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Elliott Brown Environment & green action
28 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
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Exploring the Birmingham Botanical Gardens over the years from multiple visits

I've been to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens several times over the last 5 or more years. Usually to attend something like the Magical Lantern Festival, Jurassic Kingdom or Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom events. More recently attended a free open day during Birmingham Heritage Week back in 2019. You can see various birds in cages, a roaming peacock, and butterflies in a greenhouse and more

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Exploring the Birmingham Botanical Gardens over the years from multiple visits





I've been to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens several times over the last 5 or more years. Usually to attend something like the Magical Lantern Festival, Jurassic Kingdom or Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom events. More recently attended a free open day during Birmingham Heritage Week back in 2019. You can see various birds in cages, a roaming peacock, and butterflies in a greenhouse and more


Birmingham Botanical Gardens

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is located on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham. The Birmingham Botanical and Horticultural Society was founded in 1829 with the intent to found a botanical garden. It opened in 1832. The gardens are Grade II listed and was designed by J. C. Loudon. The Tropical House was built in 1852, followed by the Subtropical House in 1871. The Terrace glasshouses were built in 1884.

The gardens features a Bandstand and Aviary, four glasshouses (Tropical, Subtropical, Mediterranean and Arid glasshouses), plus a Alpine House and Butterfly House. There is a sunken Rose Garden, a cast iron Gazebo built in 1850. A rock garden and pool dating to 1895. Various walks that were laid out in 1862. Three period gardens (Tudor, Roman and Medieval) was created in 1994.

The gardens has a gift shop, plant sale centre, tea room, meeting and conference rooms. Famously the leaders of the G8 had a dinner party in the Pavilion Restaurant here in 1998.

 

2012

One of my earliest photos of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens taken during August 2012, walked past on Westbourne Road. I have been here as a child back in the 1980s, but didn't start taking photos here until this point.

 

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Aug 2012).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2016

The first event I paid to go to the Botanical Gardens was at the Magical Lantern Festival during December 2016. Hung around the City Centre until it got dark and arrived for my time just before 5pm, but it was heavily raining.

Go here for the Magical Lantern Festival 2016 post.

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern Festival (Dec 2016) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

While there (in the heavy rain) I got some photos of the Glasshouses. Bit hard to see in the dark, but was lit up inside.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Glasshouses Bham BotG (Dec 2016) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

View to the Pavilion Restaurant. That was where in 1998, the leaders of the G8 had a dinner party. Including the Clinton's and Blair's.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Glasshouses Bham BotG (Dec 2016) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2017

In May 2017 I booked to see the Jurassic Kingdom event at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Better weather this time and was in the daytime. Animatronic dinosaurs. Plus while there got general photos of the gardens.

Got a post here for both Jurassic Kingdom 2017 and Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom 2019.

dndimg alt="Jurassic Kingdom" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Jurassic Kingdom 2017 Bham Botanical Gardens (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Bandstand was installed here in 1873. It was renovated on it's centenary in 1973.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Bird Cages also known as the Aviary.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Red-crowned parakeet in the Aviary (Bird Cage).

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One of the peacocks that roams around the Botanical Gardens.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The fountain was built in 1850. It ceased to flow in 1940 but was restored to working order in 1982.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Gazebo dates to 1850 and was originally located at 32 Church Road, Edgbaston and was made of Cast Iron. Donated by the Lord Chancellor's Department in 1993. Restored in 1994.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading through The Tropical House.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It is very warm in The Tropical House. A bench to sit down on.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading out of the Botanical Gardens, saw the blue plaque of Ernest Henry Wilson (1876 - 1930). Placed here by the Birmingham Civic Society in 2010.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (May 2017) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A few months later in August 2017, I was walking past the Botanical Gardens, and saw a view with Old Joe (the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower) at the University of Birmingham.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Aug 2017).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

By December 2017, there was a Christmas Lights Trail on at the Botanical Gardens, although I didn't go to it myself. But at the time I could see this Helter Skelter and a Carousel from the Westbourne Road. Taken from the no 24 bus. It looks like a fun fair was close to the car park.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Dec 2017).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2018

In July 2018, I got off the no 24 bus on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston to see a new blue plaque at Birmingham City University. Got these photos of the Welcome signs on the walk up the road. This car park is usually full during events, and is best for people to park their cars elsewhere in Edgbaston and walk there.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Jul 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This Welcome sign on the main entrance building.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Jul 2018) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

During the open day at the Tyseley Locomotive Works in September 2018, West Midlands Railway was showing off 172 339 with it's purple livery. On the side was 2 for 1 offers, including at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This livery has since been replaced with the standard orange one on all of their Class 172 trains on the Snow Hill Lines. I previously caught this at Birmingham Moor Street Station back in April 2018.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Tyseley WMR 172339 (Sep 2018) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Magical Lantern Festival returned to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in December 2018 (it was at Kings Heath Park in 2017). That year I didn't pay to go to it, just saw from either the no 23 or 24 buses. Santa was outside.

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern BBG (Dec 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Was better to get off the bus to see Santa and the presents from Westbourne Road.

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern BBG (Dec 2018) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

They had unicorns with wings at the main entrance. Can you spot Old Joe on the right?

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern BBG (Dec 2018) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A few days later, tried to get some more shots from the top of a bus. Christmas tree near the main entrance.

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern BBG (Dec 2018) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Could see this shoe from the bus window.

dndimg alt="Magical Lantern Festival" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Magical Lantern BBG (Dec 2018) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2019

Returned in April 2019 for the Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom event. Link to that post is further up this post. It was another opportunity to get general shots of the Botanical Gardens, as well as the animatronic wild beasts! Due to going to the previous event I attended, got an early bird ticket and went quite early on it's run!

dndimg alt="Ice Age The Lost Kingdom" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Ice Age The Lost Kingdom 2019 Bham Botanical Gardens (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Saw the peacock on the path near the ice age beasts.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A close up look at the Bandstand.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Into the Historic Gardens. On the right was The Tudor Knott Garden.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

At the far end was the statue of Proserpina.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The garden to the far left is The Medieval Garden.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The garden in the middle is The Roman Garden.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A view of the Alpine Yard redevelopment.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Apr 2019) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

By September 2019, it was Birmingham Heritage Week, and the gardens was packed! But on the Sunday it was free to visit, so had a full walk around this time. Go here for the Birmingham Heritage Week post of the weekend 14th and 15th September 2019. 5 photos in the original post (plus three other venues I visited that weekend).

More views below.

The entrance to the Botanical Gardens, with the stone dated 1832 above the Welcome canopy and Heritage Open Day bunting.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Arid House, full of cactuses in here.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It was nice and warm in here for the cactuses.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Outside to the Loudon Terrace. The border looked very colourful. Was also a lot of people around. Probably the last time it was this busy before the pandemic started in 2020.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This was the Garden of Tomorrow.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The pond at the Garden of Memory.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A look at the Rock Garden and Pool. Lots of water lilies in the pool.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Was on the path from Farrer Walk to Wilson Walk. Saw this unique looking flower called Impatiens niamiamensis. Red, yellow and green.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

In the Butterfly House, was several butterflies, the rest were hibernating.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Saw these Rosy-faced lovebirds in one of the bird cages. There was a lot of them in there.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

On the Perennial borders saw a lot of Yellow coneflowers.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was also this flower called Tagetes patula. Had red and yellow petals.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was a parrot in the Aviary (Bird House). Saw plenty of other birds in there as well.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Botanical Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Botanical Gardens (Sept 2019) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

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Elliott Brown Environment & green action
26 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
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An Edwardian gem that is Winterbourne House & Garden

I've only visited the garden at Winterbourne once, way back in August 2008, so was before I picked up Birmingham photography. One of the last places we went to with my late brother (passed November 2008). In the years since, I took some exteriors of the house fro Edgbaston Park Road when it was being restored, and another time for the blue plaque of John Nettlefold, who lived here.

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An Edwardian gem that is Winterbourne House & Garden





I've only visited the garden at Winterbourne once, way back in August 2008, so was before I picked up Birmingham photography. One of the last places we went to with my late brother (passed November 2008). In the years since, I took some exteriors of the house fro Edgbaston Park Road when it was being restored, and another time for the blue plaque of John Nettlefold, who lived here.


Winterbourne House & Garden

Winterbourne House and Winterbourne Botanic Garden is located on Edgbaston Park Road in Edgbaston and belongs to the University of Birmingham. It has been on the site since 1903, and been part of the University since 1944.

 

History of Winterbourne

Winterbourne House was built between 1903 and 1904 as the family home of John & Margaret Nettlefold. They commissioned the local architect Joseph Lancaster Bell to design and build the house. It was made of brick and tiles. The original garden was designed by Margaret Nettlefold herself. They lived here with their children until 1919, when John was getting a bit unwell.

The property was sold to the Wheelock family, who had 9 children. They lived here until 1925. It was then purchased by John Nicholson, who was a local businessman, and a keen gardener. He made improvements to the garden, adding a rock garden and alpine area. He was here until his death in 1944.

Winterbourne was then passed onto the University of Birmingham. Initially the house was used as student halls. The house has had a variety of uses since 1944. During 2009 to 2010, the house was fully restored. During this time the Birmingham Civic Society placed a blue plaque on the house for John Nettlefold.

The garden has many plants from around the world. The house now has a gift shop and tearoom. Plus an Art Gallery. During the Pandemic, the garden has only been open to members.

 

2008

So far the visit of August 2008 was the only time I've been to Winterbourne House & Garden, so is a bit hard to remember this visit (from 12 to 13 years ago). Other than it was one of the places we went to that year before my brother passed away of cancer in November 2008.

View from the garden of Winterbourne House.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Below, one of my late brothers photos of a small boggy pond.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A pond with water lilies (my late brothers photo below). Not sure if this is the Chad Brook or not.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Large leaves over the pond (or Chad Brook). (One of my late brothers photos below).

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Looking at my archive photos from that visit, I didn't take much, so only had a handle of photos like this. The pond / Chad Brook with water lilies.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

One of my late brothers photos towards the house.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

He also took this one in the garden.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Yes this was one of his photos as well (I Photoshopped myself out of it).

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (10).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

What looks a ships deck.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (11).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The ships deck from the front.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne Garden (Aug 2008) (12).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2009

About a year or so after loosing my brother, during December 2009,  I was walking past Winterbourne House on Edgbaston Park Road, while there was so on the ground at the University of Birmingham. Work was underway to restore the house. Was the same day as I got the statue of George I outside of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts (another place we visited back in 2008, but couldn't take photos inside unfortunately).

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Dec 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A University of Birmingham sign says this is part of the Green Zone. G.11 is Winterbourne House and G.12 is Winterbourne Botanic Garden.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Dec 2009) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Looked like at the time they were also doing work on the grounds outside near the car park entrance.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Dec 2009) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Details of the first and second floor with the roof covered in snow.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Dec 2009) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

A sign welcomes you to Winterbourne. Garden Entrance to the left.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Dec 2009) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

It was a blue sky day, snow everywhere but settled. The front drive was quite big. Public car park is also on this side.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Dec 2009) (9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2013

The last time I got photos of Winterbourne House & Garden from Edgbaston Park Road was during February 2013, to see the blue plaque that had been installed there. Although I have walked up Edgbaston Park Road in the years since, just not taken any more photos of Winterbourne since then.

Saw this sign as I got close to Winterbourne House & Garden. Tearoom * Gifts * Gallery * Plants. University of Birmingham.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House & Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Feb 2013) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The house was looking as good as new, cars in the car park to the right.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House & Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Feb 2013) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The drive on the left is the entrance to cars going to the car park.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House & Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Feb 2013) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading to the blue plaque on the right.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House & Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Feb 2013) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The Birmingham Civic Society unveiled this blue plaque in 2010 in memory of John Sutton Nettlefold (1866 - 1930). He lived in this house from 1903 until 1919.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne House & Garden" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne House (Feb 2013) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Winterbourne during the pandemic

During the pandemic, Winterbourne Garden is open, but the house, shop and tearoom remain closed until further notice. But you can order gifts online and click & collect only (they don't offer a postal service). You can also get a Winterbourne Membership if you want to.

They are not operating a pre-booked system. They have reduced the number of visitors they can have at one time. Only University members or students with ID's can visit at the moment. So it looks like if you are not a member, or don't belong to the University you can't visit right now.

Would be nice to go again one day in the future when things get better.

 

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

 

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
18 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
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A visit to Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses during September 2020

On the afternoon of the 6th September 2020, we booked to go to the National Trust property and grounds of Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses. Located in Staffordshire near the village of Kinver (and not too far from Stourbridge). The Holy Austin Rock Houses were still lived in until the 1960s. Due to the pandemic, you couldn't go into the houses, just peek into them.

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A visit to Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses during September 2020





On the afternoon of the 6th September 2020, we booked to go to the National Trust property and grounds of Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses. Located in Staffordshire near the village of Kinver (and not too far from Stourbridge). The Holy Austin Rock Houses were still lived in until the 1960s. Due to the pandemic, you couldn't go into the houses, just peek into them.


Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses

 

A visit to Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses during September 2020. This was on the afternoon of the 6th September 2020. As before, we booked the tickets via the National Trust website (which goes onto the EventBrite app). Outside of the forest was a car park, and we passed an ice cream van. We booked in for 2:30pm. You head up to the gate, and get your ticket scanned, then proceed to walk up to the Rock Houses.

 

This National Trust site is near the village of Kinver in Staffordshire, and isn't too far from Stourbridge (around 4 miles away). There is caves in the hills, some that had houses built into them. Kinver Edge includes a heath and woodland. The National Trust was first given the estate in 1917 (around 198 acres) by the children of Thomas Grosvenor Lee (who was a Birmingham solicitor born in Kinver). The Trust acquired a further 85 acres between 1964 and 1980. In 2014 Worcestershire County Council approved the transfer of Kingsford Forest Park to the National Trust. By 2018 the parks signs were now reading National Trust Kinver Edge.

Kinver Edge was home to the last troglodyte homes in England. One of the rock houses was called Holy Austin (which you can visit). It was a hermitage until the Reformation. The Holy Austin Rock Houses were lived in until the 1960s. In normal times you can visit them, but during the summer and autumn of 2020, you could only peek into the rock houses.

Further up was a tearoom and caves. You could put your mask on, and order a coffee and cake and sit at the tables outside (this was when restrictions were eased, and before they were strengthened again).

Also located here was Nanny's Rock, which was a large cave, but it was never converted into a house. There was also Vale's Rock, which had also been known as Crow's Rock. It had been converted into houses and was last occupied in the 1960s. But due to it's dangerous condition it is out of bounds to visitors. Although you can see it from the tables and chairs of the Tearoom area.

From 1901 to 1930, it used to be possible for visitors to get the Kinver Light Railway, which connected to Birmingham's original tram network (operated from 1904 to 1953 by Birmingham Corporation Tramways). But it closed due to the popularity of the motorbus and motorcars. These days, only cars and coaches can get to Kinver Edge on Compton Road. Although I only remember parking spaces available for cars.

 

After you explore the rock houses and caves, you can head up into the Woodland and climb up to the Toposcope (if you want to).

 

After showing our tickets in the EventBrite app, we walked around to the Rock Houses. This was the first glimpse of one of them.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

These are the Holy Austin Rock Houses at Kinver Edge.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Teas written on the wall of one of the Rock Houses. Probably Vale's Rock.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There is at least three levels to the Rock Houses here at Kinver Edge, along with some caves.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It wouldn't be long before I got to see this Rock House up and close, but first had to walk up some steps.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A Keep Out sign near the rocks. Not all areas are safe for the public to go.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I would get a better view of these Rock Houses once we went up the steps.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Close up to the first Rock House at the corner. The Holy Austin Rock Houses on the Lower Level.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

You could peek into the Rock Houses, but a rope prevented you from entering.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A look at the objects on the table in this Rock House.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Pots and pans in this small cave.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Some Rock Houses had open windows, and you could peek into them. Looks like a bedroom.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The window of this Rock House was only slightly open.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A path goes around the Rock Houses to view some more of them. These are the Holy Austin Rock Houses. Ghost sign above barely readable.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Doors on the Rock Houses to the left were closed, so you couldn't see inside of these ones.

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A look at Nanny's Rock (I think). Caves that were never converted into Rock Houses. For many years it was known as Meg-o-Fox-Hole. Someone may have died here in 1617 known as Margaret of the fox earth. Visible from the Middle Level, near tables and chairs from the Tearoom (over a fence).

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When you get to the Upper Level, there is a cave you can enter. The ground is covered in sand, plus I think graffiti had been scratched into the rocks over the years. This is near the Tearoom. These are the Martindale Caves and have a 1930s appearance.

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The Tearoom is on the Upper Level, to the left of the caves. Tables and chairs were outside to the right (in front of the caves). But if occupied, you had to stand up having your coffee or tea. Toilets were around to the left. This house has been restored to a Victorian appearance.

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After going through the gate, exiting the Rock Houses, saw a view of the Victorian style Tearoom house. Toilets on the left. From here you can follow the paths and steps up the hill to the summit of Kinver Edge.

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The Toposcope at the top of the hill on Kinver Edge. It has a map of the Midlands, which was restored by the Rotary Club of Kinver in 2014 (it was originally presented by them in 1990). Showing all the counties of the West Midlands region. Plus the major towns and cities (including Birmingham). Plus major hills such as the Lickey Hills and Clent Hills.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Return to Packwood House during July 2020

The second National Trust we booked to go back to was Packwood House. This was near the end of July 2020. This time though, we were able to go inside of the house. But the entrance was moved to the back. And only a limited number of people inside at one time. Some parts of the garden wasn't open. But you could go all the way around the lake, and have a picnic on the lawn.

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Return to Packwood House during July 2020





The second National Trust we booked to go back to was Packwood House. This was near the end of July 2020. This time though, we were able to go inside of the house. But the entrance was moved to the back. And only a limited number of people inside at one time. Some parts of the garden wasn't open. But you could go all the way around the lake, and have a picnic on the lawn.


This visit to Packwood House was booked for the 20th July 2020 for around 12pm. As before you go to the National Trust website, and book the tickets in the EventBrite app. The way into the grounds from the car park had changed. You still go through the Barnyard, but a different gate was opened near the house.

You could get in the queue to go into the house, which had only just reopened (many other National Trust properties around the country, the inside of properties were not open). Use the hand sanitiser and put your face mask on. Only the ground floor was open this time. The door at the back was the way in. And you exit via the Great Hall.

One reason to go back was to go all the way around the lake. As back in 2018 they were restoring a path. This time though the path was open, and you could go through gates to the field at the back.

 

Heading from the car park to the Barnyard, saw these social distancing signs. Please keep 2 metres apart.

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In the Barnyard saw Fergie the tractor. It is over 70 years old.

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The Yew Garden was closed. Saw this view from the back of the house.

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Queuing to go into Packwood House. There was hand sanitiser and buckets to bin your paper towels.

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Bit weird having the rooms to just your household bubble. This was the Drawing Room.

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In the Long Gallery. Was the odd National Trust volunteer around.

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Now in the Great Hall. The long table and chairs had been moved. The door to the far right was the way back outside.

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Checking out the lake, was gulls taking off and landing all the time.

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View of the back of the house. This was The West Front, and last summer it was the way to queue to go into the house. First up it was time to have a sandwich on the lawn to the right.

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After having a sandwich, we continued the walk. Now heading around the lake.

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Quite a lot of Canada geese and ducks around as you would expect with a lake like this.

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The gate from the Packwood Causeway leads into the Pool Tail Copse.

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A woodland to walk through. Tall trees, lush and green in the height of summer.

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There was an Orchard on the way back towards the gardens with a view of the lake.

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Glimpses of the Carolean Garden. Most of the garden was roped off, and you couldn't go any further. This was one of the brick Gazebos.

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Another one of the Gazebos near the South Front of the house.

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A wheelbarrow and rope. You couldn't go any further in the Carolean Garden.

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The East Front of Packwood House used to be the main entrance to go into the house. But not during the pandemic. This door was closed. And now this garden was the way out. The Sundial Gift Shop in the outbuildings to the right was also closed.

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Some of the flowers and plants in the garden near The East Front of Packwood House.

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On the way out, saw that The Barnyard Cafe was closed. But instead, you could get a coffee in the Barnyard from a trailer. The Kitchen Garden was also closed (I think, might have missed the entrance to it this time). The extensive grounds were open for people to walk around if they wanted to.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

See also my post on the return to Baddesley Clinton in July 2020.

 

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

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
11 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Return to Baddesley Clinton during July 2020

It might seem like a while ago now, but way back in the summer of 2020, when lockdown restrictions were being eased. You could book to visit National Trust properties again. The first one we booked for was Baddesley Clinton in early July 2020. You choose a date and time in advance and a number of tickets. And you could go around the site in about 90 minutes. The house wasn't open.

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Return to Baddesley Clinton during July 2020





It might seem like a while ago now, but way back in the summer of 2020, when lockdown restrictions were being eased. You could book to visit National Trust properties again. The first one we booked for was Baddesley Clinton in early July 2020. You choose a date and time in advance and a number of tickets. And you could go around the site in about 90 minutes. The house wasn't open.


From March to June 2020, most National Trust properties were completely closed during the first lockdown. Then in the summer, as restrictions were being eased, they were able to reopen certain properties, but just the gardens and estate, but not the interior of the houses. The first one we booked to return to was Baddesley Clinton.

Tickets were usually released on the Friday, and were available to the Sunday, and they were going fast. We booked to go on the 6th July 2020, at around 11:30am in the morning.

There was a one way system in place. They scanned the QR code on the EventBrite app outside. The shop was reopened, but you had to wear your face mask inside. The cafe was only open to buy your coffee and anything else for takeaway, so you had to sit outside to have your drink.

 

Arriving in the car park, on the walk to the entrance. Saw these two signs. One about how to stay safe and enjoy your visit. The other about keeping 2 metres apart.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Welcome to Baddesley Clinton sign. With (then) updated signs. Including one about the one way system.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After the tickets in the EventBrite app were scanned, could already see that part of the Courtyard was roped off.

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To the back of the house in the garden, they had five pots blocking off access to that path.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This was the way to go in the garden. The box hedges were interesting to look at.

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They only had maybe one or two gardeners during the first lockdown, but the plants looked impressive. This was the borders and the Glasshouse. To the left you pass through the Vegetable Garden.

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View of the hall over the Wildflower Meadow. Some paths were closed to the public.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Going around The Great Pool with the usual water lilies. View to the familiar footbridge opposite.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Went around the long path. Benches were turned around. You could only turn left from here.

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The bridge over the moat. The hall was closed to the public.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Nice to see Baddesley Clinton hall again. Had been inside there only once, back in June 2018.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Back through the courtyard. Another area roped off. Taped on the ground showing you which way to go.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another lap around the grounds. Another look at the Walled Garden. Sundial in the middle.

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No Entry Follow one-way system. Had to go around the lake twice.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Locked gate to the Wildflower Meadow.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A grass path roped off, no entry.

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Another view of the Wildflower Meadow.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Barn Restaurant was open for takeaway only. Payments by card or app only. All tables and chairs out of use. Socially distant queue. Had our drinks outside in the Courtyard.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The shop was open from 10am to 4:30pm. I think at this point it had only just reopened. During this time, the path to the gardens, coffee shop and toilets was the temporary way in.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A pair of hares. This used to be the Visitor Centre where you used to buy your tickets. Seen on the way out of the shop.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The next post will be on the Return to Packwood House. Near the end of July 2020.

 

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

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