Cathedral Square - A Birmingham Gem!

Cathedral Square in Birmingham is home to the city’s majestic St Philips Cathedral. Built in 1715, it gained Cathedral Status in 1905. It is the seat of the Bishop of Birmingham.


Cathedral Square is in the Colmore Business District and is home to Birmingham Cathedral.

Cathedral Square

103 Colmore Row with Birmingham Cathedral in Cathedral Square (December 2020). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

The square is surrounded by Colmore Row, Temple Row West, Temple Row and St Philip's Place. It can also be accessed from New Cannon Passage, Temple Street, Waterloo Street and Cherry Street.

Cathedral Square

From New Cannon Passage to Cathedral Square near Temple Row (November 2020). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Pigeon Park

Brummie's locally give it the nickname of "Pigeon Park" as there is so many pigeons in the square.

Pigeon Park

'Pigeon Park' at Cathedral Square (May 2020). Photography by Daniel Sturley

 

Winter at Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square

Snow at Cathedral Square (December 2017). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Spring at Cathedral Square

Birmingham Cathedral

Birmingham Cathedral at Cathedral Square (May 2018). Photography by Damien Walmsley

 

Summer at Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square (July 2019). Photography by Karl Newton

 

Autumn at Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square at night (November 2020). Photography by Daniel Sturley

 

History of St Philip's Cathedral Birmingham

Built in 1715 as St Philip’s Church in the Baroque style by Thomas Archer, the Cathedral celebrated its 300 year birthday in 2015. It was granted Cathedral Status in 1905 for the then newly formed Diocese of Birmingham. Refaced in stone by J A Chatwin from 1864-9 features Edward Burne-Jones windows. The cathedral was bombed during WW2 in 1940 and restored in 1948 but the Burne-Jones windows were removed early on in the war and therefore saved.

Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square (November 2020). Photography by Daniel Sturley

 

Memorials in Cathedral Square

There is several memorials to be found in Cathedral Square. From the memorial obelisk in memory of Frederick Burnaby, to the Birmingham Pub Bombings Memorial. There is also a Town Hall Accident Memorial, an obelisk to Thomas Unett who died at the Crimean War, plus a statue for the first Bishop of Birmingham, Charles Gore.

 

Town Hall Accident Memorial

What looks like the Lower Part Of A Fluted Column, is close to the Cathedral Square entrance from Temple Row (near Cherry Street). In January 1833, there was an accident at the construction site of the Town Hall, resulting in the deaths of John Heap (aged 38) and William Badger (aged 26). It looks like a stone pillar from the Town Hall. Near the end of April each year is Workers Memorial Day. Flowers are placed here to remember people killed or injured at work.

Town Hall Accident Memorial

Town Hall Accident Memorial at Cathedral Square (January 2011). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Thomas Unett Crimean War Memorial Obelisk

This memorial obelisk in Cathedral Square is in memory of Thomas Unett (1800-55). Who died during during a siege in the Crimean War (1855-56), at Sebastopol in 1855.

Thomas Unett Crimean War Memorial Obelisk

Thomas Unett Crimean War Memorial Obelisk in Cathedral Square (September 2009). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Frederick Burnaby Memorial Obelisk

The obelisk in Cathedral Square, close to Temple Row, is in memory of Frederick G. Burnaby (1842-85). A one time Conservatie Party candidate in 1880. He fought at battles at Khiva 1875 and Abu Klea in 1885 (where he lost his life). It is Grade II listed.

Burnaby Memorial obelisk

Memorial to Frederick G. Burnaby in Cathedral Square (May 2009). Photography by Elliott Brown

Go to this post on the Burnaby Memorial.

 

Statue of Charles Gore, 1st Bishop of Birmingham

Charles Gore served as the first Bishop of Birmingham from 1905, when the Diocese of Birmingham was created until 1911, when he left Birmingham, to become the next Bishop of Oxford. The bronze statue outside of Birmingham Cathedral dates to 1914 and was sculpted by Thomas Stirling Lee. It is Grade II listed.

Charles Gore statue Cathedral Square

Bronze statue of Charles Gore, 1st Bishop of Birmingham outside of Birmingham Cathedral (May 2009). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Birmingham Pub Bombings Memorial

There is a memorial stone in Cathedral Square with a plaque listing the names of all 21 victims of the Birmingham Pub Bombings on November 1974. Every year, relatives leaves flowers around it. To this day they are still fighting for justice to find out who did it.

Birmingham Pub Bombings Memorial Cathedral Square

Birmingham Pub Bombings Memorial in Cathedral Square (January 2014). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Events at Cathedral Square over the years

A variety of events have taken place in the grounds of Cathedral Square. From the Big Hoot and Big Sleuth (there was a lot of owls and bears here). To the year they had a Christmas Market here, to the Remembrance Sunday commemorations.

 

Birmingham City Centre Floral Trail

Usually at least one wicker floral feature at Cathedral Square each summer from Cofton Nursery. Sometimes part of the Gold Winning piece that was at the Chelsea Flower Show that year.

On Your Marks - Runner 1 - this was seen in the summer of 2012, while the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was on, supporting Team GB.

On Your Marks

On Your Marks - Runner 1 in Cathedral Square (August 2012). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

In the summer of 2015, there was a floral trail piece celebrating the 300th Anniversary of Birmingham Cathedral, having opened as St Philip's Church in 1715. It won Gold at both the Chelsea Flower Show and Gardeners World Live for Birmingham City Council.

Birmingham Cathedral 300

Birmingham Cathedral 300 floral feature in Cathedral Square (July 2015). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

The Big Hoot and The Big Sleuth

The Big Hoot was a trail of painted owls over the summer of 2015, while The Big Sleuth was a trail of painted bears over the summer of 2017. Both were on around Birmingham for about 10 weeks before being sold off at an auction for charity. There was a large number of them at Cathedral Square.

Clash by the artist Damien Jeffery. The sponsor was KPMG.

Big Hoot Cathedral Square

Clash (by artist Damien Jeffery) in Cathedral Square (July 2015). Photography by Elliott Brown

 


Sweet William by the artist Caroline Jariwala (Mango Mosaics). The sponsor was LDC.

Big Sleuth Cathedral Square

Sweet William (by artist Caroline Jariwala) in Cathedral Square (July 2017). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Something Good

Nomad was live paintings by artist Mohammed Ali as he journeyed through the history of Birmingham. This was part of  Birmingham Cathedral's 300th anniversary celebrations (1715 - 2015). This event took place during October 2015. There was also somewhere for visitors to make Soal Boats.

Something Good Nomad

Something Good at Cathedral Square (October 2015). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Birmingham Christmas Market

This Christmas Market was held for one year only during November and December 2018. They put protective sheets over the graves, before installing the various market stalls. It has not been held again.

Birmingham Christmas Market

Birmingham Christmas Market at Cathedral Square (December 2018). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Remembrance Sunday

When Centenary Square was being renovated, for a couple of years, the Remembrance Sunday commemorations took place in Cathedral Square and on Colmore Row (in 2018 and 2019). This included a parade around the square (down Temple Row) and then up and down Colmore Row. There was also the temporary Cenotaph on Colmore Row. Lest We Forget.

Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday in Cathedral Square (November 2019). Photography by Elliott Brown

Project dates

07 Oct 2019 - On-going

Passions

History & heritage, Photography, People & community
Green open spaces, Squares and public spaces

Contact

Your Place Your Space

Jonathan Bostock

0121 410 5520
jonathan.bostock@ yourplaceyourspace.com