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High Street Bordesley

High Street Bordesley is not in Bordesley Green but is the continuation of Digbeth and High Street Deritend, the main road leading from the historic centre of Birmingham around St Martins Church, which runs over the River Rea and divides near Camp Hill to become the roads to Coventry, Warwick and Stratford. Like Deritend (where the Old Crown is) Bordesley was a distinct part of Birmingham.

Bordesley was in existence in the Middle Ages. Historic maps reveal oblong land divisions of equal width alongside High Street Bordesley, which show that like other parts of the medieval town of Birmingham it was laid out to a deliberate plan from the outset.


Archaeological excavations in 1995 and 2005 before new building took place revealed remains of metalworking and pottery, brick or tile making in the 17th and 18th centuries. Hammerscale (fragments of iron broken off during forging) show that blacksmiths were working on the site. Pebble surfaces may have been the floors of open-fronted smithies.

There were two large pits from which clay had been dug. A sagger (a vessel to support pots in a kiln) found in the 1995 excavation shows that pottery was being made, but the clay might also have been used to make bricks or roof tiles to cope with the demand for building material at a time when Birmingham was growing rapidly.

The 1995 excavations also revealed cells of the former Aston Gaol, built in the 18th century.

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Last Updated : 3rd September 2013