Today’s Friday photo is a feature brick from the new Birmingham Assay Office on Moreton street. The Birmingham Assay Office was founded in 1773 to provide assaying and hallmarking of precious metal items, as required by the Hallmarking Act. It is one of four assay offices in the United Kingdom. The old assay office was located on Newhall Street (built in 1877), but due to lack of space, the new purpose built office was built from 2014 and opened in July 2015. The new building cost £10 million to construct with £1.2 million coming from a European grant. The new Assay Office is a modern contrast to the Victorian splendor of the Newhall office, which have now been sold for commercial development. The design of the new building incorporates special “feature bricks” which bear the key hallmarking symbols used during the Assay Office’s 240 year history. The photo above is one of these hallmark bricks, others include a crown and orb and Birmingham town mark, the anchor.