Edgbaston is an exceptional place. Its unique position as the most exclusive suburb of any provincial city - the 'Belgravia of Birmingham' - together with its particularly interesting past, fully warrant this separate, detailed study. Dr Slater's well-researched, very-readable and lavishly illustrated account - the first comprehensive history of the thousands of people who live and work there.
Edgbaston contains the site of an enormous Roman fortress. In medieval times it was home to a small farming settlement. It became the scene of a major Civil War skirmish and, later, the centre of Birmingham's Roman Catholic community. In the 18th century the manor house was rebuilt and its park landscaped by 'Capability' Brown. The next century saw its distinctive development by the absentee landowners, the Gough-Calthorpe family. Almost everyone who was anyone in Birmingham's industrial, commercial and professional elute came to live in Egbaston.
Their fashionable houses marked changing styles: Regency terraces, Classical villas, Gothic Revival mansions, and some of the finest Arts and Crafts houses in the country, all set in a leafy landscape of large gardens and quiet streets.
The 20th century brought further change. The University of Birmingham established its campus there in 1900, followed by the Hospitals and Medical School in the 1930s. The city's most prestigious grammar school, as well as scores of other schools, together with the leading hotels and professional offices. Today, Edgbaston remains a very important, high-status residential centre that draws visitors from all over the world to its hotels, its two superb botanical gardens, one of the finest small art galleries in Britain and the ground of the County Cricket Club for the test matches each year!
The well-known author of the ever-popular 'A History of Warwickshire' has now waved the same magic wand over his own Edgbaston.
List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgements
1. Roman Edgbaston
2. Medieval Edgbaston
3. Reformation and the Civil War
4. Mansion, Park and the Calthorpes
5. Building the Suburb: Houses and Villas
6. Gardens and Parks
7. People and Society in the 19th Century
8. Edgbaston Churches
9. Getting Around the Suburb: Transport Improvements
10. Higher Education: The university of Birmingham
11. Hospitals and Medical Facilities
12. Edication I: King Edward's Schools
13. Education II: Other Schools
14. Sport and Recreation
15. Post-War Development