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Rowton House


very old brummie
the reason I was asking about Rowton house, is that I was told from a reliable source (my Dad)!!! that you could spend the night at Rowton house sleeping on a rope for threepence a night,and in the morning the rope was lowered to wake everybody up!!!!!! He also said that it was sixpence for a bed to sleep in


A Brummie Dude
re rwten house

coopbill7.is that were the the saying come from "i could sleep on a line" pete

brummie nick

master brummie
I don't know if its true, but I'd say ya Dad was having you on. I believe they recommended you put the two legs of the bed inside your boots, or they'd be missing when you woke up. :)


very old brummie
I don't know if its true, but I'd say ya Dad was having you on. I believe they recommended you put the two legs of the bed inside your boots, or they'd be missing when you woke up. :)
He did tell me that, so there might be some truth about the ROPE


very old brummie
Pom thanks for pointing me in the right direction, looks like my Dad was right, never did ask him how he knew about the rope!!!!!


There are lists in... The Birmingham Archives...for those that spent nights at the Rowton houses and Highcroft. Those that spent nights at the houses, Were some times workers spending time away from home due to employment. Highcroft i am none to sure about...Cat


master brummie
Rowton House. Part of network of forward looking workers hostels. Ours opened 29 June 1903 by one of Queen Victoria's daughters (I think, get confused with all her offspring). Equiped with dining and recreation rooms together with shops and clean accomodation they were smart and respectable and had strict rules. see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rowton_Houses

The 'on the rope' dosshouses were at the opposite end of the spectrum. My Dad told me the last of these in birmingham was on the corner of Bradford Street opp the Digbeth Coach Station that was a 'privatised workhouse' and open until the late 1930's. Think the building susrvived much longer as a toy warehouse perhaps to the 1960's. My Dad found his his brother, one of my uncles, in there once and brought him home.

My uncle had what would now be called a breakdown and went on the spike. He became a tramp and moved between work houses up and down the country and on his return to Birmingham ended up there. Interestingly he became a 'mental patient' at Uffculme before the 2nd world war. When he discharged himself in the 1960s he was sent to Rowton House, which by this time had come down in the world and had become a dumping ground for the less able. He remembered it from the 1930's and thought it would be fine. He found it far too rough and only stayed a couple of weeks.

A few years ago I stayed in the refurbished Rowton House Hotel and was surprised to see how much of the past grandure remained. (Even more if you ask to have a poke round behind the scenes).


I have a client in her 90's she is from Brum. The other day when I went to her house, her son had been decorating and had taken the carpet up. She said as I walked in don't look in here its like Rowton House.......it did make me smile.:)

Peter Walker

gone but not forgotten
I slept there for three nights about 15 years ago after it had become the Chamberlain Hotel, chargng about £23 per night for single B&B - cheapish and not far from the old Coach Station. Quite a good standard and reasonable value, at the time, I thought.


master brummie
I hope that someone can help me find the answer to whether my 80 year old Great Grandfather spent his last years in a sort of boarding house / hostel at 30 Hatchett Street Birmingham in 1924.

Although he died in Western Road Hospital in 1924 the home address he gave was 30 Hatchett Street Birmingham. I thought there may be other family members at this address so I looked up the Electrol Rolls and found a list of unrelated mens names in the 1925 rolls which made me think it may be a hostel, but no staff or womens names as servants or helpers mentioned.

How can I find out if this was a mens hostel or just a boarding house for men in declining years or in need? I know there was a methodist church in Hatchett Street and Havergal House, who may have had a mens hostel but I am not really sure what happened to the elderly poor and sick people around 1924, does anyone know?


master brummie
Dear Louisa, Tracing my family tree - I came across a mens home called " The raten House" [similar name - and this was in Mosely Street. Birmingham. AL.


I think that was Rowton House. Try a search on this site as this has been mentioned previously and the information may already be here.


proper brummie kid
Could anyone please shed light on "Wroughton House" i have a descendant was told died there in 1921
I believe it was a workhouse, and have been told it may now be "Chamberlain Hotel", could anyone please add any further information