The Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House - A Birmingham (Hidden) Gem!

The Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House is situated at the end of Banbury Street in Digbeth and was established by an Act of Parliament  in 1813


Where is The Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House?

The Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House is located at Banbury Street, Birmingham.

B5 5RH

View HERE on our Birmingham map. 

Visit using Google Maps.

 

In brief

The Act of Parliament in 1813 helped to ensure small arm user safety, as far as it is practicable, by the compulsory and statutory proof of small arms.

Over 200 years later the Birmingham Proof House remains at the forefront of international standards for the testing of firearms and ammunition, recently achieving ISO 17025 accreditation for the British Proof Laboratory located onsite.

In 1813 near the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the Gun Barrel Proof House was established. It is now a Grade II* listed building and is quite hidden at the end of Banbury Street in Digbeth. There is a railway bridge in front of it.

In recent years extra security gates were installed and you can no longer get too close to the building. However a tour can be arranged by appointment. Next door to the Gun Barrel Proof House is the HS2 construction site. Proof House Junction is also close by.

The Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof HouseThe Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House - history of the build

The Gun Barrel Proof House was commissioned by its Guardians in 1813 from John Horton. It was established by an Act of Parliament in 1813.

In 1860, an addition was built by Charles Edge, with further additions in 1868-70 and 1876 by Bateman and Corser, and again by Jethro Cossins in 1883.

The buildings are built of red brick with painted stone and terracotta dressings.

A bomb fell in the yard in 1940 (during WW2) causing destruction in one of the bays.

The archway was raised by a height in 1970.

The Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House

The Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House

The Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof HouseThe Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House (September 2010). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

An extra security gate was installed on Banbury Street under the railway bridge by around 2012.

At present, members of the public can't go any further without a prior appointment.

Gun Barrel Proof HouseThe Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House (September 2013). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

You can get close to the back of the Gun Barrel Proof House if you walk alongside the Digbeth Branch Canal. It is near Fazeley Street at Proof House Junction. You can also get onto the canal at Curzon Street in Eastside, and walk through the Curzon Street Tunnel. You will see the Proof House as you leave the tunnel behind.

Gun Barrel Proof House

Gun Barrel Proof HouseThe Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House from the Digbeth Branch Canal (April 2021). Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Proof House Junction

With the coming of the railways, Curzon Street Station originally opened in 1838, and that meant building a railway line on viaducts next to the Proof House. Just before this is the busy Grand Junction. It is where the line from Coventry joins the line from Aston.

Proof House Junction

Proof House Junction. Photography by Elliott Brown

 

Tours of can be arranged by appointment. 

 

Contact Details

The Birmingham Proof House

Banbury Street

Digbeth

Birmingham

B5 5RH

0121 643 3860

Project dates

08 Apr 2021 - On-going

Passions

History & heritage, Classic Architecture

Contact

(for further information)

Admin FreeTimePays

0121 410 5520
Admin@ FreeTimePays.com