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Rowton House


master brummie
Hi brummy10, I've heard of this place; I think it was around the Moseley Street area, just off Deritend. Don't think it was a workhouse; more like a poor man's hostel or something similar. If you put the name into the search box, I'm sure there's something on this site that's been mentioned before.
Happy hunting :):)

Old Boy

master brummie
Rowton House was not a workhouse but did provide shelter and food for down and outs. They did not live there but they could attend in the evening and if they were lucky. could get a bed for the night,

It is now a hotel, The Chamberlain Hotel, and caters, in the main, for commercial travellers and the like.

If you type Rowton House in the search box you will find quite a bit of information.

It is in Alcester Street, Highgate.

Old Boy

Old Boy

master brummie

You are probably right. It was the Chamberlain Hotel but it now appears to be the Paragon Hotel.

Old Boy

Julian Cleaver

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

I just browsed into this thread; Rowton House is the former name, of the big Edwardian(1903?) institution in Alcester st Highgate, which was refurbished and reopened as the Chamberlain Hotel in the late 1980s 0r 1990s. It has been privately owned by a firm called Rowton Hotels LTd who also ran similar buildings in London, and maybe Liverpool. Their original purpose was to provide the cheapest possible accomodation for working men, travelling workmen, sailors etc and had the most basic semi open cubicles with a bench bed and a chair and little else; they ended up providing accommodation for men on Supplementary Benefit paid direct to the managers. By the mid 70s Rowton Hotels tried to improve the standards and began to exclude men with drink, incontinence and other problems and the place closed for a good while. The City Council, as a consequence had to open up a day centre at Summerhill Terrace and support the St Chads crypt which offered a night shelter for homeless, mostly men. I think Rowton tried to do it up and reopen it for students; eventually it came back as the Chamberlain Hotel, and changed again when it became part of another chain which I think includes the JURYs Inn. I don't have any connections and most of this is from memory. Julian C.


Kiwi Brummie Admin' Team
Put the words 'Rowton House' in the search box (Top of the page right hand side) and '14 Threads' will come up with information of the building and it's uses. Hope this helps :)


Super Moderator
Staff member
Here is an article on the Highgate hotel written just after it was sold (Sunday Times 23.8.73). Sorry for the qualioty of the pictures.



master brummie
Rowton House was a working mens lodging house with over 500 beds. It is now called The Paragon Hotel, 145 Alcester Street, and has gone considerably more upmarket. The "institutional" style of the establishment is shown by the white glazed bricks in the entrance porch. If you get a chance to look through some of the service doors leading off the public rooms on the ground floor you will see more of these white glazed bricks along the corridors. I would guess that if he died at Rowton House this would be recorded as in the parish of St Alban's Highgate.


master brummie
Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein visited Birmingham on June 23rd 1903. She was known before her marriage as Princess Helena and was the 5th child and 3rd daughter of Queen Victoria. She was therefore a sister of King Edward the Seventh. She was met at Birmingham New Street Station by the Lord Mayor, Hallewell Rogers. The purpose of her visit was to lay the foundation stone to a Rowton House. This house was to be situated at Moseley Street/Alcester Street and overlooked Highgate Park. The house would be built to accommodate, nightly, 619 men at a charge of 6 pence per head, which would entitle them to remain indoors during the day. The house still stands but it is now the Paragon Hotel. Other threads mention Rowton Houses included the wrongly spelled thread on "Wroughton" houses. The princess lived from 1846 to 1923. Dave


master brummie
I am wondering if Princess Christian of Schleswig Holstein had any particular connection with Birmingham as she also opened the building which is now the Paragon Hotel in Highgate Birmingham formerly Rowton House, a cheap lodging house when built.