Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham - A Birmingham Gem!

King Edward's School was a boys grammar school founded at New Street in 1552, they moved to Edgbaston in 1936. King Edward VI High School for Girls founded 1883 and moved 1940.


Where is the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham?

King Edward's School is at Edgbaston Park Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2UA. King Edward VI High School for Girls is next door on Edgbaston Park Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2UB.

 

In brief

A boys grammar school had been established at New Street in Birmingham in the year 1552. On the site of what was originally the Guild of the Holy Cross. The school building was rebuilt several times over the centuries, including a Georgian building in the 1730s and a Victorian building in the 1830s. But by the 1930s with the limits of the site on New Street, King Edward's School relocated to Edgbaston on a site between Edgbaston Park Road and Bristol Road. The girls school was established in 1883, and by 1896 had a purpose built building on New Street, but they to followed the boys school to Edgbaston in 1940.

King Edward's SchoolKing Edward's School from Bristol Road, Edgbaston. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

King Edward's School Birmingham - history

During the English Reformation which led to the Dissolution of the Monasteries, by 1547 all lands and religious buildings were confiscated by the state. This included the Guild of the Holy Cross in Birmingham. Which was located on New Street. It was founded in 1392 by three men: John Coleshill, John Goldsmith and William atte Slowe. The Guild was so important that by 1482, they placed the Master of the Guild higher than the High Sheriff of the borough. Birmingham had no Grammar School, so John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland (who was the Lord of the Manor of Birmingham by 1552, having replaced the last Norman descended member of the de Birmingham family) gave permission to turn the Guild into a School in it's former hall on New Street. John Dudley gained the ownership of the Manor of Birmingham in 1536 (after falsely accusing Edward Birmyncham, the last of the line of Norman barons of highway robbery). King Edward VI granted a Royal Charter early in 1552 to found a school in his name. By the 1680s there was nearly 200 boys at the school and a foundation was set up.

King Edward's SchoolThe first seal of King Edward VI School, 1552. Courtesy of the Birmingham Museums Trust

 

The Georgian school building on New Street

A Georgian building was built on the New Street site between 1731 and 1734.

The old image below shows the Free Grammar School as it was in the Georgian period. It was from an engraving published by W. Emans, 1829. It was demolished in the early 1830s. It suggests the building was built in 1706 (and not the 1730s dates).

King Edward's SchoolPublic domain image taken from Wikimedia here KES Free Grammar School original without tower. The original uploader to the Wikimedia Commons took it from a book called The Making of Birmingham: Being a History of the Rise and Growth of the Midland Metropolis, Published by J. L. Allday. By Robert Kirkup Dent in 1894.

 

The Victorian school building on New Street

This was replaced by the Victorian building designed by Charles Barry which was built from 1833 to 1837. He employed Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin for the interiors. Together they later designed the current Palace of Westminster (after the fire destroyed the old one in the 1830s).

This image below was from a photograph by Whitlock on New Street. It shows the spire of Christ Church in the distance (demolished in 1899).

King Edward's SchoolPublic domain image taken from Wikimedia here KES Free Grammar School Charles Barry. The original uploader to the Wikimedia Commons took it from a book calledThe Making of Birmingham: Being a History of the Rise and Growth of the Midland Metropolis, Published by J. L. Allday. By Robert Kirkup Dent in 1894.

 

The move to Edgbaston Park Road, Edgbaston

The old building had become a fire risk by 1936, and they acquired a site in Edgbaston from Calthorpe Estates, between Edgbaston Park Road and the Bristol Road (close to the University of Birmingham). The new school was finally completed by 1948, although there was some expansion in the 1950s.

Barry's school was demolished and replaced by the current office building called King Edward House at 135A New Street, built from 1936 to 1937. It includes restaurants and shops on the ground floor. The architects was Essex & Goodman. Pevsner refers to it as bland classical. The Odeon Cinema was built at the same time (1936-37) replacing the girls school. It was by Frank Verity & Samuel Beverley for Paramount Pictures. The Paramount Theatre opened in 1937. It didn't become an Odeon until 1942, months after the death of Oscar Deutsch.

King Edwards House Odeon Cinema and King Edward House on New Street. Site of King Edward's School Birmingham from 1552 to 1936. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Barry's Chapel at the Edgbaston Campus

The only building to survive from New Street was the school chapel. It was originally built as the upper corridor of the 1838 New Street School (by Charles Barry) and it was moved to Edgbaston in pieces (1938-40) by Holland W Hobbiss, and was renovated and rebuilt in the 1950s. The Chapel is a Grade II* listed building. It used to link the Grammar School to the Library ranges of Barry's school in New Street (built from 1833-38). Built of brick with stone dressings. The Chapel is used for services every Wednesday morning, when the Eucharist is celebrated by the school Chaplain.

King Edward's SchoolThe Chapel at King Edward's School. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

King Edward's School Birmingham in Edgbaston

Most of the school buildings on the Edgbaston campus were built during the 1940s and 1950s. All designed by architect Holland W. Hobbiss.

King Edward's School

King Edward's School

King Edward's School

King Edward's School Birmingham

King Edward's School Birmingham

King Edward's School Birmingham. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

King Edward's School post.

 

King Edward VI High School for Girls - history

The girls high school was founded in 1883 and was sharing the boys school on New Street. They moved to Congreve Street in 1887 (the former Liberal Club building). In 1896 they moved to a new school building on the site of the Hen & Chickens pub on New Street. They moved to their present location on Edgbaston Park Road in 1940 to new buildings designed by Holland W. Hobbiss. The New Street site was bought by the Prudential Assurance Company and leased for the Odeon cinema.

King Edward VI High School for Girls

King Edward VI High School for Girls

King Edward VI High School for Girls

King Edward VI High School for Girls

King Edward VI High School for GirlsKing Edward VI High School for Girls from Edgbaston Park Road. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

For the main feature go to this project here Foundation of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham.

 

Contact details

King Edward's School Birmingham

Edgbaston Park Road

Edgbaston

Birmingham

B15 2UA

0121 472 1672

office@kes.org.uk

 

King Edward VI High School for Girls

Edgbaston Park Road

Edgbaston

Birmingham

B15 2UB

0121 472 1834

enquiries@kehsmail.co.uk

Project dates

05 Aug 2021 - On-going

Passions

History & heritage, Education, Classic Architecture

Contact

Your Place Your Space

Idris Evans

07869 626633
idris.evans@ peoplemattersnetwork.com