Birmingham Hidden Gems: The secrets of Handsworth Old Town Hall

Handsworth Old Town Hall, built around 1460 during the reign of Henry VI, is currently owned by Birmingham City Council and the Handsworth Historical Society.

While there is uncertainty about how the building got its name, Paulette Burkill - secretary of Handsworth Historical Society - says that:

Handsworth was divided into ends at one time. So you had Birchfield End, Church End, Leigh End, and this was Town End. So it might have been the hall at Town End.”

Old Newspaper, Handsworth Herald, Handsworth Old Town Hall

In the 1700s, the hall was occupied by Squire Jeremiah Needham, who was parish Constable, overseer of the poor, and parish guardian, amongst other titles. The hall was also used as the local lockup and people came to pay their rents here.

The Historical Society has been using the hall since 1978 and has compiled books and folders full of information on the history of Handsworth and Birmingham.

The hall is currently celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a display of nostalgia.

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Cabinet, Handsworth Old Town Hall

Paulette says that “we’re celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at the moment. We’ve got a general nostalgia cabinet. We just try and rotate those occasionally, when we’ve got time, and try and make it interesting for the visitor.”

The Old Town Hall is a rare example of its type of architecture still standing in a city setting and is an important part of Handsworth’s history.

Paulette says, “It’s just a charming reminder of Handworth’s much more rural past and we hope that people will enjoy it for many years to come.”

General Nostaglia Cabinet, Handsworth Old Town Hall

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.