An old footpath – dating from either the 18th or 19th century – has been unearthed in Victoria Square, Birmingham as part of the Birmingham Westside extension of the West Midlands Metro. As so often happens when work is underway on constructing new tramways there are lots of hidden treasures – not seen for years – indeed in Blackpool recently old tram tracks were discovered but this latest find is even more historic.
Archaeologists working on behalf of the Midland Metro Alliance have studied the area and including the cobbles and have concluded that the footpath is of 18th or 19th century origin. They believe it may once have been part of an earlier extension of Pinfold Street. It is now planned that the path will be excavated with the archaeologists continuing their investigations to fully identify its origin.
Natalie Cropp, Sustainability Manager for the Midland Metro Alliance, said: “Working with archaeologists, we’ve been able to capture complete records of this piece of Birmingham’s history that we have uncovered, including surveys, physical pieces, photographs and video. The Midland Metro Alliance works closely with the local community and these pieces will make a great case study and educational piece for schoolchildren which highlights the hidden histories which are all around us beneath our city streets.”
Work will now fully resume on the project which will see trams eventually travel through to Hagley Road in time for 2021. The first stage will see the line opened from Grand Central to Victoria Square in late 2019.