There are almost endless secrets and hidden gems to discover in and around Birmingham. From the remains of Roman forts to underground nuclear bunkers, there are plenty of fascinating stories in the area that you might not even be aware of.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the hidden parts of the city, the Black Country and Worcestershire that you could walk or drive through every day. They include a WWII command post in Handsworth, an abandoned swimming pool in Wolverhampton, and artwork hidden beneath the Spaghetti Junction.
Let us know in the comments below if you think there’s a secret West Midlands part we missed in the list.
READ MORE:Birmingham couple’s huge plans to transform ‘unloved’ Hare & Hounds pub in Kidderminster revealed
Second World War Gun Battery at Handsworth
Hidden next to a golf course on the edge of Handsworth are the remains of Second World War gun placements at Hill Top. There are two anti-aircraft sites and a command post on high ground overlooking north Birmingham.
Duddeston Viaduct at Digbeth
This was originally intended to link the GWR line to Curzon Street around 1846, but after disputes between the various railway companies it was never completed. It was used as a marshalling yard for a short time, and the area around Upper Trinity Street was used as an unloading area for cattle to be taken to market, which can still be seen today.
The War Stone
This Mesolithic stone in Warstone Lane was used as the boundary where the mansions of Aston, Birmingham and Handsworth met. It is thought to have been dragged here by a glacier during Ice Age Wales and deposited when the ice melted.
Drakelow Tunnels, Worcestershire
Hidden in Worcestershire woodland in Kingsford Country Park, behind closed gates, is the entrance to the infamous Drakelow Tunnels, an underground military complex that stretches for three and a half miles. The dark, empty tunnels have a long history, having first been used by car manufacturer Rover in the 1940s before becoming part of a network of “highly classified” nuclear bunkers scattered across the country during the Cold War.
Kray Twins graffiti on the A38M
He is not known to have made this interesting artwork of Kray Twins on the A38M. The mural is in a difficult to reach position, on the side of one of the many pillars under Spaghetti Junction.
Pelican Works, Hockley
If you walk towards the corner of Great Hampton Street and Hockley Street and look up one of the buildings, you’ll spot a pelican perched on the roof. The pelican was the logo of a company called Wilkinson & Sons, which used the building as an electroplating factory between 1868 and the 1930s.
Hidden Doors M5, Worcestershire
Perfectly camouflaged with the wooden fence around them, there are three hidden gates to spot on the side of the north and southbound carriageways of the M5, between Junction 4 for Worcestershire, Junction 3 for Halesowen and Quinton and Junction 2 for Oldbury.
Property of the National Highways, which manages and develops all the highways and major A roads in the country, they are reserved for the particular use of their engineers.
Heath City Baths, Wolverhampton
The thermal baths in Heath Town have been abandoned for nearly 20 years and were recently visited by an urban explorer. He said: “The floors are often rotten, so you have to be very careful.
“But the baths were well lit and quiet which was amazing. It was sad how it ended when it should be full of life.”
Aqueduct near QE Hospital
Opened in February 2011, it is one of the first aqueducts built in Birmingham in 200 years. It carries the Worcester and Birmingham Canal over the new A38, alongside the railway line, also over a new bridge.
Metchley Roman Fort
Situated on the course of the Icknield Street Roman road, the remains of a Roman fort are located within the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Only a plaque and a few troughs and ditches at the site of the fort now suggest that it existed hundreds of years ago.
Cave house, Worcestershire
This magnificent Worcestershire home, carved into the side of a rock face, was recently voted one of the most unusual places to stay in the country. The Rockhouse Retreat, nestled in secluded countryside near Kidderminster, is described as a unique romantic getaway and Britain’s first 21st century cave house.
The historic retreat was hand-carved over 700 years ago from a Triassic sandstone cliff and provided shelter for centuries until it was abandoned in the 1960s.
Village of Rushock, Worcestershire
Hidden in the countryside between Kidderminster, Droitwich and Bromsgrove and down a single lane road is the small village of Rushock. It has become a mecca for rock fans as the village church is the final resting place of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.
Temple of Theseus, Hagley
This temple, which was designed by James Stewart around the 1750s, stands in Grade I listed park and garden half a mile north of Hagley Hall. The building pays homage to an ancient Greek temple built in Athens, the country’s capital.
Historic England previously said it was at risk, adding: ‘Its relatively isolated location made it vulnerable to vandalism so security fencing has been erected.’