A series of guided walks is about to give local people the chance to visit one of Birmingham’s most interesting and iconic historic buildings ahead of major restoration works, led by Burrell Foley Fischer, starting in the New Year.
The series of ‘Walkshops’ will enable people to enjoy a walking tour with a difference as they explore the secret stories and murky history of the Roundhouse and Birmingham’s famous canals. The Walkshops are being hosted by Roundhouse Birmingham, a partnership between the Canal & River Trust and the National Trust.
Led by Secret City Arts the evening walks, one aimed at families and another at adults, will enable visitors to create stories from the things they find on their walk.
Stomping Stories, which is aimed at families, will create tall tales from clues spotted around the city’s canals and streets. The adult walk, Dark and Wintry Tales, will enable people to explore hidden nooks and crannies to create dark, atmospheric stories.
Each circular walk will start and finish at the Roundhouse where restoration works are due to begin in early January. The project, made possible through a £2.5m National Lottery grant, will see the Grade II* listed building transformed into a city base from which to explore Birmingham’s canals by foot, bike or boat.
Chris Maher, visitor experience development manager for Roundhouse Birmingham, said; "We’re really looking forward to the Walkshops and we hope lots of people join us for a very different kind of guided walk.
"The Roundhouse is a really atmospheric place, particularly as darkness falls. We want people to join us as we venture out onto the city’s canals and streets to create the most amazing stories from the things we spot.
It promises to be a great experience so we’d encourage people to book their place, wrap up warm and get a totally different perspective on the city."
The Roundhouse was built in 1874 by the Birmingham Corporation and was originally used as stables and stores. Designed by local architect W.H. Ward, the horse-shoe shaped building has become a real landmark within the city but over the last ten years the majority of it has been steadily falling into disrepair.
As well as offering a base from which to explore the canal network, plans for the Roundhouse include a café, a cycle hire and repair workshop, volunteering opportunities and a shared working space. It’s anticipated that the Roundhouse will attract over 50,000 people a year, both from the local community and visitors from further afield.
Details of the Walkshops can found here.