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 (JQBID) extends far beyond this. In fact it covers 300 acres, making it the largest BID area in Birmingham. The JQBID 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. Here’s a snapshot of what makes the Jewellery Quarter so unique.
A POEM ABOUT THE JEWELLERY QUARTER
This poem was inspired by poet Ian McMillan’s visit to the Jewellery Quarter. The Poem itself is actually engraved into the material which makes the seam that runs down the middle of the Golden Square on Warstone Lane.
Talking to Somebody about the Jewellery Quarter, by Ian McMillan
This place shines. It really shines. Put that in your poem: it shines. I’m scribbling as fast as I can,
but this place is many faceted, Like a jewel, you mean? Very clever. Don’t forget: it flippin’ shines.
It’s a kind of multi-faceted and gleaming and, yes, shining, asset. To a city that’s already full to bursting with ideas and places.
Put this in your poem: it’s been here for two hundred years. And have you mentioned The Big Peg?
Not yet but I will, I will, It was a place where jewellers with their gleaming faces?
Yes, if you like, gathered in this city… am I making myself clear? It kind of moves, this places,
it dances, it shimmies, it’s never still. Shimmers. I like that. That’s really helpful, thankyou very much.
No, shimmies, mate; it dances, this place really moves and shines. A bit like a jewel does; Thanks,
thanks… It sparkles to your touch The Jewellery Quarter: craft and art and business meet. Sublime!
– Find out more about Ian McMillan by clicking here.
EXPLORE JEWELLERY QUARTER FESTIVAL
WHAT’S THE STORY
The Jewellery Quarter Festival is a showcase of what Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is today as well as a celebration of the vibrant business and wider JQ communities. Organised by the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District (JQBID) and supported by local businesses, the festival takes place over a weekend in July each year and is ideal for visitors and families as well as anyone who lives, learns or works in the area. The event is comprised of two main features; outdoor activities and entertainment on the two public squares and the Open Studios Trail in a number of workshops and studios across the Quarter.