After yesterday's trailing after Birmingham ancestors, I managed another quick dash out before the second day of my conference got underway.
First, I walked up to Great Hampton Street, on the edge of the Jewellery Quarter, where the family homes of William and Peter Hollins were located. Unfortunately, there was very erratic numbering, with even numbers on both sides of the road, and most buildings having no numbers. I wasn't able to pin down the #1 and #17 that I was looking for, but this is the start of the road, where the low numbers are. This is clearly not such a grand part of town as it once was.
I then made the short walk to St. Paul's Church, where the main family memorials are, probably taking the same route that these Hollins' would have walked 200 years ago.
This bust is of William Hollins, and was sculpted by his son, Peter. It sits at the base of the Hollins Memorial Window in St. Paul's. To the side of the window is a family tree carved in stone.
Willim Hollins was a contemporary of James Watt and Matthew Boulton, and with Peter conducted commissions for them, as well as much else in the civic architecture and sculpture in the city. William's most famous commission was the Royal Mint in St. Petersburg for Catherine the Great, a connection that may have come about as Matthew Boulton was designing the minting process for the coins.
On my way back to the station, after the conference, I had a quick visit to the Bull Ring, where one of William Hollins' works, the Egyptian Conduit, once stood. Nowadays the site is dominated by the spectacular Selfridges, clad in 15,000 spun aliminium discs, designed by Future Systems. I wondered what the Hollins' would have made of the architecture of the future.
father ~ carved by son ~ sculptors remembered