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Holloway Head, Birmingham

This image taken in 1870 shows a row of old cottages on the Holloway Head, Ladywood shortly before they were demolished.

The area where once this row of buildings stood is little changed even today. The buildings shown above were positioned between Windmill Street and Florence Street on Holloway Head, a short distance from the present twin tower blocks and the Radisson Hotel.

The layout of the streets in this area have changed little since the photograph was taken. In 1870 there was little more in the area than can be seen in the photograph. Behind the cottages was open land which was farmed during the 18th and 19th centuries and a windmill, known as Chapman's Mill, after Samuel Chapman who built it in the 1740s, it lent itself to the name of the nearby Windmill Street.

Ernest Street was cut through the middle of this row of buildings shortly after their demolition, as was Florence Street which is just off the right hand edge of the image. The current petrol station is built on the site of the old Dog and Duck Inn (the building with the canopy on the left). In 1869 this row of buildings consisted of The Dog and Duck (no.89), a Baker (no.86-7), a Butcher (no.84-5), a Greengrocer (no.82), a General Basket Maker (no.80) and the Bowling Green Inn next door at number 79 (nearest the camera).

The area changed from mainly rural and became industrial in nature, many small factories sprung up in the 1870s and 1880s, producing allsorts from lamps and bonnets, metal works, a brass foundry and sewing machine parts.

Digital Birmingham Photo Archive
Photographic and other Special Collections in Central Library
Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service