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At number 10 Bull Ring Cornelius Green's leather goods shop survived until the mid 1930's. (I can't work out where exactly number 10 was.) At the back of it was Golden Court with small houses and Pump Lodgings, named after the hand pump in the centre of the court. (Golden Court was where Sir Adrian Boult of BBC Symphony Orchestra fame rented a rehearsal room.)
The buildings were apparently located at the other end of an underground walkway that led directly into the church. Does anyone know anything about 'St Martins underground'?
My Dad told me about the tunnel and either it was widley known about at the time, or he picked it up from his father who had worked on plumbing in the area.
Rupert No 10 the Bull Ring is marked in red on the c 1910 map. I don’t know anything about a tunnel to the shop. However the report of the archeological excavations at St Martins did state that there was an access tunnel to a large chambered vault(Vault no 10) , probably constructed c 1785, . The position is shown in green on the map. The Town book is quoted as sayin that , at a vestry meeting it was resolved “that £10 be paid for every new vault situated in the passage leading to the Bull Ring. This is taken to refer to this passageway. As I understand it, they found no evidence that the passageway went further to another building, but who knows? A picture from the report of the passageway is given below Mike
The direction of the 1785 vault looks as though it would miss number 10. I wonder if it extended beyond the churchyard or even sideways. There might be some scope for considerable earnings for entropeneurial clergy at £10 a vault. If one passage was profitable there may have been more for the provion of vaults. When was the archeological study done that gives us the photo?
The quote from the town book might be taken to mean that the passage was already there, (before being used to privide for acess to new burial vaults). It may have been accessed from the churchyard or the outside of the churchyard wall just for burials but if it was already there and there was also another that appeared in the cellar of the shop I wonder why the church needed underground access to the Bull Ring? If the one marked in green extended further presumably it would surface somewhere in the shambles or even further up in the old market house building (prior to the market being cleared).
The survery was done in 2001, when all the New Bullring was being built. It was a very full study, and uncovered 857 burials, analysing the bones and identifying a number of them, and recording grave memorial stones uncovered. the whole study (with CD of results) was published by Oxbow books as a book . I saw it in waterstones and snapped it up,and have never seen another copy anywhere, though i am sure the library has one.
The authors are Megan brickley , Simon buteaux, josephine adams, and richard Cherrington and others, and ISBN no is 1-84217-201-8
Abe books have copies, though, other than the cheapest, which is in the States, it seems to have gone up in price a bit since I bought it
I look for photos in and around the market especially Edgbaston Street where my ancestors according to the 1861 census lived (No 33) and worked as a grocer before moving to Aston with his own shop. Thanks