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Introducing St Martin's Square in the Bullring, Birmingham, UK

The church, known as St Martin in the Bullring, is a Grade II listed building in what is now called St Martin’s Square

The church dates back to at least the 13th century. The spire was rebuilt in 1781 by John Cheshire and the church was demolished and rebuilt by the architect J. A. Chatwin in 1872, preserving the earlier tower and spire

What we found out

What difference has it made

Passions

History & heritage, Photography, Squares and public spaces
Classic Architecture

Project dates

07 Oct 2019 - On-going

Contact (for more details)

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Squares and public spaces
10 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Customised buses and lorries seen in St Martin's Square over the years

It's not just the Coca Cola Truck that comes to visit St Martin's Square. Other lorries and even buses have come to promote a product or event. Everything from a Cadbury Creme Egg related lorry, to an old double decker bus promoting the movie Minions. And more like that, as you will see in the post below. I've not seen much like this recently though. Usually in Rotunda Sq

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Customised buses and lorries seen in St Martin's Square over the years





It's not just the Coca Cola Truck that comes to visit St Martin's Square. Other lorries and even buses have come to promote a product or event. Everything from a Cadbury Creme Egg related lorry, to an old double decker bus promoting the movie Minions. And more like that, as you will see in the post below. I've not seen much like this recently though. Usually in Rotunda Sq


Previous related posts: Coca Cola Christmas Truck and Festival of Light.

Seen in St Martin's Square during May 2015 was this old London Routemaster bus with a livery for the animated movie Minions. The buses licence plate no was JJD 573D. The film came out on the 26th June 2015. I have never seen it or any of the Despicable Me films either!

View from the side, as a little boy was by chance wearing a Minions backpack and a yellow top. How cute!

They had a screen on the right, probably showing a trailer of the Minions movie.

Minions on Tour was brought to Birmingham with Capital FM. You can still see the little boy in his Minions backpack.

Another former London Routemaster bus, this one seen during March 2016 for Virgin Holidays. Licence plate no VVS 373

They had added thinkings to this bus with the Dream Bigger hashtag. At the time advertising holidays to Mexico and Jamaica.

There is always good views from the balcony above, hence why I always go up there for views like this.

It looks like most people were just ignoring this one, and walking past, not much interest by the looks of it.

It is now July 2016 and during the height of the summer in St Martin's Square was Vita Coco.

Fake palm trees, a sky blue pick up truck and a Coconut Grove bar.

Some sand near the Vita Coco pick up truck.

It was about Coconut Oil mainly. "Eat it, Wear It, Swear By It" what ever that means?

Winter again and it is now during February 2017 in St Martin's Square. The Hunter's Lodge (a wooden looking lorry) was in town with the Cadbury Creme Egg.

It was for the Cadbury Creme Egg Hunting Season. Beware of Poachers.

The best view from one of the balconies from above. A contrast to the Coca Cola Christmas Truck that used to go in the exact same spot.

I try to get as many views as I can from up there.

This view from the balcony on the far side near Selfridges. Hope people liked their Cadbury Creme Egg's! Used to have them, but not for years. Anyway since they introduced the white Creme egg, people keep unwrapping them and re-wrapping them in store, so not worth buying. Although sometimes buy Mini Eggs, but not recently. Not good for your (or my) teeth.

Bud Light was in town during April 2017. They had these 4 Toyota Hilux pick up trucks in blue.

Each one had boxes in the back.

Was also signs saying Dunk Responsibily.

This one was parked close to St Martin's Church.

This one near to where Hand Made Burger Co used to be. The path leading down to Park Street and Digbeth.

One more view of all four trucks. Most people walking past, showing little interest in the drinks on offer.

One year on to April 2018 with BJ's Bingo on this bus. Licence plate no W866 PNL. With a reflection of Selfridges.

The bus had this digital screen on the side and a slogan: Everyones a Winner, and Your 1st Time is Free.

So basically gambling then. Only a few people stopping to talk to the assistants.

Brew Dog during July 2018, was the last major thing like this with a lorry that I've spotted in St Martin's Square.

So another beer truck then. Beer without Borders. Punk State is Here.

Looks like people could try the drinks in the trailer of the lorry. Taste the Revolution.

Standard side view from one of the balconies towards Selfridges. Visitors could sit on those crates and have a drink.

One last view before I left and headed up St Martin's Walk, or into one of the malls.

I could do a similar post to this, but from Rotunda Square, as they have those lorries or buses up there too. Usually Formula 1 simulators. Cars on display etc. 

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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60 passion points
Squares and public spaces
14 Feb 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Model of St Martin's Square at St Martin in the Bullring

I did not know that this model of St Martin's Square was inside of St Martin in the Bullring. After meeting King Charles I Return for the first time for coffee (Aka Daniel Williams) we headed into St Martin's Church for a quick look around. First thing I spotted was this model. I'd say it was made around 2000 for the Bullring that opened in 2003. Also shows Selfridges.

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Model of St Martin's Square at St Martin in the Bullring





I did not know that this model of St Martin's Square was inside of St Martin in the Bullring. After meeting King Charles I Return for the first time for coffee (Aka Daniel Williams) we headed into St Martin's Church for a quick look around. First thing I spotted was this model. I'd say it was made around 2000 for the Bullring that opened in 2003. Also shows Selfridges.


In this post, first we will look at the model that I found inside of St Martin in the Bullring. Then comparison photos I took around St Martin's Square between Spring 2009 and early 2011 (before it all changed for the Spiceal Street development).

 

This model is between the exit from St Martin in the Bullring Cafe on the corridor to an entrance inside of the Church of St Martin. Didn't know it was there. Not even from a previous photo I took of the corridor to the cafe. I met King Charles I Return (aka Daniel Williams) on Friday 7th February 2020 for coffee. After that we popped into the church for a quick look around.

This view from Digbeth towards St Martin's Church with Selfridges on the right with the East Mall. The West Mall is to the left. The square as it was from 2003 until the 2011 Spiceal Street development added several new restaurants.

It was in a glass dome, so bit hard to get views without reflections. Birds-eye view down on St Martin's Square. Used to be a stepped sitting area on the left. That is where Chaophraya Thai Restaurant is now. Hand Made Burger Co was later built to the left of Selfridges down the right hand side of the path down to the road.

The view between St Martin's Church and Selfridges towards the main entrance to the Bullring. You can see the statue of Nelson in the middle.

This is the view from the markets side of the Bullring. Which is close to where buses drop off passengers (buses do not pick up passengers from this stop).

Another view of the path into St Martin's Square. Those steps on the right is where Handmade Burger Co is now. Sadly the Birmingham based chain has closed down (including their Bullring and Brindleyplace restaurants).

 

Now to compare the model to the real St Martin's Square from 2009 to early 2011 (before the Spiceal Street development got underway).

From the spring of 2009 when I started taking photos of Birmingham, that included the Bullring area. Got this view of St Martin's Church from near the steps during May 2009. The Three Cubes fountains were still there on the left. Little did I know that this area would all change about 2 years later.

These views from Digbeth, look quite similar to the model. Taken in October 2009, on the first day that I ever took photos around Digbeth (and not the last). This view past the Bull Ring Tavern towards the crossing between St Martin's Church and Selfridges.

Digbeth ends here, then the Bullring starts on the other side of the lights. There is a really short section of road called St Martin's Lane between Moat Lane and Park Street. Usually the buses wait at the lights here.

This view from near the Bull Ring Open Markets on Moat Lane. There was bunting on the lampposts. A sign on the right pointed directions to Digbeth Temporary Coach Station, as National Express was having their old coach station rebuilt into Birmingham Coach Station (which opened at the end of 2009 by the then England Football Manager, Fabio Capello).

Some of my earliest photos of St Martin's Square from April 2009. This from the balcony not far from the statue of Horatio Nelson. This view towards Borders, the Three Cubes fountain sculpture and Gloria Jeans Coffee. Neither of those were on the model (the sculpture and coffee shop).

This view also from April 2009, looking up to the balcony with the statue of Nelson. The stepped seating area was on the left, next to that was the Three Cubes fountain sculpture. St Martin in the Bullring to the right (still there now of course).

On month on, now May 2009. The curved semi circle section of the West Mall above Borders, the Three Cubes fountain sculpture and Gloria Jeans Coffee.

At the time in May 2009, the stepped seating area was closed off. Perhaps for a deep clean. But they would be dug up 2 years later in 2011 for the Spiceal Street development. This view towards Selfridges.

Side view of Gloria Jean's Coffee. This cafe building would be open until the end of 2010 (and into January 2011). The metal panels were later recycled into the tree sculpture that is in St Martin's Square today.

Aware that the building occupied at the time by Gloria Jean's Coffee would be dismantled for the Spiceal Street development, I took these early evening shots around 5pm at the end of December 2010.

There was already some barriers around here, but people could still go up and down the steps. Oh and Forever 21 had opened up above Jamie's Italian by then (where Borders used to be until that closed down).

A few days later and a couple of days into the new year of 2011. So now January 2011 for some last daylight shots of this building before they took it down.

There was a planning application here from Birmingham City Council detailing the plans for what was going to happen at Spiceal Street.

I did not go in. I didn't really start to go to coffee shops until 2012, starting off with Costa Coffee. Before trying Caffe Nero and Starbucks in 2014. I also discovered Coffee#1 in 2015 in South Wales before they opened some stores in the West Midlands.

In August 2009 a view from the upper balcony near Selfridges towards Digbeth. At this point in time, I had yet to have a photo walk around Digbeth. I didn't start to do that until October 2009. The steps below on the left, were demolished in 2009, and this is where Handmade Burger Co was built. The model of St Martin's Square shows tables and chairs outside of Selfridges on the lower balcony. There used to be a Starbucks in Selfridges at this corner (that has now gone).

A nice sunny view heading into St Martin's Square during August 2009. I had changed camera's by this point.

This view of Selfridges from Digbeth during December 2009. They were selling (at the time) Real Christmas Trees at Selfridges. The steps were still there at the time (seen on the left).

St Martin's Square in late December 2010. Slightly blurry at about 5pm near the Christmas tree. This was a few months before the Spiceal Street development which took all of 2011 to complete adding several new restaurants, and new steps up to St Martin's Walk with a replacement water feature.

The Three Cubes fountain sculpture seen during April 2009. Behind them was the former stepped seating area. Borders Books used to have many of the units there, including a Starbucks Coffee. That later became Jamies Italian and Forever 21 (which at one point had a Costa Coffee). Sadly both have recently closed down. But there is a Starbucks in the West Mall just as you enter the doors.

As you can see by December 2010, Jamie's Italian had moved in. They would last until 2018 (going into administration and closing down). The cubes were removed in early 2011 when construction of the Spiceal Street development started.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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Art; Culture & creativity
31 Jan 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Festival of Light at the Bullring, from St Martin's Square to Rotunda Square

There are five artworks that are lit up after dark from 5pm each evening from the 24th January to the 2nd February 2020 at the Bullring. For the second year running. This time coinciding with Chinese New Year. Talk to the Skies in St Martin's Square. Up St Martin's Walk With Love, Neon Angel Wings and Pulse. And in Rotunda Square is Birds that Fly Around with You.

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Festival of Light at the Bullring, from St Martin's Square to Rotunda Square





There are five artworks that are lit up after dark from 5pm each evening from the 24th January to the 2nd February 2020 at the Bullring. For the second year running. This time coinciding with Chinese New Year. Talk to the Skies in St Martin's Square. Up St Martin's Walk With Love, Neon Angel Wings and Pulse. And in Rotunda Square is Birds that Fly Around with You.


Another Brumtography meet with Karl Newton and one other member of this Facebook group. It had been raining on and off in the afternoon, so wasn't many of us.

Talk to the Skies - St Martin's Square

Shortly after 5pm on Sunday 26th January 2020, a look at Talk to the Skies by ITHACA Studio. Red, blue and green colours go across the bulbs on the ground. While pink, blue or green on the tube where beams of blue light shoot out into the sky. Selfridges seen behind. Wasn't quite dark enough at this point.

The view from the balcony near Selfridges. This was by 5:50pm. On the right was With Love, the throbing red heart that plays music. More on that further down this post.

From the area behind Chaophraya Thai Restaurant looking to the left, as the beams of blue light shoots into the sky to the left of the spire of St Martin in the Bullring.

Back to the Selfridges balcony area, sometime after 6pm. The colours keep chaging down there, and the heart keeps beating.

The beams of light goes so high above the spire of St Martin in the Bullring. It is best to see from up here, although you can check it out from St Martin's Square.

With Love - St Martin's Walk

They didn't get the red heart inflated until about 5:30pm on the evening we went. Seen here from down Pulse on St Martin's Walk. With Neon Angel Wings below. It was designed by Franck Pelletier. You can hear a beating heart sound effect and they had music playing, which you could change if you pressed a button.

Tried to get some views of the With Love red heart with the statue of Horatio Nelson. Which has been at the Bullring since 1809 (sculpted by Sir Richard Westmacott), some 4 years after Nelson died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Meaning this statue is older than Nelson's Column in London!

There was also a view of the heat with Selfridges, which was lit up orange. I missed seeing it in red for Chinese New Year. I think they should have left the lights red all weekend and not turn it back to orange.

Where the heart is was where the Snow Dome was until the end of the Christmas season.

This view lining the heart up with the Talk to the Skies blue beams and the spire of St Martin in the Bullring. This was one of my Creative Effect photos (trying out different settings).

Neon Angel Wings - St Martin's Walk

Seen down the semi circle tube called Pulse is the Neon Angel Wings by Carla O'Brien. Visitors can pose for selfies with the pair of wings. From this side a bit difficult to get a clear shot without anyone in the way of them.

A bit further down Pulse towards Neon Angel Wings.  The wings to the left was near the East Mall while the wings to the right was by the West Mall.

Managed to get a clear view of the wings from the back on St Martin's Walk, looking up towards the Rotunda.

A close up look at one of the set of wings with Pulse seen behind.

From the other side. I think the Bullring malls were closed by 6pm, although it seemed like they had closed earlier than that (due to Sunday trading laws). I'm not sure if the restaurants were still open by then.

Pulse - St Martin's Walk

This semi circle tube of lights is on St Martin's Walk and is by This is Loop. The lights have different patterns. The show lasts 5 minutes, and repeats every 20 minutes.

From the top of St Martin's Walk looking down to the spire of St Martin in the Bullring. A Chinese lady had a facemask on, although that's probably common with Chinese people in this country (and nothing to do with that virus outbreak).

Caught this cyclist heading through the tunnel down St Martin's Walk.

Added a star filter on my camera (which is in one of my cameras Creative effects).

One last look at Pulse, up towards Rotunda Square.

Birds that Fly Around with You - Rotunda Square

At first they were having problems turning the lights on for this Birds feature in Rotunda Square. As you can see it is loads of birds in a circle. By 5:25pm they still were unable to turn it on. It is by Masochism Shimada.

Got several photos up here, before heading down St Martin's Walk and checking out the other light displays at the Bullring.

Later we popped back up St Martin's Walk to check if they were able to turn it on. After 6pm they had managed to get it working. If someone walks around the centre, the lights on the birds follows them around in a anti clockwise direction.

This view of the birds with the Rotunda (I have still not been up).

One more view of the light on the birds going around in circles.

We spent well over an hour going up and down checking out the Festival of Light features. It was good but very cold. And worth seeing as I missed seeing the 2019 Festival of Light after dark (I only saw it in the daylight hours). So this made up for it.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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60 passion points
History & heritage
16 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Birmingham's Hidden Spaces: A look around St Martin's Church (September 2015)

It was September 2015 and Birmingham Heritage Week. Mainly popped into St Martin's Church at the Bullring for The Big Hoot's Little Hoot, but also got these shots. May have also been to do with Birmingham's Hidden Spaces. The visit on the 12th September 2015. Stained glass windows, the Alabaster Tomb and more!

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Birmingham's Hidden Spaces: A look around St Martin's Church (September 2015)





It was September 2015 and Birmingham Heritage Week. Mainly popped into St Martin's Church at the Bullring for The Big Hoot's Little Hoot, but also got these shots. May have also been to do with Birmingham's Hidden Spaces. The visit on the 12th September 2015. Stained glass windows, the Alabaster Tomb and more!


The main reason for this visit was at the time there was various small painted owls inside of St Martin's Church that were part of The Big Hoot's Little Hoot. The trail accompanying The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015 trail. July to September 2015. So this was before the owls were removed and auctioned off for charity.

Here though we will look around the church from the inside.

First look at a pair of stained glass windows. One of these was designed by Edward Burne-Jones and made by William Morris (the window in the south transept).

The next stained glass window close to several memorials on the wall.

The walls around this stained glass window came out dark.

This stained glass window above some stone scultural details.

A bunch of pink flowers with a fan behind (elephant on it). Below is a weaved basket holding the flowers. With white flowers seen below.

This is The Alabaster Tomb.

This is an effigy of Sir John de Bermingham, probably early 15th century. Sir John was a knight who fought in the wars of France from 1373 until his death in 1393. Close inspection of this tomb reveals tiny patches of ancient colouring on the sword belt and on the coat of mail.

Close up of Sir John de Birmingham. Still looking like a Knight after 630 years.

The organ pipes.

WW1 war memorial (1914 - 1918). For the fallen of The Royal Warwickshire Regiment. either side was a pair of Little Hoot owls. Tawney on the left (by King Edward VI Five Ways School), and When I Grow Up on the right (by King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys).

Stone arches holding up the left side of the church.

Interesting looking carved wooden details towards the wooden doors with glass windows.

Plaque on the wall. On Wednesday 23rd March 1887 the St Martin's Society of Change Ringers rung the bells on the visit of Her Majesty Queen Victoria on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone of the Victoria Law Courts (on Corporation Street). The Mayor of Birmingham at the time was Thomas Martineau.

In this room was this centre table with lit candles. You can see that plaque behind.

This wooden carved entrance ways leading to a modern revolving door.

The wooden arched ceiling. Holding up both walls of the church.

Some art on this wall. Looks like ghostly crosses to me.

This leads to the churches cafe. Never been in myself. Was probably rebuilt in the early 2000s when the modern Bullring was built.

A waterfall on these metal table things.

Another bunch of flowers on a curvy yellow and orange base. Near the metal waterfall thing. And one of The Little Hoot owls.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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70 passion points
Art; Culture & creativity
09 Dec 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, the Amazing Stained Glass Windows in St Martin in the Bullring - December 2019

I was lucky to visit the interior of St Martin in the Bullring during almost perfect conditions for photos of some the amazing stained glass windows, the low sun was shining directly through the south side windows and I got a few of the famous Burne-Jones window in the south transept.

Related

Birmingham, the Amazing Stained Glass Windows in St Martin in the Bullring - December 2019





I was lucky to visit the interior of St Martin in the Bullring during almost perfect conditions for photos of some the amazing stained glass windows, the low sun was shining directly through the south side windows and I got a few of the famous Burne-Jones window in the south transept.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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80 passion points
Modern Architecture
07 Dec 2019 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Birmingham, St Martin's Square in the Bullring - December 2019

St Martin's Square is at the heart of the Bullring shopping centre hosting St Martin in the Bullring (St Martin's Church), the Selfridges Building, many restaurants, the south entrance to the Bullring shopping centre, and the gateway to the Birmingham Markets and Digbeth. Also there are the 'Copper Tree' and the Birmingham Blitz Memorial.

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Birmingham, St Martin's Square in the Bullring - December 2019





St Martin's Square is at the heart of the Bullring shopping centre hosting St Martin in the Bullring (St Martin's Church), the Selfridges Building, many restaurants, the south entrance to the Bullring shopping centre, and the gateway to the Birmingham Markets and Digbeth. Also there are the 'Copper Tree' and the Birmingham Blitz Memorial.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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80 passion points