Monday, November 03, 2008

My World 3: Kings Norton, England

Play That's My World Tuesday

I live in a medieval village called Kings Norton just south of Birmingham, Englands second city. On the ancient Green stands one of the oldest grammar schools in the Midlands, a 12th-century church and a large 15th-century timber-framed house. The Old Grammar School and the medieval house, known as the Saracen's Head, are buildings of considerable historical and architectural importance and were the winners of BBC Restoration 2004.

The Old Grammar School is a wonderful-looking, timber-framed structure. Tree analysis of its huge timbers have revealed a construction date of between 1434 and 1460.

The nearby Saracen's Head was quite possibly the largest house of the royal manor during the 15th century, home of a wealthy and successful wool merchant, later becoming an Inn. The house boasts highly decorative medieval workmanship. It was here that the wife of Charles I, Queen Henrietta Maria, stayed on her way back from Yorkshire where she had gathered troops for the English Civil War. The devoutly Catholic Queen arrived at King's Norton in July 1643 with around 5,500 men and spent the night in what is known as the Queen's Room, while her troops slept on land behind the church.

Every year there is a 'Mop Fair' held on the village Green where in ancient times the hiring of agricultural workers and domestic servants happened, and the origin of the name is said to be that house- maids who attended the fair in the hope of being hired carried mops and pails. The hiring took place in conjunction with a country fair at which the roasting of an ox was a great feature. Although the hiring has stopped we still have an ox roast and country fair, and entertainers such as Morris Men & Clog Dancers and fun fair and every month a Farmers Market on the Green.

A barge on the canal in Kings Norton/

The church and ancient Saracens Head on the village green

The 15th Century Saracens Head

The Old Grammar School, built around 1450

The Bullshead Pub on the Green

The Village Green


Louise said...

What an incredible place! This is the stuff historical novels are made of. So beautiful and interesting! Love you commentary as well.

In the future, please remember to put your country after your name. I fixed it already today.

Thank you so much for participating!

babooshka said...

As an ex brummie, bought up in the black country I know your part of the world well. Still one of the best parts of brum. Brilliant post for me, such pretty pics.

Lawstude said...

wow. a combination of things ancient and modern. good job and thanks for sharing.

Lilli & Nevada said...

Oh i love these kind of photos, originally born in Germany i love to see the ancient buildings

Anonymous said...

I love the Old Grammar School, such a pretty old building!
Beautiful pictures and an enjoyable entry for the meme.

Mary said...

What an interesting city! I've enjoyed the brief tour and look forward to more. The Mop Fair sounds like fun :-)

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

I used to work with someone who lives there and visited one time, it's so pretty

Rambling Woods said...

It looks like you should be able to take and walk and then have a nice high tea....

Agring said...

There's no doubt that England is one of the best place I would like to visit someday. The shots are beautiful!

Arija said...

Thank you for the lovely tour of Kings Norton. Old and beautiful houses, and such a lovely canal as well, it must be a wnderful place t live with all the activity on the village green. There is a lot to be said for the old village system where everyon knew, or knew of, everyone else.