John O'Groats". They were from The Wesleyan. Of course if they did this now, they would do it from home over Zoom.

dndimg alt="Colmore Square exercise bikes" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Colmore Sq Floral bike (Jul 2015) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

See also the post on Church Street Square in the Colmore BID.

 

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

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