Fodor's Expert Review Birmingham Back to Backs
Of the 20,000 courtyards of back-to-back houses (houses that quite literally back onto each other) built in the 19th century for the city’s expanding working-class population, this is the only survivor. Three houses tell the stories of families (a clock-maker, locksmith, and glass-eye maker were among the residents) who lived in these charming properties, which were rescued from decay by the National Trust and opened as a heritage site. Each of the properties is decorated for a different period in the courtyard’s history, from the outdoor privies to the long johns hanging over the bedstead. Admission is by guided tour only, which must be booked in advance. Allow at least one hour for the tour and be prepared for steep stairs; ground-floor tours are available for those with limited mobility.