Birmingham Back to Backs
55-63 Hurst Street/50-54 Inge Street Birmingham B5 4TE
These back-to-back houses offer a unique glimpse into the lives of the working-class people who helped Birmingham become the manufacturing powerhouse it was during the 19th century. With outdoor toilets and communal courtyards, a quarter of Birmingham’s industrious working families lived like this until the 1960s, when ‘back-to-back’ became a byword for ‘slum’. Most of the houses were demolished and with the clearance went part of the city's history. This small stretch of two-storey terraced housing is the sole survivor, now lovingly restored by the National Trust and offering a decent glimpse of how life used to be for most people in the city. Pre-booked guided tours walk you through the centuries, enabling visitors to experience the sights, sounds and smells of a time when these houses were crammed with families – an affecting rendering of the past that also extends to a handful of shops.