In the 18th century, Birmingham both as a city and the area began to expand thanks to both the industrial revolution and the new jobs, buildings and homes that came within it. Because the towns industry began to grow, many industrialists began to come with it, creating both their own factories, industries and jobs but even constructing new homes themselves. They did not just build their own homes, but also bought and modified existing homes around the area. The communities in and around Birmingham began to grow with the industrial revolution, which resulted both in the repopulation of those areas but also the construction of public facilities and religious houses for the new arrivals.
With the increase in tenants and inhabitants of the area, one of Birmingham’s landmarks were built. This was the construction of St Phillip’s Cathedral, built in 1715. It was originally built to be a parish, and with the building came great glass windows. These were designed and fashioned by architects who became famous after their times such as Thomas Archer and Edward Burne-Jones. An interesting additional fact was that prior to the Cathedral, the Church of the Ascension was also constructed. Other architecture created around this time zone was the Edgbaston Hall (which has since become a golf club), the Sarehole Mill (although it is rumoured the building itself was constructed around 1771) and even Perry Bridge. Perry Bridge was created both as a replacement for an older bridge, but also as a safer alternative.
Around this time zone, the introduction to both architectural types Baroque and Neoclassical became apparently. Not only did they creep in and become surprisingly popular within Birmingham, but you can see the effects of this wave within buildings like the Birmingham Proof House. The Neoclassical style especially became a staple of Birmingham architecture within the 1800’s. The centre of town itself was entirely remodelled to match the looks of the Neoclassical style, and it is believes that John Soane was the original architect to bring that to Birmingham.
Soon after the introduction of Baroque and Neoclassical building styles, the Victorian architectural style came into introduction. Birmingham Town Hall is the most obvious and largest construction to use Victorian classicism, and that becomes apparent when you look at it. The Bull Ring and the market hall itself followed the Town Hall, being created in 1835 and was the first introduction to the Victorian look. With the introduction of the look, it made a surge throughout Birmingham. Another very notable inclusion into this list would be Curzon Station. It remains the oldest railway station building in the world, and was created in 1838. Originally created as a transport from Birmingham to London, it stretched to also Manchester and Liverpool over time. The original building still stands, and is a testament to how buildings can survive time.
I hope that you enjoyed todays blog post and some of the other blog posts that we have been posting in the last few weeks. I also want to give a shout out to the builders in Birmingham company Birmingham Builders. They have given us the last two blog posts and we cannot thank them enough for their insight!