- After painstaking and careful restoration, Blakesley Hall a stunning, Elizabethan yeoman’s house in Yardley, has reopened its doors to the public. Blakesley Hall has under-gone extensive renovations to reinstate the ground floor rooms, as closely as possible, to their original appearance. One of the few timber framed buildings left in Birmingham, the Hall was built in 1590 for Richard Smalbroke junior, who wanted to reflect his growing prosperity with a new and comfortable home. For example, the Hall contains a ‘long gallery’ of the type normally reserved for much grander houses and decorative wall paintings. Blakesley Hall is a fine example of the homes of the aspiring Tudor middle classes. In the 1930s, the Hall became a museum and both central heating and toilets were installed altering the layout of the ground floor. Restoration has involved removing these to reinstate the ‘Great’ and ‘Little’ Parlours. In these rooms, the family would dine, separately from their servants, perhaps entertaining guests. They would also read, prepare accounts and write letters here away from the daily bustle of the rest of the household. The Hall contains period furniture and fittings. The table in the great hall is original to the house. Other pieces come from the collections of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Replica items have also been purchased including items which visitors can handle. A new visitor centre, containing an exhibition gallery, tea-room and shop, has been built on site. The Barn, where generations of school children have taken lessons, has also been upgraded to create a more comfortable space for teaching or community use. This museum has a Designated Collection of national importance.