This large public square in front of Birmingham Council House is, unsurprisingly, named after Queen Victoria. Prior to 1901 however it was known as Council House Square. A parish church was on the site first, from 1813, followed by Birmingham Town Hall (1832-1834) and then the current Council House. One of the central features of the Square is this statue which I was amused to discover on researching this post is known locally as “Floozie in the Jacuzzi”. Now a flower bed it was part of a water fountain up until 2013 when irreparable faults led to the water being permanently turned off.Continue reading
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A friend and I picked Leamington Spa in Warwickshire as a good day trip location roughly half-way between where we each live. Our first stop was to wander around Jephson Gardens. Around five minutes from the train station the gardens, which are named for Dr Henry Jephson who promoted the town as a spa destination, were created in 1831 and have been a popular attraction ever since.
These buildings on Courtfield Road in Kensington, now very nice looking flats, were built by J.R. and W.H. Roberts in May 1880 and designed by Walter Graves. The section pictured would have been the “lesser rooms” with the nicest section facing the gardens at the back (which I didn’t think to investigate at the time). You can find the original floor plans and more details here.