Birmingham is the heartland of the English midlands and of British industrial history. It is the centre of the canal-system, the headquarters of the steam-engine pioneers Matthew Boulton and James Watt, home of a myriad of small craft industries and the historic focus for much of the British motor-industry. Its surviving Victorian heritage is a monument to the prosperity and civic pride of the nineteenth century and its modern development is a continuing saga of conflicting ideas about the built environment.
The 2013 ‘Birmingham’s Heritage’ tour included many of the city’s finest public buildings, including the Town Hall and Symphony Hall, both cathedrals and other churches including St Paul’s, Hockley and St Mary’s, Handsworth, canal landmarks around Gas Street Basin, modern developments such as Brindley Square, a range of museums (the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, the Pen Museum, the Avery Historical Museum and Matthew Boulton’s Soho House), a whole series of distinctive terracotta buildings in the centre and the inner suburbs, a visit to Bournville.
For further information about some of the sites mentioned in the handbook, please click here.
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