Canalside Library

The Birmingham Mail reported last Friday (Hunting for history beneath library car park) that archaeologists are to dig up the car park adjacent to Baskerville House to look for the remains remains of an old canal wharf, the Union Mill and the house of John Baskerville – one of the city’s 18th century printing pioneers on the site of what will be the new Library of Birmingham. The aim is to see if there is anything of historical importance that can be excavated before the library building begins next year.

Hunting for history beneath library car park
Apr 18 2008
By Neil Elkes

A CITY centre car park set to become the site of the new £193 million Library of Birmingham, is to be dug up by archaeologists.

City archaologist Mike Hodder said: "Our research suggests the site may be of interest as it once housed both a canal wharf and the remains of industrial buildings including the Union Mill and a brassworks."It may also sit over parts of the Easy House, the former home of John Baskerville which stood where Baskerville House now stands today."We are pretty confident our analysis of historic maps and documents has given us a good understanding of exactly what lies beneath the ground and hope this work will confirm that."

Here is an old Ordnance Survey map showing the canal wharves the council is looking for evidence of.

Here is a map from 1940 showing the loss of the canals and a more familiar street layout.

Here is the current location from Ordnance Survey. ©Crown Copyright. Reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey®


Nick Booth said…
That is just a very fine blog post. Thanks Simon.

(I sound like a spammer - but that's all I wanted to say)

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