Local Area – Granville Lofts

Granville Lofts is surrounded by the best of industrial and cultural history in Birmingham.

The famous Birmingham Canal Network was designed and constructed by James Brindley in the mid-1700’s. The Birmingham Canal Network stretches over 100 miles and the city is alleged to have more canals than Venice!

During the height of the Industrial Revolution, the canals carried all manner of raw materials, coal, food and rubbish etc. It continued to be the most popular mode of transportation for goods until the railway revolution in the 1830’s, although large companies continued to use the canal network until the mid-20th century; Cadbury’s continued transporting their products by canal until the mid-1960’s.

The Gas Street Basin was given its name due to it being the first area in Birmingham to be lit throughout the night by gas lighting. It was the centre of Birmingham’s canal network at it’s peak in the late 1700’s to early 1800’s and was open both day and night.

Overlooking the Gas Street Basin is The Mailbox, which was constructed in 1970 by Royal Mail on the site of a railway goods yard. The Mailbox was built to replace the Birmingham mail sorting office in Victoria Square. When completed, it was the largest building in Birmingham! It was subsequently sold and redeveloped into a mixed-use building which then reopened in 2000. It was then sold and renovated again in 2015 and is now one of the most prestigious office, residential and retail hot spots in the city, housing BBC Studios, two hotels, a Harvey Nichols store and other high end retail stores and restaurants.