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22 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Calthorpe Park: the park named after the Calthorpe Family

You have probably heard of the Calthorpe Estates which manages the land and what can be built in Edgbaston. They gave their name to Calthorpe Park which opened on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston in 1857. The park is between Speedwell Road and Edward Road. The River Rea is to the back of the park. The statue of Robert Peel used to be here, but just the plinth survives here now.

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Calthorpe Park: the park named after the Calthorpe Family





You have probably heard of the Calthorpe Estates which manages the land and what can be built in Edgbaston. They gave their name to Calthorpe Park which opened on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston in 1857. The park is between Speedwell Road and Edward Road. The River Rea is to the back of the park. The statue of Robert Peel used to be here, but just the plinth survives here now.


First up the information taken from the Wikipedia page: Calthorpe Park.

The park opened in 1857 on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston. The parks name comes from the Calthorpe family whose Frederick Gough, 4th Baron Calthorpe  provided the land for it's creation in 1857. His son Augustus Gough-Calthorpe, 6th Baron Calthorpe signed over the freehold of the land in 1894. The park was formally opened by Prince George, Duke of Cambridge on the 1st June 1857.

An 1855 statue of Robert Peel used to stand in the park, but all that remains here is the original plinth. The statue was moved further down the Pershore Road to outside of Tally Ho! (now the West Midlands Police Training HQ).

 

December 2010

I've not been into Calthorpe Park much with my camera, but the first time was during December 2010.

A look at the empty plinth that used to have the statue of Robert Peel above it.  Like many old statues / plinths this plinth had graffiti on it (at the time) and the pair of L's were damaged. (You should see the old plinths at the Birmingham Museums Collection Centre for more examples).

The statue of Robert Peel seen in front of Tally Ho! on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston during November 2009 (it is still at this location). The statue used to be on Congreve Street, then it was moved to Council House Square in 1873 (now Victoria Square). In 1926 a gas lamp knocked it off it's pedestal (it was hit by a lorry) and it was moved to Calthorpe Park. In 1963 the statue was moved to the Pershore Road on top of a new plinth, leaving the old plinth where it was. The Victorian Society had opened to move the plinth and statue to a suitable location in the city centre, but that never happened. The statue was erected to commemorate the Repeal of the Corn Laws and not his involvement in setting up the Metropolitan Police.

Trees in Calthorpe Park seen from the Pershore Road side. There is football pitches behind with many goalposts.

One of the paths and a line of trees.

Looking back to the Pershore Road. Towards Birmingham Central Synagogue (the 1960s building was demolished in 2013 when the congreation moved into their refurbished building on Speedwell Road). That is now the site of a retirement home (Gracewell of Edgbaston).

The paths were looking a bit tired in late 2010. Edward Road seen to the far right.

I think the paths have been done up in the following years.

A plant close to the Pershore Road. The gatehouse lodge to the left on the corner of Speedwell Road.

From the Pershore Road looking at the path in the middle.

Close up look at the gatehouse. I don't think anyone has lived there in decades.

This column used to have council advertising around it. Now it is bare, but has plants growing out the top of it.

October 2019

I returned to Calthorpe Park with my camera while the Great Birmingham Run was on, up the Pershore Road. Trees looking very autumnal and the paths looking as good as new.

The tree lined path to the centre of the park (well heading along the path towards Speedwell Road / Alexandra Road).

Now near Speedwell Road. There are bollards close to here which separates Speedwell Road from Alexandra Road, as well as Princess Road in the middle.

The path alongside Alexandra Road leads to a bridge over the River Rea.

One of the goalposts on the football fields as well as a view of Edgbaston Cricket Ground with it's floodlights. The cricket stadium was redeveloped in 2011.

Looking to a spire in Moseley. It is of St Anne's Church, which is located on Park Hill in Moseley. Below a small brick building with graffiti all over it.

Looking to the football field with Edgbaston Cricket Ground in the distance.

Some of my photos from the Great Birmingham Run 2019 on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston. For more photos follow this link Great Birmingham Run 2019: runners on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston.

This is close to the corner of Edward Road and Pershore Road (where I entered the park this time around).

The runners continue to head up the Pershore Road and back into the city centre. Heading past Gracewell of Edgbaston and the Edgbaston Dental Centre.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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21 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Malvern and Brueton Parks: from Solihull Town Centre to the M42

Two parks in one that are in Solihull Town Centre. Well Malvern Park is closer to the shops in Solihull. While Brueton Park is closer to the M42 (not far from the A41 and Junction 5). Over the years I've been to Malvern Park multiple times. Brueton Park only twice (it is much further away from the centre). Lots of paths to walk, also a lake and the River Blythe in Brueton Park.

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Malvern and Brueton Parks: from Solihull Town Centre to the M42





Two parks in one that are in Solihull Town Centre. Well Malvern Park is closer to the shops in Solihull. While Brueton Park is closer to the M42 (not far from the A41 and Junction 5). Over the years I've been to Malvern Park multiple times. Brueton Park only twice (it is much further away from the centre). Lots of paths to walk, also a lake and the River Blythe in Brueton Park.


First up details from the Wikipedia page Malvern and Brueton Park.

This pair of parks is located in Solihull.The park is over 130 acres in size and opened in 1944. The parks are a Green Flag Award winner.

Malvern Park was laid out by the then Solihull Urban District Council in 1926, on land that was formerly part of the estate of Malvern Hall. The Statue of Horse and Horse Tamer was sculpted in 1874 by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm. It was purchased at auction by Captain Oliver Bird, of Bird's Custard for his garden at Tudor Grange, but he donated it to Solihull Council in 1945. It was placed in the park during the coronation year of 1953. The statue was damaged in 2012, and restored later that year.

Brueton Park is a Local Nature Reserve. The parkland was given to Solihull by Horace Brueton in 1944. This land was also formerly part of the estate of Malvern Hall. The two parks were linked in 1963. A lake runs through the park near the River Blythe. There is many species of Oak trees in the park. It is hard to tell when you are leaving Malvern Park as you enter Brueton Park as they merge into one.

 

I'm not putting all the photos I've uploaded into this post, please see them in the gallery. Alternatively in my Flickr albums Malvern Park and Brueton Park.

Malvern Park

The Prancing Horse statue seen during January 2010. This was when the bronze was looking quite green and before metal thieves damaged it in 2012 (before it was later restored).

The gates into Malvern Park. Seen in the middle of January 2010. They are the main gates from New Road in Solihull Town Centre. And not  far from the Warwick Road. They date to 1954-55.

Saw this wooden frame not far from the playground in the park during December 2012. A few years later I saw that they had installed a rope that children could climb on and walk along, like something from an obstacle course.

Near the New Road gate entrance. Saw this plaque in December 2012. From the "Rotary Club of Solihull. Presented to the people of Solihull in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, 2012, Sixty Glorious years". It was donated by Earlswood Garden & Landscape Centre and was made of mid Wales stone.

A path in Malvern Park seen during February 2014. Sometimes the pedestrian and cylist paintwork on the path can become quite faint, so sometimes you maybe walking on the cyclists side.

This canopy seen in Malvern Park during October 2014. Some kind of gazebo. Possibly somewhere that a band could play music, not that I've ever seen that myself here.

This wooden walkway seen in March 2016, going off the path to the right.

Ice cream van in the car park seen during March 2017. Super Whippy. I usually take the entrance from Park Road as it is the closest entrance from the Solihull High Street.

There was a lot of snow in the park during December 2017. A Winter Wonderland. This view looking to the spire of St Alphege's Church. It was freezing!

Mr Blue Sky was in Malvern Park during January 2019. Looking this way to the tennis courts.

The main gates to the park if you are coming in from the Park Road entrance. But there is also a path to the right. The October 2019 visit which I took on the walk to Brueton Park again. These gates date to the opening of the park in 1926.

Brueton Park

I've only been into Brueton Park twice. The first time was during October 2018. That time I walked all the way to the Warwick Road and then back into Solihull Town Centre. The Second time in October 2019 to cross a footbridge over the M42 (on a rather long walk to Widney Manor Station).

The path that leads from Malvern Park into Brueton Park.

Here the paths diverge, but you can really only go right past the evergreen trees. This is near the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust (I've been past them but not gone in).

The lake in Brueton Park. It is quite large and runs along side the River Blythe.

A swan in the Brueton Park Lake.

Some gulls standing on branches of a tree, near the lake.

Heading into Brueton Park during October 2019 and the leaves on the trees are going yellowy orange. Quite autumnal.

This time I took the right path around the lake heading to a footbridge that crossed the River Blythe.

Here the Brueton Park Lake flows into the River Blythe. I was on my way to cross that footbridge.

Following the path alongside the River Blythe. The lake is on the other sides of the trees to the left.

Another footbridge crossing the River Blythe in Brueton Park. A quick look before I left the park for the footbridge over the M42.

Not only is it possible to walk from Solihull Town Centre over the M42, but you could probably also walk to Knowle and Dorridge if you wanted to. The Warwick Road is cut in half by the motorway. So the Solihull Bypass replaces that section of the A41. The footbridge can only be used by pedestrians, dog walkers and cyclists (while they are not riding there bikes). I took a route towards Widney Manor Station.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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16 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Sheldon Country Park: from the Coventry Road to Old Rectory Farm and the Airport viewing area

Only in Sheldon Country Park can you see a farm and then plane spot! There is several paths from the Coventry Road. One leads to Old Rectory Farm. The quicker route leads to the Airport viewing area near Marston Green Station. There are benches where you can sit and see planes taking off or landing. Get your train from or to Marston Green Station (or the bus).

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Sheldon Country Park: from the Coventry Road to Old Rectory Farm and the Airport viewing area





Only in Sheldon Country Park can you see a farm and then plane spot! There is several paths from the Coventry Road. One leads to Old Rectory Farm. The quicker route leads to the Airport viewing area near Marston Green Station. There are benches where you can sit and see planes taking off or landing. Get your train from or to Marston Green Station (or the bus).


Follow this link to my full Sheldon Country Park album on Flickr.

February 2015

This was my first walk in the Sheldon Country Park. Getting on at the Coventry Road in Sheldon, running alongside the Westley Brook. Not far from Barrows Lane and Horse Shoes Lane. This sign welcomes you to the park. An ALDI supermarket is almost directly opposite this entrance.

Trees in the park not far from the Coventry Road in Sheldon.

The path from the Coventry Road. Following the route of the Westley Brook it ends at Church Road in Sheldon.

A look at the Westley Brook from a footbridge.

The footbridge that crosses the Westley Brook.

At the time the paths were quite muddy. Walked from the Church Road entrance and went past Old Rectory Farm. Here was a couple of horses.

One of the horses eating grass.

Several sheep here as well.

A pair of sheep.

Beyond Old Rectory Farm was a football pitch. Boys were playing a game that day as I walked past on the muddy paths.

Airport viewing area first few visits

In March 2016 at Easter, I returned to the Sheldon Country Park, taken several buses towards Marston Green Station as I heard via social media that the Emirates Airbus A380 would be landing at Birmingham Airport with passengers for the first time. Obviously other people had heard this aswell (thanks Birmingham Updates!).

Just about caught the Emirates Airbus A380 landing as I got close to the Airport viewing area. What a sight! It was then given Birmingham Airport's traditional hose down! See the post here Emirates Airbus A380 : the super double decker plane from Dubai in Birmingham and the Midlands.

Loads of people here during March 2016 to see the Emirates Airbus A380 (and other planes) but mainly the Emirates.

Panoramic, was a nice day weather wise.

In November 2016 for a bit of plane spotting. While there saw this London Midland Class 350 Desiro train heading over the viaduct near Marston Green Station.

Was also a Virgin Trains Class 390 Pendolino going past. Best views usually from the platforms at Marston Green Station (but Virgin don't stop there, so go past at 100mph).

Another plane spotting session during March 2017. That day mainly waiting to see the Emirates Boeing 777 take off. Meanwhile saw this Virgin Trains Super Voyager Class 221 (I think).

Also heading over the brick viaduct was an Arriva Trains Wales Class 158 train. They usually go as far as Birmingham International, and then head back to North Wales (Holyhead). Since that franchise ended it is now run by Transport for Wales (I have yet to get photos of their trains since the new franchise started, but have seen some in this area but missed getting a photo of one).

Chinese State Circus

The Chinese State Circus was on in the Sheldon Country Park on a strip of land near the path that was close to the Westley Brook, during May 2017. See my circuses post here for more photos Circuses in Birmingham.

It was on from the 9th to 14th May 2017. There was signs lining the Coventry Road at the time letting people know about it, and elsewhere in Birmingham.

October 2019

Just when I thought I'd walked all the paths in the Sheldon Country Park, while I was checking out the Sheldon Retail Park, I knew that there was another entrance to the park nearby, so headed there after leaving Morrisons. Is also a new M & S Food in the Sheldon area. This path follows the Hatchford Brook. Getting on close to The Arden Oak (Harvester), which is near Arden Oak Road.

The path and the Hatchford Brook. Nearby to the right of the park is the Hatchford Brook Golf Club. But a bit hard to see the golf course over the fence and shrubbery.

A footbridge seen crossing the Hatchford Brook.

One side of the Hatchford Brook from the footbridge.

Also a small waterfall, or weir. Before you know it, you are walking past Birmingham Airport.

Newly laid paths in the Sheldon Country Park that runs up towards the Birmingham Airport perimeter.

The path now goes past the fence of the airport, and the Hatchford Brook enters the airport grounds.

Members of the public are not allowed to climb over the fence onto the airside area of the airport, or even use a drone here. It is forbidden!

An emergency exit gate from the airport onto the path in the park. It must be kept clear at all times.

I ended up at Marston Green Station again. Missed the first train to Birmingham New Street, and that was before buying a ticket (this was on a Sunday afternoon). After I bought my ticket had a half hour wait for the next London Northwestern Railway train that was heading towards Rugeley Trent Valley (now that the Chase line has been electrified). Got this view of the park when I finally left the station. Shows the airport viewing area. Benches and the path are to the left.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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14 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Pype Hayes Park: the park near Erdington and not far from Sutton Coldfield

I've visited Pype Hayes Park twice in the winter of 2018/19. First time around late December 2018 for a walk up the Plants Brook towards Wylde Green. Second time a month later in January 2019 after a walk from New Hall Valley Country Park towards Tyburn. In both cases saw the derelict Pype Hayes Hall which is in urgent need of restoration by the council.

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Pype Hayes Park: the park near Erdington and not far from Sutton Coldfield





I've visited Pype Hayes Park twice in the winter of 2018/19. First time around late December 2018 for a walk up the Plants Brook towards Wylde Green. Second time a month later in January 2019 after a walk from New Hall Valley Country Park towards Tyburn. In both cases saw the derelict Pype Hayes Hall which is in urgent need of restoration by the council.


Pype Hayes Park is located near Erdington and Pype Hayes in North Birmingham, also close to Tyburn. It's main entrance is on the Chester Road. The corner of Chester Road and Eachelhurst Road marks the furthest end of the park. In the park is the Grade II listed building Pype Hayes Hall (now derelict and boarded up). There is also a pond.

December 2018

For a Christmas Day 2018 walk we went to Pype Hayes Park. Heading past some trees.

More trees seen as we headed down the path towards the Plants Brook.

I think this was the path that took us down to the Plants Brook and out of the park towards Wylde Green (and Walmley Golf Club). When we got to the Sutton Park Line railway bridge we turned back. Beyond was New Hall Valley Country Park (I would be back that way a month later).

After coming back along the Plants Brook, went up to look at the remains of Pype Hayes Hall. It dates from the late 18th / early 19th century. The listing says that it was a stucco refacing of house of an earlier 17th century timber framed house.

It was part of the Manor of Pype. It ended up in the Bagot family from about 1630. The Bagot's sold some of the land in the 1880s for the creation of the Minworth Sewage Works. The rest sold to Birmingham City Council in 1920. And the hall was used for various public social uses.

A look at a path and trees beyond the derelict hall. From this side it was fenced off, so wasn't much to see.

A playground not too far from the hall.

In the car leaving on Chester Road. A line of evergreen trees.

Leaving the main entrance from the car park.

One of the signs for Pype Hayes Park.

January 2019

I knew that I missed seeing the pond the first time around as got off the Plants Brook footpath early. This time walked all the way to the end and made it to the pond this time. I had got a bus to Sutton Coldfield, then walked down through the New Hall Valley Country Park (going past the New Hall Water Mill) and back down the Plants Brook to the familiar path I was on the month before.

A close up look at the pond, the usual swans and gulls to be found swimming in it.

A pair of swans and various gulls.

Found a garden to the back of Pype Hayes Hall. But being January was nothing much planted there, and I didn't return in the spring or summer to see what it should look like in warmer months.

Coming back here meant I got to se the other side of Pype Hayes Hall. This side from the garden.

The hall was looking quite white on this side, but hedges in the way.

Pype Hayes Hall was run as a residential children's home from about 1949 to the 1970s. Fences around the hedges.

In 1974 the body of a woman child-care worker was found in the grounds of Pype Hayes. A man called Thornton who also worked at the hall was a suspect, but it was later found that there was no evidence of him linked to the murder. Fences around the hedges continued, no access to the public from the park.

Another woman murdered 157 years earlier shared similarities with this 1974 death, and one of the accused men was also called Thornton. Some more derelict buildings, probably a barn or stables.

There might be "Plans to restore them for use as a 60-bed hotel, spa and swimming pool", but I'm not sure if that would happen or what the council is planning to do here. That was back in 2015.They can't leave it in this state!

After this headed to a bus stop and got a 67 back to the city centre, passing a boarded up pub called The Bagot Arms on the way. There was a sign on the pub saying that it would be a "Bar & Grill" coming soon. Has it opened now?

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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07 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Aston Hall and Park in autumn and winter

A look around Aston Park, the home of Aston Hall. The estate of Sir Thomas Holte in the 17th century. Later home to James Watt Jr. The park in the winter of January 2010 and December 2016. The autumn of September 2017. The park is also quite close to Villa Park, home of Aston Villa FC.

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Aston Hall and Park in autumn and winter





A look around Aston Park, the home of Aston Hall. The estate of Sir Thomas Holte in the 17th century. Later home to James Watt Jr. The park in the winter of January 2010 and December 2016. The autumn of September 2017. The park is also quite close to Villa Park, home of Aston Villa FC.


Aston Park is located on the Trinity Road in Aston, and is mainly known for Aston Hall at the centre of the park. Not far away is Villa Park, home of Aston Villa Football Club. The park is reachable on foot from both Witton Station and Aston Station. As well as various local bus routes.

I first travelled to Aston by bus in January 2010, getting off at the Six Ways Island near the Birchfield Road. At the time there was a lot of snow in the area. My full Flickr album: Aston Hall and Park.

January 2010

Approaching Aston Park from the Trinity Road, already I could see that the grounds were all covered in snow. The North Lodge and Stables were visible in the background.

Now heading up the main road into the park, with so much snow, I couldn't see where the road or the grass was! The stable block is the entrance to Aston Hall, but as it was winter (January 2010) it was closed.

First look at Aston Hall in this winter scene from January 2010. It is a Grade I listed building designed by John Thorpe and built between 1618 and 1635, for Sir Thomas Holte. A Jacobean mansion, the house was bought in 1864 by the Birmingham Corporation, becoming the first historic country house to pass into municipal ownership. It is still owned by Birmingham City Council, but is now run as museum by the Birmingham Museums Trust.

The North Lodge and stables. Also a Grade I listed building as the Stable Range to North of Northern Lodge, Aston Hall. Dates to the middle of the 18th century. The entrance to the courtyard is through the gatewat in the middle of the former stabels range.

Turning around (I think this was still near the stables range) looking at the snow covered Aston Park. I was heading back down to Trinity Road, where I would then have a look around Villa Park. This was the only time I saw Aston Park with snow, and since then, I've not seen the park with snow.

December 2016

A walk that started at Dartmouth Middleway ended at Aston Park. I went up Chester Street towards Park Circus (was some sculptures to see along the way). Headed into the park via Frederick Road near this playground. By the looks of the map, I missed seeing King Edward VI Aston School.

A look at Lady Holte's Garden at Aston Hall through the gate. I would have to wait until September 2017, during Birmingham Heritage Week, before having a good explore of this garden.

Another view of Lady Holte's Garden during winter 2016/17. Completely empty as the hall is always closed during winter. It's normally open from Easter to the end of October.

A path in the park near Witton Lane. It might have been winter, but looked very autumnal at the time with the leaves on the ground.

One of the paths that runs alongside Trinity Road. No snow, so the main road up to the hall was clear to see. An Aston Hall sign with opening times. My next visit to the park would be around 9 months later when I heard about the Civil War Siege event during Birmingham Heritage Week. After I left the park, I walked to Aston Station to get a train back into Birmingham City Centre (wasn't going to walk back).

September 2017

Follow this link on the Civil War Siege, which was the main reason at the time for going back to Aston Park.

A look around Lady Holte's Garden. This water feature at the time was dry, maybe there is water in here in the summer? A fountain in the shape of a cross.

The far left side of Lady Holte's Garden. Plenty of trees and flowers to see in the middle of September 2017. The side of Aston Hall. During the Civil War Siege, I had time to explore the inside of the hall, before it go too busy.

I noticed that a cricket match was underway in Aston Park, at the same time as the Civil War Siege event (not related in any way). So around Aston Hall were Civil War re-enactors. And down on the cricket pitch, cricketers!

The back of Aston Hall, many flower beds with yellow and orange coloured flowers. The Pan sculpture in the middle. It has been missing it's head for many years now. There was also stone vases by famous Birmingham sculptor William Bloye.

A path round the back of Aston Park. After the Civil War Siege, had a look around the gardens, before heading down this path towards Trinity Road, and heading back to Aston Station.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

 

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