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Elliott Brown Environment & green action
23 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Sandwell Valley Country Park Trail

Sandwell Valley Country Park Trail

This is a wonderful walk or cycle ride in a wonderful Park. There is so much to enjoy including the Swan Pool, Sandwell Priory ruins and Sandwell Park Farm.  Enjoy with our compliments.

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Sandwell Valley Country Park Trail





Sandwell Valley Country Park Trail

This is a wonderful walk or cycle ride in a wonderful Park. There is so much to enjoy including the Swan Pool, Sandwell Priory ruins and Sandwell Park Farm.  Enjoy with our compliments.


To get to Sandwell Country Park

If you are travelling from outside Sandwell, catch the West Midlands Metro from Birmingham or Wolverhampton to West Bromwich Central. Alternatively catch the no 74 bus to West Bromwich Bus Station.

Note:  We recommend you buy a day ticket on the My Metro app before you travel.

dndimg alt="West Bromwich Central Tram Stop" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMM 24 West Brom Central (Aug 2021).jpg" />Photography by Elliott Brown

Outside the station you could hire a West Midlands Cycle bike if you do not fancy walking.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire West Bromwich" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMCH West Brom (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" />Photography by Elliott Brown

Turn left onto the West Bromwich Ringway, then pass West Bromwich Bus Station. Turn right onto St Michael Street, continue onto New Street into the New Square shopping centre. Perhaps stop for coffee.

If you missed West Midlands Cycle Hire before, there is another docking point outside of Central St Michael's Sixth Form College.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMCH West Brom (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />West Midlands Cycle Hire at Central St Michael's Sixth Form College (August 2021). Photography by Elliott Brown

Continue through New Square and turn left towards Cronehill Linkway Car Park. Next walk up Cronehills Linkway, stop at the lights and cross over the Cronehills Interchange Bridge.

dndimg alt="Cronehills Interchange Bridge" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Cronehills IB West Brom (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Cronehills Interchange Bridge. Photography by Elliott Brown

Near The Expressway follow the path onto Sandwell Road North, then onto Taylors Lane and Woodward Street until you get to Dagger Lane.

Turn right onto Salters Lane and continue heading down to the gate.

Enter Sandwell Valley Country Park. 

At the gates, enter Sandwell Valley Country Park.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" />Salters Lane entrance to Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

Continue along Salters Lane through the park. The path/road here is a bit rough.

Along the way you will pass the fields of Sandwell Park Farm.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley cows" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Sandwell Park Farm. Photography by Elliott Brown

You will then cross the first bridge over the M5 motorway.

dndimg alt="Bridge 1 M5 Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 1 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" />Bridge over the M5 motorway at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

You are now on the other side of Sandwell Valley Country Park.

Now turn left onto Beacon Way and follow the path all the way around the Swan Pool.

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" />Swan Pool at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

After you've gone around the Swan Pool, turn left which takes you back onto the main path /road towards Park Lane. You will pass the Priory Woods Local Nature Reserve.

At the end of this path, turn right alongside Park Lane, heading to the gate.

Note: If you want to leave the park here, you can, but there are no pavements on Park Lane.

dndimg alt="Park Lane gate Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (8).jpg" />Park Lane gate at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

Let's continue along the path towards the ruins of Sandwell Priory and Sandwell Hall.

They were built in the 12th century by William son of Guy de Offeni, Lord of the Manor of West Bromwich.

Located next to the 'Sand Well', a natural spring a short distance to the south from which the Priory gets its name, it was closed by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525 during the Reformation, and later demolished.

It was excavated between 1982 and 1988.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Priory Ruins" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Priory Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Sandwell Priory Ruins at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

Next to the Priory is the ruins of Sandwell Hall. The land was bought by Lord Dartmouth in 1701, and in 1705 he demolished the existing buildings to build his house.

The Dartmouth's moved to Patshull near Wolverhampton in 1853, and Sandwell Hall had a variety of uses before it was demolished in 1928.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Hall" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Hall Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />Remains of Sandwell Hall at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

After this, continue along the path, and then cross over the second bridge over the M5 motorway.

Alternatively if you have time, check out the Ice House Pool and Cascade Pool.

There is also another path that takes you back towards the Swan Pool.

dndimg alt="M5 Bridge 2" dndsrc="https://www.birminghamweare.com/uploadedfiles/Bridge 2 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" /> Second bridge over the M5 motorway at Sandwell Valley Country Park. Photography by Elliott Brown

After the bridge, there is a path where you can take your exit towards Europa Avenue, or you can continue onto Dartmouth Park or Sandwell Park Farm.

The Europa Avenue exit goes past a Mercure Hotel near M5, Junction 1 and The Expressway.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="https://www.birminghamweare.com/uploadedfiles/SVCP Europa Ave (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" /> Leaving Sandwell Valley Country Park at Europa Avenue. Photography by Elliott Brown

From Europa Avenue, take Beeches Road to Birmingham Road. If you want to catch a bus instead of the tram, the 74 stops on Birmingham Road.

Here you can either go down Roebuck Street or Roebuck Lane. Go onto Devereux Road, and get onto West Bromwich Parkway.

This is the end of the trail.  We hope you enjoyed it!

If you need a tram, follow the path to Kenrick Park Tram Stop. Look out for trams.

dndimg alt="West Bromwich Parkway" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMM 19 West Brom Pkwy (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />West Midlands Metro tram at West Bromwich Parkway. Photography by Elliott Brown

It shouldn't be too long to wait for a tram at Kenrick Park Tram Stop.

dndimg alt="Kenrick Park Tram Stop" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMM 23 Kenrick Pk (Aug 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />West Midlands Metro tram arriving at Kenrick Park Tram Stop. Photography by Elliott Brown

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50 passion points
Elliott Brown Sport & leisure
17 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Model Boating at Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway

On regular Sunday's the Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club meet to use their remote controlled boats on Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway, near Bournville Lane. The club has a history going back to 1900, although has been on this site since 1926. On Sunday morning, 15th August 2021, the club was back. Also some archive photos from 2017 and 2018.

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Model Boating at Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway





On regular Sunday's the Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club meet to use their remote controlled boats on Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway, near Bournville Lane. The club has a history going back to 1900, although has been on this site since 1926. On Sunday morning, 15th August 2021, the club was back. Also some archive photos from 2017 and 2018.


Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club

The Bournville Radio Sailing and Model Boat Club, also called Bournville Model Yacht & Powerboat Club, was founded in the year 1900 as the Bournville Model Yachting Club at Rowheath Park. By 1926, George Cadbury Jr (son of the late George Cadbury who died in 1922) commissioned an area of marshland on the now famous Bournville Village Trust, to be reclaimed, and a concrete pool of even depth was created. The surrounding park is called The Valley Parkway by Birmingham City Council. The club has their own Boat House on site, and regularly meet on Sunday mornings for model yachting, and Sunday afternoons for model power boating. They sometimes also meet on other days for model boating.

 

26th March 2017

That Sunday there was model RNLI  powerboats on Bournville Lake at The Valley Parkway.

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Valley Pway Bville (Mar 2017) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Valley Pway Bville (Mar 2017) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

4th October 2018

On a Thursday morning walk through The Valley Parkway, I only managed to get one photo of a model yacht in the lake. See the project gallery for more photos. They don't usually sail the model yachts on Thursday's. At weekends they regularly meet on Sunday mornings for model yachting, and on weekdays, they meet on Wednesday mornings, and sometimes Tuesday afternoons. It's the power boat sessions that meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Valley Pway Bville (Oct 2018) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

15th August 2021

A Sunday morning walk along Bournville Lane, to see if I could see any activity from the Bournville Model Yacht Club. Luckily, there was a whole bunch of them out at Bournville Lake, with a lot of model yachts, as you can see in the gallery below. The members seem to be mostly retired men and women.

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Valley Parkway Bournville" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Model Yachts Bournville TVP (Aug 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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100 passion points
Elliott Brown Green open spaces
09 Aug 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

A visit to Sandwell Valley Country Park on the 4th August 2021

I've been meaning to do a proper walk around of Sandwell Valley Country Park for a while now. My last visit four years ago for the Big Sleuth, I didn't get far into the park. This time entered via Salters Lane, passed a farm, then a bridge over the M5 led to Swan Pool. Eventually got back on the main path and found the Sandwell Priory ruins before one more bridge over the motorway.

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A visit to Sandwell Valley Country Park on the 4th August 2021





I've been meaning to do a proper walk around of Sandwell Valley Country Park for a while now. My last visit four years ago for the Big Sleuth, I didn't get far into the park. This time entered via Salters Lane, passed a farm, then a bridge over the M5 led to Swan Pool. Eventually got back on the main path and found the Sandwell Priory ruins before one more bridge over the motorway.


Previous Sandwell Valley Country Park post from my visit of July 2017.

 

Sandwell Valley Country Park, 4th August 2021

It's been around two years since I last got off the tram at West Bromwich Central Tram Stop. And since then we have had the pandemic. By late July 2021, the Midland Metro Alliance closed the extension from Bull Street to Stephenson Street (so all stops to Library are closed until October 2021 for track relaying works). So I booked my day ticket in the My Metro app before I set out, and travelled to Bull Street Tram Stop.

I got the tram to West Bromwich Central, and after a coffee and toastie at Costa at New Square Shopping Centre, started walking towards Sandwell Valley Country Park (via the Cronehills Interchange Bridge which crosses The Expressway). I avoided Dartmouth Park, and got to Dagger Lane, and headed down Salters Lane to get into the park.

 

Sandwell Park Farm

Welcome to Sandwell Valley Country Park. Home to Sandwell Park Farm. This sign seen from Salters Lane. Sandwell Valley Children's Fun Fair is to the right.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I almost walked up the road to the car park, but instead got back on Salters Lane towards the gate and went through it into the park.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The path / road to walk on was quite rough. On the right saw a field full of cows.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

These flowers growing in the field are Helicrysum arenarium, according to a scan of Google Lens on my phone.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Further down, another field was full of sheep.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The rough path continues on towards the first bridge that crosses over the M5 motorway.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Before I crossed the bridge, saw another path, this one runs around Hillhouse Farm

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

M5 bridge crossing no 1

The first bridge over the M5 motorway. It is a Weak Bridge, so only vehicles of 7.5T mgw or less. Assume it is used by lightweight farm or park vehicles?

dndimg alt="M5 bridge 1" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 1 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The bridge rises over the M5 motorway as I walked towards the other half of the park.

dndimg alt="M5 bridge 1" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 1 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A lot of traffic on the M5 below. Heading towards the end of the M5 and M6, Junction 8. Left lane, M6 south, right lanes, M6 north.

dndimg alt="M5 bridge 1" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 1 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This view below towards M5, Junction 1 for West Bromwich. There was also a sign for Birmingham Park & Ride (either train or tram). If train then it probably means either The Hawthorns or Smethwick Galton Bridge.

dndimg alt="M5 bridge 1" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 1 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Swan Pool

This is the largest lake at Sandwell Valley Country Park. It is called the Swan Pool (alternative names include Wasson or Warstone). Used for sailing. Home of ducks, geese and swans. Paths around the lake for walks, taking your dog for a walk. Also used by cyclists.

A walk around Swan Pool, along the paths in a clockwise direction.

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Some swans in the lake, near decking used for fishing.

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was Canada geese in the lake as well as some Greylag geese.

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After leaving Swan Pool, got a couple more photos from the path towards Park Lane, near the Priory Woods Local Nature Reserve.

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Swan Pool Sandwell Valley" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Swan Pool SVCP (Aug 2021) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Path from Park Lane

After leaving Swan Pool I was next heading towards Park Lane. I eventually got to this gate and crossed over, but couldn't see any pavements to safely walk to The Hawthorns, so instead followed the path towards the ruins instead.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Looking back to the Park Lane exit, behind me, I was approaching the ruins of both Sandwell Priory (closed 1525) and Sandwell Hall (demolished 1928).

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Valley CP (Aug 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Sandwell Priory Ruins

The remains of Sandwell Priory, a medieval Benedictine monastery, which was excavated between 1982 and 1988. Some of the finds are on display at a small museum at Sandwell Park Farm. It was built in the mid 12th century by William son of Guy de Offeni, Lord of the Manor of West Bromwich. It was located next to the 'Sand Well' a natural spring a short distance to the south from which the Priory gets its name. In the first couple of centuries there was probably hundreds of monks here, but by the second half of the 14th century, there was only about one or two monks at the priory. After a recovery in the 15th century, the numbers declined again by the time Cardinal Wolsey closed it in 1525. By this date there was only the Prior and one monk, and many buildings were in a poor state.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Priory Ruins" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Priory Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Sandwell Priory Ruins" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Priory Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Sandwell Priory Ruins" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Priory Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Sandwell Priory Ruins" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Priory Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Sandwell Hall Ruins

Sandwell Hall was built in top of Sandwell Priory in 1705. The site was bought by Lord Dartmouth in 1701, and in 1705 he demolished most of the existing buildings to build a new house. It was built in brick and had towers on three corners. In the 19th century a portico supported by columns was added to the front of the hall, and the hall was extended to the west. The Dartmouth's moved to Patshull near Wolverhampton in 1853, and Sandwell Hall had a variety of uses before it was demolished in 1928.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Hall Ruins" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Hall Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="Sandwell Hall Ruins" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sandwell Hall Ruins SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

M5 bridge crossing no 2

After seeing the ruins of both Sandwell Priory and Sandwell Hall, the path leads directly to another footbridge over the M5 motorway. Again a Weak Bridge for vehicles with 7.5T mgw.

dndimg alt="M5 Bridge 2" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 2 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I wasn't expecting to cross the M5 twice, as I originally thought of leaving the park at Park Lane (but no pavements).

dndimg alt="M5 Bridge 2" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 2 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Busy traffic on the M5 below. Was a 40 mph limit towards the junction with the M6.

dndimg alt="M5 Bridge 2" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 2 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Southbound towards Worcester and Bristol was fine, just northbound to the end of the M5 looked congested.

dndimg alt="M5 Bridge 2" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bridge 2 M5 SVCP (Aug 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Exit to Europa Avenue

After crossing over the second M5 bridge, I left via the path towards Europa Avenue. Found a housing estate with various cul-de-sacs. The path emerged onto a cul-de-sac called St John's Close. Saw this Welcome sign.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/SVCP Europa Ave (Aug 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now on Europa Avenue, saw this Sandwell Valley Community Noticeboard next to a red post box.

dndimg alt="Sandwell Valley Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/SVCP Europa Ave (Aug 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Passing a Mercure Hotel, I took a route towards Kenrick Park Tram Stop, via Beeches Road, Birmingham Road, Roebuck Lane and Devereux Road. Found a path onto the West Bromwich Parkway, and Kenrick Park was a short walk away. The tram back had no free seats, so stood all the way back to Bull Street.

 

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

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90 passion points
Elliott Brown Green open spaces
19 Jul 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Chamberlain Gardens in Ladywood

In 2020-21 Chamberlain Gardens had new gates and railings installed. Located in Ladywood at Monument Road and Ladywood Road. Towards Beaufort Road. The parkland also has a playground, outdoor gym area, tennis and basketball courts. A short walk to Perrott's Folly and Edgbaston Reservoir. Ladywood Middleway and Broadway Plaza are also nearby. 

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Chamberlain Gardens in Ladywood





In 2020-21 Chamberlain Gardens had new gates and railings installed. Located in Ladywood at Monument Road and Ladywood Road. Towards Beaufort Road. The parkland also has a playground, outdoor gym area, tennis and basketball courts. A short walk to Perrott's Folly and Edgbaston Reservoir. Ladywood Middleway and Broadway Plaza are also nearby. 


Chamberlain Gardens, Ladywood

During 2020 and 2021, Birmingham City Council has installed new railings and gates at Chamberlain Gardens in Ladywood. The parkland is at the heart of a Council housing estate, many of the tower blocks here have been reclad in recent years.

I found at least four new gates, from Beaufort Road, at the Calthorpe Entrance, at Cawdor Crescent, is the Winfield Entrance. Further up Cawdor Crescent to Monument Road is Perrotts Entrance, and at the Monument Road corner with Ladywood Road is the Osler Entrance.

Chamberlain Gardens was first developed in the 1960s, and was named after the former Mayor of Birmingham, Joseph Chamberlain (1836 - 1914), he served three terms from 1873 to 1876, before he resigned the office when he got elected to Parliament.

 

2014

I first briefly went into Chamberlain Gardens back in October 2014. I was close to the corner of Monument Road and Ladywood Road at the time. This sign for Chamberlain Gardens, A Barclays Space for Sports.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns (Oct 2014) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

It was very autumnal at the time, when I spotted this hut in the middle near the trees.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns (Oct 2014) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The roof was missing some tiles at the time. What was it used for in the past, a ticket kiosk, or somewhere to buy ice cream? Anyone know?

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns (Oct 2014) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2021

Fast forward to July 2021, and it was time to check out Chamberlain Gardens. Last year I went to see Perrotts Folly and the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower again, but at the time decided to not pop into the park. There is now new gates that have been installed since I was last in the area.

Welcome to Chamberlain Gardens. This is the Calthorpe Entrance at Beaufort Road in Ladywood. It is near Kenrick House.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Passing Kenrick House from the Beaufort Road entrance into the park.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Council has recently cut the grass here.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A look to the Chamberlain Gardens Playground.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Next to that was the Chamberlain Gardens Outdoor Gym Area.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading to Cawdor Crescent, to check out the next gate.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This is the Winfield Entrance at Cawdor Crescent.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading along Cawdor Crescent, double yellow lines, so no cars parked here.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

View of the tennis and basketball courts from Cawdor Crescent.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Between Cawdor Crescent and Monument Road is the next gate, this is Perrotts Entrance. It is close to Perrotts Folly (which is on Reservoir Road). Although Noel Road is closer at this point.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading back into the park, there is a view here towards The Mercian.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another look at the hut I saw all those years ago. The roof is now repaired by the looks of it, but it is still unused.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One of the paths seems to have been resurfaced here, maybe it is suitable for cyclists.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now heading along the path near Monument Road towards Ladywood Road.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Nice reflection on the newly laid path of a tree.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The path curves around past the trees near Ladywood Road.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Out of the park one last time. This is the Osler Entrance at the corner of Ladywood Road and Monument Road.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

From here, it was a short walk to Ladywood Middleway along Monument Road. It was very hot and sunny.

 

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

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Elliott Brown Green open spaces
23 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
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Walsall Arboretum - a historic Victorian public park!

A short walk away from Walsall Town Centre is Walsall Arboretum, which is Walsall's public park. First opened in 1874, originally as a paid for attraction, the local council bought it and reopened it as a free to enter public park in 1884. From 2010 to 2015 there was a refurbishment programme here, including opening a Visitor Centre. Hatherton Lake has a boat house and bandstand.

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Walsall Arboretum - a historic Victorian public park!





A short walk away from Walsall Town Centre is Walsall Arboretum, which is Walsall's public park. First opened in 1874, originally as a paid for attraction, the local council bought it and reopened it as a free to enter public park in 1884. From 2010 to 2015 there was a refurbishment programme here, including opening a Visitor Centre. Hatherton Lake has a boat house and bandstand.


Walsall Arboretum

 

I got the train back to Walsall from Birmingham New Street. Starting from platform 4c, the train went via the Soho Loop Line (meaning it bypasses Perry Barr and Aston, and doesn't stop at Hamstead or Bescot Stadium as it was the train to Rugeley Trent Valley). The only stop before Walsall was Tame Bridge Parkway. From the station, it was around a 15 minute walk, via the High Street and Council House in Walsall. Then you have to cross the traffic lights at the busy junction of Broadway North with Littleton Street East. Which was also near Queen Mary's High School. Your first sight of the arboretum is the Arboretum Lodge.

 

History of Walsall Arboretum

The Arboretum was built on the site of Reynolds Hall, which was the home of the Persehouse family from the 16th century. By the 18th century the estate had been inherited by the Littleton family, who developed lime quarries in Walsall. By the 1840s, one of the quarries had been flooded, and was used by local people for bathing and skiing. The then Mayor of Walsall during 1844 drowned in the lake, by then known as Hatherton Lake. By the 1850s, the quarries was being surrounded by villas and Queen Mary's Grammar School.

The Walsall Arboretum and Lake Company was formed in 1870, and plans started to turn the estate into a park. Plans included the building of two lodges, a boat house and bandstand by the county surveyor Robert Griffiths. The Arboretum was laid out from 1872 and opened to paying customers by 1874. In the following decade the Arboretum Company ran into financial difficulties, and it was sold to the Town Council, who opened it up as a free public park in 1884.

There was a major refurbishment programme in the park from 2010 until 2015, this included restoring the buildings, the lakes etc, and building a new Visitor Centre. 

A bronze bust of Jerome K. Jerome, an author born in Walsall was unveiled in 2016, while a bronze statue of a horse was relocated to the park in 2017.

 

West Midlands Cycle Hire

Before entering the park, I spotted a new West Midlands Cycle Hire docking point on Broadway North, so checked that out first. At least two bikes were not properly in the dock.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMCH Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later after leaving the park, saw a man with a white van, loading some bikes into the van, and making sure the other bikes were properly in the dock. I did not find any other West Midlands Cycle Hire docks in Walsall on this visit.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMCH Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Arboretum Lodge

This is the main entrance to the park at the corner of Lichfield Street and Broadway North. Built in 1872, it was originally the subscription paid for entrance to the park, but has been free to enter here since the local Council bought the park in 1884. It is now near the busy traffic junction on the Walsall ring road. It has a distinctive clock tower.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lodge Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

As I entered, I saw the bronze bust of Jerome K. Jerome and a man riding one of the new West Midlands Cycle Hire bikes out of the park.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lodge Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Bronze bust of Jerome K. Jerome

The Walsall born author of Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome (1859 - 1927) was honoured with a bronze bust, close to The Arboretum Lodge. It was sculpted by local artist Phil Kelly, and was unveiled in June 2016. Jerome was a Freeman of the Borough of Walsall, and the Jerome K. Jerome Society lobbied for a sculpture to be made to recognise him, in the town of his birth.

dndimg alt="Jerome K. Jerome" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JKJ Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Jerome K. Jerome was born on the 2nd May 1859 at Belsize House on Bradford Street in Walsall. The Grade II listed house used to be a museum from the 1980s until 2007-08. The Jerome K. Jerome Society is hoping to find a new home for the exhibits that used to be in the museum.

dndimg alt="Jerome K. Jerome" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JKJ Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Hatherton Lake

Originally a quarry pit, it was later flooded, and by the middle of the 19th century it was a lake used for bathing and skiing. There is a boat house on one side (built 1874) and a Bandstand (built 1924) on the other side.

This view of Hatherton Lake towards the bandstand.

dndimg alt="Hatherton Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hatheron Lk Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This view of Hatherton Lake towards the boat house.

dndimg alt="Hatherton Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hatheron Lk Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later found an upper path that led back to the lake, and got this view with a distinctive Victorian style lamppost.

dndimg alt="Hatherton Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hatheron Lk Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another view towards the boat house on the opposite side of the lake. Hard to believe it used to be a quarry pit until the mid 19th Century.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Walsall Arb (June 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One more view from the benches viewing area on Broadway North of the lake. Noticed that there is no steps or ramp down to the park from up here, you have to enter via the lodge, or anther gate.

dndimg alt="Hatherton Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hatheron Lk Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Boat House

The Boat House is the only Grade II listed building in the park, dating to 1874. Probably designed by the county surveyor Robert Griffiths. It is a timber-framed building with hipped tiled roofs and a raised lantern. It has cast-iron columns and a concrete base supports above the water level. It is on Hatherton Lake.

First saw the boat house going in a clockwise direction around the lake.

dndimg alt="Boat House Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boat House Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later saw the boat house on the walk back to the lodge,  just after passing the poppy field, and from the opposite side of the lake. Hard to believe it was opened around 1874-75. Especially with all the modern alterations to it.

dndimg alt="Boat House Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boat House Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Bandstand

The present bandstand was erected in 1924, replacing a previous structure on the same site that was built in 1873, which was of the conventional octagonal form. It is near Hatherton Lake.

The first view of the bandstand from the opposite side of the lake, shortly after I first arrived in the park.

dndimg alt="Bandstand Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bandstand Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The second view going off the upper path, was an area where you could look down at the bandstand and the lake below.

dndimg alt="Bandstand Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bandstand Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre was opened in November 2015. The opening of the visitor centre was the culmination of the arboretum restoration programme, delivered 2010 - 2015. Within the new building is retained a former agricultural building that pre dates the park. The new centre was wrapped around this key historic feature.

On the left is the Industrial Garden featuring Fluffy the Oss.

dndimg alt="Visitor Centre Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/VC Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Bronze horse statue of Fluffy the Oss

This statue of a bronze horse was originally commissioned by Walsall Council in the 1990s, and used to be outside of the Civic Centre. But due to vandalism, it was removed to storage. Years later it was restored to the condition it is in now, and installed in the Industrial Garden near the Visitor Centre at the Arboretum in 2017. It was originally sculpted by Marjan Wouda. The garden celebrates Walsall's industrial heritage and is situated by the site of the old limestone workings.

Fluffy the Oss is a feature of the Industrial Garden at Walsall Arboretum.

dndimg alt="Fluffy the Oss" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Fluffy Oss Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Leckie Building

This building was built from 1902, and opened in 1904 as the Pavillion Refreshment Room. It was designed by H. E. Lavender, and was the focal point of the park. It closed down in 1931, but reopened in 1936 as the  Joseph Leckie Sons of Rest Social Club for older adults which it remains to this day.

First view from the path to the centre of the park, but was a pair of trees in the way of the view.

dndimg alt="The Leckie Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Leckie Bldg Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later walking back to the lake and lodge, got a pair of rear views.

dndimg alt="The Leckie Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Leckie Bldg Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was a stone dated 1902 at the back of The Leckie Building.

dndimg alt="The Leckie Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Leckie Bldg Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Ladies Bowl Pavillion

This was originally a refreshment pavillion built in 1934. It was called the Richard B Sutton shelter. It was built of Cotswold Stone under a tiled hipped roof, with a locally supported by circular section rustic stone columns. In 2003 it became the club house for the Ladies Bowls Club.

This was near the halfway point of the park, saw a Welcome to Walsall Arboretum sign / map, and then followed another path back towards the lodge and lake.

dndimg alt="Ladies Bowl Pavillion" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Ladies Bowl Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Rose Garden

The Rose Garden was quite close to The Leckie Building. This was an upper path view of it.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rose Gdn Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was these steps with railings down the middle and a semi circlular arch above.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rose Gdn Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Summer Poppy Field

The poppy field is quite a sight to see at Walsall Arboretum each summer. It is close to Broadway North and Arboretum Road, and not far from the bandstand.

dndimg alt="Poppy field" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Poppies Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I wasn't the only one to stop and take photos of this poppy field, even dog walkers stopped to take a look!

dndimg alt="Poppy field" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Poppies Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A macro zoom in to one of the poppies.

dndimg alt="Poppy field" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Poppies Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After I left the park, a look at the poppy field over the wall from Broadway North.

dndimg alt="Poppy field" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Poppies Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The best of the rest of the park

Having just passed the Arboretum Lodge, and bust of Jerome K. Jerome, I saw these flower beds to the right of the path.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The paths around the Arboretum. This one (below) was between Hatherton Lake (right) and the Deep Pond (left).

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

While I was checking out the Hatherton Lake, I also saw the small pool to the left of the path. This is also called the Deep Pond. Behind is the villas on Victoria Terrace, which indirectly led to the quarry here closing, and the land being landscaped as a arboretum / park.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After the Visitor Centre, the long path that runs past The Leckie Building. A lot of tree coverage here.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path Leckie Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A view of the Hoar Brook that flows through the Arboretum. Didn't see much of it, other than this view.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hoar Brook Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Near an area called The Lion's Den. Briefly went off the main path to the left. Then back over the area with picnic benches near the Ladies Bowls Pavillion (on the right).

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lions Den Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This path was after the halfway point of the park, and the start of the walk back to the lake and lodge. Lots of trees, after all this is an arboretum!

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Some hills as the path goes around a curve, and more trees. Perhaps this landscape was carved out as the quarry, then later grassed over from the 1870s.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now on the path that follows the wall (on the left) near Arboretum Road. Down below (to the right) is Hatherton Lake and the Hoar Brook.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Eventually the path goes back down towards the lake, as you can see here.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

After I left the park I saw WM bus 6600. It was on the National Express West Midlands, Black Country Bus Rally from Walsall to Wolverhampton. This was the only bus I saw. It was on Broadway North crossing the lights onto Littleton Street East (the Walsall ring road). Click the link above for the photos.

 

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

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