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The Briar Rose

This building was once home to Commercial Union Assurance.

25 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, West Midlands, B2 5RE

The name of this pub and hotel recalls a series of paintings by Edward Burne-Jones, illustrating the theme of Sleeping Beauty. The well-known artist, painter and designer was born in 1833, in Bennetts Hill, and educated at King Edward VI School. Having met William Morris at university, the two men subsequently devoted their life to art.

Prints and text about William Morris and Joseph Chamberlain.

The text reads: William Morris

Birmingham’s Municipal School of Art, the first of its kind in the country, opened in Margaret Street in 1885. The President of the School was the father of the Arts and Crafts movement, and Burne-Jones’ friend of colleague, William Morris (top).

Joseph Chamberlain

Mayor for only three years, from 1873-6, Joseph Chamberlain (above) had an enormous influence on the progress of Birmingham. In his time in the office, his “gas and water socialism” transformed the city from an industrial slum into a modern municipality.

An illustration and text about Old Square.

The text reads: The nearby Square (above) was one of the earliest large developments in Birmingham, dating back to 1697.

An illustration and text about St Philip’s Cathedral.

The text reads: St Philip’s Cathedral (above) stands on land donated by William Ing and Penelope Philips, whose named prompted it dedication.

Prints of 16th-century coins.

Top: Edward VI silver Crown, 1551
Above: Silver Groat – Queen Mary’s reign
Below: Elizabeth I gold Sovereign. 

A copy of an old five pound note.

An original safe, used when the building was used by Commercial Union Assurance. 

External photograph of the building – main entrance.

If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: