Building Stones Trails

Building Birmingham: A tour in three parts of the building stones used in the city centre.

Part 1 leads from Birmingham Town Hall to the Cathedral, Part 2 visits Centenary Square and Brindleyplace and the third walk examines the stones used in the retail districts including the Bullring and Grand Central. These trails have been produced by Ruth Siddall in collaboration with and on behalf of the Black Country Geological Society, with help from Julie Schroder and Laura Hamilton. All three trails have been adapted for the BCGS web site by John Schroder, with additional photos, maps, and definitions. See Ruth’s Urban Geology website for many more building stones trails, mainly in London.
References cited in the text are listed at the end of each trail. The web pages below have been designed for viewing on mobile phones as well as desktop machines so you can follow the trails while you walk. Hover over a star to see a label and click on the star to get a pop-up with a link to the correct part of the trail. Hover over (or click if you have no mouse) words in red to see a definition (usually taken from Wikipedia). The stone varieties shown in green in the trail text can be found in our Index of Stones. The index also shows some of the buildings where the stones can be found and gives reference information about the stones.

Click below for the web-based versions of the Trails:

  1. The Town Hall to the Cathedral
  2. Centenary Square to Brindleyplace
  3. Around the Shops

The stars show the sites visited on all three trails. Hover over them to see what is there or click on a star for a pop-up with a link.

The Curry Fund of the Geological Association has supported us in printing 3 free trail leaflets for the general public based on our 3 Birmingham Building Stones trails.

B'ham Trail 1 cover

Trail 1, 2021

B'ham Trail 2

Trail 2, 2021

B'ham Trail 3

Trail 3, 2021

View the Building Stones of Birmingham,
Trail 1 – The Town Hall to Cathedral Square leaflet, 2021 [Copyright BCGS 2021].
Trail 2 – Centenary Square to Brindleyplace leaflet, 2021 [Copyright BCGS 2021].
Trail 3 – Around the Shops leaflet, 2021 [Copyright BCGS 2021].


Click below for the original pdfs of the three trails (2016):

  1. The Town Hall to the Cathedral, 4.9 Mb pdf
  2. Centenary Square to Brindleyplace, 3.5 Mb pdf
  3. Around the Shops, 5.7 Mb pdf


Dudley Geological Heritage Trail

In July 2019 Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council produced the Dudley Geological Heritage Trail with support from the Heritage Fund. It is one of Dudley Council’s suite of self–guided tours for the town centre and has a lot of information about the rocks have been used in the buildings. You can download it here.