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A Description of Modern Birmingham by Charles Pye

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_To Dudley, in Worcestershire, through Oldbury, distant_ _nine miles._

Having passed the Sand-pits and Spring-hill, you cross the Birmingham
canal and enter upon what was Birmingham heath, which being inclosed
in the year 1800, was found to contain 289 acres, which land now lets
from thirty to fifty shillings per acre.

On the right hand is a boat-builder's yard, and on the left a
glass-house, belonging to Messrs. Biddle and Lloyd. Proceeding towards
the windmill, you perceive at a short distance on the right hand
another glass-house, belonging to Messrs. Shakespear and Fletcher.
Ascending the hill, there is on the right an extensive view over the
adjacent country, including Barr-beacon, Mr. Boulton's plantations,
and Winson-green, a neat house, in the possession of Mrs. Steward. On
the left is Summerfield-house, late the residence of John Iddins, Esq.
but now of James Woolley, Esq. and beyond it, a neat white house,
occupied by Mr. Hammond. Over an apparently wooded country, you have a
windmill in full view, and when at the foot of the hill, on the right
is Smethwick grove, the residence of John Lewis Moilliet, Esq.

* * * * *

You now enter Smethwick, which is in Staffordshire, and ascending the
hill, a neat brick house makes its appearance on the right hand, where
John Reynolds, Esq. resides, who, by succeeding to what was considered
by Mr. Lane, his predecessor, to be a worn out trade, accumulated a
considerable fortune, and has retired from business to enjoy it near
twenty years. At the summit of the hill on the left is Shireland hall,
which is now converted into a seminary for young ladies, under the
superintendance of Miss Marmont.

There are in Smethwick some works of considerable magnitude, viz.
Messrs. Boulton and Watt's manufactory for steam engines; an extensive
soap work, belonging to Messrs. Adkins and Nock; a manufactory of
brass, under the denomination of the Smethwick brass company; and also
one of British crown glass, belonging to Thomas Shutt and Co. There is
a house called the Beakes, where Wm. Wynne Smith, Esq. resides.

The place of worship is a chapel of ease to the parish of Harborne, and
is a neat modern brick tower building, of a single pace, lofty and
coved, about sixty feet by twenty-four, and well paved, with a gallery
at the west end. The present incumbent is the Rev. Edward Dales, who
resides in the neat parsonage-house on the south side of the chapel
yard.

Leaving Smethwick, you proceed towards Oldbury, upon which road the
trustees are making great improvements, by widening the road and
turning the course of a brook, over which they are building a bridge,
which when finished will be a great accommodation. This village
is situated in the county of Salop, and is a chapel of ease to
Halesowen. A new court-house was erected here in the year 1816,
where the court of requests is held once a fortnight. The protestant
dissenters have here a neat place of worship, as have also the
methodists. Close to the village are several coal mines, and a blast
furnace, belonging to Mr. Parker.[7]

[Footnote 7: From this place you have an excellent view of Rowley
hills, the ruins of Dudley castle, and the fine woods in Sandwell
park.]

About a mile distant, on the left of the road is the Brades, where
Messrs. William Hunt and Sons have established a considerable
manufacture of iron and steel, which they form into scythes, hay
knives, trowels, and every kind of hoe now in use. This road from
Birmingham to Dudley is at least one mile nearer than going through
West-bromwich, and in my opinion will be sufficiently commodious for
the traffic there is between the two towns. The distance is only nine
miles, and in travelling that short space of ground you are in four
different counties; Birmingham being in Warwickshire; Smethwick, in
Staffordshire; Oldbury, in Shropshire; and Dudley in the county of
Worcester.

N. B. Since writing the above, the bridge is completed, and the whole
line of road improved to a considerable degree.

_To Hockley-house, ten miles, on the road to Stratford-upon-Avon and
also to Warwick._

You proceed through Deritend, up Camp-hill, and when near the summit,
there is on the right hand an ancient brick building, called the
Ravenhurst, the residence of Mr. John Lowe, attorney, who is equally
respectable in his profession, as the house is in appearance. A short
distance beyond on the left is Fair-hill, where Samuel Lloyd, Esq.
resides, and on the opposite side of the road is the Larches, the
abode of Wm. Withering, Esq.--This house, when it belonged to Mr.
Darbyshire, was known by the name of Foul Lake, but when Dr. Priestley
resided there, he gave it the name of Fair-hill; afterwards, being
purchased by Dr. Withering, he altered the name of it to the Larches.
Having passed through the turnpike, on the left is Sparkbrook-house,
John Rotton, Esq. resident. At the distance of one mile and a half the
road to Warwick branches off to the left, and on the summit of the
hill is Spark-hill-house, inhabited by Miss Morris. Opposite the three
mile stone is a very neat pile of building, called Green-bank-house,
where Benjamin Cooke, Esq. has taken up his abode. A little beyond, at
a place called the Coal-bank, there is a free school, which is endowed
with about forty pounds per annum.

At a short distance on the left is Marston chapel, which is usually
called Hall-green chapel: it was erected and endowed by Job Marston,
Esq. of Hall-green hall, with about ninety acres of land, and other
donations.

At the distance of five miles, you pass through a village called
Shirley Street; and at the distance of another fire miles, you arrive
at Hockley-house; a place of entertainment, where travellers of every
denomination are accommodated in a genteel manner, and on reasonable
terms. About one mile from hence, on the road to Stratford, is
Umberslade, or Omberslade, where the Archer family were used to
reside, but it is now untenanted.

_From Hockley-house to Warwick, ten miles._

At the distance of one quarter of a mile, there is on the right a view
of Lapworth church, and on the left is Pack wood-house, which is at
present unoccupied. At Rowington, the Warwick canal is carried at
an immense expense over a deep valley, and also through a tunnel of
considerable length; on the left is the village church, to which you
ascend by steps cut in the solid rock, and near to it is the handsome
residence of Samuel Aston, Esq. from hence you proceed through Hatton
to Warwick.

_To Warwick, twenty miles_--_Leamington, twenty-two miles._

You proceed through Deritend and Bordesley, continuing upon the
Stratford road for one mile and a half, when you turn to the left;
and at the distance of two miles there is a view over a well-wooded
country, with the spire of Yardley church on the left. At
Acock's-green there is a prospect nearly similar; and in a field,
opposite the five mile stone, there is an extensive picturesque
landscape, with a sheet of water in front, which covers about thirty
acres;[8] in the midst of which is a small island, with some trees
upon it, that adds considerably to the scene.

[Footnote 8: This sheet of water is the reservoir of the Warwick
canal.]

_Solihull, distant seven miles._

This beautiful, neat, and clean village had at one time a market, but
that has been discontinued for a long time. There are still three
fairs annually; one on the 29th of April, another on the 11th of
September, and the third on the 12th of October. There are here
several genteel and commodious houses; the vicinity being very
respectable. The, church is an ancient gothic pile of building, with
an elegant spire. The Rev. Charles Curtis is rector.

Leaving the village, on the right you pass by Malvern-hall, the
residence of H.G. Lewis, Esq. and afterwards arrive at Balsall Temple,
which in former days belonged to the knights templars, and at their
dissolution the knights hospitallers became possessed of it, in
whom it remained till the general dissolution of the abbies. It was
afterwards converted into an hospital, for the reception of indigent
women, either unmarried or widows, to be selected from Balsall and
Long Itchington, in Warwickshire, Trentham, in Staffordshire,
or Lillenhall, in Shropshire. This institution is now in great
prosperity, the annual income amounting to near L1500; the number of
its alms-women is at present thirty. The buildings are extensive and
substantial, forming a complete square, and healthfully situated on
the verge of a spacious and fertile green. The trustees are the bishop
of Lichfield and Coventry, together with the Earls of Warwick and
Aylesford, assisted by other respectable gentlemen in the county, who
have placed the whole institution under the immediate charge of a
master, with a salary of L150. per annum, who is at this time the Rev.
J. Short.

To those who admire antiquity, Balsall church will be a pleasing
object, as it now remains nearly in the same state as it was when
first erected, about seven hundred years back. Its dimensions are one
hundred and two feet long, thirty-eight broad, and fifty-seven high.
At the east and west ends are lofty windows, extending from the roof
nearly to the ground, and on each side are three noble windows. The
heads of all the windows are ornamented with beautiful tracery, and no
two of them resemble each other. There are no divisions withinside,
and what distinguishes the chancel from the body of the church is
an ascent of three steps. The walls are very substantial, and so
clustered with ivy, that it forces its way through any small fissures
into the interior. Over the west door there is a low turret, and below
the cornice is a row of ten heads, in a good state of preservation,
which are considered to be of excellent workmanship.

Near the church is the ancient hall of the templars, formerly a
splendid apartment, but now it is converted into a barn, which is
represented to have been one hundred and forty feet in length.

A little farther is Springfield, the elegant and delightful mansion of
Joseph Boultbee, Esq. and at a short distance is Knowle, which is a
small old town, on elevated ground, in the midst of fertile fields.
This church is of considerable size, and exhibits marks of antiquity
in its remains of stained glass and grotesque carved work.

Not far from hence is Baddesley-Clinton-hall, the seat of Edward
Ferrers, Esq. and about one mile beyond is a small inn, known by the
name of Tom o'Bedlam, near to which is a venerable oak tree, supposed
to be two hundred years old, measuring in girth twenty yards, from
which one branch extends across a road thirty feet wide. You next
come to Wroxhall abbey, the residence of Christopher Wren, Esq. a
descendant from the noted Sir Christopher Wren, who erected St. Paul's
cathedral, in London. The church of Wroxhall is an ancient structure,
forming one side of a square, the buildings of the abbey forming the
other three sides. The windows, which are ornamented with stained
glass, are remarkably fine: the two figures of Moses and Aaron are
admired, not only for the drapery, but also for the splendid colours.

About one mile before you arrive at Hatton, there is to the left a
pleasant view over a well-wooded country, in the midst of which the
ivied towers and magnificent battlements of Kenilworth castle
present themselves to view. Hatton is a small village over which the
celebrated and learned Dr. Parr presides. At Hatton-hill, near the two
mile stone, there is an extensive and diversified prospect over the
fertile tract that surrounds Warwick; in every part highly cultivated,
and adorned with woods, encircled by gently-rising hills; and in the
back ground are seen Shuckburgh-hill on one side and Edge-hill on the
other.

_Warwick_. This ancient town is seated on a rock, to which you ascend
in every direction, there being four avenues; one from Birmingham,
another from Stratford, a third from Coventry, and a fourth from
Banbury. The eminence on which the town is erected is itself encircled
by hills at the distance of from two to three miles, which bound the
prospect in every direction, except to the N.E. where you may see
into Northamptonshire, and to the S.W. where the eye ranges over
an extensive country, backed by the hills in Glocestershire and
Worcestershire. The surrounding country is very fruitful, being
cultivated with great care, and the enclosures separated by beautiful
hedges, which are richly adorned with trees in a flourishing
condition, and also by the river Avon, which meanders here in a
considerable stream, and near Warwick is augmented by the junction of
the Leam. The town being seated on a dry eminence, is exposed to the
genial influence of the sun, which rarifies the air, and renders the
atmosphere so salubrious and warm, that in its vicinity the seasons
are frequently earlier by a fortnight than they are at the distance of
twenty or thirty miles. The four principal streets cross each other at
right angles, and lead to the cardinal points.

Great improvements have of late been made in them, by the introduction
of culverts, repaving the carriage roads, and laying the footpaths
with flags. Lamps are lighted during the winter months, at the expense
of the corporation, who have in a commendable manner widened the
narrow parts of some streets, and removed numerous obstructions;
which gives an air of liveliness to this once sleepy town, and the
inhabitants, being rowsed from their lethargy, are now become active
and industrious.--The canal from Birmingham comes to this town, from
whence it is continued to Napton, where it unites with the Oxford, and
by means of it, with the grand junction canal.

The town is governed by a mayor, twelve aldermen, and twelve principal
burgesses, with a town clerk and a recorder, who are empowered to make
laws for the regulation of the borough, and upon all offenders to
impose reasonable fines and penalties. Here are two manufactories of
cotton, one of lace, and one of worsted, all of them upon an extensive
scale, which contribute considerably to the cheerful activity and
increasing population. There are here held twelve fairs annually; the
market, which is well supplied, is on a Saturday; the quarter sessions
for the county, and also the assizes.--The horse races take place in
September, and a second meeting of the same kind is held in November.
This borough sends two members to parliament, who are elected by those
who pay scot and lot; the number of electors being about five hundred.

Here are two churches; one dedicated to St. Mary and the other to
St. Nicholas: there, are also places of worship for presbyterians,
quakers, independants, baptists, and Wesleyans.

In the vicinity, the following places are deserving of
attention:--Guy's cliff, the ruins of Kenilworth castle, Stoneleigh
abbey, Charlcott-house, and Combe abbey. Passing over the new bridge,
on the road to Leamington, there is a grand picturesque view of
Warwick; there being in the foreground the rich meadows, with the Avon
meandering through them, the church of St. Nicholas, and the trees
behind, which form a dark shade. Near to it is the castellated
entrance into the castle, and the elegant tower of St. Peter's chapel.
On the right is the priory, with its beautiful woods. The town is
perceptible in the centre, with the tower of St. Mary's, which rises
above the variegated and extensive groves of the castle. On the left
is the principal object, the castle, which raises its lofty embattled
towers over the shady groves with which it is surrounded. The elegant
bridge, whose span is 105 feet, is a prominent feature in the
landscape.

On the road leading to Tachbrook, about one mile from the town, the
eye is gratified with a rich and luxuriant landscape, wherein appears
the church of St. Nicholas, the priory, the hospital of St. John, the
tower of St. Mary's church, and, to crown the whole, the castle.

The walks and rides in the vicinity of this town present innumerable
objects deserving of attention, and whoever takes delight in rural
scenery, may here be amply gratified.

In addition to these works, there is a considerable manufactory of
hats, and an iron-foundry; to which may be added a corn mill, wherein
are five pair of stones, and three of them constantly in motion, by
which means they are enabled to grind and dress three hundred bushels
of flour every day.

_The County Hall._

This is an elegant pile of building, with a stone front, ornamented
with pillars of the Corinthian order, to which, the ascent is by a
flight of steps, through folding doors, into a noble room of just
proportions, being ninety-four feet in length and thirty-six in
breadth. At each end are semicircular recesses, surmounted by cupolas,
and fitted up with convenient galleries, where the two courts of
justice are held; the criminal court being on the right, and that for
civil causes on the left; between which there is accommodation for the
servants and attendants upon the court. Above there is an apartment
where the petit juries occasionally retire, and adjoining it is the
room where the grand jury assemble. The quarter sessions for the
county are also held in this hall, and in it all county meetings are
convened. During the races there is a temporary boarded floor laid
down, and the hall is converted into a ball-room, the two recesses
being fitted up for card parties: the pillars with which it is
ornamented are encircled with wreaths of lamps, and what was before
the solemn court of justice, is now converted into a brilliant
and sportive scene, where gaiety and fashion take place of their
predecessors.

_The Court House._

This spacious and elegant pile of building is appropriated to the use
of the body corporate, there being two rooms on the ground floor; that
on the right is where the mayor and aldermen hold their assemblies,
and the other is fitted up as a court, where the sessions are held
for the borough. On the second floor, there is a commodious,
well-proportioned apartment, sixty feet by twenty-seven, which is
fitted up in an elegant manner with superb cut-glass chandeliers of
large dimensions, at one end of which is an orchestra and also a card
room adjoining. In this room annual entertainments are given by the
mayor, and public meetings for the borough are convened. In it public
lectures upon any particular subject are occasionally delivered, and
it is also sometimes used as a ballroom.

_The Market House._

This substantial building does credit to the town; it being very
convenient for those who bring the produce of their farms to market.
The upper apartments are made use of as store-rooms for the arms and
accoutrements of the military within the county. From its summit there
is a fine view of the town, and also a prospect of the surrounding
country.

_The Stone Bridge_.

This elegant structure, which is erected across the river Avon,
consists of one arch, measuring 105 feet in the span, at the expense
of four thousand pounds: one thousand was contributed by the
corporation, and the remainder was defrayed by the Earl of Warwick.

_The Iron Bridge_.

The rock whereon this town is erected being cut away, to make a road
into it twenty-four feet wide, Charles Mills, Esq. one of the members
for the borough, caused an iron bridge to be erected at his expense,
across this road, and thereby formed a junction between the
marketplace and the Saltsford.

_The Theatre_.

The town not being very extensive, this building was erected to
correspond with the population: it is no ways remarkable in its
external appearance, but it is fitted up in a neat and convenient
manner within, and is always opened during the races.

_College School_.

This ancient pile of building is of considerable size, and in it the
native children of the parish, who think proper to take advantage of
the institution, are educated free of expense; but as the course of
instruction is prescribed to the learned languages only, its utility
as a free school for general education is very contracted. The salary
of the master, who must be a clergyman of the established religion,
is seventy-five pounds, and he having but little employment, has an
assistant, who receives annually thirty pounds, exclusive of other
emoluments. To this school two estates were left in trust, to provide
two exhibitions of seventy pounds each, for two young men, natives of
the town, towards defraying the expense of their education, at Oxford,
for the space of seven years.

There is also a public library, wherein is a considerable collection
of well-chosen books, chiefly of modern literature; but the building
that contains it is not deserving of notice.

The charitable donations and benefactions that have been left to this
town are very numerous, and amount to a large sum of money.

Here are six different alms-houses, one school wherein thirty-nine
boys are taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, and thirty-six girls
are instructed in reading, writing, sewing, and knitting. There is
also a school of industry, and four sunday schools. A lying-in charity
is also established here, for the relief of poor married women,
residing within the borough, who each of them are accommodated with a
set of child-bed linen for one month, one pound of candles, one pound
of soap, and during the winter months, with two hundred weight of
coals. They are also provided with a sufficient quantity of caudle,
together with proper attendants, and all necessary medical advice. In
addition to the before-mentioned there are two poor-houses.

There is also a very ancient building, denominated Leicester's
hospital, for the reception of twelve indigent men, who are termed
brethren, together with a master, who must be a clergyman of the
established church, and in preference to all others, if he offers
himself, the vicar of St. Mary's. It is endowed with land, which at
the time was valued at L200 per annum, but now amounts to near L2000,
exclusive of the vicarage of Hampton-in-Arden, which is in the gift of
the brethren, who usually bestow it upon the master. It had long been
ascertained that the clear annual rental of the estate far exceeded
all that could be required for the support of the number of brethren
in the hospital, and that the salary of the master was fixed at fifty
pounds per annum.

In the year 1813, this important business was brought before
parliament, when it appeared, that each of the brethren received,
clear of all deductions, about L130 per year each, which sum the act
leaves them in the possession of; but it provides, as vacancies occur,
either by death or otherwise, on the admission of every new member,
his annual income shall not exceed L80, and that the surplus L50 shall
one half of it go to the increase of the master's salary, until it
amounts to L400 per annum, and the remainder is to form a fund for the
support of ten additional members. The qualification for admission
being now fixed at L50 per annum: no candidate is to be possessed of
an income exceeding that. Adjoining to the hospital is a chapel, which
is neatly fitted up for the use of the brethren, the master, and his
family, who daily assemble there for morning and evening prayer,
except on those days when service is performed at St. Mary's, where
their attendance is then required.

_St. Mary's Church_.

This stately building taken altogether makes a very respectable
appearance, particularly the tower, wherein are eight bells and a set
of chimes; what is very remarkable, the principal entrance into the
church is under the tower; therefore it admits of a grand view down
the middle aisle, which being terminated by the east window, is seen
to great advantage. There is in this church an excellent organ, and
numerous monuments, but none of them any ways remarkable. From the
south transept of this church, you descend by a flight of steps to St.
Mary's chapel, and enter therein by folding doors, which, when opened,
the eye is astonished upon viewing the interior of this beautiful and
magnificent structure, which is considered to be as fine a specimen
of gothic architecture as any in the kingdom, it being in the pointed
style of the middle order. This chapel, having been twenty-one years
in building, was finished in the year 1464, and including the monument
erected to commemorate the Earl of Warwick, cost L2481, an amazing sum
at that period. In the chapel there are five sumptuous monuments.

_St. Nicholas's Church_.

This incongruous pile of building is of modern date, being opened for
divine service on the 17th September, 1780.

_County Gaol._

This extensive, substantial, and commodious pile of building is of
solid stone, and in all respects so complete, that every purpose it
was intended to answer is fully accomplished. The area of this prison
contains near an acre of ground, which is surrounded by a wall
twenty-three feet high, and of proportionate strength.

_County Bridewell._

This building is of stone, and contains numerous apartments, in every
one of which there is a glazed window and an iron door, the sleeping
rooms being furnished with iron bedsteads and chaff beds, with two
rugs to each. A donation is made to every prisoner, on being released,
according to the distance he is from home and behaviour during
confinement. One or two shirts or shifts, a pair of shoes, or a
jacket, are presented to those who have been in prison six months.

_The Castle._

The necessary limits to which this work is confined, will not admit of
describing that magnificent and sumptuous pile of building; therefore
those who are desirous of seeing a description of it, are referred to
the local historian.

_The Priory._

This ancient edifice is in the immediate vicinity of Warwick: it was
originally a complete square, three sides of which still remain, the
fourth having been removed.--The western side appears to have been
part of the ancient chapel, there still remaining part of the
baptismal font, which is of stone, richly ornamented, and is highly
deserving the attention of an antiquarian.

It is situated on a pleasing eminence, embosomed in the ancient and
majestic groves, surrounded by delightful gardens and an extensive
park, and presents such a beautiful sylvan scene as is rarely to be
met with. The undulated surface of the ground, intermingled with
numerous sheets of water, are richly adorned with trees of various
kinds, of vigorous growth and the most beautiful forms, among which
the elm and the chesnut are particularly conspicuous. Through this
park there are several footpaths open to the public, and are the most
rural and delightful walks imaginable.

_Guy's Clift_.

Leland, the antiquarian, who wrote in the time of Henry 8th, speaking
of this delightful and romantic place, says, "It is the abode of
pleasure, and a place delightful to the muses: there are natural
cavities in the rocks, small but shady groves, clear and chrystal
streams, flowery meadows, mossy caves, a gentle murmuring river
running among the rocks, and to crown all, solitude and quiet,
friendly in so high a degree to the muses."

The approach to this romantic place is from the Coventry road, by the
side of shady plantations, until you arrive at a lofty stone arch,
through which you enter the court yard, the whole of which is hewn out
of the solid rock, and underneath there are subterraneous passages and
cellars, wherein the atmospheric air produces so little effect, that
during the heats of summer or the colds in winter the thermometer only
varies one degree. In this court there are numerous stables excavated
out of the solid rock, as are some of the lower apartments of the
house, which is an elegant modern mansion, and near to it is the
ancient chapel, with its embattled towers and gothic windows, as it
was originally built in the reign of Henry 6th, and is still in good
repair. Those who admire the productions of early genius will here be
highly gratified, there being great numbers of original paintings,
and some copies, executed by the only son of the worthy proprietor of
Guy's clift, whose premature death at the age of twenty-two, caused
inexpressible grief to all who were honoured with his acquaintance.
Exclusive of these, there are others by artists of the greatest
celebrity.

The ancient pleasure grounds exhibit a great variety of pleasing
objects, and also numerous curiosities; among others, a mill that was
in being before the Norman conquest, it being mentioned in doomsday
book. There is also Guy's well, where this renowned champion was
accustomed to slake his thirst, which is described by Leland as
follows, it still remaining in the same state as it was then--"The
silver wells in the meadows were enclosed with pure white sleek
stones, like marble, and a pretty house, erected like a cage, one end
only open, to keep comers from the rain." The apartments under the
chapel, where the chantry priests were used to reside, still remain
entire, without having undergone any alteration. Near to this spot is
Guy's cave,

"Where with his hands he hew'd a house,
Out of a craggy rock of stone,
And lived, like a palmer, poor,
Within that house alone."

This bears the appearance of being a natural eave, for the upper part
does not exhibit any marks where the tool has been made use of, but
the lower part does; and here, tradition says, this mighty warrior
was interred, and also his wife, fair Phillis. Over this cave is fair
Phillis's walk, who, it is related, was accustomed to resort here,
whilst her husband, though not known to her as such, was performing
his devotions in the cave below. From these delightful and romantic
walks there are numerous opportunities for an expert draughtsman to
exercise his abilities.

_Leamington Priors._

The distance between Warwick and Leamington is only two miles, and
there are two distinct roads, both of them excellent; and whether a
person rides or walks, if the mind is susceptible of pleasing
ideas, neither time nor fatigue will be thought of. The roads about
Leamington are in excellent order, and present numerous delightful and
picturesque views, which are fully described by Mr. Field, and also
by Mr. Moncrief in his Guide to Leamington, wherein he has introduced
some appropriate, entertaining, and amusing poetry. Whoever resorts to
these saline springs in search of amusement, if he has money and time
at command, cannot fail, during the season, between May and November,
of being highly gratified, except the mind is entirely depraved. To
every visitant, the guide of Mr. Moncrief will not only be useful
but entertaining. The poetical epistles of Miss Fidget are not only
descriptive but very humorous, and the poetry of Mr. Pensile is very
appropriate.

Before Leamington rose into esteem, there was a facetious man resided
there, named Benjamin Satchwell, by trade a shoemaker, who, when any
differences arose among the villagers, he was in general the mediator;
they not being at that time cursed with either a wrangling lawyer
or an hypocritical methodist. He was also the village poet, and
frequently exercised his talents in praise of the waters, and likewise
of any respectable person who came with intent to derive benefit
from them. He is said to have kept annals in verse of its rise and
progress, and also cases of cures performed by the virtues of the
saline spring, and that he let them out to the visitors for their
amusement, on certain terms. Admitting this to be true, is it not
very singular that Mr. Bisset, nor his predecessor, Mr. Pratt, should
neither of them introduce these jeu des esprits, for the entertainment
of their readers, or why did not Mr. Moncrief collect them together;
they certainly would have increased the sale of his work? As they are
overlooked by the local historians, it is not likely that a casual
visitor should stumble upon them.

This village having for a series of years been celebrated for a spring
of saline water, it has for some time become fashionable to resort
there. The first baths were erected in the year 1786, now called
the Centre well, by Mr. Thomas Abbotts, a native of the place; the
beneficial effects of the water having been noticed and recommended by
Dr. Kerr, of Northampton, and Dr. Allen. At this time there were two
baths, one of them hot and the other cold, which for several years
afforded sufficient accommodation for all invalids who resorted there,
and were in general lodged at the adjacent cottages, there being no
more than two small inns, the Bowling Green and the sign of the Dog.

Dr. Edward Johnstone, of Birmingham, having recommended the use of
these waters to several of his patients, the number of visitants
increased annually, so that in 1790, Matthew Wise, Esq. caused another
well to be opened, now called the Road well, where he erected a
range of baths, more spacious than the others, to which was annexed
considerably more conveniences, with some pretensions to elegance; but
as yet no additional apartments were provided for the accommodation of
strangers, except a few more of the cottagers fitting up additional
rooms, it being no more than a rural and retired village.

In the year 1794, Dr. Lambe, a physician of eminence, who resided
at Warwick, published in the fifth volume of the Memoirs of the
Manchester Philosophical Society, an accurate analysis of the
Leamington water, by which it appears to possess the same genial
influence on the human frame as the water of Cheltenham, which was
then rising into celebrity. There was one very material difference
between the waters of Leamington and those of Cheltenham, there being
at the former place an abundant supply of the mineral water, not only
for drinking but for hot and cold bathing; whilst, on the contrary,
the saline spring at Cheltenham scarcely produced a sufficient
quantity for drinking. The influx of visitors to Leamington now
increased with such rapidity, that every cottager exerted himself to
fit up lodgings, and every house to which lodgers resorted improved
their appearance; in short, new wells were opened, new houses erected,
and not only new streets formed in the old town, as it was now called,
but a plan was drawn for the erection of a new town, which has within
a few years increased in a most astonishing manner.

The Dukes of Bedford and Gordon, attended by their Duchesses, having
visited and remained at Leamington for some time, it induced the Earl
of Aylesford, who is lord of the manor, and of course, proprietor of
the spring, to visit Leamington, where, having made the necessary
enquiries, he gave orders that the spring should be properly inclosed,
at his expense, securing to the poor the benefit of the waters, and
had he lived, it was his intention to have erected baths for their
accommodation. The visitants increasing in number, Mr. Wise has
augmented the number of his baths, there being one cold bath, four hot
for the use of gentlemen, seven for ladies, and one for children, all
fitted up with Dutch tiles, or Derbyshire marble, and furnished for
the convenience of invalids, with hand rails: to each of the baths is
attached a dressing room, with a fire-place in it. Adjoining these
baths there is a small but elegant pump-room; the water being raised
by a horse engine.

In 1810, a fourth well was opened, which is called the Bridge well,
and is situated near the bridge, close to the river: it belongs to Mr.
Robbins, who has erected one large cold bath, three hot baths, and one
for children.--These, with the exception of the last, are accompanied
by convenient dressing-rooms; the water being raised by a horse
engine.

The South well, the property of the Rev. Mr. Read, was opened in the
same year, (1810), where there are one cold bath, formed with Dutch
tiles, three hot baths, one of them being marble, and one for
children: these baths are very neat, but they have not the convenience
of dressing-rooms.

During the same year, (1810), a sixth well was opened on the north
side of the river, where a magnificent suite of baths and a spacious
pump-room are erected, at the expense of twenty-five thousand pounds;
there are twenty in number, hot, cold, tepid, vapour, and shower;
one of them being a chair bath, which is an admirable contrivance to
immerge the invalid, on the chair where he was undressed, into the
bath, in a secure and easy manner.--These baths are spacious, and
admirably constructed with Dutch tiles, and most of them have the
accommodation of dressing-rooms. The water is raised by a steam engine
of two horse power; and to the great credit of the proprietors, they
have devoted one hot and two cold baths to the use of the poor. This
extensive building exhibits a noble front, the central part being one
hundred and six feet in length and thirty in height, to which there
are two wings, each of them extending thirty-feet and in height
twenty. A spacious colonade, formed by double pillars of the Doric
order, encompass it on three sides, all of native stone, makes this
building rank among the first and most magnificent structures in the
kingdom. It was designed and executed by Mr. C.S. Smith, architect of
London. The baths for the use of the ladies are nearest to the river,
and those at the other end are for gentlemen, the entrance to them
being from the two wings. The entrance to the pump-room, which is
extensive, lofty, and of exact proportions, is through folding doors
at each extremity of the central building.--The ornaments of the
ceiling, the cornices, and in fact, the whole interior embellishments,
are chaste and simply elegant. On one side the light is introduced
through seven windows, and on the opposite side by one window of large
dimensions, composed of stained glass. Underneath this window there
are two elegant chimney pieces, formed of Kilkenny marble. At the
western extremity of the room, on an ornamental pedestal of Derbyshire
marble, there is the pump, if it may be so called, it having a bason
in the centre, which is enclosed by a neat mahogany ballustrade. The
visitors receive the water in glasses from beautiful damsels, and to
whom it is usual to give a gratuity. The terms for drinking the water
at these baths is 3s. 6d. per week, exclusive of the gratuity. At the
other wells it is 2s. 6d. per week, and the gratuity. The terms for
bathing appear to be in general, 3s. for a warm bath, 2s. for that
of a child, and 1s. 6d. for a cold bath, with a gratuity to the
attendant.

In the year 1816, a seventh well made its appearance in
Clemens-street, which bears the pompous title of the imperial
sulphuric medical font, and ladies' marble baths. There are here four
baths, with a dressing-room to each, and also an elegant pump-room.

Lest seven wells and fifty baths should not be sufficient to
accommodate the visitors at Leamington, preparations are making for
the eighth well, near Ranelagh gardens, where the baths are intended
to be more splendid than any of the former, and also the pump-room,
under the title of the Spa.

From the hour of seven to nine in the morning is the accustomed time
to promenade and drink the water, though numbers defer it till after
breakfast, and bathe in the evening before they retire to rest.

When the warm baths are not in use, they are invariably kept and shewn
empty, being filled in presence of the visitor, or during the time he
is preparing to use them; the process of filling not requiring more
than three minutes. The cold baths are in general emptied and of
course filled every day, or more frequently if required; but of late
they are not much resorted to, the warm or tepid bath being preferred.
The prevailing opinion among medical men is, that the latter is by far
the more efficacious in most disorders, and more conducive to health
than the former; because, where a person continues immersed in saline
water for some time, it enters into the pores of the skin, and by that
means is more likely to be of benefit in cutaneous or other disorders
for which it is usually recommended.

The houses in Union-parade, Upper Union-street, Cross-street, and
others, being erected, some public-spirited gentlemen, in order to
attract the attention of the public, in the year 1813 resolved to
erect an assembly-room that might vie with, if not excel those of Bath
and Cheltenham.

This, at the expense of ten thousand pounds, was carried into
execution by a pupil of the celebrated Wyatt. The spacious front of
this beautiful edifice is constructed with native stone, wherein no
superfluous ornaments are admitted. In the central part there are a
range of seven windows, supported by light pilasters of the Ionic
order, surmounted by a plain entablature. Two handsome wings project
from the main building, and judiciously relieve it; they contain those
apartments that are usual and necessary appendages to a large assembly
room.--There are two entrances into this building; one on the eastern
side, from Union-parade, through a small porch, supported by four
Ionic columns; the other, the principal entrance, is from Upper
Cross-street, through a pair of large folding doors in the right
wing, into the hall. The hall is spacious and well-proportioned,
the refectory being opposite to the entrance. To the right is
a billiard-room, containing a massive mahogany table, made by
Fernyhough, of London, said to be worth one hundred guineas, and to
the left a flight of stairs conducts you to another billiard-room,
which, although it is not quite so spacious, is equally commodious as
the other. On the same side you enter the ball-room through a pair of
folding doors: this magnificent room measures in length eighty-two
feet, in width thirty-six, and in height twenty-six. From the ceiling,
which is beautifully ornamented with stucco, three superb chandeliers
of cut glass are suspended, which with those in the other apartments
are said to have cost one thousand guineas. The range of windows
aforementioned are furnished with curtains of crimson moreen, edged
with black fringe. On the opposite side of the room there are two
fire-places, the chimney pieces being formed of Kilkenny marble,
highly polished, over which are two ornamental mirrors of large
dimensions. At the upper end is the orchestra, to the left of which
is a door leading into the card room, which is a spacious and elegant
apartment, and beyond it is a reading-room, well provided with the
London and provincial newspapers, to which are added some of the
most esteemed periodical publications. On ball nights, this room is
appropriated for tea. From the month of June till November balls are
held every Thursday night, at eight o'clock, and card assemblies
occasionally throughout the season. The whole concern is under the
direction of a committee, the master of the ceremonies being C.
Stevenson, Esq.

Mr. George Stanley, mason, of Warwick, laid the first brick of the
first house erected at new Leamington, 8th October, 1808. This first
house was built by Mr. Frost, of Warwick, and stands at the corner of
Upper Cross-street, opposite the assembly rooms; in honour of him
there is now a street bears his name, (Frost-street.)

_The Theatre._

This neat building, upon a diminutive scale, was erected in 1814,
immediately in front of the Bath hotel, the exterior appears to be
coated with Parker's cement, and the interior is ornamented with views
of Leamington, Warwick, Guy's Clift, &c, and fitted up with some
taste.

_The Post Office._

This necessary and convenient place for all descriptions of people to
resort to, is situated about two hundred yards east of the church,
where there are gardens, kept in neat order, for the accommodation
of those who wait with impatience for their letters; or they may
promenade from the office to Gordon house.

_Ranelagh Gardens_

Are regularly improved every season, and with their various
amusements, are deserving of attention.

_The Church_

Is an ancient pile of building, dedicated to All Saints, which,
from the great influx of visitors, being found too small for their
accommodation, an entire new wing was constructed in 1816, and it
still requires to be farther extended, or a new one erected. A
moderate subscription from the wealthy visitors would do much towards
it. The officiating minister, the Rev. E. Trotman, is only engaged
to do single duty on a Sunday, but to accommodate the visitors, he
performs a second entire service, and to remunerate him for his
attention, subscription books are opened. During the season of 1818,
another hotel was begun, upon which twenty thousand pounds being
appropriated to the completion of it, is a sum sufficient to render it
equal to any other house of entertainment in the kingdom.

An elegant suite of rooms have recently been opened, entitled the
Apollo, where assemblies were held every fortnight, during winter.
Boarding houses are continually opening every week, and in every
quarter of the town there are good houses in a state of forwardness,
against the present season.

_A Hint from the Editor_.

From the rapid manner in which the buildings encrease at Leamington,
it is evident that there is a superabundance of money, and as soft
water is a scarce article within the town, could not a portion of that
superfluous money be advantageously employed in conveying that useful
and necessary article to the respective houses, by means of a steam
engine, there being a powerful spring at no great distance?

_To Meriden, twelve miles, on the road to Coventry._

You proceed through Deritend and Bordesley, when you take the left
hand road, and having crossed the Warwick canal, the ruins of
Bordesley house are in full view; they having continued in that
state ever since the year 1791, when the house was demolished by an
infuriated mob. The land by which it is surrounded has been parcelled
out, and advertised to be let for building. On the left is a
farm-house, denominated the Garrison, from whence there is an
extensive view over the town of Birmingham; and on this eminence it
is supposed that Oliver Cromwell planted his artillery to overawe the
town; but the majority of the inhabitants being favourable to his
cause, there was no necessity to make use of it; and what gives weight
to this supposition is, that this spot being about one mile and a half
from Aston hall, it is very probable that from thence the artillery
played upon that mansion, as a ball penetrated into the interior of
it. At the distance of three miles and a half, there is a road on the
left, which leads to the village of Yardley.

Having passed the four mile stone, you ascend a gently rising hill,
and when at the summit a delightful and extensive view presents
itself; there being a windmill in the front, and on the left the tower
of Sheldon church is seen, and also the steeple of Coleshill church.

_Elmdon Hall._

The seat of A. Spooner Lillingston, Esq. is an elegant modern pile of
building, on the right of the road, at the distance of six miles. It
is situate in an extensive lawn, interspersed with shrubberies, from
whence there are variegated and extensive prospects, the churches of
Birmingham, Solihull, and Yardley being distinctly seen, backed by
Barr-beacon, the Rowley hills, &c. and withoutside of the lawn the
spire of Coleshill church is a pleasing object. The church, which is a
neat stone building, was erected by Abraham Spooner, Esq. the entrance
is under the tower, which admits of exhibiting to great advantage, an
elegant window composed entirely of stained glass. In the centre is a
representation of the last supper, delicately executed in a circle,
about nine inches in diameter, date 1532. There are also three ovals,
representing Faith, Hope, and Charity, executed in a masterly manner,
apparently about the same period. There is also a neat organ, of a
size suitable to the place.

At a short distance farther, there is on the right a church upon an
eminence, with a delicate spire, at a place called Church Bickenhill;
and a short distance beyond is an extensive and variegated prospect,
with Coleshill church on the left. Having crossed the river Cole at
Stonebridge, at the distance of half a mile on the left is Packington
hall, the seat of the Earl of Aylesford, which is a substantial modern
stone building, situated in a park, wherein are some of the most noble
oak trees that are to be found in the kingdom. There are also numerous
sheets of water, and the church, which was erected by the late Earl,
after a plan of Bonomi's, which is an immense arch, both interior
and exterior, after the manner of the Italians, and is nearly in
the centre of the park. The organ was made by order of Handel, and
presented by him to the late Earl; it being esteemed a very fine
toned one.--The altar-piece represents angels paying adoration to the
Saviour, and is painted in a masterly style by Rigaud.

The archery ground made use of by the woodmen of Ardeu is bounded by a
plantation on the left of the road, about one mile before you arrive
at Meriden. The members of this society hold several meetings each
summer, when they shoot for various prizes. On the ground there is an
elegant building erected, where the members dine, or take refreshment,
and at other times it serves as a general deposit for their bows and
arrows. This is almost the only society of woodmen now in the kingdom.
At Meriden there is a commodious inn, adjacent to which are delightful
gardens, and the accommodation for travellers are excellent.

_To Sutton, distant eight miles, on the road to Lichfield._

You leave Birmingham, through Aston-street and the adjacent buildings
in the parish of Aston, which extend for a considerable distance along
the road. Having passed the buildings, you soon after cross a small
stream of water, that has performed its office of turning a corn mill,
which you perceive on your left hand. This mill was within memory a
forge, for the making of bar iron.--There is another mill upon the
same stream, a short distance above, known by the name of Aston
furnace, which was a blast furnace for the purpose of making pig iron
to supply the forge below, and must have been made use of as such for
a prodigious number of years, the slag or refuse from it forming an
immense heap only a few years back, which has been conveyed away
to make and repair the roads, and in some instances to erect
buildings.[9] This mill has been considerably enlarged, and a steam
engine erected contiguous to it, and is now used as a paper mill. From
an adjacent hill there is a good view over the town of Birmingham.

[Footnote 9: See Hockley abbey, on the road to Wolverhampton.]

A lofty brick wall now presents itself to view, by which the park
belonging to Aston hall is surrounded: it being by computation three
miles in circumference; within which there is a great abundance of
valuable timber, and it is also well stocked with deer. When the wall
recedes from the high road, keep by the side of it, which leads you to
the parish church, and also to the mansion house or hall, which is a
brick building, erected by Sir Thomas Holt, about the year 1636, at
the same time that he enclosed the park. He also erected alms houses,
for five men and five women, which he endowed, with eighty-eight
pounds per annum, out of the manor of Erdington. The hall has of late
years been in the possession of Heneage Legge, Esq. but is at present
unoccupied, and the whole estate is upon sale.[10]

[Footnote 10: Since writing the above, the mansion of Aston, together
with the park, has been purchased by Messrs. Greenway and Whitehead,
of Warwick, who have converted the house into two tenements, disposed
of the deer, turned the park into enclosures, and fallen the timber.]

The church which is dedicated to St. Peter and Paul, is a stone
building, with a lofty spire, and contains several monuments of the
Holt family; it is also ornamented with two windows of stained glass,
by Eginton. In the church-yard there is a remarkable grave stone,
which is fixed east and west.[11] The present incumbant is the Rev.
Benjamin Spencer, L.L.D.

Sir Lister Holt, the late proprietor of this estate, not having any
children, and being at variance with his only brother, (who succeeded
to the title), he entailed the estate upon four different families,
none of whom had or are likely to have any children, although they
have been in possession of it for the space of near forty years.

[Footnote 11: It is a thick stone, about two foot in height, on which
is the following inscription:--

EAST SIDE;

HERE
LIETH THE
BODY OF
REBECKAH
PEMBORTON
WIF OF ISAAC
PEMBORTON
BVRI 27 OF
DECEM 1660

HERE
LIETH THE
BODY OF
ISAAC PEM-
BERTON HE
DEPARTED
DECEM 4: 1697
AGED 76

WEST SIDE.

THO I AM
HERE LAID
LOW IN GRAVE
THINK ON THE
COVNSEL WICH
I GAVE THO TRO
VNLES MAY TO Y
DECEND: A GRAC
LOVS BLESSIN
IN THE END

THE FIRST
STONE SET VP
IN THIS YARD
THO OTHERS SINCE
MORE FINLY CARVED
WAS IN REMEMBERANCE
OF SHE
AN OBJECT OF
MORTALITY]

Returning into the main road, you perceive on the left a double row of
lofty elms, that extend about half a mile; and at the termination of
the vista, Aston hall and the lofty spire of the church produce a
grand effect. On the right there is a sheet of water that turns a mill
for the use of the Birmingham manufacturers. You soon after cross
Salford bridge, to the right of which is an aqueduct that conveys the
Birmingham canal over the river Tame. The village of Erdington does
not contain any object deserving of attention, but a little beyond
on the right is Pipe hall, an ancient seat of the Bagot family, now
occupied by the Rev. Egerton Bagot.

In the vicinity there are several neat houses, which are chiefly
inhabited by wealthy people, who have retired from Birmingham. A short
distance from hence Mary Ashford was found drowned on the 27th May,
1817.

About the fifth mile stone, the eye is gratified on the left with
an extensive view over the country, which continually varies for
a considerable distance, until a most beautiful and picturesque
landscape presents itself; a white house belonging to a mill and an
extensive sheet of water being in front, Barr-beacon in the back
ground, and the woods in Sutton park on the right.

_Sutton Coldfield._

This remarkably neat and clean town is situated about midway between
the town of Birmingham and the city of Lichfield; lying south from the
latter place, its name is supposed to be derived from South Town, and
by corruption, Sutton. There is a very considerable portion of land
near this town, where travellers say the air is equally sharp and cold
as it is upon the highlands of Scotland, and from this circumstance
the latter part of its name originates. Independant of this tract of
land, there is another contiguous to it, which is denominated the
park, wherein a part of the Roman road, called Icknield Street, still
remains perfect; there is also a spring called Rounton well, whose
water is remarkably cold and produces a very copious stream, to which
numerous people who are afflicted with cutaneous disorders resort,
and derive considerable benefit from drinking and bathing therein. It
cures the most virulent itch in the human species, and also the mange
in dogs, if sufficient care is taken to wash them well in the stream,
but a slight washing will not produce the desired effect.

The church is an ancient stone building, dedicated to the Holy
Trinity, and the present rector is the Rev. John Riland, who is also
patron of the living. Within the church there is an organ, and some
monuments deserving of attention; there are also three vaults, two
of which having been opened, the coffins and their contents were
mouldered into dust, although they had been deposited there within the
memory of man.

This town was incorporated by the eighth Henry, at the solicitation of
Vesey, bishop of Exeter, who was his chancellor, and a native of this
place. It is denominated a corporate body, by the name of the warden
and society of the king's town of Sutton Coldfield, and consists of
twenty-four members besides the warden, with a grant to them of the
whole manor and lordship of the parish, together with a tract of waste
ground, called the park, containing about 3500 acres, wherein is
great abundance of valuable timber, on condition of paying into the
exchequer a fee farm rent of fifty-eight pounds per annum.

The said Bishop Vesey erected fifty-one stone houses in the parish and
also a free grammar school, which he liberally endowed with land, and
ordained by the statutes, that the master should be a layman, which is
strictly adhered to. He also procured for the inhabitants a market,
and the extraordinary privilege that every person who erected a house
in Sutton, should be entitled to sixty acres of land in the park.

Here are two fairs annually, for horses, neat cattle, and sheep; the
one on Trinity Monday and the other on the 8th of November; when, for
every horse that is sold, a toll must be paid of four-pence, and a
reputable voucher produced by the person who sells it; the marks
and age of the animal being registered. By the same charter, the
inhabitants of Sutton are exempt from toll in all fairs and markets.
The deputy steward or town clerk holds a court of record every three
weeks, for the trial of civil actions, and holds to bail for forty
shillings and upwards.

Sessions, court leet, and other customary courts are held, and the
charter expressly says, that they shall have and exercise as much
privilege and power as the city of Coventry; but this they do not
practise, for they commit felons to the county gaol. Every inhabitant
is a landed man, which is drawn by ballot every four years; and no
county officer can enter this franchise, to arrest, &c. without
especial license.

The town of Sutton is seated on such an eminence, that although there
are fourteen large pools of water within the parish, and some of them
very extensive, there is not the smallest stream runs into it; the
town being supplied with water by springs within it. The air is very
salubrious, the water in general soft, the situation delightfully
pleasant, the neighbourhood genteel, and accommodations in general
very excellent. In the vicinity is Four-oaks hall, the seat of Sir
E.C. Hartopp; Moor hall, the residence of ---- Hacket, Esq. and
Ashfurlonghouse, which is at present unoccupied.

_To Halesowen, seven miles, on the road to Hagley, Stourbridge and
Kidderminster._

You proceed up Broad-street and Islington, through the five ways
toll-gate; when the road inclining to the right, there is a double
range of respectable houses, denominated Hagley-row, which have been
erected by the opulent inhabitants of Birmingham; where they not only
enjoy fresh air, but the parochial taxes of Edgbaston do not bear
any proportion with those of Birmingham. On the right hand is an
observatory, a lofty brick building, seven stories high, which bears
the name of the Monument: it was erected by John Perrot, Esq. about
the year 1758, from whence there is an extensive view over the
adjacent country in every direction. The house adjourning is the
residence of John Guest, Esq. Having passed the one mile stone, the
admirer of nature will proceed with solemn pace and slow, every step
he takes varying the scene; one object being lost to view, which
is succeeded by another equally beautiful. On the left there is
an extensive and picturesque prospect, which continues without
interruption for a considerable distance; and when the scene closes
on that side, turn your eyes to the right, where there is a landscape
equally fine; which, over the inclosures, takes in Smethwick, with
Shireland hall in the front. A very short distance farther on the left
there is an extensive and variegated landscape, with a house called
the Ravenhurst in full view; the prospect being bounded by Bromsgrove
Lickey and Frankley Beeches. At the three mile stone is the
Lightwoods, a neat brick house, the property and residence of Miss
Grundy, from whence there are some enchanting prospects. In these
woods there are small shrubs grow in great abundance, which produce
black fruit, known by the name of bilberries, of which during some
years the poor people make a plentiful harvest.--Ascending the
hill there is a delightful view over the enclosures, commanding the
villages of Harborne and King's Norton; the two parish churches being
conspicuous objects. From the Beech-lane there is a fine view, having
the hills of Clent and Cofton in the distance.

At a place called the Quinton, near the five mile stone, there is a
grand prospect, and from this eminence there arise two springs, one of
which flows into the Severn and the other into the Trent. On the left
is Belle Vue, the residence of James Male, Esq. from whence, as its
name imports, there is a grand panoramic view of the country, that
fills the mind with the most sublime ideas, such as cannot be
described either by pen or pencil. In descending the hill opposite
some cottages, there is a road leading to _The Leasowes._

Wherein the inimitable Shenstone took so much delight, and decorated
in such a manner, that in his days they were spoken of and resorted to
by all people of refined taste, who came within a day's ride; and not
an individual ever left them without expressions of astonishment at
what they had seen and heard from the worthy proprietor, who warbled
forth his verses in such a melodious manner, and on such subjects,
that delighted every ear, as his diversified shady walks did every
eye.

His remains were interred in the church-yard of Halesowen, to whose
memory, some years afterwards, a small stone pillar, with an urn on
the top of it, was fixed near the vestry door, within the church,
but has since been removed within the chancel, to make room for a
magnificent marble monument, to the memory of Major Halliday, executed
by Banks, for which he received about one thousand pounds; there being
on each side of it a figure, large as life; one representing Patience
and the other Fortitude.

On the pillar to the memory of Shenstone is the following
inscription:--

Whoe'er thou art, with rev'rence tread
These sacred mansions of the dead.
Not that the monumental bust,
Or sumptuous tomb, here guards the dust
Of rich, or great,(let wealth, rank, birth,
Sleep undistinguished in the earth.)
This simple urn records a name,
That shines with more exalted fame.
Reader! if genius, taste refin'd,
A native elegance of mind;
If virtue, science, manly sense;
If wit that never gave offence;
The clearest head, the tend'rest heart,
In thy esteem e'er claim'd a part;
Ah! smite thy breast, and drop a tear;
For know, thy Shenstone's dust lies here,

R.G. and J. HODGETS.
A.O.P.

The Leasowes are now in the possession of Matthias Attwood, Esq. and
these delightful walks, although their beauties have been curtailed
to a considerable degree, by conveying the Netherton canal across the
valley, close by them, are still highly deserving the attention of all
persons who take delight in rural scenery; and for the accommodation
of those who are inclined to meditate and contemplate, numerous seats
are affixed, in different directions. Such scenes as these walks
afford are very seldom to be met with in any part of England;
therefore those who are in pursuit of amusement, will not regret if
they devote one day to view them; and as they consist of hill and
dale, it will of course cause some fatigue, which may with ease be
alleviated, there being close at hand a neat and comfortable house of
entertainment, kept by Betty Taylor. The source of the river Stour is
in these grounds.

When near the bottom of the hill, the road divides; that on the right
leads to Stourbridge, and the other to _Halesowen, in Shropshire._

This place has been considered as a borough, by prescription,
from time immemorial, and is supposed to have been represented in
parliament at a very early period; but what ancient writings they were
in possession of, being (as I am informed), conveyed to London and
never returned, they have now none to exhibit. A court leet is held
annually, when two officers are appointed, under the appellation of
high and low bailiff; but I cannot understand that they enjoy any
emolument, or are in possession of any jurisdiction. In the reign of
King John, he founded a monastery here, and the church is supposed to
have been erected about the same period; it being an ancient building,
dedicated to St. John; with a lofty spire. The present incumbent is
the Rev. ---- Robinson. Near a mile distant there are still some
remains of the monastery, and to the professed antiquary there is
probably something deserving of his attention. In digging two holes
to fix a gate, a short time since, there was found a considerable
quantity of stained glass, in small fragments, some few of which are
preserved, as are also some square tiles or quarries, about five
inches broad and one thick, with curious devices upon them. It is now
denominated the manor farm, and is the property of Lord Lyttleton.
Dr. Nash, in his appendix to the history of Worcestershire, gives the
following extract from the papers of Bishop Lyttleton.

_Halesowen Abbey._

This ancient structure was situated about half a mile south of the
town, on what is now called the manor farm, near the road leading
to Northfield. King John, in the 16th year of his reign, granted a
charter to Peter de Rupibus, bishop of Winton, by which he gave the
manor and advowson of the church of Hales, with its chapels, to found
a religious house in this place. In consequence of this grant, a
convent of Praemonstratensians was established A.D. 1218, dedicated to
the Virgin Mary and St. John the evangelist, and furnished with monks
from the abbey of Welbeck, in Nottinghamshire. This religious order
were canons, who lived according to the rule of St. Austin, and
afterwards reformed by St. Norbet, at Praemonstre, in Picardy. They
were called white canons, from their habit; which consisted of a white
cossack, with a rotchet over it, a long white cloak, and a white cap.
They continued under the jurisdiction of the abbot of Praemonstre, who
received contributions from them, till the year 1512, when they were
exempted by Pope Julius 2d. The churches and a large proportion of
the tythes of Walsall, Wednesbury, Rushall, Clent, and Rowley, were
granted to this convent, by successive monarchs, which was also richly
endowed by opulent individuals. The abbot and convent held ten large
farms in their own hands. In the reign of Henry 8th, the clear income
amounted to L380 13s 2d. a large sum, considering the value of money
in those days. In 1489, when the whole number of religious amounted
only to seventeen, there were every week consumed in bread 20 bushels
of wheat and rye. And in the course of the year, 1110 quarters of
barley, 60 oxen, 40 sheep, 30 swine, and 24 calves; a proof that great
hospitality and charity prevailed here at that time. The monastery
consisted of an abbot, prior, sub-prior, sacrist, chanter, cellarer,
and custos infirmorum: the monks never exceeded twenty in number.

At the visitations of their superiors, punishments if requisite were
inflicted for immoralities. The house and church appear to have been
stately edifices; the chancel, if not the whole of the choir, being
paved with flat tiles, painted in a curious manner, some of them
being now occasionally found; and the few ruins still extant cover
an extensive plot of ground, exhibiting fine specimens of Saxon and
Gothic architecture.

Several persons of note have been buried in the church, particularly
John, Lord Botetourt, baron of Weoleigh castle, near the high altar,
under a tomb of alabaster; Sir Hugh Burnell, also baron of Weoleigh;
Sir William Lyttleton, of Frankley, and others, about the year 1507.

This monastery was dissolved A.D. 1558, by Henry 8th. The common
sigillum, or chapter seal, was in the reign of Henry 4th, a
representation of the blessed Virgin, in a sitting posture, with the
infant Christ on her left knee, and in her right hand a sceptre. The
arms of this abbey were, azure a chevron argent, between three fleur
de lis.

The situation of Halesowen is in a deep valley, and the surrounding
country presents the most majestic appearance; being diversified with
hills and dales in such a manner, that at every step you take new
beauties arise, and the scene varies so much, that the eye is
unceasingly delighted, without dwelling upon any particular object.
This district cannot, properly speaking, be described, either with pen
or pencil: the innumerable varieties of similar objects that present
themselves to view, must be seen before any person can form the least
idea of them.

_To Bromsgrove, in Worcestershire, distant thirteen miles,_ _on the
road to Worcester, Glocester, and Bristol._

You proceed up Smallbrook-street, when a spacious road opens to the
left, and being clear of the buildings, the spire of King's Norton
church, which is six miles distant, forms a pleasing object.

On the left you have a picturesque view of the country, which
continues without any intermission nearly the space of three miles.
There is in this valley, what is very unusual to be seen in such a
situation, a windmill; and as you proceed, there are in the same
valley several water mills, that are made use of by the Birmingham
manufacturers. This view is skirted by buildings erected on the road
to Alcester, and when near the two mile stone, you perceive among the
trees, Moseley hall, which is a modern stone building; the residence
of Mrs. Taylor. Exactly, opposite, on the right hand, is the parish
church of Edgbaston, and also the hall, which is surrounded by a park,
wherein are some lofty trees, and an extensive sheet of water. This
mansion house, or hall, is now occupied by Edward Johnson, M.D. a
person of considerable eminence in his profession.

A short distance beyond the three mile stone the road crosses the
Worcester canal; from which bridge, if you look towards Birmingham,
there is a rich and variegated landscape, consisting of hill, dale,
wood, and water. At the four mile stone there is a most extensive
view on each side of the road, and also in front; the spire of King's
Norton church, Frankley Beeches, and the Clent hills, being prominent
features.

Having passed the five mile stone, there is on the right a beautiful
view over the enclosures, backed by the beeches, at Frankley. Before
you arrive at the six mile stone is Northfield, from whence there is
on the left a beautiful landscape; the elegant spire of King's Norton
church being distinctly seen. From hence to Bromsgrove is seven
miles, in great part over the Lickey, where the eye is gratified with
numerous extensive views, from one of the highest spots of land in the
kingdom. This is ascertained by two springs that issue from it, one of
which, flows into the Severn and the other into the Trent.

_To Coleshill, distant ten miles, on the road to Atherstone._

You leave Birmingham through Coleshill-street, and having passed by
Ashted-row, you perceive the lofty trees in Vauxhall gardens, which
must be left on the right hand, and a few hundred yards afterwards,
keeping the right hand road, you pass by, on the right, Duddeston, an
elegant pile of building, the residence of Samuel Galton, Esq. but it
is scarcely discernable, on account of the shrubberies by which it is
surrounded. You now pass through the village of Saltley, and at the
extremity, on the left, is Bennett's hill, where Mr. William Hutton,
the venerable historian of Birmingham resided, and ended his days.
This residence, so denominated by the proprietor, was originally a
very small house, with the entrance in the centre, and a small room on
each side, to which has been added two wings, or rather rooms, being
only one story in height: there is a wall by the road side, five feet
high, the top of which is on a level with the top of the parlour
windows; the entrance to it having been altered from the front to the
side. The eccentricity of the owner appears, by terming that a hill,
which on inspection will be found in a low situation, on the side of
a hill. This is noticed, because his peculiar manner of writing, his
quaint expressions, and the tales he relates of himself, have caused a
considerable sale for his productions, and numerous people, when
they are taking an excursion, will travel some distance to view the
residence of their favourite author.

A short distance beyond, on the summit of the hill, commands an
extensive view of Birmingham, the venerable trees in Aston park, the
spire of that church, and Barr-beacon. As you pass along the road,
this delightful prospect varies every step you take for a considerable
distance. These lands, formerly known by the name of Washwood heath,
being inclosed in the year 1803, now let from forty to fifty shillings
per acre. At the four mile stone, there is on the right a cheerful
prospect over the country, with the lofty spire of Yardley church in
full view. About half a mile farther, on entering a small common, the
eye is delighted with an extensive and variegated view; the spire of
Coleshill church being very discernable.

_Castle Bromwich, distant five miles and a half_.

Here is an ancient venerable mansion, where that eminent statesman,
Sir Orlando Bridgeman, used to reside. His successor having been
honoured with the title of Earl of Bradford, the eldest son of the
present Earl, Lord Newport, has fixed his residence here. In the
village is a neat place of worship, erected by Sir Orlando Bridgeman,
who endowed it with the tythes of the parish, it being a chapel of
ease to the parish of Aston.

About half a century back, when there was considerable traffic
between London and Chester, the road passed through this village,
and supported two respectable inns, but the mode of conveyance being
changed, one of the inns is converted into a farm-house, and the other
has very little custom; for the road from Birmingham to Coventry also
passed through here; but it is totally deprived of that also, and is
now little more than the road to Coleshill. On the road you pass by
Coleshill park, an ancient seat of Lord Digby; within which there are
numerous hawthorn trees of unusual magnitude: one of them produces
five stems, each equal in size to a moderate man's body. Time, that
devours every thing, has here made great havoc among them, and also
destroyed some oaks of large dimensions.

_Coleshill_.

Yew trees being of slow growth, and the wood of close texture, are
little subject to decay; yet there is in this church-yard, the remains
of a yew tree, still alive, three parts at least of which is mouldered
away, and only a small part of the trunk remains.

The architecture of the church is the decorated gothic or English
style: it is erected on a considerable eminence, from whence there
is an extensive and variegated view over the adjacent country. The
interior of the church, which is dedicated to St. Peter, is spacious,
and contains some monuments that are well executed; among others,
there are two recumbent effigies of cross-legged knights, supposed to
be of the ancient Clinton family, and those to commemorate the Digby's
are numerous. It has a beautiful tower, from whence there arises an
elegant spire, which being injured by lightning, it was of course
taken down, and the present erection is not so lofty by fifteen feet
as the former.

Coleshill has a weekly market on Wednesday, and five annual fairs,
where there are numerous horses and cattle exposed to sale. Before the
establishment of mail coaches it was a very considerable post town,
but that is not the case now, the route being changed. The town is
situated on an ascent, and in the valley flows the river Cole, from
whence its name is derived. The domestic buildings are in general of a
respectable appearance, and there are some modern erections that unite
ornament with spacious dimensions.

_Shustock_.

This village is situated three miles from Coleshill, on the road to
Atherstone, and is noticed as being the birthplace of that celebrated
antiquarian, Sir William Dugdale, whose father being a clergyman, he
was born at the rectory house, and dying at Blythe hall, his remains,
and those of his lady, were deposited in a vault on the north side of
the chancel in Shustock church.

_Maxstoke Castle_

Is situated about one mile east of Coleshill, and is erected in the
form of a parallelogram, encompassed by a moat. At each corner is an
hexagonal tower, with embattled parapets. The entrance is by an august
and machicolated gateway, strengthened on each side by a tower of
hexagonal form. The gates are covered with plates of iron, and the
marks of the useless portcullis are yet visible. A portion of this
edifice was accidentally destroyed by fire, but the greatest part of
the ancient building still remains, and is an interesting specimen of
the architectural arrangements in the 14th and 15th centuries. Among
other apartments, are the spacious hall, an extensive dining room,
with a door and chimney piece, which are carved in a very curious
manner, and also the chapel. In the walls of the great court, there
are yet remaining the caserns or lodgments for the soldiers. This
venerable pile of building is now the habitation of Mrs. Dilke. A
short distance from the castle are the remains of a priory, whose
ruins are rendered mournfully picturesque, by the varieties of
ever-green foliage with which they are cloathed in almost every
direction.

_To Hat-borne, in Staffordshire, distant three miles._

Passing up Broad-street and Islington, when you are through the
Five-ways[12] toll-gate, the centre road leads to Harborne. On the
left is a neat white building, called Greenfield-house, the properly
and abode of Hyla Holden, Esq. and a little farther on the same side
of the road is the parsonage-house of Edgbaston; the resilience of the
Rev. Charles Pixell.

[Footnote 12: There are now six ways, Calthorpe's road being opened in
the year 1845.]

Passing by Harborne heath cottage, when you arrive at the summit of
the hill, is an excellent house, where Mr. Richard Smith resides; from
whose premises there is an extensive view over the adjacent country,
particularly Edgbaston and King's Norton.

A short distance beyond, on the right, there is a delightful view
of enclosed ground, and the Lightwoods; with a white-fronted house,
called the Ravenhurst, in the centre, the residence of Mr. Daniel
Ledsam, which altogether forms a beautiful landscape. Where the roads
divide pass on the left, leaving the village, called Harborne Town,
which is principally inhabited by men who obtain a livelihood by
forging of nails, and proceed down the road which leads to Bromsgrove,
where on the left is a preparatory school, for boys under ten years
of age, which is conducted by Mrs. Startin. This house commands a
pleasant view over the grounds that have been laid into a paddock
by Mr. Price, whose neat and elegant residence, with its beautiful
undulated grounds, are also on the left.

A few paces below Mr. Price's, you arrive at a small triangular
grass plot, which is called the cottage green, and is surrounded by
cottages, superior in neatness of appearance to what are usually
met with. From hence there is a most delightful landscape of Mrs.
Careless's house, which is surrounded with verdant meadows, having
a considerable sheet of water in front, and in the back ground are
Frankley Beeches, with the adjacent hills of Cofton and the Lickey.

There are in this vicinity some most delightful prospects, which are
seen to great advantage from the handsome houses of Mr. Green Simcox,
and also of his father, George Simcox, Esq. the former on the right
hand and the latter on the left, as you proceed towards the church.
This is an ancient tower Structure, the body having of late years been
rebuilt in a neat and commodious manner; consisting of a single pace,
well pewed, with a modern gallery at the west end and another at
the north east corner; it is a vicarage, dedicated to St. Peter; the
present vicar being the Rev. Richard Robinson.

From this church-yard the eye is again delighted with extensive and
beautiful prospects; and from thence, proceeding towards Northfield,
a bridge has been lately erected by subscription, which separates
the parishes of Harborne and Northfield, and also the counties of
Stafford and Worcester. The stream of water gives motion to a mill,
belonging to Mr. Price, and feeds the mill pond, which is a fine sheet
of water covering twenty-four acres. Not far from hence there is a
delightful shady walk, which extends through the grounds of Mr. Price
and Mr. Simcox for near a mile, and at intervals commands delightful
and romantic prospects.--Within a few yards of the aforesaid bridge,
the counties of Stafford, Worcester, and Warwick unite.

Returning towards Birmingham, at the sign of the Golden Cross you
pass up Mitchley-lane, which separates the counties of Stafford and
Warwick; the land on the right being in the parish of Edgbaston, the
property of Lord Calthorpe, and on the left in Harborne, belonging to
Theodore Price, Esq. About half a mile up this lane, on the left, at
Fulford's farm, there is an interesting view over Mr. Price's paddock,
of King's Norton, with its lofty spire, Cofton hills, Bromsgrove
Lickey, Frankley Beeches, Cleat hills, &c. &c. Passing by a neat
cottage belonging to Mr. Frears, you come again into the Harborne
road, at Mr. Smith's.

In this village there is a free school for the children of the
inhabitants, and also for those in the hamlet of Smethwick; but the
endowment is slender. Here are also three Sunday schools, which are
equal to any in the kingdom, the children being cloathed in a very
neat manner, by each of them subscribing one penny per week; and as
all the respectable inhabitants are honorary members, they subscribe
one penny each also. Formerly this was a very poor village, and the
roads leading to it were in all directions very bad, until the late
worthy Thomas Green, Esq. having purchased the manor house and a large
estate there, he afterwards improved the roads, and was at all times
anxious to improve this his native spot. A monument in the church
describes his character.----The old manor house was the residence of
Judge Birch, and the only respectable building in the parish; which is
now a common farmhouse, where there are some vestiges of old village
elegance, and some comfortable apartments: it is the property of Mr.
Simcox. Harborne being situated upon very high ground, and the soil
light, renders the air very salubrious; instances of longevity being
very numerous, particularly one couple, James Sands and his wife, one
of whom; as is recorded in Fuller's Worthies, lived to the age of 140,
and the other to 120.

_To King's Norton, in Worcester shire, distant five Mile_.

You leave Birmingham, either through Alcester-street or up Camphill,
where there is a half-timbered house, inhabited by Mr. John Simcox, an
attorney. In a field nearly opposite there is perhaps the best view
over the town of Birmingham that can be taken. A short distance
beyond, on the right, is a row of houses, to which is given the name
of Highgate. A little farther, on the left, is a tan-yard, upon an
extensive scale, the property of Mr. Avery Homer.

In a field near the two mile stone, there is a grand panoramic view of
Birmingham, and the adjacent country for several miles on each side of
it, which is seen to the greatest advantage in an afternoon. A little
beyond is Moseley hall, an elegant stone building, erected about
twenty-five years since, by the late John Taylor, Esq. and is now the
residence of his widow.

The village of Moseley has nothing to attract attention. The place of
worship is a chapel of ease to King's Norton: it has an ancient stone
tower, but the body of it has been rebuilt of late years with brick;
the officiating clergyman being the Rev. Edward Palmer. In this
neighbourhood William Villers, Esq. resides, who has for a number of
years been an active magistrate for the town of Birmingham. A little
beyond Moseley hall there is on the right an extensive and picturesque
view over Edgbaston and the adjacent country, with the monument on
the right. Proceeding only a few yards farther, the scene varies in a
considerable degree; the monument being on the left, a glass-house in
the centre, and the front of Moseley hall in full view; over the roof
of which is seen some of the buildings in Birmingham.

Upon a turn of the road, the eye is gratified with a fine view over
Bromsgrove Lickey, Frankley Beeches, and the adjacent hills; with the
spire of King's Norton church on the left. You next pass through the
village of King's Heath, and about one mile before you reach King's
Norton, there is on the right a most noble, picturesque, and
variegated view over an extensive country, diversified with wood,
hill, and dale; the Worcester canal being in the valley. When you
arrive at the finger post, the eye is delighted with a grand view over
the country; the village and church being in front..

_King's Norton_

The land for a considerable distance round this village being the
property of the crown, as King's-heath, King's-wood, etc.; denote, King
Edward 6th founded a free grammar school on the north east side of the
church-yard, and endowed it with the sum of fifteen pounds per annum,
(the inhabitants at that time preferring money to land), for a master
and usher; which still remains the same to the present day. In the
time of King William 3d, when the land-tax was first established,
the inhabitants, to express their loyalty, gave an account of their
estates, at the full value, and on that account they have ever since
been rated in the same manner; this district paying four shillings in
the pound, at the same time that Birmingham did not pay four-pence.
This being the case, the stipend allowed for the master and usher was
of course reduced in that proportion. The Worcester canal passing
through this parish, and the land being considerably elevated, it
enters a tunnel sixteen feet wide and eighteen feet high, which
continues for the distance of two miles, and is so accurately formed,
that it is said any person may look in at one end and perceive the
light at the other end; and in this parish the Worcester and Stratford
canals form a junction.

The church, is a richly ornamented gothic building, with a
lofty spire, although only a chapel of ease to Bromsgrwe. The
officiating-clergy man is the Rev. ---- Edwards.

_To Barr-beacon and Aldridge, on the road to Stafford._

Proceeding down Walmer-lane, otherwise Lancaster-street, you pass by a
small portion of Aston park wall, keeping it on your right hand, and
some time after cross the river Tame over Perry-bridge, when there is
a road to the left which conducts you to Perry hall, an old moated
mansion, within a small park; the property and residence of John
Gough, Esq. who is an eccentric character. In the winter he courses
with his tenants, who are all of them subservient to him; and during
summer, having some deer, he disposes of the venison. If any of the
neighbouring gentry send him an order for a haunch or a neck, he waits
until further orders arrive; and when the principal part is engaged,
he then kills a buck, and executes his orders; the inferior parts
serving for self and family, although his annual income must be at
least ten thousand pounds. He is said to be in possession of some
valuable paintings, but there are very few people indeed who can
obtain a sight of them.

At the distance of five mites, when the roads intersect each other,
proceeding on the right hand, at the distance of three quarters of a
mile is the catholic college, at Oscott. About one-mile farther is a
place called the Quieslet, where the left hand road conducts you to an
elegant lodge, the entrance into Barr-park, which is described on the
road to Walsall, that being a turnpike road. You soon after arrive at
a clump of trees, on the summit of a hill, which is Barr-beacon, from
whence there is perhaps a prospect equally extensive and beautiful as
any in the kingdom. From hence there is a view over great part of the
following counties, viz. Warwick, Leicester Derby, Stafford, Chester,
Salop, Worcester, Nottingham Northampton, Oxford, Glocester,
Hereford, Monmouth, Brecknock, Radnor, and Montgomery; whilst the
scene to the south west commands a view of Birmingham and its most
populous vicinity of mines, manufactories, &c. This beacon, being the
property of Sir Joseph Scott, when he is at home, a very large flag
is hoisted, and upon any public occasion several pieces of cannon are
fired, which produce a grand effect. The adjacent ground, for a
very considerable extent, lay waste, until an act of parliament was
obtained in 1798 for its inclosure. This land now lets from five
shillings to twenty shillings per acre.

_Aldridge, in Staffordshire, nine miles._

The principal road from Birmingham to Stafford lay through this
village, until of late years the turnpike road through Walsall and
Cannock having been considerably improved, this road to the county
town is nearly if not quite abandoned; yet it leads to Hednesford
(usually pronounced Hedgeford), where numerous horses are annually
trained for the turf, upon Cannock heath. _To Edgbaston, in
Warwickshire, distant one mile._

Having passed up Broad-street and Islington, when you are through
the turnpike, the left hand side of Ladywood-lane, the whole of
Hagley-row, the road to Harborne, Calthorpe's road, and the right hand
side of Islington-row, are all of them in this parish. Indeed
the lands hereabouts are almost exclusively the property of Lord
Calthorpe, whose ancestors purchased this estate, early in the last
century for L25,000, and he will not permit any manufactories to be
established upon his land which tends in a great degree to make the
neighbourhood respectable and genteel.

The first Houses in Calthorpe's-road were erected in the year 1815;
the establishment for the deaf and dumb being erected about two years
before. This asylum is under the superintendance of Mr. Braidwood, and
is described among the public institutions in Birmingham.--(See page
39.)

There were, in former times, within this parish, three parks,
Edgbaston-park, Mitchley-park, and Rotten-park, but the two latter
have many years since been thrown into inclosures. The park of
Edgbaston remains entire, and the mansion within it is now the
residence of Edward Johnson, M.D. who is very eminent in his
profession.--The church is an ancient gothic tower, the body having of
late years been very much modernized, and fitted up withinside in a
very neat and commodious manner. The officiating clergyman is the Rev.
Charles Pixell. There have been within the last three years a great
number of genteel houses erected by the opulent inhabitants of
Birmingham, who not only enjoy fresh air, but the parochial taxes of
this parish do not bear any proportion with those of Birmingham. At
this toll-gate, which bears the name of Five-ways, there are now, by
the opening of Calthorpe's road, six separate and distinct roads.
About half a mile from the toll-gate, there is on the right of the
Hagley road, an observatory, a very conspicuous pile of building,
seven stories high, which is usually called the Monument: it was
erected by John Perrot, Esq. about the year 1758, from whence there
are extensive views over the adjacent country, in every direction. The
adjoining house is the residence of John Guest, Esq.

There was in this church-yard a grave-stone, cut by the hands of
that celebrated typographer, Baskerville, (who was originally a
stone-cutter, and afterwards kept a school in Birmingham), which is
now removed and placed withinside the church. The stone being of a
flaky nature, the inscription is not quite perfect, but whoever
takes delight in looking at well-formed letters, may here be highly
gratified: it was erected to the memory of Edw. Richards, an idiot,
who died 21st September, 1728, with the following inscription :--

If innocents are the favourites of Heaven,
And God but little asks where little's given,
My great Creator has for me in store
Eternal joys; what wise man can have more?

There is another head-stone, cut by him, with his name upon it, in the
church of Handsworth, and are the only two known to be in existence.

_Yardley, in Worcestershire, distant three miles._

The road to this village lies up Deritend and Bordesley, then crossing
the Warwick canal, you leave the ruins of Bordesley-house, and when
through the turnpike, there being three roads you proceed along the
centre, in which there are good accommodations for the pedestrian, but
the carriage road does not appear to have experienced any improvement
since it was first formed; for before you reach the village, the road
is for a considerable distance from twenty to forty feet below the
surface of the ground, on each side of it.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Giles, is an ancient pile of
building. The tower and elegant spire above it appear at this time as
firm and substantial as at their first erection, although they are so
ancient that there are not any records to say when they were built:
the body of the church is not so perfect. In the chancel there are
several monuments to commemorate the Greswolds, an ancient family,
formerly resident in this parish. The patronage rests with Edmund
Mesey Wigley, Esq. The present vicar is the Rev. Joseph Fell.
Adjoining the church-yard is an half-timbered building of large
dimensions, which is a free school, liberally endowed, the salary of
the master being L100 per annum.

The land in this parish being very suitable for making of tiles,
innumerable quantities are there manufactured, for the supply of
Birmingham.

_To Rowley Regis, in Staffordshire, distant seven miles_.

You proceed towards Kidderminster, until you arrive at the toll-gate,
two miles and a half distant, when the right hand road leads to
this village; where, in all probability, there are more jew's harps
manufactured than there are in all Europe beside.

The admirer of nature, (for no art has ever been practised here,) may
be gratified with various extensive and luxuriant views. There is not
any thing either in the church or in the village deserving of notice;
but there is, not far distant, a rude, rugged, and misshapen mass of
stone, which is situated on the summit of a hill, and projects
itself several yards higher than the ground adjoining: it is by the
inhabitants denominated Rowley hail-stone; and when at a considerable
distance from it, on the foot road from Dudley, it has the appearance
of some considerable ruins.

From this spot the views are more extensive than can easily be
imagined, over a beautiful and romantic country, Birmingham being vary
visible.

[Illustration]

* * * * *

W. Talbot, Printer, Exeter-row,

Birmingham.

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