Continuing to explore hidden Handsworth gems, I have been to visit an extraordinary survivor from the medieval period; Handsworth Old Town Hall. Built circa. 1460, when it would have been one of the few buildings within a picturesque Handsworth rural landscape, it is now encroached upon by buildings on all sides, and sits on the corner of Slack Lane and Oxhill Road. I visited this beautiful cruck-framed building over the weekend as it is the home of the Handsworth Historical Society, and wish I had taken the time to visit before! The impressive timber frame is now filled with brickwork, but the materials would originally have been wattle and daub between the timber frame.
Handsworth Historical Society have a varied programme of talks and events throughout the year, and their archives and displays offer a wealth of information for those hungry for knowledge about the area. Every month there is a coffee morning where non-members are welcome, and the building is regularly open at other times for visitors to view the collections. I spent time looking at old maps of the Handsworth area, and talking to Paulette, Bob and Pat about the building, and more generally about changes to the Handsworth area. For more information about the activities of the society, check out their website: https://handsworth-historical-society.co.uk/
For the purpose of the walking tours that Legacy will be developing, the distance between Soho House (where our walks begin), and Handsworth Old Town Hall, is a bit far ... even for the very athletic and energetic! However, we are looking forward to working closely with Handsworth Historical Society, who have got a deep well of expertise within their membership, and hope that their knowledge can help us as we develop our heritage trails, so that we can make our trails even more engaging and entertaining!