Blue Plaque Walking Routes Launched in Edgbaston
Office workers and residents in and around Calthorpe Estate and Edgbaston are being encouraged to get out and about to enjoy the history of Edgbaston.
Following Calthorpe Residents’ Society’s successful application to Birmingham City Councillors for a Local Innovation Fund grant, Calthorpe Residents liaised with the Heritage Volunteers of The Arts Society Birmingham Evening (TASBE) to produce four Blue Plaque Walks. Calthorpe Estates has supported this enterprise which enables residents and businesses to learn about the history behind Edgbaston and Harborne while enjoying the leafy suburbs and nearby restaurants, bars and cafés.
Four walks have been specially designed and are available to download via the Edgbaston Village website, as well as the Walk Run Cycle app. With routes ranging from 1.5 to four miles, locals can enjoy the benefits of stepping away from their desks at work while learning about the historical figures who have previously lived or stayed in the area.
The Central Edgbaston walk is the shortest, taking you in and around Edgbaston Village with blue plaques belonging to Washington Irving, Neville Chamberlain and Ernest Wilson along the trail.
For those looking for a slightly longer stroll, the South Central Edgbaston route lets you explore the leafy suburbs of the Calthorpe Estate. Moving over to North Edgbaston, you can discover JRR Tolkein’s three plaques as part of a 3.5 mile route.
The final walk – and perhaps most challenging – takes you through Harborne and towards the University of Birmingham, where you can explore the Women’s Hospital and Metchley Abbey.
Meriel Hutton from The Arts Society Birmingham Evening, commented: “The blue plaques around Edgbaston highlight the extensive history of the area and reflect our diverse artistic, industrial and innovative heritage. There is so much history in the leafy suburbs and we can’t wait to see people get out and about to explore the area and enjoy the cultural and architectural heritage.”
Cllr Deirdre Alden said, “I am delighted that some of Edgbaston Ward’s LIF money is being spent promoting walks which have been specially designed to incorporate the many blue plaques in the area. These plaques celebrate Edgbaston’s rich cultural heritage and walking is a really healthy activity for all the family. The leaflets not only show the different routes, they give a wealth of interesting background information about the people celebrated on the plaques to help enrich the walking experience. I am sure they will be very popular.”
Nicki Gibberson, Head of Marketing at Calthorpe Estates, added: “We are delighted to have supported the team in the creation and delivery of these educational walks, which will hopefully encourage people to walk for longer. Currently, on average, 48% of the adult population walk less than a mile for leisure purposes each week*. The blue plaques will also give people the opportunity to understand who have both lived in the area and contributed to society. Furthermore, visitors will be able to take advantage of the wide range of award-winning restaurants, cafes, bars and shops in Edgbaston Village.”
For more information on the Blue Plaque Walks, please visit http://www.calthorperesidents.org/blue-plaque-walks/ or www.edgbastonvillage.co.uk/blue-plaque-walks