Archaeological Viewing Platform Opens

By on 19/08/2009 in News

With the archaeological dig for the Library of Birmingham site almost complete, there's a chance for the public to glimpse a part of Birmingham's industrial heritage with the opening of an on-site viewing platform.
Located on The REP side of the former Civic Centre car park, the new viewing platform which will be open from this Thursday, 20th August, will enable closer viewing of the site works as excavations continue. The wheelchair and push chair friendly ramp will also feature information panels to enable visitors to take in the history of the site in their own time.  
For the next few weeks visitors will be able to see what has been hidden for over 80 years beneath the former car park, soon to be home to the Library of Birmingham.    Excavations to the site by Birmingham Archaeology (a department of University of Birmingham) have unearthed remains of the former 19th century Winfield brass works, a canal wharf and wire drawing or brass rolling factory.  Archaeologists have found a number of well defined workshop areas from the brassworks era of the site, as well as a loading area and a series of remains relating to the former furnace and boiler rooms.
Chris Hewitson, Project Manager from Birmingham Archaeology who has been overseeing the project explains “This is a great opportunity for visitors to see the remains of Birmingham's industrial past, dating from as far back as the 1810's. The site has been covered since the 1920's when the area was redesigned, so we are excited to have a glimpse at what's underneath before work commences on the new Library.
“It's unusual for work of this kind to take place, and the construction of the Library has enabled us to investigate what would otherwise have remained hidden. We are encouraging members of the public to go down to the site, particularly on 27th August when they can meet the archaeologists behind the project and find out more about the city's past.”
The viewing platform is open to the public from 20th August and on 27th August between 10am and 5pm there will be a chance for people to talk to the archaeologists working on the project.

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