Plough and Harrow Hotel


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B16 8LS


Ordnance survey map of Plough and Harrow Hotel
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Statutory Address:
Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B16 8LS

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Birmingham (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


A hotel of 1832-3, designed by John Fallows for the Calthorpe Estate with additions and alterations of the mid-late C19 and the C20.

Reasons for Designation

The Plough and Harrow, Hagley Road, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: the inn is designed in an accomplished Jacobethan style of the 1830s by the noted architect John Fallows; * Degree of survival: despite alterations, the plan and details of the inn survive and their original functioning can be understood.


The Calthorpe Estate lies to the west of Birmingham and has belonged to the Gough family since 1717. The rural nature of the estate remained throughout most of the C18, with a few leases granted close to the expanding city from 1786 in the triangle between the Hagley and Harbourne Roads. From 1810, however, agricultural tenants were replaced by ‘gentlemen and tradesmen’ and several new roads were cut. The estate allowed tenants to take as much land as they wanted, adding to the exclusivity of the neighbourhood, but speculative builders also put up smaller, more closely-packed houses. Terraces are rare and tend to be a feature of the earliest development along the Hagley Road. The style of the earliest building was largely Neo-Classical with a mixture of picturesque Tudor appearing from the 1830s. Later development includes many designs by the notable architects working in Birmingham and most of the styles in favour in the C19. Conversion of houses into offices along the Hagley Road began in the early C20 and gathered pace after 1945. In 1957 the estate commissioned John Madin to produce a new plan for zoned development, which concentrated on low-rise infill domestic building to the south-west and office development along the Hagley Road, with high-rise towers set amongst landscaping that aimed at a maximum of one third plot coverage. Madin’s own practice designed several of these buildings.

The Plough and Harrow was first built in 1832-3 and designed by John Fallows. The three-bay building, facing Hagley Road and also fronting onto Harrow Road was in a C17 style which crossed Tudor and Jacobean motifs. Lord Calthorpe disliked it and called it ‘ultra-gothick’. A large extension was added to the east side of this in a similar style in the late C19, and this was in turn altered by the addition of three large, square bay windows at ground floor level on the southern side, facing Hagley Road. A rectangular addition was added to the northern side between 1890 and 1904 and by 1955 a ground floor extension on the northern side included a large, segmental bow window and a porch wing added to the east. All of these additions continued the loosely ‘Jacobethan’ style of the original building. The service wing, which projects to the north west, appears to have been part of the original building of 1832-3. It was rendered and colourwashed in the C20. It connects at its north-western end with an annexe which was added between 1969 and 1978 by Bass Breweries.


A hotel of 1832-3, designed by John Fallows for the Calthorpe Estate with additions and alterations of the mid-late C19 and the C20.

MATERIALS: red brick with red sandstone dressings and a tiled roof, and plum-coloured brick facing to a reinforced concrete frame with a felt roof.

PLAN: two storeys with attics and basements. The reception and function rooms lie to the south and the service wing to the west. The related stable bock is to the west of the service wing and parallel to it.

EXTERIOR: the south face, fronting Hagley Road, has the earliest part of 1822-3 at left. This has three bays of red, Flemish-bond brick, with lavish sandstone dressings including quoins, string courses, window surrounds and gable copings. At either side are projecting wings with steeply raked gables. At the centre of the ground floor is a projecting porch with shaped gable. It has a panelled door and lancets to the flanks. Above is a three-light window with mullions and transom and the shaped gable which has a sunken rectangular tablet to the centre. The gabled wings at either side have four-light windows with mullions and transom to both floors and a lancet to each lateral gable. There is a tall chimney stack with two chimneys to each gable end.

To the right of this the extension, which appears to date from the 1870s or 80s, has a taller ridge and three wide bays with a gabled bay to far right, which projects slightly. Between the first and second bays from the left is a projecting chimney stack with offsets and stone dressings. To either side of this at first floor level are two-light, mullioned windows, and there is a similar window to far right. At ground floor level there are two large, square bay windows with brick parapets at left and a canted bay at right, all of which appear to have been added in the early C20.

The western flank, facing Harrow Road, has a similar, three-bay front of 1832-3 at left. This has a projecting porch tower to the centre of two storeys with a gabled head. The ground floor doorway has been extended slightly in the C20 in plum-coloured brick and has glazed doors with a Tudor head. There is a three light window to first floor and a two-light attic window to the shaped gable. To right of this is blind walling with a central stack with offsets. At left is a similar stack, flanked by mullioned and transomed windows of two and three lights. Extending to the left of this is the service wing which has windows of three and four lights with cambered heads to the ground floor and low, two-light windows at first floor level. There is a doorway to far left and a long staircase window.

The eastern flank has the late-C19 addition to left. This has a projecting gabled wing at left with three arched relieving arches to the ground floor, the lateral two of which are blocked and the central containing a C20 window. At right of this is the early-C20 addition of one story with a doorway at left of centre and three small gables to the top of the wall. Behind this that first floor of the late-C19 addition has mullioned and transomed windows and a string course which rises above the first floor windows to form a drip mould.

The north face of the block facing Hagley Road has the large segmental bow window to the ground floor. This is ten lights wide, with mullions and transom and a glazed door to the centre. Above are two three-light windows and a parapet. To left is a C20 kitchen extension placed in the angle between the reception rooms and the service wing which is largely masked at ground floor level and has two-light windows set in colourwashed walling, as before.

INTERIOR: the original portion of the hotel has a central corridor which leads from the Hagley Road porch entrance through to the service wing. On its west side are three bar rooms which have now been combined to form one interconnected room. The southernmost of these has panelled shutters to the window and there are runs of cornicing which may be to the original pattern. The southern room on the east side of the passage has its original cornice. At first floor level on the west side three rooms have been joined to form a function room, with C20 cornicing and panelling below the dado. The late-C19 addition has large reception rooms at ground floor level which have been interconnected by the insertion of openings. Cornicing and panelled ceilings remain in some areas. The staircase is of mid-C20 date. Two first floor rooms have stone corbels carved with foliage and large gothic brackets which indicate that this area was formerly open to the ridge, and was perhaps a function room with gothic detailing.

Pursuant to s1 (5) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the L-shaped hotel bedroom wing of c. 1970, which extends to the north and east from the north end of the service wing, is not of special architectural or historic interest.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Foster, A, Pevsner Architectural Guides: Birmingham, (2005), 217


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

The listed building(s) is/are shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’), structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building (save those coloured blue on the map) are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 17 Aug 2000
Reference: IOE01/02460/20
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr John Davis. Source Historic England Archive
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