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Curiosities of Birmingham.

Birmingham has a rich and proud history, most of which is well documented. But here we take a look in pictures at some of the city's lesser-know hidden gems, each with their own fascinating story to tell. More examples will be featured in next week's edition of the Birmingham Post


A postcard of the old Fox Hollies Hall - only the entrance remains (below)

Curtis Gardens, Fox Hollies Road, Acocks Green, with the hall's gateposts

<B Hay Hall is a former 15th century moated hall located at Hay Mills, in Birmingham. It was originally a sub manor of the Este family. In the 16th century it was re-faced, and after a fire in 1810 it was rebuilt with a slightly modified layout with the back of the house now used as the front entrance. There are no traces left of the original moat. It was Grade II listed in 1952

<B The Grand Junction Railway viaduct to Curzon Street with the LNWR Aston to New Street line built on top over Lawley Middleway.

<B The old Roman road through Sutton Park. This one-and-a-half mile length of the road usually (known as the Icknield Street) was built as part of the Roman conquest of the Midlands, a few years after the Roman army landed in Kent in AD 43. It joined forts at Wall, near Lichfield, and Metchley in Edgbaston (See opposite)

<B The Second World War anti-aircraft (AA) gun emplacements between Hilltop golf course and Handsworth Wood, in Birmingham. Built in 1941 on high ground to defend the Second City from Luftwaffe air raids, there are two gun emplacements, each hexagonal in shape. Each placement would probably have housed a standard 3.7 inch AA gun

<B The Gun Barrel Proof House, Banbury Street. Digbeth. The Proof House was established in 1813 by an Act of Parliament at the request of the then-prosperous Birmingham gun trade. Its remit was to provide a testing and certification service for firearms in order to prove their quality of construction. The Proof House still exists today, offering services including ammunition testing and firearm accident investigation.

<B The War Stone, Warstone Lane, in the Jewellery Quarter, Hockley. The War Stone, was left by a glacier in the Ice Age. It was later used as a boundary maker. The original name was Hoar Stone but it got corrupted

The old milestone, Hagley Rd, Edgbaston

<B The Duddeston Viaduct was built in 1846 to link the Oxford and London lines with New Street Station. But when the Great Western Railway bought the Oxford line in 1848 and Snow Hill Station was opened, so access to New Street was no longer needed and work on the almost completed Duddeston Viaduct was abandoned. Part of it still exists.

<B Reconstructed earthworks tracing the line of the Metchley Roman fort, near Birmingham Medical School, in Vincent Drive, Edgbaston. The fort lay on the old Roman road known as Icknield Street, and was constructed soon after the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43. The fort was around 2,153 sq ft in area and was defended by a turf and earth bank with a timber wall, towers and double ditches. Within it were timber buildings including barrack blocks, a granary, a workshop and a store. In AD 70, the fort was abandoned, only to be reoccupied a few years later before being abandoned again in AD 120. The remains were first identified in the 18th century, and excavations took place in the 1930s when the University of Birmingham Medical School was constructed. Further excavations were made in the 1940s,1950s and 1960s (below)

<B The old Pelican Works, Great Hampton Street, Birmingham. The building was originally an electroplating factory for T. Wilkinson & Sons, which was founded

by Thomas Wilkinson in Sheffield in 1832. The factory in Great Hampton Street dates from around 1868. The pelican was the logo of T. Wilkinson & Sons
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 28, 2017
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