Victoria Law Courts, Birmingham

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Victoria Law Courts, Birmingham

The Victoria Law Courts on Corporation Street, Birmingham 4, England is a Grade I listed, red brick and terracotta building that now houses Birmingham Magistrates' Court.


Designed by Aston Webb & Ingress Bell of London after an open competition to provide the first assize courts in the rapidly growing town of Birmingham, it is faced entirely in deep red terracotta from the clay of Ruabon in North Wales and covered in intricate terracotta ornamentation. A statue of Queen Victoria by Harry Bates surmounts the main entrance. Other figures are by sculptor William Silver Frith to designs by Walter Crane. The rear of the building is less elaborately decorated.

The foundation stone was laid by Queen Victoria on 23 March 1887 in her Golden Jubilee year. Built by Birmingham firm, John Bowen and Sons, the courts were opened on 12 July 1891 by Prince & Princess of Wales.

The inside is faced with sandy-yellow terracotta and intricate ornamentation. The terracotta used for the interior was produced by Gibbs and Canning Limited of Tamworth.

Standing at the northern end of the street it is complemented by the similarly coloured Methodist Central Hall, which stands opposite.

The site was previously occupied by Alaska Works and a small school.

It is proposed to move the magistrates' court to a new purpose-built courthouse, nearby. This will render the old building redundant.


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