While Ladywood now includes the City Centre. In this introductory post, we will take a look at Ladywood around Ladywood Middleway. The suburban part not far from Edgbaston and Five Ways. Spring Hill Library is near the end of Ladywood Middleway, while Broadway Plaza is close to Five Ways (the former site of the Children's Hospital). Ladywood Leisure Centre opened in 2019.

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Welcome to Ladywood around Ladywood Middleway

While Ladywood now includes the City Centre. In this introductory post, we will take a look at Ladywood around Ladywood Middleway. The suburban part not far from Edgbaston and Five Ways. Spring Hill Library is near the end of Ladywood Middleway, while Broadway Plaza is close to Five Ways (the former site of the Children's Hospital). Ladywood Leisure Centre opened in 2019.


I know more about Edgbaston than Ladywood, but I used to regularly travel to Five Ways. Either to go to the cinema at Broadway Plaza, or to get onto Broad Street to walk into town.

In terms of the history of Ladywood, lets go to Bill Dargue's A History of Birmingham's placenames A to Z for information. He has allowed reuse by Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 3.0. (You are free to share and adapt the licensor's work).

The first record of Lady Wood was in 1565. It was named after the Lady Wood which was between Monument Road and the Ladywood Brook. It stretched from Portland Road to Spring Hill. The wood may have been church property. The wood was long gone by the mid 16th century.

The Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line

The Birmingham Canal Navigations Main Line was built through Ladywood from 1769 until 1772 by the canal engineer James Brindley. It was straightened by Thomas Telford in the 19th century, which led to Brindley's sections being cut off as loops. Today we have the Icknield Port Loop and the Soho Loop within Ladywood (and the Oozells Loop in the City Centre).

The Birmingham to Wolverhampton Railway

The Birmingham to Wolverhampton Railway opened in 1852 and it passes through Ladywood. It is known as the Stour Valley Line. There used to be a station in Ladywood called Monument Lane. It opened in 1854, was renamed to Edgbaston shortly afterwards. Renamed back to Monument Lane in 1874. It was relocated in 1886 and it was closed down in 1958.

St John's Church Ladywood

The Church of St John is located on Monument Road near Ladywood Middleway. Seen here in May 2011. A Grade II listed building. Originally built in 1854 in the Gothic style (or Decorated style) by S. S. Teulon, the Church of St John the Evangelist was built on the site of Ladywood House, on land leased from King Edward VI School. Famed Birmingham architect J. A. Chatwin built additions in 1881. It was also called the Anglican Church of St John and St Peter. It was built of coursed red sandstone with ashlar dressings. The Church of St John the Evangelist became the Church of St John and St Peter in 2000.

Lench's Trust Almshouses

These Almshouses are on Ladywood Middleway near Five Ways. Seen below in December 2009. Built in 1858 by J H Hornblower and Haylock in the Tudor style or Jacobean style. A Grade II listed building. It was built of red brick with stone dressings and tiled roofs. No 1 Hagley Road (Metropolitan House by John Madin) is seen behind to the left.  Broadway Plaza is to the right of here (site of the Children's Hospital until 1998).

View from the Hagley Road below of the Lansdowne House site during April 2016. Seven Capital would build it. No. 1 Hagley Road was also getting refurbished at the time. You could see Lench's Trust Almshouses from Hagley Road before The Lansdowne got built.

Ladywood Middleway view of Lench's Trust Almshouses, with The Lansdowne well under way behind. Seen during March 2018. A mixture of old and new architecture.

Another view of Lench's Trust Almshouses from more recently during November 2019. The Lansdowne seen from Ladywood Middleway was now complete.

Spring Hill Library

Seen in May 2011 from Ladywood Middleway, Spring Hill Library is next to a large Tesco supermarket at Spring Hill on Summer Hill Road. Spring Hill Library is a Grade II* listed building built in 1893 by Martin and Chamberlain. It was built in the Gothic style with bright red bricks and terracotta dressings. It is in the Soho ward.

Welcome to Ladywood

Seen on Ladywood Middleway during October 2012 is this sculpture of Charles Blondin, a French tightrope walker. In September 1873 he came to Birmingham, and he crossed Edgbaston Reservoir on a tightrope! The statue was made in 1992 and placed on Ladywood Middleway. It was sculpted by the artist Paul Richardson in 1993.

Biddle and Webb Auctions - Icknield Square

Saw this building from Ladywood Middleway in February 2020. Biddle & Webb is located off Ladywood Middleway on Icknield Square. The building probably dates to the 19th century, but is not listed. But was built close to the Birmingham Canal Navigations, so was probably a canalside warehouse at one point.

Broadway Plaza

The Birmingham Children's Hospital was on the Ladywood Middleway site from when it was built from 1910 to 1919, until they moved to Steelhouse Lane (the former Birmingham General Hospital) in 1998. Most of the hospital was demolished apart from the facade, and Broadway Plaza opened in 2003. It originally had a 12 screen cinema run by AMC, but Odeon took it over in 2012. It was transformed into the Odeon Luxe Cinema in 2018. There is also a bowling alley here. Originally BowlPlex, it is now the Hollywood Bowl. You would also find a Domino's Pizza, Costa Coffee, and a Subway there. As well as a Travelodge hotel.

The architect of the Children's Hospital was F W Martin. At one point it was called the King Edward VII Memorial Children's Hospital. View below from June 2009. Only the facade was retained, the rest of the hospital was demolished. The facade was now the entrance to Broadway Casino, with Virgin Active to the left.

This memorial stone was laid in April 1913 by H.R.H. The Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll.

View below during December 2009 with Christmas stars up as Christmas decorations at Broadway Plaza.

An early evening shot below from December 2013 with Christmas lights on the facade of the former Children's Hospital at Broadway Plaza.

The AMC 12 Cinemas opened at Broadway Plaza in 2003. It became one of my regular cinemas to visit. This view below from June 2009. Travelodge hotel on the right and apartments.

In 2012 Odeon took over the AMC at Broadway Plaza, and there was some minor changes inside, such as moving the box office, and installing more automatic ticket machines. A Costa Coffee also opened, which is to the right of here. View below from October 2012. Used to regularly go with early bird tickets.

Further changes at Broadway Plaza in 2018, when Odeon was transformed into an Odeon Luxe. Each screen was refurbished, and the seats changes to recliner seats. Also meant the tickets cost a bit more. I stopped going here, and was going to Cineworld instead. This view from June 2018. Although I have seen a few films here in the last year or so (before the lockdown).

Kareo 6 Medical & Health Centre

I don't know much about this buildings history, but saw it from Ladywood Middleway back in March 2017. In the middle of the building is a Birmingham Forward coat of arms dated to 1934. Inscribed on it was Maternity & Child Welfare Centre. So that must of what it was originally built as back in the day.

Ladywood Community Fire Station

Ladywood Fire Station is located on Icknield Port Road in Ladywood. It is not far from Monument Road. Seen in February 2020. West Midlands Fire Service serves all of Ladywood plus the City Centre West from this fire station. The Union Jack was flying proudly in the middle of the building.

Ladywood Leisure Centre

Seen during February 2020, the new Ladywood Leisure Centre was opened in August 2019 on a site on Ladywood Middleway at the end of Monument Road. It replaced the old Ladywood Arts & Leisure Centre. The site was cleared by 2015 and it was built in 2019. It is similar in design to new leisure centres built in Northfield (2018) and in Stechford (2018).

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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