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The Old Ship Inn, Camp Hill

Old Ship Inn, Camp Hill

At the time this image was captured, in the mid 1860s, the "Ship Inn", so called since the early 1800s and previously known as the "Anchor", was very elderly (as average buildings go). The original half-timbered farm building, with stables, barn and dairy was said to originate from 1560 and was a stop for coaches and wagons on the route to Birmingham. The "Bord" - the parish pound, used to hold stray animals until they were claimed by their owners, was situated alongside the building.

The "Anchor" was into its 70s when Civil War broke out in England and in 1643 the building was, according to the heading over the front entrance, used as Prince Rupert's headquarters in April of that year, whilst he burned many of the buildings of Birmingham. The "Anchor" was reputed to be a favourite resort of the Eighteenth Century English Labouring-Class Poet, John Freeth and his friends in the late 1700s.

The building used to sit at the junction of Sandy Lane and Camp Hill and survived until shortly after this photograph was taken. The old inn was pulled down in 1867 and a new building using the original foundations and cellars took its place. The new "Ship Hotel" survived until the adjacent roads required re-organisation in the 1970s. The Camp Hill Flyover, a temporary traffic solution (which lasted 26 years), was demolished in the 1980s and the Camp Hill Circus traffic island expanded to swallow the whole site.


Digital Birmingham Photo Archive
Photographic and other Special Collections in Central Library
Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service