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Ye Olde Royal Temple Row



When the Duke of York came to Birmingham in the year 1765 he was wined and dined in the Assembly Rooms in the Old Square and he made a comment, noted by the locals that it was not a very nice place so by 1772 enough money was raised to build a building of importance and one that Brum could be proud of, it was decided not to call it by the traditional word 'Inn' but it was decided to call it by a French name 'Hotel'
It was finished in 1781 and ‘Ye Olde Royal’ in Temple Row became one of the first buildings in England to be called a Hotel.
In 1791 it was from here that Dr.Priestley held a banquet to celebrate the 'fall of the Bastille' which went on to start the 'Priestley Riots' which badly damaged the Hotel
1796 H.R.H.William of Orange stayed their and in later years so did Lord Nelson, Sir William and Lady Hamilton, The Duke of Gloucester, The Grand Duke Nicholas (who became Emperor of Russia) Duchess of Kent and young Princess Victoria (who later became Queen) The Duke of Wellington, Sir Robert Peel, The Duke of Cambridge, Napoleon’s famous Marshall Soult, and Charles Dickens …..just to name a few.

In WW2 the vaults were used as an air raid shelter by the 1950’s most of the bedrooms had gone so had the musician’s gallery and the billiard room but it still had a Gent’s Only Bar and at mid day served over 250 lunches

Note... The Crowd went looking for Priestley at Dadley's Hotel but could not find him as he was not their


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knows nowt
is that building still there Cromwell? I know quite a lot of the old buildings (or just the facades) have managed to survive in that area.
What a fascinating history !


Sadly Charlie the building went the way of all our other great buildings and if you go on the World Wide Web ...not much at all....history erased and forgotten


knows nowt
That's very sad, but not surprising. These lovely buildings may have been erased, but will not be forgotten as long as sites like these keep going - and thank goodness for that!


I bought a few photographs today and cropped this, so it can be read from one of them.....this plaque was placed in the "Olde Royal" Church St on 10th December 1959 ...
The Olde Royal was in Temple Row and the new Old Royal was across the St Philips Churchyard in Church St



master brummie
I recently came across this thread and it wasnt clear that the "Old Royal" on the corner of Church Street and Edmund St is in fact still open.
It was built while "Ye Olde Royal" was still there,and as you can see it was built in its image.
I was in there earlier today and took some photos.Its a gem of a pub,friendly And cheap.


Ray Barrett

Wonder what happened to all the oak wainscoating and screens,that were in there?.
Bet the demolition gang made a fortune from it.
On the same subject,does anyone remember the wooden carving, outside the "Woodman"opposite the hall of memory.


Staff member
great pics mossg..and what a lovely piece of history that plaque is..




New Member
Unidentified people on 10th Dec 1959 viewing the plaque (in post above) in the new Old Royal taken from the Olde Royal
Just discovered this, my grandparents managed this and are in the picture Harry Keys (second from the left) and Nora Keys (far right). Thank you!

Richard McNeill

master brummie
Temple Row No.26 Royal_Hotel_1800 Drawn by T Hollins and Engraved by F Eginton Public Domain.jpg
The Royal Hotel Temple Row, as it looked c.1800

For ninety years from 1772 this Hotel was the upmarket place to stay in Birmingham, firstly known simply as 'The Hotel' and from c.1805, 'The Royal Hotel.'

Sited opposite St. Philips churchyard, It was the first establishment in Birmingham to name itself a 'Hotel.' This was intended to show that it was a more fashionable and refined place to stay than the traditional 'Inn.'
It maintained its high class reputation partly because it did not have the 'annoyance' of stage coaches stopping at the hotel. Inter-city stage coaches were deemed an inferior way to travel for the wealthy.

Rather, hiring their own carriage with or without a driver was a more desirable way to travel and the Royal Hotel had an extensive supply of coaches and horses available for its customers to hire.

Famous patrons included Princess (later Queen) Victoria, Lord Nelson and Louis XVIII of France.

The hotel was the location of a dinner to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1791, a dinner that sparked off the Priestley riots of 1791.

In 1862 the building was sold to the Birmingham & Midland Eye Hospital who used the building from 1863 to 1883. During this period, the ground floor became a pub/restaurant which kept alive the name: 'Royal Hotel.'

When it moved out, the Eye Hospital sold the building, including the Royal Hotel. The old building was demolished and a new pub/restaurant was built in c.1890, with the name 'Ye Old Royal Restaurant.'

'Ye Old Royal' continued to operate until the late 1950s, when it was demolished to make way for the then new Rackhams.

However, the name 'Old Royal' lives on: in the early 1960s the Red Lion on the corner of Church Street and Cornwall Street was renamed 'Ye Old Royal'.

(Drawing by T Hollins, engraved by F Eginton. It is in the public domain).

(Information from Wikipedia's article on the 'Royal Hotel, Birmingham;' Jen Dixon's article 'Staying in Style: The Hotel' from her website 'Birmingham in the Long Eighteenth Century;' various Business Directories including Kelly's; the article: 'Birmingham & Midland Eye Hospital, Church Street, 1883-1983' from the NHS Birmingham & Midland Eye Centre website and Andrew Maxam's 'Time Please! A Look Back at Birmingham's Pubs,' 2002).
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