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Nechells - Take a tour with us!

Nechells tour 1: Aston Station to Star City, then towards Duddeston Station

Get the train from Birmingham New Street, on the Cross City Line towards Aston Station. If you have the West Midlands Railway app, it is easy to purchase your QR code ticket (use at the ticket gates at Birmingham New Street if closed).

 

Aston Station

Getting off your Class 323 train at Aston, head down the steps from platform 1 (or use the lift). Both routes takes you down to the Lichfield Road. The station originally opened in 1837, and has been part of the Cross City Line between Redditch and Lichfield since 1978. You can alternatively catch the no 65 or 67 bus routes to the Lichfield Road

Aston StationPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Heading down the steps you will see the former Britannia pub, and to the left of it near Holborn Hill is the now closed Swan & Mitre pub. 

 

The Britannia

This pub opposite Aston Station on the Lichfield Road was built around 1898 to 1900. It was built on the site of a previous pub called the Aston Hall Tavern, which was built in 1867, but was renamed to The Britannia in 1872. In recent years there has been cafes in the building, but it has been closed longer than it has been open.

The BritanniaPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Swan & Mitre

This public house on the corner of Lichfield Road and Holborn Hill was built in 1898 by James & Lister Lea. The pub is opposite Aston Station, but has been closed for many years, and had been for sale at one point.

Swan & MitrePhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Next walk up Holborn Hill into Nechells, crossing over the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.

 

The Villa Tavern

A public house on the corner of Holborn Hill and Nechells Park Road. The pub was rebuilt from 1924 to 1925. The pub has been vacant for many years.

The Villa TavernPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Nechells Baths

The former public baths was built on the corner of Nechells Park Road and Aston Church Road in 1910. Since the baths closed, it has become The Wisdom Cultural Islamic Centre since 2017.

Nechells BathsPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Now walk up Nechells Park Road towards Eliot Street, as next you will be passing a late Victorian Primary School building.

 

Nechells Primary E-ACT Academy

Eliot Street was originally called Hutton Street. Hence the Birmingham School Board opened it as the Hutton Street Board School in 1879, to the designs of Martin and Chamberlain. Renamed in 1897 to the Nechells Board School, by the 20th century it was called Nechells Primary School. By 2015 it became the Nechells Primary E-ACT Academy.

Nechells Primary E-Act AcademyPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Continue to the end of Eliot Street, turn right up Long Acre. Then right again at Cuckoo Road. Cross over the lights and over the Grand Union Canal and arrive at Star City.

 

Mount Street Park

Before heading to Star City, perhaps pop over to the Mount Street Park. It has a childrens play area, as well as a basketball court. It is on Cuckoo Road and Mount Street, with the Grand Union Canal down the other side.

Mount Street ParkPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Star City

A leisure and entertainment complex, Star City opened to the public near Cuckoo Road, on Watson Road in the year 2000. It opened with a Warner Village Cinemas (now Vue). It also used to have a casino. There is restaurants and cafes, a bowling alley and an amusement arcade with games. The no 66 bus route has bus stops outside, there is also a car park.

Star CityPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Stop for a drink at the Costa Coffee or Subway at Star City, before walking down towards Duddeston. Leaving Star City behind, head down Watson Road, turn left at Cuckoo Road. Walk down Heartlands Parkway past the Holiday Inn Express. Next turn right onto Aston Church Road, there is an old bridge that crosses the Grand Union Canal and River Rea. Continue towards The Wisdom Cultural Islamic Centre and enter Hope Gardens.

 

Hope Gardens

A small pocket park at the corner of Aston Church Road and Nechells Park Road called Hope Gardens. There is an open basketball court, and a childrens play area. 

Hope GardensPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Now walk down Nechells Park Road. You will pass the Nechells Methodist Church, on your way towards Wing Yip.

 

Free@Last

A community centre in Nechells located at Cattells Grove and Nechells Park Road. They have been providing a wide variety of opportunities for the children, young people and adults for many years.

Free@LastPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Wing Yip

A Chinese Superstore located on the corner of Nechells Park Road and Thimble Mill Lane. The famous Chinese Arch is located here. They have genuine Chinese & Oriential groceries here.

Wing YipPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Leaving Wing Yip, walk up Walter Street, then turn onto Rupert Street. Before walking up Rocky Lane to Bloomsbury Park, there is Cromwell Junior & Infant School.

 

Cromwell Junior & Infant School

The school opened in 1889 to the designs of J A Cossins under the name of the Cromwell Street School, and was built in the Gothic and Queen Anne Revivial styles. The school is located between Rupert Street, Rocky Lane and Cromwell Street.

Cromwell Junior & Infant SchoolPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Continue up Rocky Lane, and enter Bloomsbury Park through the gates.

 

Bloomsbury Park

This parkland was formerly called Bloomsbury Village Green, but is now known as Bloomsbury Park. It is between Nechells Parkway, Rocky Lane, Cromwell Street and Oliver Street. The childrens play area is close to Oliver Street, and is not that far from the Lanchester Car Monument, which can also be found in this park.

Bloomsbury ParkPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Lanchester Car Monument

This sculpture commemorates the work of Frederick W Lanchester, who in the late 19th century, produced cars on a site nearby on Bloomsbury Street. In 1995, Tim Tolkien (a great nephew of the author J.R.R. Tolkien) created this steel sculpture of the Lancester motor car.

Lanchester Car MonumentPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Leaving the park, you can't help to notice a red brick and terracotta building with a distinctive clocktower, this is the old Bloomsbury Library. Head down Bloomsbury Street to Nechells Parkway, or down Bloomsbury Walk.

 

Old Bloomsbury Library

The Bloomsbury Branch Library was built in 1893 to the designs of Cossins & Peacock. Saltley Road used to go past here, but this section is now called Nechells Parkway. The building is also on Bloomsbury Walk. After Bloomsbury Library relocated to Nechells POD, the building has been used by Rising Stars Daycare. The play area outside is called Bloomsbury Library Gardens.

Old Bloomsbury LibraryPhotography by Jack Babington

 

From Nechells Parkway, cross over at the lights, and walk down Melvina Road towards Duddeston Station. On your left will be a concrete sculpture called Youth.

 

Youth statue  

A concrete statue that was made in the year 1958 by the sculptor Harry Seager. It is close to the brick wall of the Cross City Line. The trees, bushes and shrubs can be seen growing around it.

YouthPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Continue up Melvina Road until you get to Duddeston Mill Road, find the crossing and head down the steps into Duddeston Station.

 

Duddeston Station

There has been a railway station at this site since 1837, original name was Vauxhall Station, and was the temporary terminus in Birmingham of the Grand Junction Railway. This was before Birmingham Curzon Street opened by 1839. It was renamed to Vauxhall & Duddeston in 1889. Destroyed by a bomb in 1941 during the Second World War. Rebuilt in the 1950s. The line was electrified in 1966. Station renamed to Duddeston in 1974. The Cross City Line opened in 1978. It is the first stop out of Birmingham New Street heading north, on both the Cross City (Sutton Coldfield and Lichfield Trent Valley) and Chase Lines (Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley).

Duddeston StationPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Catch the train one stop from here to Birmingham New Street on a Class 323 train. Or walk the short distance to catch the no 14 bus back into Birmingham City Centre.

 

End of Nechells trail 1.










Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.3.0 Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right