New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

Friday Photo: Flour, Fasteners and Fire

Posted March 13th, 2020 by Dave Evetts with No Comments
Ornate doorway with classical mouldings and details.

This ornate doorway in Princip Street appears to go nowhere, certainly not to offices that the faded lettering on the lintel suggests.

I think it’s the last bit of the Britannia Mills. In 1849 Mary Bodington & Sons were listed as Corn Merchants at this location. The Birmingham and Fazeley Canal runs along the back of the mill. Britannia Wharf would have been a convenient place to load and unload heavy sacks.

A fire in 1868 caused thousands of pounds of damage at the Britannia Mills Bread and Flour Company. The business was wound up in 1887 after the death of Mary Bodington.

The building on this site was called Britannia Mill in 1937. This mill did not grind corn. It was home to Harrison & Cook who began making pins and rivets in the 1870s. Fasteners were vital to many industries in Birmingham who pulled together components from different suppliers to make cars, bikes and so much more.

By 1969 the Soho Pool Warehouses Ltd have moved in. Photographs from this time show the ground floor frontage included the doorway that started this trail with another three storeys above.

The warehouse suffered a major fire on 22nd October 1989. It looks like it didn’t recover and today only the doorway survives to tell a story of flour, fasteners and fire.

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