Introduction The Old Kunnel is greatly interested in education and higher learning since the tender age of five. But, most of all he appreciated his days in school learning reading, writing and arithmetic. Accordingly, using the tabs below you can see some of the schools he attended as well as some in other lands that interest him. Enjoy looking them over and if you have your favorite institution of learning to pass on to us, feel
Schools of Great Interest:
THE OLD GRAMMAR SCHOOL
Listing: Grade II*
Date of building: 1434 - 1460
King's Norton Green is a medieval village oasis surrounded by the urban mass that is Birmingham.
On the green stands one of the oldest grammar schools in the Midlands, a 12th-century church and a 15th-century timber-framed house. It is the Old Grammar School and the medieval house, known as the Saracen's Head, which are being featured on Restoration. Both these buildings are of considerable historical and architectural importance.
The Old Grammar School is a wonderful-looking, timber-framed structure that has sadly fallen into decay and is on English Heritage's "at risk" register.
The school's most famous headmaster was Thomas Hall, a hard-nosed, puritanical protestant who took up the post in 1629. Hall threw his heart and soul into the job and on his death, his legacy to the country was one of the largest libraries in the land (now housed in Birmingham Central Library).
It was through Hall's staunch teachings and high moral attitude that the school became one of the best in England. Hall did this despite being at odds with the locals - he was a puritan in a Royalist enclave during the time of the English Civil War.
After continuing as a school for two hundred more years, the building fell into neglect at the beginning of the 19th century. Repairs were made in 1910 when a new external staircase was put in and again in 1951 after vandalism and further decay had taken their toll.
The nearby Saracen's Head was quite possibly the largest house of the royal manor during the 15th century. Currently being used as Parish offices and structurally intact, the house boasts highly decorative medieval workmanship, and the sophisticated building techniques confirm that the property held high status.
It was here that the wife of Charles I, Queen Henrietta Maria, stayed on her way back from Yorkshire where she had gathered troops for the English Civil War. The devoutly Catholic Queen arrived at King's Norton in July 1643 with around 5,500 men and spent the night in what is known as the Queen's Room, while her troops slept on land behind the church.
Both the Old Grammar School and the Saracen's Head are presently owned by King's Norton Parish, who lack the necessary funds to restore the buildings.
he photo on the left is of the Ol'Kunnel taken by his Dad on May 15, 1941. At that time he lived on a farm near Edwardsville, Illinois and attended the one-room school pictured on the left. I remember sitting at my desk facing the front of the school which faced almost due north. After Pearl Harbor, I kept an eye out the window (on my left toward the west) for any Japanese zero aircraft attacks. (grin)