Blakesley Hall, has been carefully refurbished and restored. It was re-opened to the public on 4th May 2002. The Hall is a timber-framed farmhouse built, in 1590, by the locally important Richard Smalbroke. The Hall is typical of the timber-framed buildings once common throughout the West Midlands. Notable features include the exterior, timber decoration in close studding (ground floor), herringbone (first floor) and lozenge (second floor) patterns. There is now no truly comparable building within Birmingham.
The recent extensive renovations have restored the Great and Little Parlours on the ground floor which were altered when the Hall became a Museum in the 1930s. In these rooms the family would dine away from the sevants, perhaps entertaining guests. They would also use these rooms to write letters, read or prepare accounts away from the rest of the household.
Richard Smalbroke, Blakesley's builder, came from a family that had farmed in Yardley since the fourteenth century. The Smalbrokes had also established a mercer's business, trading in spices, textiles and other wares, in Birmingham's High Street. Building Blakesley Hall was an expression of the family's wealth and increased social standing. The building was passed down through Richard's direct descendants until 1685 when it was sold to the Greswolde family of Solihull.
For the next two hundred years Blakesley was let to tenant farmers until purchased by one Henry Donne in 1899. Having carried out much needed renovations, Donne sold the Hall, within a year, to Thomas Merry who was a paint and varnish manufacturer from Birmingham. After Merry died in 1932, the site was bought by the 'Common Good Trust', for the City of Birmingham which continues to operate the site as a museum.
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