Posted in Architecture, Birmingham, England

5 Buildings That Send Archtrove To Historical Birmingham

Birmingham, as a city has been around for a long time and therefore is no surprise has many historical buildings.

  1. Winterbourne House and Gardens

Winterbourne House and Garden are situated in leafy Edgbaston near the University of Birmingham. It is an early Edwardian 20th-century villa suburban house and garden set in 7 acres. A Grade II listed building, it has housed prominent families and has been known for its illustrious gardens.

2. Black Country Museum

An open-air museum based in Dudley, consisting of 26 acres of historic buildings including a former railway goods yard, canal arm, former coal pits and rebuilt historical buildings. Great for teaching children about the Victorian age what life would have been like.

3. Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum

This Victorian Baroque Museum, is a Grade II listed city centre landmark building housing over 40 galleries with collections, both locally and internationally, ranging from art to history. It first opened in 1885 and has since been famous for its Pre-Raphaelite paintings, the largest public collection in the world. It also reflects on local Birmingham history.

4. Soho House Museum

Soho House is a Grade II* listed 18th-century house in Handsworth. It was the home of Matthew Boulton until his death in 1809. It has now been restored and is now a museum, run by Birmingham Museums Trust, celebrating Boulton’s life and collection. It houses a collection of ormolu, silver, furniture and paintings.

5. Blakesley Hall

Blakesley Hall is a grade II* listed Tudor building in Yardley. It is one of the oldest buildings in Birmingham and is a typical example of Tudor architecture with the use of darkened timber and wattle-and-daub infill, with an external lime render which is painted white. The hall became a museum in 1935 after centuries of use as a private home and its parlour was renovated. Its purpose was to display the history of the local medieval manors which comprise Birmingham.

6. Selly Manor

Selly Manor is a timber cruck-framed, 14th-century building, in England, dating back to at least 1327. Originally the manor house of the village of Bournbrook in Worcestershire, it was relocated to the nearby Bournville district in the early 20th century. It is now operated as a museum and venue for functions including weddings, for which it is licensed. It houses the Laurence Cadbury furniture collection.

7. Highbury Hall

Highbury is a Grade II* listed building, was commissioned as his Birmingham residence by Joseph Chamberlain in 1878. It received its name from the Highbury area of London, where Chamberlain lived as a child. The house incorporates much terracotta decoration. Adjacent to the house was Chamberlain’s famous orchid houses. The gardens were magnificent and included a lake.

8. Council Hall

The Birmingham City Council House is located in Victoria Square in the city centre and is a Grade II* listed building. The side of the building, which faces Chamberlain Square, is the entrance and façade of the Museum and Art Gallery which is partly housed in the same building. It provides office accommodation for both employed council officers, including the Chief Executive, and elected council members, plus the council chamber, Lord Mayor’s Suite, committee rooms and a large and ornate banqueting suite, complete with minstrel’s gallery. The first-floor’s exterior balcony is used by visiting dignitaries and victorious sports teams, to address crowds assembled below.

9. St Philips Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of Saint Philip is the Church of England cathedral and the seat of the Bishop of Birmingham. Built as a parish church and consecrated in 1715, St Philip’s became the cathedral of the newly formed Diocese of Birmingham in 1905. St Philip’s was built in the early 18th century in the Baroque style by Thomas Archer and is located in Colmore Row, Birmingham, England. The cathedral is a Grade I listed building.

  1. Birmingham University

The University of Birmingham is a public research university located in Edgbaston. The main campus of the university occupies a site some 3 miles south-west of Birmingham city centre, in Edgbaston. It is arranged around Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower. Chamberlain may be considered the founder of Birmingham University and was largely responsible for the university gaining its Royal Charter in 1900 and for the development of the Edgbaston campus. The university’s Great Hall is located in the domed Aston Webb Building. The initial 25-acre site was given to the university in 1900 by Lord Calthorpe.

To find out more about Birmingham, click here.

Posted in Architecture, England

Archtrove Travels To Ironbridge – The First Iron Bridge in the World

Ironbridge is a 30 metre cast iron bridge built across the River Severn in 1779. It sits in the village of Ironbridge in the heart of the gorge, in Shropshire. It is the longest bridge to made of Iron at the time and is therefore known as beginning of the industrial revolution. Now it is open for all to visit, as well as a museum and shop.

What Need to Know About ….. Ironbridge, Telford

  • Known as the Industrial Revolution due to the perfection of the technique of smelting iron with coke, in Coalbrookdale, allowing much cheaper production of iron.
  • The bridge is the first of its kind fabricated from cast iron, and one of the few which have survived to the present day and therefore remains an important representative for the beginning of the industrial revolution
  • Construction began in 1779 and the bridge opened on New Year’s Day 1781
  • In 1986, it became part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Location of Ironbridge

Ironbridge is a village on the River Severn, at the heart of the Ironbridge Gorge, in Shropshire, England. It lies in the civil parish of The Gorge, in the borough of Telford and Wrekin. Shropshire is located in the central of England.

To find out more about Ironbridge, click here


Posted in Architecture, England

Archtrove Travels To Shropshire – the birthplace of the industrial revolution

Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands, England. It borders Powys and Wrexham in Wales, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire. The county’s population and the economy are centred on the main towns of Shrewsbury and Telford. The county has many market towns, including Whitchurch, Newport and Market Drayton.

The Ironbridge Gorge area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale and a part of Madeley. There are other historic industrial sites in the county, such as at Shrewsbury, Broseley, Snailbeach and Highley, as well as the Union Canal.

The Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers about a quarter of the county, mainly in the south. Shropshire is one of England’s most rural and sparsely populated counties, with a population density of 350 sq miles. The Wrekin is one of the most famous natural landmarks in the county, though the highest hills are the Clee Hills, Stiperstones and the Long Mynd. Wenlock Edge is another significant geographical and geological landmark. In the low-lying northwest of the county overlapping the border with Wales is the Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve, one of the most important and best-preserved bogs in Britain. The River Severn, Great Britain’s longest river, runs through the county, exiting into Worcestershire via the Severn Valley. Shropshire is landlocked and with an area of 1,346 sq miles is England’s largest inland county. The county flower is the round-leaved sundew.

Key Highlights of Shropshire

In Ironbridge – the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and one of two World Heritage Sites that bless the county – you will find, set within the gorgeous Severn Valley, 10 hands-on museums that will both enlighten and entertain.

Ludlow is not just beautiful it’s delicious! Its gastronomic capital sits within the famous Blue Remembered Hills of the south of the county and is a great place to find your inner foodie.

Much Wenlock, whose local games actually inspired the creation of the modern Olympics, offers an Olympic trail to explain this momentous achievement. Whilst the meres and canals of north Shropshire gives a gentle, more contemplative experience within a truly rural setting.

Gallery of Shropshire

Blog Posts of Shropshire

Posted in Architecture, Birmingham, England

Archtrove Travels To Compton Verney – NT find

What Need to Know About ….. Compton Verney, Warwickshire

Compton Verney is a Grade I listed house built in 1714 by Richard Verney, 11th Baron Willoughby de Broke. It was first extensively extended by George Verney, 12th Baron Willoughby de Broke in the early 18th century and then remodelled and the interiors redesigned by Robert Adam for John Verney, the 14th baron, in the 1760s. It is set in more than 120 acres (0.49 km2) of parkland landscaped by Lancelot “Capability” Brown in 1769.

The house and its 5,079-acre (20.55 km2) estate was sold by Richard Greville Verney, the 19th baron, in 1921 to soap magnate Joseph Watson who was elevated to the peerage as 1st Baron Manton of Compton Verney only two months before his death in March 1922 from a heart attack whilst out hunting with the Warwickshire Foxhounds at nearby Upper Quinton. George Miles Watson, 2nd Baron Manton sold the property to Samuel Lamb. It was requisitioned by the Army during World War II and became vacant when the war ended.

In 1993 it was bought in a run-down state by the Peter Moores Foundation, a charity supporting music and the visual arts established by former Littlewoods chairman Sir Peter Moores. The property was restored to a gallery capable of hosting international exhibitions. Compton Verney Art Gallery is now run by Compton Verney House Trust, a registered charity.

The collections include Neapolitan art from 1600 to 1800; Northern European medieval art from 1450–1650; British portraits including paintings of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Edward VI and works by Joshua Reynolds; Chinese bronzes including objects from the Neolithic and Shang periods; British folk art; and the Enid Marx / Margaret Lambert Collection of folk art from around the world which inspired the textile designs of 20th century artist Enid Marx.

Location of The Compton Verney

Compton Verney House is an 18th-century country mansion at Compton Verney near Kineton in Warwickshire, England, which has been converted to house the Compton Verney Art Gallery.

Gallery for Compton Verney

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Posted in Birmingham

Archtrove Travels To Bullring Shopping Centre – the start of blobism and the revival

The Bullring Shopping Centre is a major commercial area, and iconic symbol, within the centre of Birmingham. The area has long been the established shopping district of Birmingham, since the Middle Ages, but is more commonly known to outsiders since the redevelopment. The current shopping centre was built in 2003 in order to revive the city and establish it as the true second city of England.

Location of Bullring Shopping Centre

The site is located on the edge of the city ridge which results in the steep gradient towards Digbeth. The slope drops from New Street to St Martin’s Church which is very visible near the church. Within easy walking distance to 3 main train station, and numerous car parks, it is accessible to all.

Exterior of Bullring Shopping Centre

The most iconic part of Bullring Shopping Centre is the Selfridges store. The Selfridges store is clad in 15,000 shiny aluminium discs and was inspired by a Paco Rabanne sequinned dress. There is a multi-storey car park opposite Selfridges which is connected to the Selfridges store via a 37-metre long, curved, polycarbonate-covered footbridge, known as the Parametric Bridge, suspended over the street.

The building’s shape itself resembles that of the shell and featured a curved bronze roof with both ends covered with glass. The building form is inspired by the mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci who identified natural patterns of growth found throughout the universe.

Outside the Bullring, towards the south, consists of a restaurant area called Special Street. Construction of the part indoor, part outdoor development consists of a glass, wooden and aluminium exterior and concertinaed style roof.

Also, at the main entrance to the west building stands “The Guardian”, a 2.2-metre tall bronze sculpture of a running, turning bull inside a ring.


 The shopping centre itself consists of two main buildings the East Mall and the West Mall. Inside the two buildings which are connected by an underground passage lined with shops and is also accessible from St Martin’s Square. The two malls are different internally in design.


Bullring is the glamorous heart of Birmingham with over 160 imaginative and desirable shops to explore. Since opening in 2003 Bullring has helped to transform the city of Birmingham. 

Gallery of Bullring Shopping Centre


To see more Buildings in Birmingham, click here

Blog Posts that include the Bullring Shopping Centre



Posted in England

Archtrove travels to Bath – georgian architecture and beautiful streets

Architecture in Bath

Bath, located in Somerset, is a UNESCO Heritage Site, a copious amount of honey-coloured Georgian architecture and one of the most beautiful streets in Britain, Bath is the epitome of a beautiful independent city. The history of Bath’s architecture and its use of spaces is what makes this a world heritage site. Bath still holds a 2,000-year-old original Roman Baths, the only one in Britain. With more museums in a square mile than any other English. 

Georgian Period in Bath

Through the Georgian period, extensive ranges of uniform streets, landscaped spaces, blocks of tall stone-built Georgian houses and public buildings were built. The many examples of Palladian architecture are purposefully integrated with the urban spaces to provide picturesque aestheticism. Other examples are seen in Britain such as that of Covent Garden Piazza.

Important Buildings in Bath

n addition to the Georgian houses, Bath has a number of 18th-century public buildings, mostly within the city. These include the Grand Pump Room, the Concert Room, the Upper Assembly Room and Theatre Royal and the Holburne Museum.

Important buildings also include the Roman Baths; neoclassical and Bath Abbey in the city centre. Of equal importance are the residential buildings designed and built into boulevards and crescents– well-known examples being the Royal Crescent, built around 1770, and The Circus, built around 1760, where each of the three curved segments faces one of the entrances, ensuring that there is always a classical facade facing the entering visitor.


Posted in Warwickshire

Archtrove travels to Solihull

Architecture in Solihull

Solihull is a town in the West Midlands of England, historically in Warwickshire, it is a part of the West Midlands conurbation. The motto of Solihull is Urbs in Rure (Town in Country). The architecture in Solihull is most commonly noted for its historic architecture, includes examples of timber-framed Tudor style houses and shops. The historic Solihull School dates from 1560 as does St Alphege. Other notable buildings include Touchwood Shopping Centre, Resort World, NEC and Birmingham International Airport. 

The History of Architecture in Solihull

Barn – designed by Sir John Soane in his early days. Although known for designed complex elaborate buildings, this barn is simple red-brick with influences from Greece. Malvern Hall – now part of St Martins School, was also designed by prominent architect Sir John Soane

Modern Architecture in Solihull

Recently designed are Resort World, situated next to a lake, Genting Arena and National Exhibition Centre an entertainment complex with the largest casino in Britain, shops, cinema and dining facilities, loosely based on a cruise liner.

A Short Drive from Solihull

Not far from Solihull are plenty of country hotels, national trust properties. Embedded in the countryside, their picturesque buildings provide stunning views. Also the small town of Henley-In-Arden, comprising of a small high street.


Blog Posts

  • Top 5 National Trust Properties with 30 mins of Solihull


For more about the county of Warwickshire, click here


Posted in Architecture, London


What makes London, London, is the fact that it is a melting pot of countries, cultures and communities. It’s diversity ranging from old dilapidated shacks to towering glass giants. The streets are even designed to acknowledge this amalgamation of eccentricity, twisting and turning, small and large, straight and windy. As I walk around the city and try to glide my way through, I am immediately submerged into a world that truly belongs to London. Nowhere else in Britain comes close. Look one-way history and hierarchy, the other millennials and millionaires.

Deep underground, in the pits of dirt and despair lurks the only suitable way around the city, speeding past at colossal speeds, rammed full of different colours, sizes and styles, spending minutes or hours in these deep dark dungeons. When I finally decide to venture to the top, a beacon of light and hope greets me, the surroundings are always the same, diversity.

From majestic banks to historical museums, industrial power stations to enigmatic train stations, giant super stores or independent shacks. The façades and its scale are equally diverse, from its cloud scaling glass towers, to its petite stone cathedrals, from its boulders of brutalist concrete to its original wooden structures. To pigeonhole London would be unfair, yes, it once was full of traditional buildings and the streets were paved with gold but the city is slowly changing, becoming a city of the future and this includes all the frills.

 As I look across the vast waters, I can see my reflection back at me as everywhere I turn is glass, a cold hard material or as a sign of symbolism, to come inside, welcome with open arms. One thing is for sure, the sudden influx of skyscrapers that have dominated the skyline, reverberating throughout the city, are definitely here to stay.

Buildings in London

Walkie Talkie

Neals Yard

Tower 42

National History Museum

Other Blog Posts About London