This area of unique character has been described by English Heritage as a 'national treasure' and as having a 'particular combination of structures associated with jewellery and metalworking which does not seem to exist anywhere else in the world'
History on every street and at every corner
The Jewellery Quarter is well defined and historically referred to as the Hockley area. However, the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District (JQ BID) extends far beyond this. In fact it covers 300 acres, making it the largest BID area in Birmingham. The JQ BID area is bounded by the JQ side of Great Charles Street, Livery Street, Great Hampton Street, Hockley Hill, Key Hill Drive, Icknield Street, Sandpits and Summer Row. The area includes St Paul’s, the main Jewellery Quarter shopping and manufacturing areas, and all the strategically important areas that connect the Quarter to the city centre and Hockley.
With such a large area and a diverse mix of business uses, this area rightly deserves its affectionate nickname ‘Birmingham’s Gem’. Its future depends on the community working together to preserve its heritage as well as adding to its history.
Internationally acclaimed photographer, Tom Hunter has recently taken photographs that reveal some of the spaces and places that are both everyday and architecturally significant to the area. Working from the Newhall Street area (Newhall Square, St. John’s Ambulance, Assay Office, Coffin Works) down as far as Icknield Street (The Kettleworks), Tom has photographed the canals, the arches, the Bullion Room, the Standard Works, the cemeteries, Brook Welding, and our museums, which demonstrates that everywhere we look we are surrounded by history and heritage. These images will be the first of many legacies that the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust and BID will deliver to the community in an exhibition called The Findings. The exhibition which will be displayed in St. Paul’s Square between 25th April – 19th July 2013.