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Author Topic:   Birmingham Castle
posted 02-07-99 08:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GRIT   Click Here to Email GRIT     Edit/Delete Message
Has anyone ever heard of Birmingham Castle. All suggestions appreciated.


Philip Davis
posted 02-08-99 05:18 PM           Edit/Delete Message
Birmingham, in the west midlands of the United Kingdom, did have a minor castle. This Manor House was surrounded by a wet moat, but this was fundimentally a status symbol rather than a fortification (although it would have kept gangs of thieves at bay.) As a major industrial city Birmingham has been redevelopeded many times over the last few centuries and nothing remains of the manor house other than the road name Moat Lane. The nearby town of Castle Bromwich, as it's name implies, has a castle, of the motte and bailey type. The earthworks of the motte survive in part although a major road has cut through the half of the motte and destroyed the bailey. Other than these sites the only other fortified site in the modern city limit's is Weoley Castle, a fortified and moated manor house, of which some stone foundations still survive. There is also a motte and bailey site at Kingshurst about a mile North of Birmingham Airport, which I have never visited and have no information about.

With regards to the Birmingham Manor House, according to Mike Salter in his book Midland Castles:- In 1166 Peter de Birmingham was authorised to hold a market beside his castle of Birmingham. The buildings would have been of timber but the Birminghams are known to to have had a stone-built fortified house on the site in the later medieval period. The family briefly lost the manor after one of them was killed fighting for the de Montforts at the battle of Evesham in 1265. Another was ejected by Sir Edmund Ferrers in 1424 during an ownership dispute.

Hanson's plan of Birmingham of 1778 shows a platform about 65m across surrounded by a moat between 10m and 25m wide. This was filled in and the Smithfield Market was built on the site in 1816.

Further information on the history of Birmingham and the de Birminghams can be found at http://birmingham.gov.uk/

Hope this helps.

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