Blakesley Hall: Family Fortunes in Tudor Birmingham – support our museums!

Blakesley Hall is one of the #Birmingham #Museums in Yardley in the city

Notes from 19th Century Birmingham

Blakesley Hall

Blakesley Hall is another historic building set on a modest housing estate, this one in Yardley. It is one of the historic properties managed and maintained by the charity Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT) on behalf of the people of the city. This post, a shift from the usual 19th century notes, is intended to raise awareness of a fundraising drive by BMT as it faces the difficulties of the Covid crisis.

I have a confession – I have yet to visit Blakesley Hall, although I’m told by friends that it’s one of Birmingham’s best heritage sites, with lovely gardens. However, we can all have a peek inside, even during closure, thanks to BMTs innovative digital efforts:

The tour of the rooms with the addition of information on daily domestic life brings a really lovely insight into the day to day activities of a Tudor farm, including bread and perfume…

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A Walk to the New Smethwick Pumping House 

The Iron Room

It’s a summer-warm April day in 2020. While the lockdown has limited access to our archival collections, it hasn’t to the places they illustrate. Therefore, I’m heading for the canals.

I enter near Spon Lane.

From here, it’s around five miles into Birmingham. Overhead, amongst other features, there is Telford’s Galton Bridge and his Engine Arm Aqueduct. Closer to Birmingham, should I choose, the path deviates towards the Soho Loop; part of the original line of the eighteenth-century canal route that once by-passed Matthew Boulton’s long gone Soho Manufactory.

Left: Galton Bridge, n.d. [LS3/42] Right: Engine Arm Aqueduct, n.d. [LS3/43] But I’m not heading that far. I reach the Smethwick Pumping House about twenty minutes into my walk.

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Who loves Birmingham Museum& Art Gallery?

Save #Birmingham #Museum and #Art #Gallery

Notes from 19th Century Birmingham

Birmingham Museum _ Art Gallery

On Saturday November 28th 1885, HRH the Prince of Wales formally opened Birmingham Corporation’s ‘magnificent’ museum and art gallery. Designed by Yeoville Thomason as an extension to the Council House, this was truly a building for the people. In addition to the galleries, the entire building also consisted the offices of the municipal gas and water companies – thus, when people paid their utility bills, they could also benefit from the art gallery which was partially funded from the profits, but also with a great deal of philanthropic support from local industial families. And of course it was free to visit, for anyone.

BMAG Bridge under contruction 1910-11 BMAG Bridge under construction

The building evolved over the years. In 1912 and ambitious extension saw the museum expand from just four rooms to forty. The new extension joined the old with a bridge, which was styled on the Bridge of Sighs in Venice. This extension was…

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