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  1. ITV Report

HS2 archaeologists begin work in Birmingham

An HS2 train Credit: HS2 Ltd

Archaeologists have begun work in Birmingham on the HS2 project.

The high speed rail company is exploring more than 10,000 years of British history along the 150 mile route from London to the West Midlands.

Several sites of significant archaeological interest are located in Birmingham:

  • the archaeological exploration of the 18th and 19th century Park Street burial ground
  • uncovering the remains of Curzon Street Station yard
  • exploring the Freeman Street Baptist Meeting House and burial ground
  • surveying Midland Railway Carriage and Wagon Company at Saltley and Washwood Heath
The Old Curzon Street station site, Birmingham, where work is underway to build the HS2 terminal Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA Images

Birmingham's pivotal role in Britain's Industrial Revolution is unquestionable and HS2's archaeology programme in the city will allow us to tell the story of the skilled workers who fuelled it.

The archaeological potential of Birmingham from Park Hall to Park Street is as diverse as the city is today. Burial and historical records will aid archaeologists, scientists and historians in understanding how the buried population lived, worked and contributed to making Birmingham the international powerhouse that it became.

– Michael Court, HS2 Archaeologist
An anti HS2 sign in Staffordshire Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/PA Images

Over the next two years, more than 1,000 experts will work on the HS2 archaeological programme looking at over 60 sites between London and the West Midlands.

How we build HS2 is as important to us as what we are building and we are committed to sharing as much of our cultural heritage as possible. Before we bore the tunnels, lay the tracks and build the stations, an unprecedented amount of archaeology is now taking place between London and Birmingham. This is the largest archaeological exploration ever in Britain, employing a record number of skilled archaeologists and heritage specialists from all across the country and beyond.

– Mark Thurston, HS2 Chief Executive

Archaeological work will also take place in Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire.

Claire Cogar is working on the project: