Birmingham’s largest collection of Tudor buildings

The Tudor Merchant’s House and the 17th century Old Grammar School are set either side of St Nicolas' Church, a place of worship much of which has stood here since Norman times. Together, they constitute the finest collection of mediaeval buildings in Birmingham. They were restored in 2004 and are owned and managed by Kings Norton Parish Church Council for all to enjoy and use.

Over 900 years of history

Saint Nicolas' Place with its Tudor Merchant’s House, Old Grammar School and Church have survived virtually intact since the 15th Century and are among the Midlands' historic gems.

Now a growing tourist attraction, and a venue for private and corporate events, Saint Nicolas' Place also runs educational visits for schools. Our heritage buildings are complemented by modern facilities including a welcoming café, toilets and gift shop.

Anglo-Saxon in origin, Kings Norton, named Nortune in the Doomsday Book, grew into a prosperous medieval village and in the 19th century became part of the UK’s growing, dynamic second city, Birmingham.

The Tudor Merchant’s House

Humphrey Rotsey’s house is a large, high status merchant’s house with five hundred year old original timbers. Exposed wattle and daub has survived and can still be clearly seen together with evidence of the building’s former history as a Georgian and Victorian public house, remembered locally as the Saracen’s Head.

The Queen’s Room is where Queen Henrietta Maria is reputed to have spent the night in 1643 during the English Civil War. It is a beautiful example of a Tudor interior where an original fireplace, faint remains of Tudor interior décor and window frame grooves can be seen. As the Queen slept, 3000 Royalist Horse troops and 30 companies of foot soldiers camped in Kings Norton.

In the Gable Room you can see the original, newly-exposed Tudor gable, hidden for decades behind a later extension. The gable end, once the front of the house, looked out onto The Green.

By prior arrangement, visitors with an academic interest can view the extensive hidden roof timber work of the east range and our large archive.

The Old Grammar School

  • One of the oldest school buildings in the country.
  • Massive oak roof timbers felled between 1434 and 1460.
  • Faint but visible, remnants of Tudor decoration thought to have been scratched into the woodwork to ward off evil spirits.
  • Fletcher marks where yeomen of the village sharpened their arrow heads and marks on the window mullions where generations of students sharpened their pen knives to cut nibs into quill pens.

Saint Nicolas Church

  • The much-loved and heavily-used parish church of Kings Norton.
  • Norman in origin. Largely 13th century and first documented in 1231.
  • A 15th century tower and a spire 60 metres high.
  • Two 12th century chancel windows.
  • The 16th century tombs of the Lyttleton and Grevis families.
  • A memorial to a murdered 17th Century tax collector.
  • Extensive & beautiful 19th century stained glass windows by Kempe and Hardman.

Want to support us? Join The Friends of Historic Kings Norton. Click here.

Saint Nicolas' Place, 81 The Green, Kings Norton, Birmingham B38 8RU

Website and most photography by David Ash

Site contents © Saint Nicolas Place 2013