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History & heritage
05 May 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Birmingham over the Centuries from the Romans to the City Council

Did you know? A Birmingham post going over the centuries of Birmingham history and pre-history. Not just covering what is now the City Centre but areas of Birmingham's suburbs. The Romans had a fort at what is now the University of Birmingham. The town developed after the 1166 Charter for a market was granted. Timber framed houses popped up all over by the 16th and 17th centuries.

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Birmingham over the Centuries from the Romans to the City Council





Did you know? A Birmingham post going over the centuries of Birmingham history and pre-history. Not just covering what is now the City Centre but areas of Birmingham's suburbs. The Romans had a fort at what is now the University of Birmingham. The town developed after the 1166 Charter for a market was granted. Timber framed houses popped up all over by the 16th and 17th centuries.


Did you know Birmingham from the Romans to the City Council

Roman Birmingham at Metchley Roman Fort, AD 48

Although there is nothing to see above the ground, between the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and the University of Birmingham in Edgbaston, it was discovered that the Romans had built a fort here called Metchley Fort. It was on the Roman road Icknield Street. The fort was built a few years after the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43. The fort was built in AD 48 and was made of timber. The fort was abandoned in AD 70, only to be reoccupied a few years later before being abandoned again in AD 120. The remains were first discovered in the 18th century. Further excavations took place in the 1930s, '40s, '50s and '60s. The most recent excavations took place in the 2000s.

For more on Metchley Roman Fort have a look at this post: Metchley Roman Fort between the University of Birmingham and the QEHB .

Beorma Ingas ham, 7th century

This sculpture is located on a bridge over the River Rea on Gooch Street in Highgate. The Beorma was the name given to a 7th century Anglo-Saxon tribe who settled in the future Birmingham area, on a site around the River Rea in what is now part of Highgate. This was before the first mention of Birmingham in the Domesday Book in 1086 by the Normans. They were an ancient Anglian tribe. Beorma Ingas ham means The home of the people of Beorma. And early origin name for what later became Birmingham. This tribe pre-dates the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Mercia, which later had their capital at Tamworth. Throughout history there has been many different ways of spelling Birmingham (starting with Bearm, Berm, Beor, Bearma, Beorm and Breme). Think of Bromwicham, or Brumwicham. The nickname now for the people of Birmingham is Brummies! Beorma also gave their name to West Bromwich, Castle Bromwich, Bromsgrove and other local places in the Midlands. The sculpture was made in 2002 (or 2006). Beorma gives their name to the Beorma Quarter development in Digbeth.

Peter de Birmingham, Lord of the Manor of Birmingham in 1166

In 1166, the Lord of the Manor, Peter de Birmingham got a Charter to hold a market from the King (Henry II). He lived in a moated manor house (which today would be on the Smithfield site). His market would become the Bull Ring which is still trading after 850 years. The market was so successful, that it led to his town of Birmingham expanding. That meant some of the land that was the deer park could be built on.

Weoley Castle built after 1264

These ruins are of Weoley Castle. Grade II listed and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It is thought to date to about 1264 and built for Roger de Somery who was licenced to crenellate his manor house. He was probably the Lord of the Manor of Dudley, who was given permission by the King (Henry III) to build and fortify his castle in stone. In the Middle Ages the castle was at the heart of a large deer park covering nearly 1000 acres. The estate was bought by the Birmingham Corporation in the 1930s. And is now one of the properties of the Birmingham Museums Trust.

I'll expand a post on the Weoley Castle ruins soon.

William de Birmingham, Lord of the Manor in 1300

In this Moated Manor House around the year 1300 lived the Lord of the Manor, William de Birmingham. In the years since his ancestor Peter got a Charter for a market, it had been very successful and the town was growing. Not far from the moat was St Martin's Church. As early as the year 1300, the roads Edgbaston Street, New Street and Park Street existed. But William still had deer park surrounding his town. He taxed the inhabitants of the town, but later allowed houses to be built on parts of his deer park (there used to be a ditch near Park Street separating the town from the deer park). The moat was filled in by the 19th Century to make way for the Smithfield market (later the site of the Birmingham Wholesale Market and future Smithfield redevelopment site). This model is in the Birmingham History Galleries at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

For more of 1086 to 1300 check out this post for more details: Birmingham from the Domesday Book in 1086 to 1300 when William de Birmingham was Lord of the Manor.

The Old Crown, Digbeth 1368

This old pub in Digbeth, claims to be one of the oldest surviving buildings in Birmingham. The Old Crown claims to date to the year 1368, although most of the timber framed building today probably dates to the 16th century. It is believed that the building was built between 1450 and 1500 with some evidence suggesting 1492. It is a Grade II* listed building. It was originally built as the Guildhall and School of St. John, Deritend. It might have first gained the name 'The Crown' in the late 16th century after the failed Armada invasion. Evidence shows that it was first used as an in during the early 17th century, around 1626. It was converted into houses in the late 17th century. The pub was saved in the mid 19th century from demolition. In the late 20th century and into the 21st the pub has had several restorations by the present owners.

Tudor Merchant's House, Kings Norton 1492

Probably the oldest building in Kings Norton is the Tudor Merchant's House, later known as the Saracen's Head. A Grade II* listed building. The house was built in 1492 by a wealthy merchant, Humphrey Rotsey (it is now the north range). The house faces the Church of St Nicholas. The range of buildings were expanded by 1510. In 1643 Queen Henrietta Maria of France stopped here on the way to join King Charles I at his headquarters in York. It had become a pub by the 18th century. Another wing was added in the 19th century. In 2004 it won the BBC's Restoration programme along with The Old Grammar School and both were fully restored and reopened by 2008 under the name of St Nicolas Place.

For more on Kings Norton follow the link to this post: Kings Norton around The Green including Saint Nicholas Place.

Blakesley Hall, Yardley 1590

This tudor hall was built in 1590 for Richard Smalbroke. Blakesley Hall is one of the oldest buildings in Birmingham. At the time Yardley was in Worcestershire and the timber-framed farmhouse was built for Smalbroke's farm. Many other buildings followed over the years. After 1685 the farmhouse passed to the Greswolde family and was a tenant farm for the next 200 years. Henry Donne acquired the hall in 1899. The hall became a museum after 1935. It is now a Grade II* listed building and is run by the Birmingham Museums Trust.

For more of Old Yardley check out this post about the nearby village: Old Yardley Village: a hidden gem not far from Blakesley Hall. I will have to do a detailed Blakesley Hall post soon.

Stratford House, Highgate 1601

Seen from the Moseley Road in Highgate (in front of the modern Highgate Middleway) is Stratford House. A Grade II* listed building. It was built in 1601 for Ambrose Rotton and his wife Bridget. It has survived over 400 years despite recent fires. There had been lead light replacements in the 18th century. Had internal alterations in the 1820s to 1830s. There was a restoration in the 1950s. In recent years it's been either offices or a night club, or just been vacant. There was a fire here in the mid 2010s, but that damage has since been restored.

Aston Hall in Aston Park 1635

Aston Hall was built between 1618 and 1635 for Sir Thomas Holte (who moved in 1631). It was a leading example of a Jacobean house. The house is a Grade I listed building. It was built within a large parkland which included the land where Villa Park, home of Aston Villa is now. The remaining park now surrounding the hall is Aston Park. The house was severely damaged in 1643 when it was attacked by Parliamentary troops during the English Civil War. The house remained in the Holte family until 1817 when it was leased to James Watt Jr.. In 1858 the house was purchased by a private company who used the hall as a museum. It was later bought by the Birmingham Corporation (later Birmingham City Council) in 1864 becoming the first historic house to pass into municipal ownership. The Birmingham Museums Trust took over the running of the hall from the Council in 2012.

For my post on Aston Hall and Aston Park follow this link: Aston Hall and Park in autumn and winter. I've prepared another Aston Hall post (coming soon), where you can see what it looks like fromt the inside.

Soho House, Handsworth 1766

The home of Matthew Boulton, one of the members of The Lunar Society and business partner to James Watt, was his home from 1766 until his death in 1809. Soho House is a Grade II* listed building and now run as a museum by the Birmingham Museums Trust. Samuel Wyatt in 1789 and James Wyatt in 1796 built extensions to the house. After Boulton's death, it was inherited by his son in 1809 and his grandson who later sold it in 1850. It then had numerous owners and uses including as a hostel for police officers. Birmingham City Council acquired in in 1990 and turned it into a museum in 1995. The Lunar Society met here when their was a full moon, and their discussions contributed to the Industrial Revolution.

Soho House is covered slightly in this post along with Stratford House and Selly Manor: A selection of Birmingham's great Manor Houses. I have prepared a Soho House post and you can see it soon.

Sarehole Mill 1771

There has been a mill on a site in the Sarehole area of what is now part of Moseley (near the Hall Green border) since about 1542. Sarehole Mill is near the River Cole, and was used to grind corn. Previously it was known as Bedell's or Biddle's Mill. By 1727 it was known as High Wheel Mill. Matthew Boulton leased the previous mill  on this site in 1755 for use for metal working. The current building was built in 1771 and was used until 1919. It is known for it's association with J. R. R. Tolkien who lived nearby in the area as a child on Wake Green Road (from 1896 to 1900). These days the mill is a museum, having been restored in 1969. Another more recent restoration was in 2012-13. The Bakehouse was restored early in 2020, and during the lockdown they have opened up a shop selling food such as bread, pastries, pasta, flour and other items. Nearby is the Shire Country Park with various satellite parks (such as Moseley Bog), good for walks.

For my recent post on J. R. R. Tolkien in Sarehole, featuring the mill, have a look at my post here: J. R. R. Tolkien in Sarehole from 1896 - 1900.

Birmingham Council House, Victoria Square 1879

The Council House was built from 1874 to 1879 from designs by Yeoville Thomason. The first stone was laid by the then Mayor of Birmingham Joseph Chamberlain. The clock tower behind is known as Big Brum. The Council House was expanded in 1881-85 again by Yeoville Thomason. Birmingham gained City Status from Queen Victoria in 1889.  The second extension was built from 1911 to 1919 (by architects Ashley & Newman). Both buildings includes the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery on the upper floors. They are a Grade II* building. In 2019, Birmingham celebrated it's 130th birthday as a City, but as you can see above, our history goes much further back.

For my Council House post follow this link: Birmingham Council House - the seat of local Government in Birmingham.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at more than 1,130 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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70 passion points
Sport & leisure
04 May 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Great Birmingham 10K in 2015 and 2016

For obvious reasons the Great Birmingham 10K is cancelled in May 2020 (or postponed). So lets look back to a small gallery of photos from 2015 and 2016. I think I probably watched it on Channel 5 before getting a bus to town, then seeing a bit of the fun runners, but missing most of the race. From Victoria Square and Digbeth.

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Great Birmingham 10K in 2015 and 2016





For obvious reasons the Great Birmingham 10K is cancelled in May 2020 (or postponed). So lets look back to a small gallery of photos from 2015 and 2016. I think I probably watched it on Channel 5 before getting a bus to town, then seeing a bit of the fun runners, but missing most of the race. From Victoria Square and Digbeth.


2015

On Sunday 3rd May 2015, I had missed seeing any of the actual Great Birmingham 10K. I probably watched it on Channel 5 then caught a bus to town. Eventually got to Victoria Square and saw these fun runners who had finished the run going down the steps past the Town Hall and Alpha Tower. River and Youth at the time was dry, and this was before the Council planted flowers around the Floozi in the Jacuzzi.

2016

The next Great Birmingham 10K was on Sunday 1st May 2016 and I got to Digbeth in the morning on the bus. Usually due to the bus diversion you have to get off the bus early due to the road being closed. Around 11:15am I managed to catch these fun runners in Digbeth, passing Wolverley House.

These run runners in colourful tops passing Pause. A space to talk about life and real feelings. Caught a reflection of Selfridges in Smithfield House.

Passing Smithfield House in Digbeth then heading towards Moat Lane and Bradford Street. They were next going past South & City College Birmingham - Fusion (at the time this was Fusion 2).

I probably next walked past Selfridges but didn't see any more run runners and headed into town to get a coffee at Caffe Nero on the Bullring Link Bridge.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at more than 1,120 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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60 passion points
Construction & regeneration
27 Apr 2020 - FreeTimePays
Gallery

The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - March & April (2020) update

An average of 17 glass panels a day will be fitted onto this new, 26-storey, Birmingham landmark. This update shows the progress made on site in March and April, with the structural steelwork superstructure continuing its upward rise, closely followed by the beautiful glazing facade. Already a new Birmingham Gem!

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The Construction of 103 Colmore Row - March & April (2020) update





An average of 17 glass panels a day will be fitted onto this new, 26-storey, Birmingham landmark. This update shows the progress made on site in March and April, with the structural steelwork superstructure continuing its upward rise, closely followed by the beautiful glazing facade. Already a new Birmingham Gem!


Gallery of 103 Colmore Row photography by Daniel Sturley, one of the People with Passion at It's Your Build and Birmingham We Are.

Photography taken during April 2020

Photography taken during March 2020

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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70 passion points
History & heritage
27 Apr 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Birmingham from the Domesday Book in 1086 to 1300 when William de Birmingham was Lord of the Manor

There is a model in the Birmingham History Galleries at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, showing what Birmingham might have looked like in the year 1300. The Lord of the Manor was William de Birmingham. Did you know why Moat Lane is called Moat Lane? There used to be a moat in what is now the Bull Ring area and the de Birmingham family lived in a manor house there.

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Birmingham from the Domesday Book in 1086 to 1300 when William de Birmingham was Lord of the Manor





There is a model in the Birmingham History Galleries at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, showing what Birmingham might have looked like in the year 1300. The Lord of the Manor was William de Birmingham. Did you know why Moat Lane is called Moat Lane? There used to be a moat in what is now the Bull Ring area and the de Birmingham family lived in a manor house there.


Birmingham has a history going back centuries, way before we gained City Status in 1889. And way before the Chamberlain's of the late 19th and early to mid 20th centuries and way before Boulton and Watt in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. The Roman's had a fort in Birmingham close to the site of what is now the University of Birmingham around 48 AD.

 

The following photos below were originally taken at The Birmingham History Galleries at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in November 2012. These were in the section called Origins up to 1700.

This panel is about Medieval Birmingham. It mentions that in 1086 Birmingham was valued at just £1. It was recorded in the 'Domesday Book' by the Normans (20 years after the Norman Conquest of England). 200 years later Birmingham was one of the wealthiest trading centres in Warwickshire.

This panel about Birmingham before Birmingham. The town came into existence in the 1160s. People have lived in the area for hundreds of thousands of years. Many of Birmingham's place names are of Anglo Saxon origin. Archaeology at the Bullring from 1997 to 2001 didn't find any finds before the 12th century (or evidence of a major settlement before then).

When Birmingham got a charter to hold a market, this was in 1166 by the Lord of the Manor Peter de Bermingham. That's when Birmingham began to develop. Around the area that is today's Bullring. This is what Peter de Birmingham could have looked like.

It was the year 1166 when Peter de Birmingham as the Lord of the Manor bought a market charter from the king, Henry II, which entitled him to hold a weekly market. He made profits from the rent paid by the craftspeople who settled here and the traders who came to sell their goods.

This large model was near the entrance of the gallery and was what Birmingham could have looked like in the year 1300 when William de Birmingham was the Lord of the Manor.

At this end of the model, it shows the moat where the Lord of the Manor's house would be.

A close up look at the moat. The de Birmingham family might have decended from Norman ancestors, other sources suggest they decend from an Anglo-Saxon family. The market would have been held within the land of the moated manor house, or just outside it. Today the site of the moat is where Moat Lane Car Park is (it has been renamed to Markets Car Park) and the former site of the Birmingham Wholesale Market (demolished for the proposed Smithfield development). The moat was filled in during the 19th century. Maps from the 19th century show the moat was still there in 1816, but gone by the 1830's as by then the Smithfield Market was on the land.

Settlements to the north of the moat. There was a church in the middle. That was St Martin's Church.

This direction towards St Martin's Church and Market Place with the Manor House and Moat at the far end. Today this would be the location of the modern Bullring (built 2003). East Mall would be to the left (Selfridges) and the West Mall would be to the right (towards Debenhams). Spiceal Street would wind around up past St Martin's Church then up St Martin's Walk. The market place has changed a lot in 850 plus years.

This map in the exhibition might make things a bit clearer. To the south was the Manor House and Moat. Above that was the Market Place. A Watermill was near the moat. And most of the countryside was Deer Park. By the year 1300 around 1,500 people were living in Birmingham. New Street, Park Street and Edgbaston Street all existed by the year 1300.

This is William de Birmingham. He's the Lord of the Manor and everyone who lives in Birmingham pays him rent. He reduced the size of his deer park so that people can build houses on his land and he increased the rental income.

Another map of Birmingham in 1300. The centre of Birmingham is marked by the yellow rectangle including the Church (St Martin's), the Market and the Manor House. The Deer Park is on two sides of the town. To the north west was the Priory Hospital. New Street goes to the west. To the south west was the Parsonage. The River Rea flows from the north east to the south (passing the areas later known as Deritend and Digbeth but not marked on this map).

There is a series of four history panels located around the Bullring. I got photos of them back in 2009 and 2010. They mention that archaeological digs were carried out as part of the Bullring redevelopment. The digs uncovered evidence of Birmingham's medieval origins about 2 metres below the present ground level and it is known that by the 1300s Birmingham was a thriving medieval market and industrial town.

1. High Street.

This was located outside of the Pavilions. Seen in October 2010.

It says Birmingham by the year 1300 had a population of 1,500. It had houses, markets and industry and was thriving. The Priory or Hospital of St Thomas was located at the northern end of Dale End between Bull Street and Old Square (where the name The Priory Queensway comes from).

2 Edgbaston Street

Located on the walk towards Debenhams. Seen in May 2009.

Edgbaston Street was one of the oldest streets in Birmingham. In medieval times it linked the moated manor house with Parsonage Moat and carried traffic to and from the busy Bull Ring Market. An archaeological dig on Edgbaston Street (below the Indoor Market building) showed that a 13th century tannery was tucked in at the rear of the houses fronting the main street. Was one of the earliest tanneries now known to have existed in the Bull Ring and Deritend.

3 St Martin's Square

This was on the wall below Selfridges, but was moved in 2011 when the Spiceal Street development was built (Hand Made Burger Co was at this site until 2020). Seen in August 2009.

St Martin's, the parish church in Birmingham was built in the 12th century. The dig done in advance of the landscaping around the church as part of the Bullring development. Most of the burials found remains dating to the late 18th and throughout the 19th century. No remains from Medieval times were outside.

4 Park Street

This was on Park Street near Birmingham Moor Street Station. Seen in August 2009.

This area was the Lord of the Manor's deer park. Archaeological digs at Moor Street and Park Street (below what is now Moor Street Car Park) discovered a large ditch that was the boundary between the town and deer park in the 12th century. By the 13th century, the park's use for hunting gave way to the demands for the land close to the Bull Ring. As a result of the success of the markets, the Lord of the Manor abandoned the deer park. The ditch was infilled and Moor Street and Park Street were created to provide additional building land. 13th century pottery was made here, including metal-working, horn-working, born-working and textile production.

No wonder they called Birmingham The Workshop of the World. And this was as early as the 13th century!

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at over 1,120 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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100 passion points
Squares and public spaces
23 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A variety of events that were held in Chamberlain Square until 2015

Before Paradise Birmingham took over Chamberlain Square at the end of 2015 to demolish Birmingham Central Library, the square had over the years been used for a variety of events. Here we will take a look at what took place here. From trails of Easter Eggs to the Big Hoot. Even 4 Squares Weekender took place here. The Lord Mayor's Show and the St George's Day celebrations.

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A variety of events that were held in Chamberlain Square until 2015





Before Paradise Birmingham took over Chamberlain Square at the end of 2015 to demolish Birmingham Central Library, the square had over the years been used for a variety of events. Here we will take a look at what took place here. From trails of Easter Eggs to the Big Hoot. Even 4 Squares Weekender took place here. The Lord Mayor's Show and the St George's Day celebrations.


2009 - 2012

Back in the summer of 2009. June 2009 to be exact, the Monarch Beach was in Chamberlain Square with a fake beach. It was a hot summer. Pretend that you were getting on a Monarch plane at Birmingham Airport and jetting off to a European destination in the sun. The beach was full of sand, picnic benches with parasols and deckchairs. This view towards BM & AG and the Town Hall.

This view towards the Town Hall. At the time Monarch had destinations all over Europe from Birmingham Airport. I eventually flew with them once on a holiday to Spain in the summer of 2014 (flying to Malaga for a tour holiday of Seville and Granada and other places that were part of Moorish Spain).

Sadly Monarch, the airline no longer exists. They sadly ceased trading in October 2017. Since then we have also lost Thomas Cook and more recently Flybe. BMI Baby also ceased to exist years ago. So going back almost 11 years, this beach was nice to see. Not sure it will ever happen again.

The first time I saw the St George's Day Celebrations in Chamberlain Square was back in April 2011. It was a hot bank holiday weekend. The event also took place in Victoria Square that year, but was too crowded and couldn't see what was going on, so only got the photos here in Chamberlain Square.

Looks like there was a open air bouncy castle ride for kids, and behind a small ride. The view was towards the Town Hall. The city centre that day was packed and it was very hot, a heatwave. And I was walking back into town after seeing a film at a cinema in Five Ways at the time. So was just passing through at the time.

In August 2011 during the 6 week school summer holidays was Six Summer Saturdays. On this particular Saturday was Snow in the City. It was organised by the Birmingham Hippodrome. Event description as following:

Birmingham has woken up to a snow storm in the middle of the night and you can join in the fun and throw a snow ball or two. Yes, really! In partnership with Snow Business.

It was The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and this was celebrated in Birmingham during June 2012. There was a stage set up with deckchairs for people to sit in and enjoy. All they they had performances by a tribute act The Rat Pack, and Rock 'n' Roll music from The Bravo Boys and Skiffle. Although when I went past I didn't catch any of that. There was also Maquee Workshops set up in Victoria Square with Union Jack flags.

In August 2012 it was the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Jamaica from the UK. Jamaica in the Square was held in Chamberlain Square and in Victoria Square. There was a stage set up in Chamberlain Square next to the Town Hall. I was in fact on the Birmingham City Centre Floral Trail at the time, so just got a few views of this event at the time.

2013

The Big Egg Hunt was a trail of painted Easter Eggs around Birmingham City Centre, for around a week during February 2013. Unlike the later Big Hoot or Big Sleuth trails, it was on display all over the country. Before Birmingham, the trail was around London. After Birmingham it went to Liverpool. This view towards the Chamberlain Memorial and Birmingham Central Library (which would close later in 2013 before the new Library of Birmingham opened).

Lots of eggs here, so I didn't want to take every individual one. The view near Birmingham Town Hall. Buses at the time still used Paradise Circus, and a bus stop used to be outside of the Town Hall. Fletchers Walk was behind (now demolished).

The only egg I took up close was Smiley Stop ;-) by Jack Brindley. Lot no 31. the view towards BM & AG, Chamberlain Memorial and the Town Hall.

One last view next to the Chamberlain Memorial. I believe that when this trail ended, they were all up for auction.

The St George's Day Celebrations that took place in Chamberlain Square during April 2013. With a Punch & Judy puppet show near the Chamberlain Memorial.

The entertainer here seen juggling next to the Punch & Judy tent.

Visitors on deckchairs in Chamberlain Square. A bit like a beach. There was pictures with holes to stick your heads in, get your picture taken.

The event spread over that weekend into Victoria Square as well. Plenty of things to keep families and their kids entertained.

Moving on to September 2013, 4 Squares Weekender was held in Chamberlain Square (also in Victoria Square, Centenary Square, Central Square and Oozells Square, Brindleyplace) to celebrate the opening of the new Library of Birmingham. Dancers from DanceXchange were on the stage.

The DanceXchange dancers at this point had their arms up. Some members of the audience were dancing along with them.

This moment the DanceXchange dancers were pointing their arms at the audience.

View of the stage from the side which was near the Town Hall.

2014

The last St George's Day Celebrations that I have a record of in Chamberlain Square took place during April 2014 (and in Victoria Square). This time it was a battle arena for Medieval Knights, not that I saw any them clashing swords!

The arena was set up between BM & AG and the Town Hall. So no deckchairs in the square this time. A different kind of event.

Close up it's hard to see what the people were looking at, but was shields and bows and arrows down there (I think).

Close up look at the medieval style shields. It was also during the Easter weekend. They moved the St George's Day events to Centenary Square the following year in 2015.

The Lord Mayors Show 2014 was held in Chamberlain Square during June 2014. View of deckchairs set out not far from BM & AG.

There was man climbing on this scaffolding with ladders towards the Council House Extension.

The deckchairs from the other side of the pool near the Chamberlain Memorial as a  pair of security guards look on.

One of the last events of it's kind in Chamberlain Square. The event was also taking place over in Victoria Square where you could see the then new Lord Mayor for 2014-15 Shafique Shah. This view towards the main entrance to the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. Where you could see the Marvellous Machines: The Wonderful World of Rowland Emett exhibition in the Gas Hall.

Held in Chamberlain Square during August 2014 was Minimum Monument WW1 by Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo. Ice sculptures on the steps. Held by the Birmingham Hippodrome. By the time I got there, most of the ice sculptures were melting. Was only aware of it that day due to seeing something on Social Media (Twitter probably). As you can see only the iced legs were left here.

There was a lot of people taking photos of them. I would think that the summer sunshine was quickly melting them.

5000 ice sculptures were placed on the steps of Chamberlain Square to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War in 1914. This was by 2:30pm that day. There was also red petals on the steps.

If I knew about it sooner, I might have travelled into the City Centre much earlier that day. But there was a lot of people around even in the afternoon, so wasn't too bad in the end. There had also been rain in the morning, then the sun came out. They might have lasted longer if they were inside in cooler conditions.

2015

The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015

Seen in Chamberlain Square during July 2015 was Our Happy Hospit-owl. The artist was Cathy Simpson and the sponsor was Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. This view towards the Paradise Birmingham hoardings around Birmingham Central Library. Demolition would not start until December 2015, Congreve Passage was still open, as was Paradise Forum.

This view of Our Happy Hospit-owl towards the main entrance of the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. The trail was on that summer for 10 weeks before being auctioned off.

The next time I saw Our Happy Hospit-owl on it's own was two years later in August 2017. The location was at the Little Ripley Day Nursery on Goldieslie Road, Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield. I was in Sutton Coldfield at the time on the bear hunt for The Big Sleuth, so this was a surprise to see at the time. This nursery must have won it at auction. It used to be outside of BM & AG in Chamberlain Square for 10 weeks over the summer of 2015.

Back to July 2015, and the other Big Hoot owl in Chamberlain Square was The Ship by the artist Neil Morris. The sponsor was Listers. The view towards BM & AG.

I didn't get a direct on The Ship as other people were having a look at it, at the time. This view towards the Chamberlain Memorial. There was also owls inside of BM & AG to see, including the Little Owls.

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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