Francis White.

Birmingham. History and general directory of the borough of Birmingham, with the remainder of the parish of Aston ... being part of a general history and directory of the county of Warwick .. online

. (page 4 of 82)
Online LibraryFrancis WhiteBirmingham. History and general directory of the borough of Birmingham, with the remainder of the parish of Aston ... being part of a general history and directory of the county of Warwick .. → online text (page 4 of 82)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


duction of a handsome open stone screen at the entrance, which, while separating that
portion of the btdlding intended for the burial service fi-om that which is open to the
people, is kept so low as not to interfere with the proportions of the interior, or to in-
terscept the view through the tower arch of the lower w^est window. The nave has a
fine open roof. Ranges of carved seats are placed on each side for those who attend
the burial sen-ice, and in the centre of the nave is an ornamented stand for the bier,
whence, by means of Bramah's hydraulic machine, the coffins are let down to the vaults
below, and by a subterranean passage conveyed to the circular catacombs. The chancel
is of ample dimensions, with a fine east window of three lights, fitted with stained glass,
presented by Mr. ^V'. Chance to the company, executed at his works. The roof is board-
ed with neat panelled work, and the floor laid with encaustic tiles, while that of the
nave is plain chequered squares. The tower is formed at the base by three massive
archways intended as a porch for the hearses. The architect has introduced cloisters,
or ambulatory, extending north and south of the main entrance. This featm*e is quite
■unique in this country. These cloisters are cut off from the body of the chapel, and
have a doorway to each on the eastern side, communicating with the grounds. This
ambulatory is 150 feet in length, is of beautiful construction, having a long range of
rich windows in the western front, and blank recesses of corresponding tracery for the
reception of monuments on the other, seats having been formed out of the window
sills, and recesses on each side for the accommodation of those who frequent tliem.
This place was long a neglected sand pit, which will form a regular circle, and two
ranges of catacombs be constructed in the banks faced with rough battlemented stone-
work. These, when seen at a distance, will form a sort of basement to the main
building, crowning the summit of the hill. The entrance to the principal front, on im-
mediately turning Frederick street, Warstone, forms a commodious residence for the
secretary, with a bold archway for hearses to drive through, and the directors' room
over, with a handsome oriel window. On passing through this archway the funeral



14 HISTORY OF BIRMINGHAM.

procession enters an avenne of cyjjresses and other funeral trees. The grounds are
tastefully laid out and planted. The church is dedicated to St. Michael, patron, the
Bishop of Worcester; Rev. James Brown, B.A., Chaplain; Mr. George Horton,
Secretary.

The General Cemetery, Kay Hill, Hockley, is a favoxu-ite place of resort for the
inhabitants, and was formed by a proprietary of 12(t() j)ersons, in shares of ^10 each.
It comprises about ten acres of land, tastefully laid out in walks, interspersed with
lawns and shrubberies. In the centre of the ground stands the chapel, in which the
burial service is performed ; underneath wliich is a residence for the registrar. A large
portion of the cemetery is on rock, in which are placed catacombs. The ground was
opened in April, 1H36, and contains some elegant and superior monuments; one in
particular of white marl)le, by Mr. IloUins — flowers in full bloom, cut by the scythe —
is very beautiful. Rev. Peter Sibree, chaplain; Mr. Joshua Hammond, secretary;
Mr. George Barnes, registrar.

Schools are numerous in the Borough of Birmingham ; Sunday Schools are attached
to nearly every place of worship, and many have day schools. By a circular issued in
1S4(), relative to the establishment of Infant Schools, it was stated that, in regard to
Children, l)etwcen the ages of Seven and Fifteen, educational provision had been made,
eitlier by the Chm-ch of England, or Dissenting bodies, for 7749 in daily schools, of
wliicli i>,837 were stated to belong to the Church of England. From a report dated 5th
Ai)ril, 1H47, it is stated there were 18 Boy's, 18 Girl's, and 10 Infant schools belonging
to the established churches in the Borough, in connexion with the Nation'al School
Society; that Society contending that to profess the education of a child, and yet to
to make nought, or to make light of religious belief and j)rinciple, is to endanger in
youtli the most fatal habit of mind and thought, and sap the foundation of all religion
in the breast.

Free Grammar, or Krxr, Edward's School, New Street, was founded by King
Edward the \'I., in the fifth year, (15.r2.) of his reign, and endowed with the revenues of
the CJuild of the Cross, which, prior to the dissolution, occupied the site of the present
building. Tlie endo\^^nent arising from land, at that time prodxiced only j£30. per
annum, but now, from being let on building leases, produces from .£"8,000. to .£10.000
per annum, which on the expiration of leases, is still increasing. The management is
vested in a bailiff and 18 governors, who appoint a head master, second master, and
usher, with a writing master and a drawing master. Visitors: The Lord Chancellor,
and (in some cases) the Bishop of Worcester. A new and suitable edifice was erected in
1834 by the governors of this wealthy establishment, on a convenient site in the centre of
tlie town, at an expence of nearly .£-\itions of ^*.>0. a year each, for four
y



Online LibraryFrancis WhiteBirmingham. History and general directory of the borough of Birmingham, with the remainder of the parish of Aston ... being part of a general history and directory of the county of Warwick .. → online text (page 4 of 82)