1 July 2012

George Jones's House

George Jones is not a particularly well known Birmingham builder, though the house that he built for himself between 1814 and 1815 is a wonderful survivor of the period. George Jones's can be found living at the property in the 1841 census at the impressive age of 80 (rounded down), and there were a number of builders in the Jones family, including Edward Jones (son or nephew) who married into the Allin family.The house is sandwiched at the fork between Calthorpe Road and Harbourne Road and sits near the main Five Ways roundabout surrounded by much later buildings that tower around. The situation is a really interesting one as you can trace the passage of time through the buildings.

The house is now Grade II listed. Until recently the premises housed the Aluminium Federation Ltd offices, and they are now used as a health and beauty spa.

The house contains much period detail. The curved porch is supported by doric columns which link visually with the pillarets flanking the ground floor windows (top image), and those in the window above the porch (image right). The frieze of the porch is moulded with triglyphs, and there is a decorative pillaret moulding beneath the window. Set into the pediment above is the oeil-de-boeuf window, and two others are set into the gable walls.

The house was one of the earlier additions to the Calthorpe Estate; a middle class enclave of fashionable housing built up from 1810. Restrictions were strictly laid down and adhered to prohibiting warehouses, factories and certain kinds of housing, safeguarding the area as a suburb for Birmingham's wealthier inhabitants. Many of the original buildings in the estate still stand today.

External links
Some sources state that George Jones' son-in-law was the chartist Samuel Cook who was active in Dudley. Find out more about chartism in the Black Country here.

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