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Barr Park in 1818

In the summer of 1818 Charles Pye's book "A DESCRIPTION Of MODERN BIRMINGHAM Whereunto Are Annexed, Observations Made during an Excursion round the Town" included a description of Barr Park, an extract of which follows here.

Barr Park, distant five miles, on the road to Walsall.

The hospitable mansion of Sir Joseph Scott, Bart, is surrounded by a park of considerable extent, wherein there is the greatest variety of undulating hills and dales, wood and water, together with such extensive views, as can only be found in this part of the kingdom. To this park there are three entrances, and at every avenue the worthy proprietor has erected an elegant lodge, from whence there are capacious carriage roads to the mansion. One of these lodges is about five miles on the road to Walsall, to which you approach by taking the right hand road, opposite a house of entertainment, the Scott's arms, and then taking the second turning to the left conducts you to the lodge. On entering the park, a circular coach drive leads to the holly wood, through which you proceed by a serpentine road near half a mile, when a beautiful sheet of water presents itself to view, along whose banks you pass near a mile before you arrive at the mansion.
The situation of the building is low in front of the water, but being screened by rising ground and lofty trees, it must be very warm in the winter. On the left of the house, a walk leads you to the flower garden, which is laid out with great taste, containing flowers and small shrubs of the choicest and rarest kinds, together with a fountain in the centre. From hence there are delightful views, and among others over the adjacent country, Birmingham is distinctly seen. At the distance of about two miles farther, towards Walsall, there is another lodge, which is the entrance from Walsall, and leads you by a spacious serpentine road through the Marrian wood, which is composed of various shrubs and evergreens, and conducts you to a most elegant chapel, together with the village school. Close adjoining is another lodge, and the road from it conducts you over an elegant bridge, on the right of which is a cascade.
There is also another lodge, at a place called the Quieslet, about six miles on the road to Barr-beacon, where a spacious road conducts you for a considerable distance, by a plantation of oaks, and so through the park, wherein there are fixed numerous seats, which command delightful and comprehensive prospects, and among others may be seen the extensive sheet of water in the vale, backed by a grand screen of venerable oaks and verdant hills; at same time, from amidst the nearer trees and shrubs, the house appears to emerge, and adds considerably to the scene. From the various knolls with which this park abounds, there are several that command a view of Birmingham, and also of the woods in Sandwell park.
There is also a view of the ruins of Dudley castle, and from another eminence the churches of Wolverhampton and Wednesbury are seen, with the elegant spire of Barr chapel in front. From the lodge at the approach from Walsall there is an extensive view over the country, bounded in the horizon, to the left by Dudley castle, the Rowley hills, etc. and to the right by the Wrekin and other mountains in Shropshire.

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