The Church of the Ascension
Originally known as Marston’s Chapel, this church was built in 1703 from a bequest of Job Marston of Hall Green. It was the first new church to be built in Birmingham for 200 years and the only one to be designed in Queen Anne style. First consecrated on Ascension Day 1704, it was dedicated as the Church of the Ascension on the occasion of its 250th anniversary in 1954.
Church of the Ascension website
The church's own website is at - http://www.ascensionhallgreen.org.uk/.
See also A Church near You - http://www.achurchnearyou.com/hall-green-the-church-of-the-ascension/.
You might also be interested in A History of Birmingham Places & Placenames . . . from A to Y - Hall Green -http://billdargue.jimdo.com/placenames-gazetteer-a-to-y/places-h/hall-green/.
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Job Marston 1636-1701 was born in Hampton Curlew, now Hampton Magna, a tiny village just west of Warwick. Of an old and wealthy Yardley family, Job’s father Walter was a governor of the Yardley Charity, Yardley Great Trust, and Job also became a governor in 1660, remaining as such until 1684. Job Marston lived at Hall Green Hall until his death in 1701.
Hall Green lay in the parish of Yardley, the parish church of which, St Edburgha's, was some 3 miles from Hall Green, a journey which could be arduous during the winter months. Job had no close family and by his will of May 1701, in addition to bequeathing substantial sums of money and lands for charitable trusts, he left a large bequest for the building of a chapel, chapel yard, and maintenance money for a chapel minister, the chapel to be built diagonally opposite his house, Hall Green Hall. Job Marston died the following month.
The church was built in 1704 by Sutton Coldfield architect, Sir William Wilson in the Queen Anne style and built by William and Francis Smith. It was consecrated on Ascension Day of that same year.
The original church consisted of a nave and tower, built in red brick with stone dressings. It now has the addition of an apsidal chancel, north and south transepts, south organ chamber, and a heightened west tower. The building incorporates round headed windows, Doric pilasters, stone quoins and balustrade. Three neo-classical round-headed windows light the nave on each side. The tower rises square to the level of the main entablature, above which it is surmounted by an octagonal brick turret, containing one bell, crowned by a cupola.
The chancel and the transepts were designed by J G Bland in the same style as the original in the 1860s giving the church its present cruciform shape. The builder was Samuel Briggs of Balsall Heath. It is likely that the upper octagonal part of the tower with its with copper cupola is also of that same date
The interior is plain, typical of its time. There is a with coved plastered ceiling, a simple 18th-century pulpit and a painted early 19th-century Royal Arms There is a gallery at the west end. On the north wall hangs Job Marston's diamond-shaped hatchment bearing the Marston coat-of-arms. It may have been used in his funeral procession and later hung in the church. The 19th-century east window has stained glass representing the Risen Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The Church of the Ascension
In 1907 the chapel was given a parish out of that of Yardley which had become part of the new diocese of Birmingham founded just two years earlier. It was subsequently usually known as Hall Green Church. In 1954 to commemorate its 250th anniversary, the Church was dedicated as the Church of the Ascension.
The photographs below are taken from Elliot Brown's collection on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=39415781%40N06&q=ascension+birmingham&m=text - which he has kinfdly made available under Creative Commons licence Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.
This is a Grade II* listed building whose record can be found on the
Historic England website - https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1076183.
William Dargue 08.01.2012