Birmingham Hidden Gems
At a time when Birmingham severely lacked appropriate accommodation for working people, the house was constructed for John Nettlefold, a pioneer of early housing reform. John and his wife Margaret were from wealthy local families who worked in business. Their decision to have their home built in the Arts and Crafts style demonstrated their contemporary attitude.
For more than 400 years, Aston Hall has stood proudly over Birmingham. In addition to being one of the last outstanding Jacobean-style homes, it is also rumored to be one of the most haunted places in the UK.
It is crammed to the gills with architectural marvels and historical treasures, notably the breath-taking Long Gallery and the huge wood staircase, which still bears the battle wounds of the English Civil War. It was designed by John Thorpe and constructed by Sir Thomas Holte between 1618 and 1635.
King Charles’ Chamber, the intricate Great Stairs, and the breathtaking Long Gallery—hailed as one of Britain’s finest—among the more than 30 chambers of Aston Hall to be explored. From Dick’s Garrett at the very top of the house to the Butler’s Pantry and Servants Hall on the main floor, you may also tour the servants’ quarters. Look up to spot elephants, orange trees, and devils in the stunning ornate ceiling plasterwork of Aston Hall!
The Lapworth Museum of Geology
The Lapworth Museum exhibits amazing items from one of the UK’s most renowned geological collections, allowing visitors to learn about life over the last 3.5 billion years.
The Lapworth Museum of Geology in the Midlands has one of the best and largest collections of fossils, minerals, and rocks. It is one of the UK’s oldest specialized geological museums, having opened its doors in 1880.
For anybody with an interest in geology or the desire to learn more about it, the Lapworth Museum has long been a significant resource for students, educators, researchers, hobbyists, and others. Charles Lapworth, the first Professor of Geology at Mason College, the predecessor to the University of Birmingham, is honored in the name of the museum. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Lapworth was one of the most significant and influential geologists. The museum is housed in the University’s Grade II-listed Aston Webb Building and is still in its original Edwardian location. A visit to the Lapworth Museum provides an insight into how the Earth formed and changed through time, and how life on earth developed and evolved.
A member of one of Birmingham’s prominent commercial families, Richard Smalbroke constructed Blakesley Hall in 1590. It has a timber frame. The Blakesley Hall is currently furnished based on a 17th-century inventory and depicts the way of life of an affluent family during the late Tudor and Stuart era of English history. Following their tour to the house, guests can take use of the ancient herb garden and orchard, which is home to several butterflies and birds.
There are various covered commercial streets in Birmingham that date back several centuries. These arcades, which are reminiscent of the covered passages in Paris, are home to a wide range of enterprises, and many of the corridors are stunning architectural feats in and of themselves!
The Piccadilly arcade in Birmingham is one of the most underappreciated. The Apple Building, which is in close proximity to Tim Horton’s, as well as the covered arcade’s ceiling, which is decorated with stunning 20th-century-stained glass skylights, are both beautifully decorated. The covered arcade’s shops are mostly independent and well worth a stroll through.
Old Square Plaque
Old Square would have been one of the hubs of the hectic city life of Birmingham in earlier times. The Plaque in the small pedestrian central square, which spans several meters and tells the tale of the city, has become a sort of nexus where several important highways passing through the city converge. The Plaque, which is entirely made of stone carving, depicts a number of notable city residents as well as some of Birmingham’s most well-known structures.
Edward Burne-Jones Glass, Birmingham Cathedral
Pre-Raphaelite art enthusiasts will be thrilled to learn that Birmingham Cathedral contains numerous examples of Victorian Burne-Jones-stained glass windows.
You may also view a number of Burne-Jones drawings and designs for free within the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. They are all in muted tones and concentrate on the beauty of the design. The Edward Burne-Jones-stained glass windows are among the most exquisite of all the undiscovered Birmingham attractions featured here.
There are several excellent pubs in Birmingham that provide a wide selection of unique drinks and odd cocktails. The ancient city center of the city is home to many of the top bars in the area, including The Botanist, which we especially like for our drinks if you like plants and is close to Birmingham Cathedral.
Thus, you should certainly visit this area of the city if you want to go out with friends or perhaps on a special date night. The Flight Club is without a doubt one of the more interesting venues to spend an evening, where a wide variety of games (including electronic games and dart boards with a twist) are available.
Previously, Birmingham was the world’s largest producer and exporter of custard. Although Birmingham no longer maintains this distinction, one of the most interesting things to do in the city is to visit a disused custard factory on the outskirts of the city and shop for unique and vintage items!
Smethwick Heritage Centre
The town might be just as far from the seaside as you can get, but one of its most amazing industries was for lighthouse optics made by Chance Brothers.
The company was run by James Timmins Chance (1814-1902) who worked alongside Trinity House (The English Lighthouse Authority) and scientist Michael Faraday to improve lighthouse optics.