H&H Blog

More Canals than Venice?

Does Birmingham really have more miles of canal than Venice? 

In total Venice has 26 miles of waterways and canals whereas Birmingham has more than 35 miles of water. 

Of course the two cities are very different in size so canals in Birmingham might be less noticeable but there is still much more water there than compared to Venice.

The exact numbers depend on where you draw the city boundaries, but the whole Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) system adds up to a whopping 100 miles of canals in Water. Another 60 miles of historic canals have been filled in since the height of canal mania in the 1800’s.

But Venice does have more bridges with over 400 criss crossing the 177 venetian canals linking the 118 islands


Historic Canal Roundhouse Building Receives Restoration Grant

One of Birmingham's most historic buildings is on course to be brought back to life after receiving a £2.5 million lottery grant.

The funding will enable a partnership of charities the Canal & River Trust and National Trust to turn the Grade II*-listed Roundhouse, in Sheepcote Street, into a base from which to explore Birmingham's canal network.

The Roundhouse was designed by local architect WH Ward and built in 1874 by the Birmingham Corporation when it was originally used as stables for canal horses and stores.Its distinctive horseshoe shape was immediately popular.

Proposals for the building include a café, a cycle hire and repair workshop, volunteering opportunities and a shared working space. It will be run by the National Trust.

It is anticipated The Roundhouse will attract more than 50,000 people a year. 

"The Roundhouse will be a fantastic place to showcase Birmingham's waterways and heritage and inspire people to explore all that the city has to offer.

"The end result will be an inspiring and atmospheric space at the heart of our city's canal network from which to explore the waterways and the hidden histories of the people who made Birmingham."


© Nigel Hamilton 2016