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New Street, Birmingham. 1895

 looking down New Street from the Town Hall, 1895

This photograph was taken from the side of the Town Hall, looking down New Street towards High Street in 1895.

The Church on the left was demolished in 1898 and was known as Christchurch. It occupied Christchurch corner which connected Colmore Row with the top end of New Street, Paradise Street (fronting the Town Hall) and Pinfold Street.

The site occupied by the church was small and was never used for burials, excepting a few inside the church, most were performed at Warstone cemetery a short distance away. John Baskerville the printer and creator of the Baskerville Typeface was interred at Christchurch from 1820 until its demolition in 1898. His body was removed from Christchurch and found to be remarkably preserved, it was displayed at a warehouse in Birmingham for some time until locals complained about the smell and John Baskerville's body was then removed and reburied in a catacomb at Warstone Lane Cemetery.

The building on the right of the picture still exists today. The New Birmingham Post Office had its foundation stone laid on the 18th March 1889 in a ceremony led by Henry Cecil Raiker M.P. Postmaster General and another distinguished guest of the time Joseph Chamberlain.

The statue of Robert Peel (Prime Minister 1834-35, 1841-46, known as the father of modern policing), in the foreground of the photograph, was one of three in front of Christchurch at this time. The other two were of Joseph Priestley (often credited for the discovery of oxygen) and John Skirrow Wright (known for his connections with the General Hospital, Chamber of Commerce and the Blue Coat School, to name but a few). Joseph Priestley's statue is now in Chamberlain Square, next to the library.


Digital Birmingham Photo Archive - 1890s
Digital Birmingham Photo Archive
Photographic and other Special Collections in Central Library
Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service