Proposals for the demolition of Grade ll listed Bartholomew Row (1855) were first made in 2012. The Mail reported that Birmingham council’s Conservation and Heritage Panel had criticised the plans to demolish the terrace of derelict Georgian houses, which had been extended and used as light industrial units for 200 years.
The panel told owner Christopher Wray to restore them. He had claimed that the row, near the new Matthew Boulton College and Millennium Point buildings at Eastside, is beyond economic repair. But the Conservation and Heritage Panel says that as the buildings, the earliest of which date back to 1779, have a preservation order the demolition cannot be allowed.
Tim Bridges of the Victorian Society argued that the extensions over the decades offered an architectural and industrial history of Birmingham in one place. He said: “This is also one of the last historic buildings in this part of the city centre. There seems to be very little justification for demolition and there is evidence of neglect over the last eight or nine years.”
Bartholomew Row was named after Saint Bartholomew’s Church (or Chapel in some accounts) which was built next to it. The church was closed in 1937, damaged in an air raid in 1942 and demolished in 1943.
As we noted in an earlier blog, Christ Church in School Road, Yardley Wood, Grade II listed in 2012, received a17th-century carving depicting cherubs, fruit and flowers brought from St Bartholomew’s Church in Masshouse Lane and placed in the chancel.
Workshops were built in the rear gardens of these once-fashionable town houses which were adapted and extended during the 19th and early 20th centuries as a brassware factory and for other commercial uses, including ginger beer production. The malt house, with its vaulted brick arches and lantern light, is a rare example of this type of building in the City centre. In 1910, 9-10 Bartholomew Row was bought by Landon Brothers, component manufacturers, producing stampings, pressings and spinnings, mostly for the lighting trade; by 1928 they occupied the entire site, gradually buying all the buildings as they came up for sale.
7 and 8 Bartholomew Row, lost to enemy action, were replaced by a building that was used by the Landons for the storage of their raw materials. They were taken over by Christopher Wray in 1982 and this building was re-modelled as a showroom. Christopher Wray stopped using the buildings in the summer of 2005 and the buildings have been empty ever since. Only numbers 9 and 10 survived. Numbers 11 and 12 disappeared from the map between 1839 and 1855 and much of the remainder was destroyed by World War II bombing. For more detail open: http://savingbartholomewrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/54103-6.1-Heritage-Statement.pdf
Birmingham-based Czero is focussing on the conversion of difficult listed building sites into student accommodation, currently working on two such projects. In September this year, the company registered an application for planning permission (2015/07280/PA) to restore and develop the former factory premises and make the building into 200 student accommodation units, studios and workshops and more:
“Partial demolition, extensions and refurbishment of the existing Grade 2 Listed Building cluster between 7-12 Bartholomew Row, extending back to Fox Street with a new 15 storey tower. The development will comprise of student accommodation (170 no.studios) and ancillary facilities with the addition of a basement drinking establishment (Use Class A4), two commercial units for food and drink (Use Class A3) and refurbished Georgian townhouses intended for office use (Use Class B1)”.
It is thought that the creation of Eastside City Park, the arrival of Birmingham City University in Eastside, and the possible delivery of HS2, will make the Bartholomew Row a viable development proposal.
Plans and site http://savingbartholomewrow.com/the-site-now/
The development is by Czero Developments. http://www.czero.com/