Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Weoley Castle

Weoley Castle is an area of South Birmingham which has the remains of an old fortified manor house. Not much remains of the house, but the bases of the stone walls can be seen. There’s more to see here than at Hawkesley House!

Weoley Castle is not a castle as such; it was a manor house that had curtain walls and a moat and it was inhabited since the 12th century. You can read more about the history here or there is a very comprehensive history here.

Covert shot taken through the railings ;-)

Unfortunately, Weoley Castle ruins are closed off to the public except on open days and guided walks. There is a ‘Talk and Walk’ Day on September 7th that I’ll be going to!  The walls can be seen from a viewing platform (and some can be seen from the track that goes along the back of the site, as I discovered by accident!) Weoley Castle is operated by the Birmingham Museums Trust.

A few more pics, from around t'interwebs:



Weoley Castle can be found on Alwold Road, B29. The 29 bus goes past the site, from Northfield high street, or the City Centre (by St Phillips Cathedral/Pigeon Park). Maybe I'll see some of you at the Talk and Walk day on September 7th?

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Bourn Brook Walkway

The other day I ventured down a path I’ve never been before – the Bourn Brook Walkway. I suppose I never knew it existed, I’m never usually in this part of Birmingham but I had seen it (the old faithful) Google Earth, and I decided to go for a mooch one day and see where I ended up. So, with my shiny new phone and its shiny new camera, I set off for a walk! The walkway also leads you towards Woodgate Valley Country Park.

The Bourn Brook walkway is approximately 1.5 miles long; I started it at the roundabout for the new Selly Oak bypass (near the QE Hospital) and then walked West towards the Weoley Castle area. I forgot to time how long it took me but I was ambling along quite slowly as it was a hot and sunny day! Apparently it is part of a larger walking route that takes in Harborne and some parkland as well.

The Bourn Brook is a small stream that flows into the River Rea in Cannon Hill Park via Selly Oak (it flows past the new Selly Oak bypass and the University). People often get it confused with the Bourn, which flows through Stirchley and the Nature Centre, before joining the Rea! Bournbrook is also the name of an area of Birmingham, primarily student-ville to the south of the University, and it’s roots may be traced back to the 19th century and growth around this part of the watercourse.

For a lot of the route, you can’t actually see the water, as it is obscured by vegetation, which is a shame! There are also no benches along this route and it is not tarmacked so be prepared! 

And now for pictures! (Lots and lots of..)

The view at the start of the route. The QE Hospital is up the hill behind me, and the Selly Oak bypass is off to the left.

Granite boulder avec caption. Geeked out a bit, but I am a geologist so it's allowed...

The end of the first part of the walk, on Harborne Park Road. The route continues over the road by the garage... this small sign!

This is where I left the route, at Stonehouse Hill/California Way.

All in all, it was a pleasant walk in the afternoon and I enjoyed it, but I'd like to see more information boards along the way, highlighting the Bourn Brook and the local history and wildlife etc. and I'm aware that a lot of the pictures are very samey-samey as the views weren't very different along the route!