St Nicolas, Lower Tower Street
Image courtesy of Dave Patchett on the Birmingham History Forum. Reuse permitted provided the image is credited to Dave Patchett.
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This church appears on the 1890 Ordnance Survey map which can be viewed at British History Online - http://www.british-history.ac.uk/mapsheet.aspx?compid=55193&sheetid=10094&ox=2011&oy=2272&zm=1&czm=1&x=167&y=165.
When St George's Church was built at the west end of Tower Street in 1819, it was jokingly dubbed St George in the Fields, as housing had yet to spread so far north from the town of Birmingham. By the 1850s blocks of dense poor quality housing had been built up south of Tower Street, while north of it were reasonably well spaced terraces fronting the new streets. During the next 20 years every available space was to be taken up with blocks of back-to-back housing and a consequent huge increase in population.
Although less than a quarter of a mile east along Tower Street, St Nicolas' Church was built in 1868 on land believed to have been given by Elkington's, the renowned silver-platers of Newhall Street.
The church was designed by the Birmingham partnership of Martin & Chamberlain in a simple Early English gothic style and comprised a chancel, nave, aisles, and baptistery. The church was oriented north-south with the chancel at the north end. It was consecrated in 1868 and given a parish the following year out of that of St Stephen's, Newtown Row.
In 1942 the benefice was united with that of St Edward, New John Street West, which closed that year, to form the united benefice of St Nicolas & St Edward.
After the Second World War plans were made to demolish this entire area of slum housing. The church too was closed in 1947 and was subsequently demolished. The parish was then subsumed into that of St George's.
Acknowledgements - See British History Online - Victoria County History of Warwick Volume 7 The City of Birmingham ed. W B Stevens 1964 - http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22976.
William Dargue 29.01.2013