Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  West Midlands  /  Birmingham  /  Blakesley Hall

Blakesley Hall, Birmingham

4.5
#7 of 40 in Parks in Birmingham
Garden · Hidden Gem · History Museum
Create an itinerary including Blakesley Hall
Blakesley Hall, a grade II* listed building is a Tudor hall on Blakesley Road in Yardley, Birmingham, England. It is one of the oldest buildings in Birmingham and is a typical example of Tudor architecture with the use of darkened timber and wattle-and-daub infill, with an external lime render which is painted white. The extensive use of close studding and herringbone patterns on all sides of the house make this a home that was designed to show the wealth and status of the owner. The house is also jettied on all sides. At the rear of the hall, built on the back of the chimney, is a brick kitchen block dating from circa 1650.

The hall is a timber-framed farmhouse built in 1590 (when Yardley was in Worcestershire) by Richard Smalbroke, a man of local importance to Yardley. His family farmed at the hall and had other buildings in the surrounding area which were lost over time. After 1685, the building passed into the hands of the Greswolde family and for the next 200 years became a tenant farm. In 1899, the hall was acquired by Henry Donne who renovated the dilapidated house before selling it to the Merry family, a local paint and varnish manufacturer, who were the last family to occupy the hall.

The hall became a museum in 1935 after centuries of use as a private home and its parlour was renovated. Its purpose was to display the history of the local medieval manors which comprise Birmingham. The Hall was damaged by a bomb in November 1941 causing extensive damage and the museum did not open again until 1957. After research in the 1970s, the Hall was restored to an authentic period appearance and refurbished using furnishings drawn from the 1684 inventory of the contents.

It was last renovated in 2002 with the extension of a visitor centre and car park. Some structural work was also carried out in the hall and modern intrusive features such as the toilet block and the boiler room were removed, the former being relocated into the new visitor centre. This allowed the second smaller parlour to be placed on the ground floor next to the Great Parlour. An adjacent barn (Grade II listed) to the east of the hall has been renovated and consists of exhibition space and space for social functions.

As a Community Museum, that is a branch museum, of the Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery it is run by Birmingham Museums Trust.

Many of the original architectural features of the hall remain such as the herringbone floor. Among the artefacts discovered at the hall are candlesticks and pewter goblets. In the Bedchamber, paintings on the wall from 1590 were discovered after being hidden for centuries, their rediscovery partly in thanks of the bomb damage that loosened a significant amount of plaster in the hall. When renovations took place postwar, inspection of the bedchamber revealed fragments of leather and painted plaster. When the chamber was cleaned up, the walls and timbers were shown to be decorated in a Moorish design. A mock up of how the 'painted chamber' would have looked can be seen in the back bedroom at Blakesley hall.

The Gilbertstone, moved in local folklore by the Giant named Gilbert (which gave its name to the area of Gilbertstone on the border of Yardley and South Yardley), is displayed in the grounds of the museum.
Before you visit Birmingham, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.
Source
Create a full itinerary - for free!

Blakesley Hall reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
235 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Our (volunteer) guide was knowledgeable and entertaining, full of fascinating details and anecdotes. The contents of the hall had been collected from a variety of sources and had an interesting... 
    Our (volunteer) guide was knowledgeable and entertaining, full of fascinating details and anecdotes. The contents of the hall had been collected from a variety of sources and had an interesting...  more »
  • July 26th 2008, we got married here. We got married in the barn and it was a beautiful Hot day. The service was beautiful. The staff were attentive and were on hand throughout. The hall was closed to....  more
    July 26th 2008, we got married here. We got married in the barn and it was a beautiful Hot day. The service was beautiful. The staff were attentive and were on hand throughout. The hall was closed to....  more »
Google
  • Me and my 3 children had a wonderful day out for the Teddy Zip wire The staff (susanna and Shirley) were amazing, so helpful and friendly. The price was very reasonable and we spent a good 3 hrs enjoying the activities. Would definitely recommend
  • Had a lovely afternoon out for Apple day on October 3rd. They had lots of things for the kids to do and and a craft fair was on in the hall, it was brilliant. The hall itself is wonderful and there are guides there that can answer any questions you have. The building was built in 1590 but Is impeccably maintained. There's a little family room upstairs with toys and games and stuff. The stairs are quite steep and might be a challenge for some people. The site isn't massive but there's a nice cafe and a small garden to walk around. I think we will definitely go back in the future.

Plan your trip to Birmingham

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.