Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Walking for Heritage; Gun Barrel Proof House

This blog post follows on from the previous Walking for Heritage post.

The second stop on the walking route is the Gun Barrel Proof House, which is located on Banbury Street. From Curzon Street Station follow the route and it will take you right there. Unfortunately you cannot actually enter the grounds of the Proof House – there is some wonderful architecture here and I would love to walk around and get pictures, but alas it is not to be. You can catch a glimpse of the Proof House from the road, behind two sets of gates – this is a working Proof House and I expect they don’t want any accidents! You can also get quite a good view of the Proof House if you are on the train to Lichfield. 

The Birmingham Proof House was established in 1813, at the request of the Birmingham Gun Trade, by an act of Parliament. The job of the workers here is to ensure that guns operate safely, without failure. There is a lot more information freely available on the interwebs about the actual process of proofing. As an aside, the re-enactment unit that I used to be part of had the field cannon proofed here.

You can go on tours around the Proof House – there is an internal museum – but these need to be booked in advance. You can find out more on their website.

You can read more information here and here.

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