“I hope to see in the near future a greater and a more beautiful Birmingham, and I also wish that I shall be one of those lucky men who will, with care and sympathy, be able to graft our City into the finest in the World.” John Madin (1924-2012)
Warwick Crest, built in the early 1960s and designed by famous Birmingham architect John Madin, sits at the heart of Edgbaston Conservation Area, believed to be the largest single Conservation Area in the country, and within the historic Calthorpe Estate. Edgbaston was first mentioned in the Domesday Book and careful stewardship of the Calthorpe Estate has ensured that it retains the charm of earlier days when architects designed large houses in treelined roads, horses were stabled in coach houses and large landscaped gardens lay alongside fields and orchards. This unique “garden suburb”, only a few minutes from the city centre, is an enormous asset to the City of Birmingham.
The heritage value of the Calthorpe Estate has been recognised by the fact that approximately one third of all the Listed Buildings in the City of Birmingham are situated here. Yet over 25% of the entire area remains devoted to open space, including playing fields, sports clubs, and other recreational uses. As the First Lord Calthorpe, Henry Gough Calthorpe (1748-1798) had hoped and intended, there is still no industry on the Calthorpe Estate and that, coupled with nearly 300 years of single family ownership and careful estate management, has probably been the secret of its success as an attractive place to live and work.
As well as Warwick Crest, architect John Madin was responsible for the design of many important buildings on the Calthorpe Estate and elsewhere in Birmingham. These include the now demolished Central Library of Birmingham, and the Grade II listed St James’ House, headquarters of the Engineering & Allied Employers Federation, at Fredericks Road in Edgbaston.
Watch a video from Brutiful Birmingham about John Madin’s domestic Edgbaston architecture here: