Tanneries and blacksmiths may have given way to film, TV, video gaming production and creative studios. But Digbeth is still a place for industrious folk, just as it has been for centuries.
When communities started settling in Birmingham during the 7th Century, the first spot they chose was Digbeth. And you can see why. The main draw was the River Rea, which provided clean drinking water and irrigation for crops. The soil was good and fertile too. Back then, just as it is now, Digbeth was a great place to be.
The Bond has had many incarnations since it was first built. It was originally a gasworks, owned by the Birmingham Gas Light and Coke Company from 1837 to 1875. Then it became an ice factory for the Patent Transparent Ice Company, until it closed in 1888. Canal logistics company Fellows, Morton and Clayton were the next incumbents — they constructed additional warehousing and the canal basin. Later still, it was a warehouse for the bacon butty’s best friend, HP Sauce.
Clearly, The Bond has a tremendous industrial heritage. And this is still really evident in the fabric of the buildings. There’s fascinating history in every nook and every cranny.