Blakesley Hall, Blakesley Road, Yardley – gate
Image by ell brown
This is Blakesley Hall in Yardley. It is on the Blakesley Road (it might have been Blakesley Hall Road in the past). It is a Grade II* listed Tudor hall, and is one of the oldest buildings in Birmingham and is a common 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 hall dates from aroun 1590, built for Richard Smalbroke, a man of local importance in Yardley.
It was built when Yardley used to be in Worcestershire.
His family farmed the area around the hall, but the other buildings were lost over time.
In 1685 the hall fell into the hands of the Greswolde family, and for the next 200 years it was 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. The hall was damaged by a bomb in 1941 and didn’t reopen until 1957 when the house was repaired.
It was last renovated in 2002.
As a Community Museum, that is branch museum, of the Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery it is owned and run by Birmingham City Council and is open to the public (not Mondays, except Bank Holidays) without charge.
Timber-framed farmhouse built by Richard Smalbroke in the last quarter of
the C16 and subsequently added to. The ground floor with vertical studding;
the upper storey jettied on huge brackets at the corners and with short diagonal
struts to produce a herringbone pattern; tiled roof. Two storeys except
the gabled crosswing on the left which has an attic storey in the gable which
has square panels with quadrant braces to produce a lozenge pattern. Windows
with leaded lights, 2, 3 even 4 mullions and, some of them, transoms
too. The house seems from the beginning to have been ceiled at first floor
level. A gabled stair turret in the angle between hall and crosswing balances
the porch. This is also gabled and has the inscription OMN(1)P OTENS D(EUS)
P(RO)TECTOR SIT DOM(US) HUI(US) RS. To the right, an C18 brick addition.
To the rear, a mid C17 kitchen wing of painted brick. Inside the house,
an upstairs room with a wall painting of circa 1600.
Walled gated entrance to the grounds of the Hall from Blakesley Road.