Birmingham Back to Backs – What You Need To Know BEFORE You Visit

(Last Updated On: January 19, 2023)


A historic court of terraced homes known as the Birmingham Back to Backs can be found in the city of Birmingham.

They are a significant remnant of Britain’s industrial past and are representative of the thousands of homes of a similar design that were constructed throughout the 19th century to accommodate the country’s rapidly growing urban population.

The National Trust is in charge of managing these remarkable homes in the present day, and they welcome guests who are interested in discovering more about this significant period in British history.

During the middle of the 19th century, not long after the passage of the Public Health Act in 1875, the Back to Backs were initially constructed as housing for the working class.

Concerns about the public’s health and safety led to the eventual prohibition of these types of homes under this legislation.

Today, the Birmingham Back to Backs are one of only a few examples of this historically significant type of housing that are still standing anywhere in the entirety of Britain.

Visitors have the opportunity to explore these historic courtyards and get a firsthand look at what life must have been like for many working-class families who had to make do with cramped living quarters during the industrial era in Britain.

The court is now protected thanks to its status as a Grade II listed building, and it plays an important role in the history and culture of Birmingham.

Exploring the Back to Backs is one of the top things to do in Birmingham for those that have 90 minutes to spare.

How to get to the Birmingham Back to Backs

The closest train station is Birmingham Snow Hill which is a short 13 minute walk to the Back to Backs.

Several buses operate nearby with lots of stops between 5-10 minute walks away.

Tickets For Birmingham Back to Backs

To visit the Back to Backs you’ll need to take a guided tour.

The tours last for approximately 90 minutes and will have steep staircases you need to climb.

Throughout the tour you’ll visit 4 houses and learn about the people who lived there.

Tickets are available here.


How long is the tour of the Back to Backs in Birmingham?

The tour of the Back to Backs in Birmingham lasts for around 90 minutes.

Why were back-to-back houses unhealthy?

Back-to-back houses were unhealthy because they were too crowded, didn’t have enough light or air flow, had bad drainage, and weren’t clean.

Because the houses were so close to each other, there wasn’t much air flow. This made it easy for pollutants to build up and diseases to spread.

People got hurt because they couldn’t see what they were doing because there wasn’t enough light.

What is meant by back to back housing?

Back-to-back housing refers to a type of housing that was common during the Industrial Revolution.

This style of housing consisted of two houses that shared a common rear wall. Because back-to-back housing was often built in factory towns, it was popular with working class families who were looking for affordable and convenient housing options.


  • Tamara M

    Hey there! My name is Tamara, welcome to my little world! I’m a 20-something-year-old from Toronto, Canada (though I’m rarely there) and I’m super passionate about exploring the world, photography, and cooking delicious plant-based recipes. I created this blog to share my favorite places, adventures, restaurants, accommodations, and travel tips with all of you and keep a bit of a travel diary for myself.

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