Birmingham Back to Backs
Court 15, Inge Street represents one of the last surviving courts of back-to-back houses in Britain. Houses such as these were built literally back-to-back around a communal courtyard. By the 1960s, nearly all of Birmingham’s back to backs had been demolished. Court 15 survived because there was still a role for it: the front houses remained in use as shops, while the back houses became workshops and storage rooms. Access to the inner courtyard from the street was through narrow round-arched passageways. Although Court 15 was built cheaply and quickly – the walls, for example, are only one brick thick – it has features such as lintels over the doors and bay windows at the back which separate Court 15 from less robust courts nearby.