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laneous description. The hall is adorned with a fine fountain, which cost upwards of £400. The Market Hall is open every day, but the principal market-day is Thursday.
THE CORN EXCHANGE, also situated in High Street, was completed in 1847, at a cost of £6000.
In its external appearance there is nothing to attract admiration ; but its interior, which is of the Italian Doric style, is very elegant.
ST. MARTIN'S CHURCH is the oldest ecclesiastical edifice in Birmingham, but the date of its original foundation and the name of its founder cannot be ascertained. The present structure is supposed to belong to the early part of the thirteenth century. It has undergone various alterations, the principal one being in 1690, when the church and tower were cased with brick. In 1781 part of the spire was rebuilt, forty feet of it having been injured with lightning. Five years later upwards of £4000 were expended on alterations and repairs on the church, especially in the interior; when little respect was shown to the ancient monuments which it contained. In 1849 a proposal to restore the church was made public, and about £5000 collected for the purpose; but the work was not begun till 1854. During the operations various interesting discoveries were made. The mouldings and other architectural ornaments, though much deteriorated by the effects of time and weather upon a soft friable stone, were found to have been extremely beautiful. Mr. Hardwick of London, the architect to whom the work has been entrusted, referred the oldest part of the tower to about the year 1180, the upper part and the spire being at least a hundred years more recent.
In two arched recesses, discovered at the foot of this tower, were found several skeletons in a tolerable state of preservation.
The church contains some curious ancient monuments of the De Birmingham family, more or less defaced. After long experiencing injury an neglect, these monuments were restored in 1846. Hutton, the historian of Birmingham, has remarked that even Westminster Abbey, famous for departed glory, cannot produce a monument of equal antiquity. The oldest of them, that in the fifth window opening of the south aisle, is supposed to represent Sir William de Birmingham, who distinguished himself in foreign service in the reign of Edward I. Next in antiquity to this is an effigy, supposed to represent another member of the family of the same name,
who lived in the reigns of Edward II. and III. A third tomb bears the image of a knight in plate armour, said to represent John de Birmingham, Sheriff of Warwick and Leicester shires in 1379, as well as knight of the shire in the parliament held at Westminster in 1382. He built the two western towers of York Cathedral about 1402. Another very interesting monument is the effigy of an ecclesiastic, on a high altar tom! of alabaster. It is supposed to represent one of the members of the family of Marrow, upon whom the lordship was conferred by the crown after the execution of the Earl of Warwick. This has been pronounced by an authority in such matters to be one of the most curious monumental effigies extant. The church is adorned with some fine stained glass, and is well worthy of inspection. It can accommodate upwards of 2000 persons.
ST. PHILIP'S CHURCH, the other parish church, is a handsome and much admired structure, in the mixed Italian style. It was commenced in 1711, and finished in 1719. It will be observed from the steeple and cupola that the architect has been to some extent indebted for his design to St. Paul's, London. This edifice occupies the most elevated spot in the town, and a fine view of Birmingham may be obtained from the top of its steeple.
There are numerous other churches deserving of notice. Among them may be mentioned Christ Church, in New Street, Grecian in style, with a lofty portico and spire ; St. George's, near Snowhill, decorated Gothic, with a fine tower, opened in 1822 ; Holy Trinity Chapel, Bordesley, with a noble Gothic arch for its entrance; and St. Thomas's, at Holloway Head, in the Grecian style, with a portico of six Ionic columns, surmounted by a tower 130 feet high. According to the census of 1851, Birmingham has 25 places of worship in connection with the Established Church, containing a total of 30,8 13 sittings. The number of places of worship belonging to the different denominations of dissenters is 67, containing 35,871 sittings. The Wesleyan Methodists have 13 chapels; other Methodists, 10; Independents, 12 ; Roman Catholics, 4; Presbyterians, 1. The Roman Catholic Cathedral, in Bath Street, erected at a cost of about £290,000, and consecrated in 1838, will be found worthy of inspection. The sacristan lives in the immediate neighbourhood.
The General Cemetery and the Church of England Cemetery, both in the vicinity of Warstone Lane in the suburbs on the north-west side of the town, are laid out with much taste. The latter contains a fine church, constructed of white freestone, and dedicated to St. Michael.
THE FREE GRAMMAR SCHOOL, situated in New Street, is justly regarded as one of the chief architectural ornaments of Birmingham. It was founded in 1552 by Edward VI., who endowed it with the possessions of the ancient Guild of the Holy Cross, which had come to the crown at the dissolution. The first building, composed of wood and plaster, was taken down in 1707; but that by which it was displaced falling into decay, an Act of Parliament was obtained by the governors to rebuild it, and extend the usefulness of the foundation by the establishment of branch schools in various parts of the town. Accordingly the present edifice was commenced in 1834. It was erected from the plans of Mr. (now Sir Charles) Barry, in the decorated Elizabethan style, which he has since employed in the New Palace at Westminster. The cost of the building, furnishings, etc., amounted, it is said, to £67,000. It is quadrangular in form, extending 174 feet in front, and 125 in the flanks. The height is 60 feet. The material of which it is constructed is Derbyshire stone, the elaborate carvings, which it is so capable of receiving, giving it a peculiarly rich effect. The head master's salary is £400 a year; but there are additional emoluments derived from fees which may make his salary amount to £1000. The second master's fixed salary is £300. with corresponding additions; and there are under masters at lower salaries. Ten exhibitions of £50 a year each, for four years, at either of the universities, are attached to the school. About 470 boys are educated here. The late head master of the Grammar School was advanced to the bishopric of Manchester. In the branch schools on this foundation about 600 boys, and as many girls, receive an elementary education.
THE QUEEN'S COLLEGE is in Paradise Street, near the Town Hall. It somewhat resembles the Grammar School in style, but is less extensive and magnificent. It was incorporated by royal charter in 1843 ; and chiefly owes its origin to the munificence of two individuals, W. Sands Cox, Esq., F.R.S., and the Rev. S. Wilson Warneford, LL.D. It was founded to provide instruction for young men in medicine and surgery, civil architecture and engineering, and theology. Medical students are qualified by its lectures for becoming candidates for the medical degrees of the University of London, the diplomas of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, London and Edinburgh, and the license of the Society of Apothecaries. Students of this college have also the privilege of presenting themselves for examination for the B.A. degree of the University of London. The theological department is under the patronage of the bishop of the diocese, and prepares students for ordination.
THE GOVERNMENT SCHOOL OF DESIGN is a very important institution, having for its object the fostering of that taste in workmen and designers, which is necessary for the blending of the beautiful with the useful in manufactures. It is situated in New Street. The style of the building is Grecian. It has in front a portico, supported by lofty fluted columns, with rich capitals. It was opened in 1843, under the auspices of Government; and now receives a public grant of £600 annually. This school is now regarded as the largest and most important of the kind in the kingdom. The number of pupils is upwards of 500.
Birmingham possesses many charitable institutions. Our space will not admit of even a simple enumeration of them. The General Hospital, finished in 1779, and enlarged in 1791, is a noble institution, established for the relief of the suffering poor of the town and neighbourhood. It is an extensive and appropriate building constructed of brick. The number of patients admitted annually is nearly 3000; while the number visited in their own dwellings is about 14,000. The triennial musical festivals in aid of this admirable institution are well known. They are held in the Town Hall, last three days, and usually bring a profit of from four to five thousand pounds. This institution is situated in Summer Lane. The Queen's Hospital, a large and elegant structure, is another institution of tħe same kind. It is situated in Bath Row, and receives 2000 in-patients annually, nearly 7000 out-patients being visited in the same time. Besides the above there are several institutions founded for purposes of a similarly benevolent nature.
THE CENTRAL RAILWAY STATION, in New Street, is a large and very elegant building in the Italian style, consisting of a centre and wings. The centre, which is 120 feet long, projects 20 feet from the wings, and is four storeys high. The lower storey is constructed of Derbyshire stone, the rest of the building of white brick. The lower storey is an arcade, and along with the other parts of the building exhibits much correctness and taste in its various details. The building includes a hotel and fine refreshment room, as well as the usual offices. The arrangements of the interior are admirable. The roof is a triumph of art. “There stretches, from pillar to pillar, a semicircular roof, 1100 feet long, 212 feet wide, and 80 feet high, composed of iron and glass, without the slightest support except that afforded by the pillars on either side.” The arches of iron that span the space from pillar to pillar weigh about 25 tons each. The glass of the roof is said to weigh 115 tons, and the iron at least 1400 tons. The roof was constructed by the well-known firm of Fox, Henderson, and Co.
PARKS.—There are few, if any, of our great manufacturing towns which stand more in need of parks than Birmingham—the metropolis of labour, where smoke is indigenous, and all vegetation exotic and rare. A short time since, Mr. Adderley, M.P., made the borough a present of about thirty acres of ground, situated at the north side of the town. This was the first step towards ventilating the growing manufacturing centre, with its streets of clanging workshops, and firmament of smoke, amid which even the innumerable chimney tops are lost in obscurity. The example has been followed by Lord Calthorpe, who, in furnishing the town with its new lung on the south side, bas outdone even Mr. Adderley. The piece of ground which his Lordship presented, though not larger than the first gift, is on the whole a better piece of land, and one which, from its local position, is more likely to be popular and frequented. To the gift was attached a condition which none can object to, namely, if the park be not used by the people after a fair lapse of time, the property will remain under his Lordship's control ; if, on the other hand, it become, as it undoubtedly will become, a source of amusement and healthy recreation to the townspeople, the land will be the property of the borough totally and for evermore. Το inaugurate this liberal gift the Duke of Cambridge visited the hardware metropolis on the 1st of June 1857, and went through a ceremony which had long been looked forward to by the townspeople.*
Among other public buildings of interest may be mentioned The Theatre in New Street, unsurpassed by any provincial establishment, and the Music Hall, Broad Street, recently opened. Ample provision is further made for amusement and instruction in the Vauxhall and Botanical Gardens, and in the various public Libraries, News Rooms, and Museums.
* This notice of the Parks is taken from The Times, June 2, 1857.