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Elliott Brown Classic Architecture
05 Jul 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Old Crown in Digbeth, dating back to 1368!

The Old Crown in Digbeth claims to date back to 1368. The Grade II* listed building as it is now is more likely to have been built between 1450 and 1500, and could have been established as an inn from the 16th or 17th centuries. It has seen many changes over the centuries. Including road widening in the mid 20th century, and soon the Eastside Metro Extension (by the mid 2020s).

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The Old Crown in Digbeth, dating back to 1368!





The Old Crown in Digbeth claims to date back to 1368. The Grade II* listed building as it is now is more likely to have been built between 1450 and 1500, and could have been established as an inn from the 16th or 17th centuries. It has seen many changes over the centuries. Including road widening in the mid 20th century, and soon the Eastside Metro Extension (by the mid 2020s).


One of the oldest buildings in Birmingham, including within what is now the City Centre (as far as the middle ring road), is The Old Crown. They claim to date back to about 1368. For instance they celebrated their 649th birthday in 2017 with a ribbon on one of the doors.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Old Crown Dbeth (Sep 2017) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

So as of 2021 they are now 653 years old!

 

History of The Old Crown

The Old Crown was probably built sometime between the year 1450 and 1500 (in Medieval and early Tudor times). Some evidence dating back to 1492. A man visiting Birmingham in 1538 described the building as a "mansion house made of timber". It is thought that the building was originally built as the Guildhall and School of St. John, Deritend. In 1589 the building was bought by "John Dyckson, alias Bayleys". It remained in the Dixon family for the next 100 years. It may have began to be used as an inn from this time, especially in the years following the Spanish Armada, and gained the name "Crown".

Although later evidence suggests it was used as an inn by around 1626, and being called the Crowne by 1666. During 1643, the forces of Prince Rupert attacking Birmingham during the Civil War (on the way to fire his musket at the cockerel of the old St Martin's Church), there was some skirmishes near the inn.

The house was converted into two houses in 1684, and then into three by 1693. It remained three houses until the 19th century. Joshua Toulmin Smith saved the building in 1851, from demolition by the Corporation of Birmingham (who wanted to improve the street). The Corporation again proposed to knock it down in 1856 and 1862, but Smith saved it each time.

 

The following three Public Domain Dedication images taken from the Birmingham Museums Trust Collection.

An etching of the Old Crown Inn, Deritend, Birmingham, 1895-1900, by Samuel Henry Baker (d. 1909).

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1970V130 Old Crown Inn Deritend.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A watercolour painting by George Warren Blackham of the Old Crown Inn Deritend, Birmingham. Probably in the late 19th century.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1956V372 Old Crown Inn Deritend Birmingham.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

An etching of the Old Crown Inn, Deritend, Birmingham by J. Alfred Swatkins. Possibly late 19th or early 20th century, with the old tram tracks.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/1965V8 Old Crown Inn Deritend Birmingham.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

High Street Deritend, outside of The Old Crown was widened and reopened by 1955. This included removing the old tram tracks, and the old cobbled road surface. Buildings opposite were demolished, and the Bull Ring Trading Estate was later built there (on the site of St. John's Church, Deritend, which was demolished in 1947, after suffering damage during the Second World War in 1940).

 

Two vintage photos taken by the late Phyllis Nicklin, who was a tutor in Geography in the former Department of Extramural Studies, University of Birmingham. They were originally digitised by BrumPic.

The Old Crown in Digbeth taken by Phyllis Nicklin (University of Birmingham). This was probably before the road was widened in the mid 1950s.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Old Crown P Nicklin 2.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Old Crown in Digbeth, taken in 1960 by Phyllis Nicklin (University of Birmingham). High Street Deritend had been widened in the 1950s.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown P Nicklin.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />


The Old Crown was bought by the Brennan family in 1991. In the summer of 1994, they found an old well, while doing repairs, when they were clearing out the old sheds at the rear of the property, which at the time had been closed off for more than 100 years. The Brennan family reopened the pub in 1998.

The pub is a Grade II* listed building (since 1952) at 186, 187 and 188 High Street Deritend, and is on the corner of Heath Mill Lane. It is situated to the right of the Custard Factory.

As of the summer of 2021, roadworks are taking place down on the Digbeth High Street. This is to build the Eastside Metro Extension. Which will be starting properly from July 2021. The route will go past the HS2 Curzon Street Station. Work has also began to built a Sprint bus route towards Solihull and Coventry on the A45 (via the Small Heath Highway and Coventry Road). It could be ready in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

 

The Old Crown in the 21st Century

The following images of The Old Crown were taken during October 2009 by Elliott Brown. This was on the first day that I would take photos around the Digbeth area.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The Old Crown 1368.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

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The Beer Garden / car park at the back from Heath Mill Lane.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Oct 2009) (16).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Old Crown Coffee Club, seen from High Street Deritend during January 2014.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Jan 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Irish flags and bunting up, at The Old Crown, during March 2014 for the St Patrick's Day Festival. The parade used to take place down the Digbeth High Street each March until 2019.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Mar 2014) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A red ribbon on The Old Crown during November 2016, getting ready for Christmas. This view taken from the bus.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Nov 2016).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Old Crown during March 2017 for St Patrick's Day. Getting ready for The Father Ted's Lampa. The St Patrick's Fundraiser.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Digbeth 110318.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Seen in March 2018, with snow on the roof, was The Old Crown. Again getting ready for St Patrick's Day. The beer garden around the back, became the Guinness Village, to show the England vs Ireland Six Nations Rugby Union match on the TV. 

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Mar 2018) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

One year on, to March 2019. St Patrick's Day again at The Old Crown. This time it had signs on it for 13 Hop House Lager.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Mar 2019) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Passing The Old Crown in Digbeth on the no 4 bus during the middle of June 2021. This was during the Euro 2020 match between England and Croatia.

dndimg alt="The Old Crown Digbeth" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Old Crown Dbeth (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Modern 21st Century photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown

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80 passion points
Daniel Sturley Art; Culture & creativity
04 Jul 2021 - Daniel Sturley
News & Updates

The Installation of Luke Perry's 'Forward Together' in Victoria Square - 4th July 2021

Today saw the installation of a huge and spectacular metal sculpture in Victoria Square by local artist Luke Perry called 'Foward Together'. Officially revealed at 3:30pm. Daniel got down earlier to catch a glimpse and a few photos...

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The Installation of Luke Perry's 'Forward Together' in Victoria Square - 4th July 2021





Today saw the installation of a huge and spectacular metal sculpture in Victoria Square by local artist Luke Perry called 'Foward Together'. Officially revealed at 3:30pm. Daniel got down earlier to catch a glimpse and a few photos...


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Photography by Daniel Sturley

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30 passion points
Daniel Sturley History & heritage
28 Jun 2021 - Daniel Sturley
Did you know?

Cobb's Engine House - an Historical Gem!

Did you know that the original steam engine that was once housed in this building is now at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan. The complex is actually called the Windmill End Pumping Station and was used to pump water from over 500ft below up to the canal. Here is a small photographic study of this very historic building in the Bumble Hole area of Netherton, Dudley.

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Cobb's Engine House - an Historical Gem!





Did you know that the original steam engine that was once housed in this building is now at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan. The complex is actually called the Windmill End Pumping Station and was used to pump water from over 500ft below up to the canal. Here is a small photographic study of this very historic building in the Bumble Hole area of Netherton, Dudley.


One way to get to the Cobb's Engine House is from the south-side tow path off the Dudley Number Two Canal by the Cobb's Engine Bridge up a steep flight of steps just before the south entrance to the Netherton Tunnel...

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June 27th 2021  Photography by Daniel Sturley

 

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45 passion points
Elliott Brown Green travel
28 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

West Midlands Cycle Hire docking points all around the West Midlands

So far I have found the docks for West Midlands Cycle Hire in Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and Walsall. I have yet to travel back to the boroughs of Dudley or Sandwell or the City of Wolverhampton to see them. But it's time for a post. Been gathering photos of the docks from April to June 2021, and will probably get more on my travels around the West Midlands in the months to come.

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West Midlands Cycle Hire docking points all around the West Midlands





So far I have found the docks for West Midlands Cycle Hire in Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and Walsall. I have yet to travel back to the boroughs of Dudley or Sandwell or the City of Wolverhampton to see them. But it's time for a post. Been gathering photos of the docks from April to June 2021, and will probably get more on my travels around the West Midlands in the months to come.


Birmingham

Mostly in the City Centre and at the University of Birmingham in Edgbaston. Also in Sutton Coldfield.

 

Birmingham City Centre

Location: Digbeth, Birmingham, West Midlands. Opposite of Digbeth Police Station.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire Digbeth 25052021.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Park Street, Birmingham, West Midlands. Near Selfridges.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire BCC 27052021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Moor Street Queensway, Birmingham, West Midlands. Between Primark and Birmingham Moor Street Station.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire Moor St Qway (May 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Fore Street, Birmingham, West Midlands. Between Cannon Street and Corporation Street. Not far from Corporation Street Tram Stop.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire Fore St 12062021.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Paradise Street, Birmingham, West Midlands. At Town Hall Tram Stop and near Birmingham Town Hall and Victoria Square.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire Town Hall TS 12062021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Station Street, Birmingham, West Midlands. Below the Southside Steps of Birmingham New Street Station.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire BCC 27052021 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Summer Row, Birmingham, West Midlands. Next to University College Birmingham. Seen from Paradise Circus Queensway.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire BCC 27052021 (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Bath Row, Birmingham, West Midlands. Opposite St Thomas' Peace Garden. Near Park Central and Lee Bank.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire Bath Row 15062021.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

University of Birmingham

Location: Bristol Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands. Near the University of Birmingham Sport & Fitness Centre. Close to Edgbaston Park Road (also the South and East Gate of the University of Birmingham).

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

 

Location: Ring Road South, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands. Near the University of Birmingham School of Chemistry.

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

 

Location: New Fosse Way, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands. Between the University of Birmingham  (West Gate) and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (and not far from University Station).

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire UoB (May 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Sutton Coldfield

Location: Monmouth Drive, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, West Midlands. Near the Boldmere Gate of Sutton Park.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire Sutton Park (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Coventry

Location: Butts Road, Coventry, West Midlands. Near the Premier Inn Coventry City Centre (Earlsdon Park) and Albany Theatre.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire Butts Cov 12062021.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Corporation Street, Coventry, West Midlands. outside of a Coffee Shop called Shakeout.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire Corp Cov 12062021.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Solihull

Location: High Street, Solihull. Close to Hunters and the Masons Arms public house.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire Solihull High St (Apr 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Station Approach, Solihull, West Midlands. Opposite of Solihull Station.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire Sol 18052021 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Station Road, Solihull, West Midlands. Close to Indian Brewery.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire Sol 18052021 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Location: Lode Lane, Solihull, West Midlands. Close to Solihull Hospital.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire Sol 18052021 (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Walsall

Location: Broadway North, Walsall, West Midlands. Outside of Walsall Arboretum.

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

 

Can riders remember to properly dock the bikes when they are finished. Don't just randomly leave them on a pavement nowhere near a dock. They have GPS trackers on them (I think).

 

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

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70 passion points
Elliott Brown Rivers, lakes & canals
28 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery
https://www.youtube.com/embed/eLcVgjS1d9o

Olton Reservoir: only viewable from the train between Solihull and Olton

There is a reservoir in Olton, Solihull. It is private, so there is no way for members of the public to walk around it. But you can spot Olton Reservoir from the train between Olton and Solihull, on the bridge that goes over the Warwick Road. It is used by Olton Mere Sailing Club. It was built in 1799 to supply water to the Warwick and Birmingham Canal, later part of the Grand Union Canal.

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Olton Reservoir: only viewable from the train between Solihull and Olton





There is a reservoir in Olton, Solihull. It is private, so there is no way for members of the public to walk around it. But you can spot Olton Reservoir from the train between Olton and Solihull, on the bridge that goes over the Warwick Road. It is used by Olton Mere Sailing Club. It was built in 1799 to supply water to the Warwick and Birmingham Canal, later part of the Grand Union Canal.


Olton Reservoir

Located near the Chiltern Mainline and the Warwick Road in Olton, Solihull is Olton Reservoir. From the road / pavement it is a bit hard to see. But if you catch a train with West Midlands Railway (or Chiltern Railways) between Olton and Solihull (or in the other direction), you might be able to see the reservoir through the railway bridge that crosses the Warwick Road.

 

History of Olton Reservoir

Olton Mere was constructed as a reservoir to act as a feeder for the Warwick and Birmingham Canal in 1799 (it became part of the Grand Union Canal from 1927 onwards, after being purchased by the Regents Canal Company). The Mere was formed from marshland fed by Folly Brook (now Hatchford Brook). The Mere was extended in 1834 to increase the capacity in order to supply up to 150 locks.

It is the largest of the few areas of open water in Solihull and supports a large number of waterfowl. The woodland surrounding the Mere has remained undisturbed for many years, providing an important habitat for plants and animals.

There is no public access to the Mere but there is a good view of the Mere from the trains travelling between Solihull and Olton. Sailing on the Mere started in 1899 when five residents of St Bernard’s Road leased the reservoir from the canal company. A club was formed for sailing, fishing and shooting, although shooting was suspended in 1926 owing to a shortage of wildfowl.

The reservoir is now privately owned by the Canal & River Trust, who in turn lease it to the Olton Mere Sailing Club.

 

Below is the satellite hybrid view of Olton Reservoir on Google Maps.

dndimg alt="Olton Reservoir" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Olton Res Google Maps.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

On my YouTube video above (in the introduction), recorded in early February 2017 on a London Midland Class 172 train from Acocks Green to Solihull. We pass Olton Reservoir from 2:20 to about 2:43.

 

Three video screenshots from that video. First screenshot passing over the Warwick Road Railway Bridge.

dndimg alt="Olton Reservoir" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Olton Reservoir (Feb 2017) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Second screenshot, a view of Olton Reservoir from the train.

dndimg alt="Olton Reservoir" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Olton Reservoir (Feb 2017) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The view continues, although it was sunny, and the sun was on that side of the train.

dndimg alt="Olton Reservoir" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Olton Reservoir (Feb 2017) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A more recent view of Olton Reservoir, taken from the train, back in April 2018 (over 3 years ago at the time of this post). Time time caught some yachts on the reservoir from the Olton Mere Sailing Club. This was taken from a Chiltern Railways Class 165 train (sitting in the Quiet Zone), on a train ride from Solihull to Birmingham Moor Street.

dndimg alt="Olton Reservoir" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Olton Reservoir (Apr 2018).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Warwick Road railway bridge, Olton

This is the railway bridge on the Warwick Road in Olton, Solihull where you can see Olton Reservoir. This view from June 2010, as a Chiltern Railways Class 168 Clubman train passed over it. You can see the reservoir from the train window. If it's clear and not too bright that is (or raining).

dndimg alt="Warwick Road railway bridge Olton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warwick Rd RB Olton (Jun 2010).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

By October 2016, Network Rail had give the bridge a fresh lick of green paint, making it look as good as new.

dndimg alt="Warwick Road railway bridge Olton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warwick Rd RB Olton (Oct 2016).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another look at the Warwick Road railway bridge in Olton during February 2021. Taken during a lockdown 3 walk to the Grand Union Canal and back home. If you are in a car, sorry you won't be able to spot the reservoir from down there. I didn't get a train again until April 2021 (after restrictions were eased). But not got a train between Solihull and Olton since sometime in 2020.

dndimg alt="Warwick Road railway bridge Olton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Warwick Rd RB Olton (Feb 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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