Category Archives: Grade I

Curzon Street Railway Station

History

Curzon Street Station stands next to the new Eastside development housing Millennium Point and the Birmingham City University ‘City Centre’ campus. Currently sitting empty for most of the year, the building is a far cry from its former glory.

Opening on April 9th 1838, the grand building designed by the architect Philip Hardwick brought trains from Birmingham to London for the first time. The design complimented Hardwick’s previous projects in London.

Including the build of the ‘London to Birmingham’ line, engineered by Robert Stephenson, the final cost of the project was about 6 million at the time.

The station closed in 1966, and is, upon occasion, used for art exhibitions, laying empty for the rest of the year. The building has been threatened with demolition several times, however due to its Grade I listing status these attempts have not been successful.

Curzon Street Station has been incorporated into Birmingham’s HS2 plans. The station will be restored as part of the centre of the HS2 network, once again hosting trains from London to Birmingham. Sitting inside a large glass structure, the building will be refurbished to showcase Hardwick’s original facade at the entrance, which has survived the building’s disuse.

Architecture

The current structure is in a derelict state, with the façade the most retained element. There was once a supplementary goods station, locomotive sheds, stables, warehouses and offices on site.

Curzon Street Station was built three stories tall, with a grand iron and stone staircase inside. It has Roman influences, aiming to compliment Hardwick’s previous architecture in London.

49114687_3ad7bec9d1_bImage property of Steve Cadman

Fact file:

Location: Curzon Street, Eastside 
Built: 1838
Style: Philip Hardwick
Status: Grade I 
Use: HS2 Development

Further reading:

Aston Hall

History

Built between 1618 and 1635, Aston Hall was designed by architect John Thorpe. Sir Thomas Holt, who built the house, lived there from its construction throughout his life. The property remained in the family until 1817 when it was sold. After changing hands, the building became an open museum and park, until it was bought by the Birmingham Corporation to become the first historic country house in municipal ownership in 1864.

Now, the museum is run by the Birmingham Museums Trust and is open during the summer for visitors.

7282174138_a112c27e5b_bImage property of Briana37

Architecture

The exterior of Aston Hall was built in the Jacobean style of the time. Jacobean architecture is a curious mix of Elizabethan design and new, Renaissance features such as columns and intricate carvings on exotic woods. Architectural elements inspired by the Classical style were also prevalent in this period, including the use of scrolls in plasterwork.

The interior of the property contains beautifully restored period detail, thanks to the buildings Grade I listing status. Examples of 17th century plasterwork can be seen alongside original woodcarvings and chimney pieces. The rooms of the museum have been decorated with traditional interior design from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Fact file:

Location: Aston 
Built: 1618-1635
Style: Jacobean
Status: Grade I 
Use: Community museum

Further reading:

Birmingham Cathedral

History

Designed by architect Thomas Archer, St Philips Church was built between 1711 and 1715, when it was consecrated. Following the rapid growth of industrial towns, there was need for more churches in Birmingham. St Philips was built for the growing parish of St Martin in the Bullring.

The structure was built at one of the highest points in the area. Notably, it is the third smallest cathedral in England! In 1905, the building became a cathedral and the seat of the Bishop of Birmingham.

The cathedral was bombed during the Second World War, on the 7th November 1940. Thankfully, The Birmingham Civic Society had taken some of its contents into safe keeping during this period, and the building was later restored.

12945359935_4376a9d23d_bImage property of Peter Broster

Architecture

St Philips Cathedral was built in a Baroque style. Archer was influenced by the architecture of Rome, which is visible in classical elements of the building design, such as the use of pillars.

There have been several additions to the building, including urns on the parapet of the tower in 1756. Four stained glass windows, designed by Edward Burne-Jones, were installed between 1885 and 1897.

Fact file:

Location: Colmore Row, City Centre 
Built: 1710-1725
Style: Baroque
Status: Grade I 
Use: Church of England

Further links: