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Eastside and Aston University to Nechells - Take a Tour with us!

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Nechells Tour Two: Eastside via Aston University and Aston Cross to Nechells

Arrive in Birmingham City Centre, get off your bus near Moor Street Queensway, or off your train at Birmingham New Street or Birmingham Moor Street. From Moor Street Queensway, walk down Albert Street between the Clayton Hotel and HS2. Then head onto Park Street before entering the park.

 

Eastside City Park

The park opened alongside Millennium Point and Curzon Street in 2012, and was the first new City Park for a century. Part of the park in recent years hase been taken over by HS2.

Eastside City ParkPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Woodman

A public house on the corner of New Canal Street and Albert Street (now part of Eastside City Park). It was built in 1896-97 by James & Lister Lea. It was the only pub to survive the HS2 works, but it sadly closed down in the summer of 2022.

The WoodmanPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Curzon Street Station

This was the original terminus of the London & Birmingham Railway opening in 1838 at the corner of New Canal Street and Curzon Street. It's use declined when Birmingham New Street opened in 1854, and it closed for passengers in 1893. It was used for goods until 1966. And Parcelforce used the rear of the site until 2006. It is now part of the HS2 redevelopment, and the building will be fully restored, hopefully reopening by the 2030s, almost 200 years since it was first built!

Curzon Street StationPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Millennium Point

A mixed use venue, it opened in 2001 near Curzon Street in Eastside. It is home to Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, as well as Birmingham City University and Birmingham Metropolitan College. There used to be a IMAX cinema / Giant Screen Cinema here, but is now Platform, a venue hire space.

Millennium PointPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum

A paid for science museum located within Millennium Point, it opened in 2001. The main entrance used to be via the escalators to Level 2, but after the pandemic was moved to the ground floor. It replaced the Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry that used to be on Newhall Street in the Jewellery Quarter from 1951 to 1997. Most contents from that was moved here, other than those that went to the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre.

Thinktank Birmingham Science MuseumPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Parkside Building

Starting from 2011, Birmingham City University started to move their main campus from Perry Barr to Eastside. The Parkside Building next to Millennium Point was the first building to be completed and opened in 2013. On the corner of Cardigan Street with Eastside City Park (and near Curzon Street).

The Parkside BuildingPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

The Curzon Building

The second BCU Central Campus building to be built was The Curzon Building from 2013 to 2015, on the corner of Cardigan Street and Curzon Street. It was followed by Curzon B to the back from 2016 to 2018, near Gopsal Street and the Digbeth Branch Canal (between Ashted locks 4 and 5).

The Curzon BuildingPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Now walk up to the end of Curzon Street to Curzon Circle. Then cross over at the traffic lights towards Compass.

 

Compass Birmingham 

New student accommodation at Curzon Circle, between Vauxhall Road and Lawley Middleway. It was completed in 2022, and close to the HS2 line. It replaced the Curzon Gate student accommodation that HS2 demolished in 2019. Compass Birmingham was built on the site of Professional Music Technology (who moved to the Trident Retail Park in 2019) between 2021 and 2022.

CompassPhotography by Jack Babington

 

The White Tower

The White Tower aka Moriarty's is a traditional public house at the corner of Vauxhall Road and Lawley Middleway at Curzon Circle. It is near Eastside and the HS2 development.

The White TowerPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Next walk up Lawley Middleway and cross back over to Eastside, then pass University Locks, and walk down Penn Street to Belmont Row.

 

Lock Keepers Cottage

A cottage on the Digbeth Branch Canal, near the Ashted Locks flight (close to Ashted Lock 4). It might date to 1891. The last owner moved out by 2007, after the property was compulsory purchased by the Council, ahead of the Eastside Locks redevelopment. In 2019 Lucy McLauchlan (Beats 13) painted her distinct street art in the boarded up windows and door.

Lock Keepers CottagePhotography by Jack Babington

 

Now walk along Gopsal Street, before heading up Cardigan Street.

 

Eagle & Ball by BCUSU

An Ansell's pub built in the 1840s. By the 1960s it was renamed to the Moby Dicks. Now a Grade II listed building, lovingly restored and incorpoated into Birmingham City University. It was renamed back to The Eagle & Ball. It is on the corner of Penn Street and Gopsal Street, and near The Curzon Building, as well as the Joseph Priestley Building.

Eagle & BallPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Steamhouse by Birmingham City University

The Belmont Row Works built in 1899 as the Headquarters for the Eccles Rubber and Cycle Company, and it housed rubber manufactory. By 1918 it was occupied by the Co-Operative Society, which used the premises to make underwear. In 1931 the factory was making pianos, and by 1941 bedsteads. Was destroyed by a fire in 2007. Derelict for over a decade until Birmingham City University had it restored and extended as Steamhouse from 2020 to 2022.

SteamhousePhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Cross over Jennens Road between Cardigan Street and Woodcock Street. Turn left towards the Student Accommodation, then walk past the Aston Brain Centre to the Aston University main building on Aston Street.

 

Aston University Green

If walking past Aston University Library, on the left is the University Green. When the student accommodation was rebuilt in the 2010s here, the area was re-landscaped. The Chancellor's Lake has been there for decades and the Peace sculpture dating to 1985 in the lake was by William Pye. The Students Union relocated to a new building on campus in 2019 called the Sir Adrian Cadbury Building. 

Aston University GreenPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Aston University

Aston University was founded in 1966, but it began as the College of Advanced Technology with buildings dating to 1949-55 and 1957-65. The University celebrated it's 50th birthday in 2016, and was The Guardian University of the Year 2020. The campus at Aston Triangle has been redeveloped over the 2010s.

Aston UniversityPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

If you want a drink, pop into Costa Coffee on Aston Street. Tesco Express is next door. There is a view in Costa towards the Sacks of Potatoes pub.

 

Sacks of Potatoes

A traditional public house in what was the Gosta Green area of Birmingham, it probably dates to the late 19th century. It's near Woodcock Street, on the Aston University campus.

Sacks of PotatoesPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute

The building opened as the Delicia Cinema in 1923, next to the Sacks of Potatoes pub in Gosta Green, Birmingham. After the war the cinema closed and was taken over by the BBC as television studios until they moved to Pebble Mill in 1971. Aston University took over the building, later housing the Birmingham Arts Lab in 1976. Various other uses until it was a Dillons (later Waterstones) bookstore. The building was empty from 2003, but was converted into the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)  in the 2010s. Only the facade of the cinema survives.

EBRIPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Gosta Green

A public house in a red brick building dating to 1906, originally built as offices for Ansells, later the Holt Brewery. After the brewery closed down in the early 1970s, the building was converted into a pub called the Pot of Beer, but was later renamed to the Gosta Green. It is on the corner of Woodcock Street and Holt Street.

The Gosta GreenPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Walk down Lister Street, then turn left at Dartmouth Middleway, and walk towards Dartmouth Circus. Head down the subway, where you will find the Boulton & Watt Engine of 1817.

 

Dartmouth Circus - site of the Boulton & Watt Engine of 1817

This is a Grazebrook Engine built to the designs of James Watt in 1817 at a foundry in Soho, Birmingham, by Grazebrook & Whitehouse for their Netherton foundry in Dudley, Worcestershire (now West Midlands). It was retired in 1912, remaining on site as a standby engine. It was dismantled in 1964, and is now on display at Dartmouth Circus. Made of cast iron, it is 28 feet high, and weighs 10 long tons.

Boulton & Watt EnginePhotography by Elliott Brown
 

Leave Dartmouth Circus via a subway for Aston Road North. Follow the pavement towards Aston Cross, where you will find a clock.

 

Aston Cross Clock

A Historic landmark. The Aston Cross Clock Tower was made in 1891 of iron, and has four clock faces. It was near the Ansells Brewery (on site from 1881 to 1981) and the HP Sauce factory (late 19th century until 2007). The site today is East End Foods. The island is between Aston Road, North, Park Lane, Rocky Lane and the Lichfield Road.

Aston Cross ClockPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Aston Cross Tavern

A former public house, Aston Cross Tavern  (also called at one point The Golden Cross) was on the corner of the Lichfield Road and Rocky Lane at Aston Cross, Birmingham. It was last called O'Reillys, closed by 2012, now flats. There has been a pub on this site since the late 18th century, but this building probably dates to the late 19th century. It was built for the Holt Brewery, and later owned by the Ansells Brewery.

The Golden CrossPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Aston Cross Library

A public library built on the Lichfield Road in Aston in 1903. It was opposite the Ansells Brewery and HP Sauce factory (until they closed down). The building hasn't been a library for a long time, there is rooms to let inside. Funds to built it was provided by Andrew Carnegie, on a site gifted by William and Edward Ansell. The library closed during the 1970s.

Aston Cross LibraryPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Next walk along Rocky Lane, turn onto Chester Street, then Avenue Road, and Rupert Street.

 

Nechells Wellbeing Centre

This facility is located on Rupert Street in Nechells. It shares a building with the Nechells Community Sports Centre.

Nechells Wellbeing CentrePhotography by Jack Babington

 

St Matthew's Church

St Matthew's Church is a Grade II listed building, built 1839-40 by William Thomas of Leamington. The first of 5 churches to be built by the Birmingham Church Building Society. Near Nechells Parkway and Duddeston Manor Road.

St Matthews ChurchPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Loxton REC Play Park

Located in Nechells near Duddeston Manor Road, Wardlow Road, Howford Grove and Little Hall Road. It features a basketball court and play area.

Loxton REC Play ParkPhotography by Jack Babington

 

The Nimab Welfare Trust

A mosque and cultural centre, located in a former pub called The Winning Post. The Nimab Welfare Trust appears to have opened here around 2010, on Great Francis Street.

Nimab Welfare TrustPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Heartlands Academy

A secondary school located on Great Francis Street in Vauxhall, near Nechells, for children aged 11 to 16. Now an E-Act Academy.

Heartlands AcademyPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Erksine Street Park

A small park located between Erksine Street, Great Francis Street and Pitney Street in the Vauxhall / Nechells area of Birmingham.

Erksine St pocket parkPhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Birmingham Museum Collection Centre

The Birmingham Museum Collection Centre is located on Dollman Street in Nechells near Duddeston Station. The store of the Birmingham Museum Trust's collection that is not on display. Sometimes open to the public on open days.

Birmingham Museum Collection CentrePhotography by Elliott Brown

 

Walk up Dollman Street, Duddeston Mill Road, Little Hall Road, then go onto Duddeston Manor Road, cut past High Tower to Nechells Parkway, then cross over to Bodmin Grove and into Oliver Street.

 

Masjid Quba

A mosque and Islamic Centre on Oliver Street in Nechells. It was previously home to the United Reformed Church, but has been a mosque since at least 2015.

Masjid qubaPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Nechells POD

A community centre on Oliver Street in Nechells. It is also where the Bloomsbury Library is based now.

Nechells PODPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Walk up Rupert Street, pass Cromwell J & I School (see Nechells tour 1), then Walter Street and Long Acre.

 

St Joseph's Church

St Joseph's is a Grade II listed building and a Roman Catholic church. Was built as a cemetery chapel in 1850 by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. Enlarged in 1872 by Edward Welby Pugin. Restored in 1945 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. Long Acre in Nechells.

St Josephs ChurchPhotography by Jack Babington

 

Church of God of Prophecy Nechells Outreach Centre

The Nechells Outreach Centre is located in this historic church building on Long Acre in Nechells. It was formerly a Presbyterian chapel of 1888-9, now the Church of God of Prophecy.

Nechells Outreach CentrePhotography by Jack Babington

 

From here, either walk to Aston Station, or find the nearest bus stop to return to Birmingham City Centre. You should be able to catch the no 66 bus from Long Acre.

 

End of tour.










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