Not as busy as the newer Queen Elizabeth courts building nearby, but to me it’s a much more imposing building. The frontage is full of detail from the figure of justice with sword and scales above the clock to the statue of Queen Victoria over the front doors with patterned friezes in the terracotta everywhere. It’s worth taking time to look for the individual panels with meaningful sculptures. The clock is flanked by images of “Time” and “Etern” (a very spooky figure) for instance.
Conveniently placed to the rear of the courts is Steelhouse Lane police station. There are occasional tours of this de-commissioned station complete with cells.
Architects Aston Webb and Ingress Bell won a competition in 1886 with their design and the work was completed in 1891. It was one of the first projects Webb and Bell did together and they went on to design the main building of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Aston Webb’s name may be most familiar to Birmingham University students. The original curved range of buildings on the campus was designed by Webb and Bell. The central hall is named after Aston Webb. I want to know, is there a building named after Bell on the campus?