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After painstaking and careful restoration, Blakesley Hall a stunning, Elizabethan yeoman’s house in Yardley, has reopened its doors to the public. Blakesley Hall has under-gone extensive renovations to reinstate the ground floor rooms, as closely as possible, to their original appearance.
One of the few timber framed buildings left in Birmingham, the Hall was built in 1590 for Richard Smalbroke junior, who wanted to reflect his growing prosperity with a new and comfortable home. For example, the Hall contains a ‘long gallery’ of the type normally reserved for much grander houses and decorative wall paintings. Blakesley Hall is a fine example of the homes of the aspiring Tudor middle classes.
In the 1930s, the Hall became a museum and both central heating and toilets were installed altering the layout of the ground floor. Restoration has involved removing these to reinstate the ‘Great’ and ‘Little’ Parlours. In these rooms, the family would dine, separately from their servants, perhaps entertaining guests. They would also read, prepare accounts and write letters here away from the daily bustle of the rest of the household.
The Hall contains period furniture and fittings. The table in the great hall is original to the house. Other pieces come from the collections of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Replica items have also been purchased including items which visitors can handle.
A new visitor centre, containing an exhibition gallery, tea-room and shop, has been built on site. The Barn, where generations of school children have taken lessons, has also been upgraded to create a more comfortable space for teaching or community use.
This museum has a Designated Collection of national importance.
Museum, Historic house or home
April to October, Tuesday to Sunday 12.00pm - 4.00pm
Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays
This venue holds parts of Birmingham Museums and Galleries' Designated Collections of national importance. If you wish to see a particular item, please contact Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
Social History, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Archaeology
Key artists and exhibits
- Designated Collection
Tom, Frank and May - One Family's Story
- 12 April — 2 November 2014 *on now
Thomas and Elizabeth Merry lived at Blakesley Hall from 1901 -1932 and their three children, Tom, Frank and May all played important, yet different roles in this conflict. Tom was an officer in the Army Service Corps based at Rouen, Frank fought at Passchendaele with the Artists Rifles and May enrolled in the Voluntary Aid Detachment, working in a number of military hospitals, caring for the wounded from the front. Through photographs, medals and letters from the family’s archive, visitors to Blakesley Hall can discover the true effect of the war on one family.
- Any age
Entrance to the exhibition is included in the admission charge to the Hall.
Under 16s FREE
Hunters and Farmers: Prehistoric Birmingham
- 14 September 2014 2-3pm
Dr Mike Hodder talks about a fascinating period of Birmingham's history as part of our Second Sunday Talks. Includes Q and A.
- Any age
£5.00 per person.
- 1 — 19 October 2014
Explore Blakesley's orchard and discover the history of apples. Have a go at our hunt the golden apple trail.
- Any age
- 19 October 2014 12-4pm
Blakesley's annual celebration of the apple. Archery, morris dancing, plant sales, hunt the golden apple and juice tasting from the Blakesley orchard.
- Any age