15 June 2008

Candies sweet shop, Birmingham back to backs

Hurst Street's back to backs comprise the last surviving court of its kind in Birmingham. Purchased by the National Trust in 2004, they have been carefully restored and reflect the many different people who lived there since they were bulit. The houses are furnished in the styles of four different periods, from 1840 to 1977.

The first back to backs were built in 1802. Each had three rooms, one above another, and were built around a central courtyard. There were around ten people to a house. They were crammed together, hence the name, and disease was rife, but despite that thousands were built in the nineteenth century.

They were declared unfit for habitation in 1966 but in 1988, it was realised that they were an important part of history and became listed buildings.

Some of the houses are open as a museum, while 52 Inge Street is open as a Victorian styled holiday cottage, with prices starting at £132 for two nights.

Pictured here is Candies, a 1950s sweet shop open to the public selling Sela sweets. 52 Inge Street is to the right and the entrance to the rest of the court is a few doors down to the left.

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