The Temple of Relief

Whether for freight, commuters or tourists, the railway has been an important feature of the Jewellery Quarter for many years and continues to play a vital role in the success of the area.

The railway came to the Jewellery Quarter in the 1850s, when the Great Western Railway cut the snappily titled Birmingham Snow Hill to Wolverhampton Low Level Line. Part of GWR’s London to Birkenhead railway, the track was laid onto land originally purchased from the area’s cemetery companies.

Building began in 1851 at Snow Hill and by 1854 the line was ready to open. However it was delayed by a couple of months when a bridge near Winson Green collapsed, forcing chief engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel to order others to be strengthened.

Hockley Station served the Jewellery Quarter until 1972 when the line closed. The original station stood just past the Icknield Street crossing, but little trace of it can now be found. The line was reopened in 1995 and a new station built on the site of the old goods yard. A bustling stop, Jewellery Quarter Station features the charming Grade II listed cast-iron urinal you see before you, known to locals as ‘The Temple of Relief’.