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Welcome I

n this issue we will be talking about a few of the landmarks in Birmingham giving you some of history and whats going on there now.

Thankyou for taking the time to look at this magazine all of us involved hope you find it an interesting and factual read.

The people involved in creating the magazine: Matthew Drewry- Illustration/ Graphic Design Rory Flanagan- Illustration Charlie Robbie- Photography Zohiab Khawaja- Moving Image/Animation

Contents Victoria Square


Broad Street 10 Two Clubs, One City


Sarehole Mill


Aston Hall 20 Custard Factory


Birmingham, Its people, Its history

Victoria Square






Victoria Square Built to honour the Queen 6



Victoria Square







ictoria Square is adjacent to Chamberlain Square. Victoria Square was formerly known as the council house and to begin with had a tram way running through it. It was renamed on the 10th January 1901, to honour Queen Victoria, who dies 12 days later. There was a Christian church built in the area from 1805-13.But it was demolished in 1899. Victoria Square is widely acknowledged as one of the most attractive and stylish parts of Birmingham. There are various events that happen during the year, most commonly the Frankfurt German market which occurs during the Christmas period. The FrankfurtChristmas market takes place primarily in Victoria square and on the route to it from the Bullring. It also occurs in Chamberlain square and the paradise forum.



The Square does have very old buildings reaching back to before the early 1900s. Town Hall is placed in the square, and has recently undergone a £35 million renovation, funded by the Birmingham city council. Acclaimed at it’s opening in 1834 as the finest music hall in the country, it became a grade 1 listed landmark.

There are various new features in the square such as “The Floozie in the Jacuzzi” it was designed by the Indian sculptor Dhruva Misty, who won the competition to design it. The construction commenced in 1992 and was completed in 1994.


Victoria Square


1996 1941

2007 1999

2012 2009


he Town Hall was specifically designed to look like the Roman architecture upon the Roman temple of Castor and Pollux. It was designed by Joseph Aloyisus Hansom. Despite his success, Hansoms ruin came when he naively agreed to write the cost of the project resulting in bankruptcy. The town hall now does music venues and has continued to attract tourists and others. Like many of the buildings in Victoria and Chamberlain square the buildings are hundreds of years old. The museum and art gallery opened in 1885, the collections cover fine art, applied arts archaeology and ethnography, natural history and social history. The museum has the largest collections Pre-Raphaelite works in the world, as well as the old masters and impressionists. Recently modern and contemporary collections have had a new home created in the waterhall gallery of modern art, positioned just at the rear of the museum. People can also see objects spanning seven centuries of European and world history and culture. Recently Birmingham museum and art gallery has also become home to the Staffordshire Hoard. There is a temporary Hoard gallery where objects can be seen on display. The building has mostly remained the same on the outside and has helped to Victoria and chamberlain square keep their beauty.


Broad Street


1750 1773

1970 1964

1987 1980

Broad Street From quiet country path to noisey nightlife


Broad Street


1998 1991


he Broad Street area is looked after and enhanced by the Broad Street Business Improvement District. The businesses and visitors to the area experience a safe, clean, vibrant environment alongside a program of enhanced events in the area. Visitors to the area can enjoy theatres, family attractions, a wide range of restaurants and bars and art galleries. In the 1750s, Broad Street was an unnamed country path that ran across Easy Hill from Bewdley Street (now Victoria Square) and Swinford Street (now the top end of New Street) to Five Ways and on to Stourbridge and Bewdley. However, in the following years, Easy Hill began to develop with the construction of a house by John Baskerville, a local printer. This led to the widening of the street which passed in front of his house. The path was soon removed and an established street was added that ran to the border of Edgbaston and, as a result of its widening, it was named Broad Street.

2008 2007

Development slowed as a result of overseas wars however rapidly increased after the Battle of Waterloo. Land along the street also developed and became a well established neighbourhood as a result of the connections with industry and Edgbaston, an upmarket area. In the 19th century, well established industries were established along the canals at the northern end of the street and residential properties were built at the southern end.

2012 2010 In the 1970s and 1980s, Broad Street was still very much a suburban high street. However, one prescient early manifestation of the street’s future purpose as a fashionable partying district was the Rum Runner nightclub, which from the late 1970s restyled itself after New York’s Studio 54 and later London’s Blitz club. The club was best known as the original home base of major 1980s band Duran Duran. It was situated on the South side at the East end of the road from 1964 to 1987 when it was demolished.

St Martin’s Church owned land on the southern end of Broad Street, at what is now Five Ways, and began to develop the land in 1773 after the passing of an Act of Parliament. The 22-acre (8.9 ha) site was developed into an estate known as the ‘Six Closes’ or the ‘Islington Estate’ (named after Islington Row which bounded the south of the site). By 1795, several streets had been created according to Pye’s map. One of the streets that remain from the development is Tennant Street, named after William Tennant who had the advowson of St Martin’s Church. 11

Two Clubs, One City


1906 1905

1946 1943

1956 1947

Two clubs, One city Birmingham City and Aston Villa aren’t they just the same? 14

Two Clubs, One City


1991 1978

2002 1993

2012 2011


Two Clubs, One City


1888 1887


irmingham City Football Club and Aston Villa Football Club are local football rivals, both from Birmingham giving the match the name ‘the second city derby’.

Birmingham City (Blues) was founded in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, before changing their name to Birmingham in 1905 and finally Birmingham City in 1943. St. Andrews has been their stadium since 1905. There has been a curse on the ground since then, which was set by gypsies. The curse came about when Harry Morris kicked a band of gypsies off derelict land in order to make room for the new stadium. The bad luck curse came to an end after 100 years. Many managers tried to lift the curse, most memorably Barry Fry, in charge from 1993 to 1996, who urinated in all four corners of the pitch after a clairvoyant said it would break the spell! During the time the curse was set a number of bad things happened to the football club, such as, in their first season at St. Andrews they were relegated from the first division starting a yo-yo existence in the football league. During the


1897 1894

Second World War, when fire fighters were putting out a burning brazier, a bucket of unidentified liquid was found to be the cause of the main stand being burnt down and during the cursed years, apart from the League Cup, Leyland Daf Cup and the Auto Widescreens Shield, they have won nothing! However, there are some brighter sides to the history of the club, such as they were the first english club to play in a european competition in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1956. They are also the first English club to reach a European final, the 1960 Fairs Cup Final, where they played Barcelona loosing 4-1 over the two legs. They are also, the first team to sell a player for £1million (Trevor Francis from Birmingham City to Nottingham Forest in1978) and reached their first major Wembley final for 55 years in 2011, when they beat Arsenal, 2-1 to win the second major trophy in their history. The club is currently in the second tier of the English Football League, the n-power Championship. Aston Villa (Villa) was founded in 1874 and is one of the clubs to found The Football League in 1888, as well as The Premier League in 1992. The

1961 1911

club is one of the oldest and most successful teams in England, winning the First Division Championship seven times and the FA Cup seven times, as well as the European Cup 1981-1982 (now called Champions League) and are one of only five English teams to have won it! Villa moved to their current home (Villa Park) in 1897, in the season they won the double (League and FA Cup.) However, the club hit a period of turmoil in 1964, when in a few seasons they were relegated to the third division. But in just over 10 years, manager, Ron Saunders took the club back to the first division and into Europe. Since then, however, they have become an inconsistent team in the top division, where they currently remain. These two Birmingham clubs both have a history of ups and downs, with an amazing set of passionate fans, who stick by their team, no matter what and wear their team’s colours with pride. But, if you strip back who won what, when, how many times, the teams colours, how much money the owners have, where they finished in the league and what league they are in, I say, aren’t both clubs the same?

Two Clubs, One City


1982 1981

1992 1988

2012 2011


Sarehole Mill


1761 1756

1775 1765

1840 1807

Sarehole Mill The inspiration for ‘The Shire’and ‘Hobbiton’ in J.R.R Tolkiens ‘The Hobbit’and ‘The Lord of the Rings’


Sarehole Mill


1890 1851


arehole Mill was built in 1765 on the site of an older mill, Biddle’s Mill. Richard Eaves was the man behind the construction of the mill. He hoped to use it as a coal mill because he noticed the lack of waterpower in Birmingham for corn milling, due to the fact the streams where overused for industry. In 1840, the forge was converted into a cottage and a barn was added. During this period, the mill was leased by Matthew Boulton, one of the pioneers of the Industrial Revolution. Sarehole Mill has two 12 foot diameter wheels for corn milling and a narrower overshot wheel, which powered blade grinding and boring machinery. The mill continued corn grinding until 1919, but forty years later the last miller George Andrew died and the property was passed onto the City. Now, an unguarded building, vandals came close to destroying it, but luckily, thanks to the local people, the mill was saved and restored and opened as a museum in 1969.

1960 1919

Sarehole Mill is a water driven mill, now a museum within the Shire Country Park. Out of seventy water mills that used to operate along the Birmingham Rivers during industrial boom, it is the only surviving working water mill.

2013 1969

Currently, more renovations are been carried out over the winter months, ready for April 2013.

The Mill was originally set in an agricultural landscape with many farms in the area. It is this scene that gave J.R.R. Tolkien his idea for Hobbiton in his books ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord Of The Rings’. As a boy Tolkien played around the mill, with his brother Hilary, during the time his family lived in the area, in the 1890s. The Mill appears in ‘The Hobbit’ when Bilbo Baggins runs, ‘as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across the water and then on for a mile or more.’In 1960 J.R.R. Tolkien contributed to the appeal to save the mill, which had become run down. Recent renovations include the walls, which had become porous, the roof and an access path around the back, to make it easier for visitors to see the first floor of working machinery. However, the narrow ladder can still be used for the more nimble visitor!

During its life Sarehole Mill has been used for more than just corn grinding, but also for metal trades, such as wire drawing, metal rolling and sharpening tools. 19

Aston Hall


1635 1634

1700 1642

1817 1800

Aston Hall First property to be owned by Birmingham City Council


Aston Hall


1900 1858

2008 1903


ir Thomas Holte built Aston Hall in the early 16th century. He began to live in the house in 1634, with his second wife and a few of his 16 children! Not long after the Holte family had moved in, the building was damaged by parliamentarian troops in 1642, when King Charles 1 came to Aston Hall. Some of the damage suffered by the attack can still be seen on the property today. In 1817 the Holte estate was sold to the eldest son of James Watt and after his death, in 1848, the property was then sold to the corporation of Birmingham, becoming the first property to be owned by the city. The interior was refurbished at the end of the twentieth century, but has maintained the Jacobean character of the building.

2012 2009

Currently, Aston Hall is a museum open to the public, displaying historic furniture from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Also, it describes the 200 years of occupation and the previous years of the lands agricultural history. As well as this, on the land that used to be part of the gardens of Aston Hall stands Villa Park, the football stadium of Aston Villa Football Club. One of the stands in the stadium is called the Holte End, in honor of Sir Thomas Holte and when sitting in the stand you are facing away from Aston Hall.


Custard Factory


1500 1492

Custard Factory


1989 1970


2002 1993


he Custard Factory is an arts and media centre based in Digbeth, Birmingham. The factory was originally an actual custard factory hence its name. The original custard factory was built back in 1800 constructed by Sir Alfred Bird, the inventor of egg-free instant custard. When the factory eventually stopped making custard the site became derelict for a decade until it was developed into the art centre its is today. The factory has since given workplace for young and old artist to create businesses of their own and get noticed. There are clothes shops, art shops, music shops, cafes and print shops.


The custard factory is located on Gibb Street with Gibb Square located opposite the custard factory. The square was completed in 2002 and showcases new media and media businesses. This is where the offices, shops, galleries and restaurants are located. These building and those which surround the custard factory are very architecturally interesting buildings and have a whole lot of history. For example ‘The Old Crown’ pub is said to have been built sometime between 1450 and 1500 with evidence dating to 1492. The pub features old styled black and white timber frames, which has resulted in the building being a grade 2 listed building.


Custard Factory

Custard Factory


he Pub is located just around the corner from the custard factory. There are also nightclubs nearby to the custard factory, which have now become the main attraction for young people to the custard factory and the area.

This pub’s history and the factory’s history have and will continue to attract locals and foreigners to the area and Birmingham as a whole. The area of Digbeth is only a short 10-minute walk from the city centre and is located near by the Chinese supermarkets. And offers a different experience to the city centre of Birmingham which can get very crowd. It appeals more to the artist and musician and those who are a little interested in the arts.


A magazine about the informtion and histroy of a few of Birmingham's landmarks

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