Keep up to date with what’s happening at Highbury by subscribing to our newsletter.

Highbury Heritage Open Day: A celebration of John Ruskin
15th September 2019. 11am – 4pm

2019 is the bicentenary of the visionary art critic, writer, artist and social reformer John Ruskin. To mark this landmark year, numerous organisations in the UK and internationally are presenting Ruskin exhibitions, displays, conferences.

The Chamberlain Highbury Trust is delighted to celebrate the legacy of Ruskin and will open Highbury’s doors as part of Heritage Open Days – England’s largest and festival of history and culture. The event is taking place on the 15th September from 11am until 4pm.

What is the link between Highbury and Ruskin?
The architect of Highbury, John Henry Chamberlain, was a disciple of John Ruskin. Like many other architects working in the 19th century Gothic Revival manner, Chamberlain’s imagination was fired by reading Ruskin’s 1853 book The Stones of Venice. He travelled to Italy to see the sites of Ruskin’s inspiration for himself, and soon after his return to England he moved to practise in Birmingham.

The event will include:

  • Mr Chamberlain’s Orchids: Artist Matt Westbrook, horticulturalist Rob Tilling, leather designer maker Deborette Clarke, artist baker Albert Smith and world orchid authority Philip Seaton, will host drop in demonstrations and workshops, providing opportunities for Ruskin inspired ‘hands on learning’, alongside discussion of themes such as biodiversity and conservation
  • Guided tours of the house
  • Guided tours of the grounds
  • An exhibition of contemporary artworks created by Birmingham School of Art students in response to Ruskin and his ecological vision
  • Inspired by John Ruskin’s interest in Nature’s microcosm, Franziska Schenk’s artworks extends the Victorian art critic’s nature-centric vision into the contemporary nano-realm
  • Film shows
  • Historic bicycles
  • Display explaining the connections between Ruskin and Highbury
  • Ruskin cartoons by ‘Birmingham’s cartoonist’ Hunt Emerson
  • Chamberlain memorabilia display
  • Grand unveiling of Neville Chamberlain portrait (12.30)
  • Kings Heath History Society
  • Highbury Park Friends
  • Birmingham and District Bee Keepers Association – beekeeping demonstrations
  • The Orchard – Healing Ceremonies (suits all ages)

Guided Tours of the House
11.30, 13.00 and 14.30

Guided Walks of the Grounds
11.30: Revealing the Historic Landscape ( Eastern Circuit)
13.00: An Insight into the Historic Highbury Fruit Tree Pergola
14.00: Revealing the Historic Landscape ( Western Circuit)
15.00: An Insight into the Historic Highbury Fruit Tree Pergola

AND MORE! Family friendly. Refreshments available. Car parking available at Uffculme School on Yew Tree Road

Thank you to our 2019 sponsors: Birmingham Architectural Association & Glenn Howells Architects

View our past events.