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Birmingham Back to Backs fundraising appeal

A fire is alight in the range and a kettle hangs over it. Clothes are drying on the side of the fire grate and two chairs are placed in front of it. A rag rug sits on the floor in the middle of the chairs. The bouse is decorated in a 1930s style.
A fire glowing in the range in the 1930s parlour at the Back to Backs | © National Trust Images/Robert Morris

The Birmingham Back to Backs are an immersive experience where you can step back in time to experience what life was like living in these cramped houses. We need your help to fix our chimneys so that we can relight our fires and preserve the houses for everyone, for ever.

key facts


The amount we need to raise to fix the chimneys and relight our fires.


The date we think the first house in Court 15 was built, now Grade II listed for their significance.


The year the National Trust took over caring for the buildings, so they are protected for everyone for ever.

The Back to Backs are Birmingham’s last surviving example of back-to-back housing, a cheaply built terraced house which shares a back wall. These small homes tell the story of migration to the city and of the working people who made Birmingham their home.

If you love the Back to Backs and want to support this special place, you can make a donation online here.

“The Birmingham Back to Backs tell the stories of 200 years of working people’s lives. It’s important that we carry out these repairs so that visitors can continue to learn what life was like for working people in the past.”

A quote by Eretia LefevreBirmingham Back to Backs House & Collections Officer
could help fund the historically accurate lime mortar we need to useDonate
could help fight damp and mould in the housesDonate
could help to buy a new chimney flueDonate

Why do we need to relight the fires at the Birmingham Back to Backs?

We can see signs of damp issues developing in the houses due to a lack of ventilation and need your help to fight this cause of decay. The fires help to tackle this problem as they are the original solution to help increase air flow. This means that when the fires are lit the rooms remain ventilated and at a moderate temperature which prevents condensation and damp. With your support, we can relight our fires and look after the Back to Backs.

What other ways can I support the Back to Backs?

You can also support the Back to Backs by donating or buying books at our second-hand bookshop (Court 15 Books). We’ll be directing all the funds raised through the bookshop towards this appeal, so have a clear-out or come and do some second-hand shopping.

Why give to the National Trust?

As a charity, we rely on the generosity of supporters to look after the historic buildings in our care. Not only do our supporters help to conserve unique homes like the Back to Backs. They also ensure that future generations have places where they can be inspired by stories of the past, enjoy peace and time to reflect, and make memories to treasure. Your donation will go towards this project and other vital conservation work on our buildings at this special place. With your support, we can continue to protect the irreplaceable. For everyone, for ever.

A fire with glowing coals alight in the Levy's house at the Back to Backs

Support the Birmingham Back to Backs

Help preserve working-class history at the Birmingham Back to Backs. Donate today to help relight our fires and preserve these unique homes, for everyone for ever.

A book display showing some of the used and new books on sale

Second-hand bookshop at the Birmingham Back to Backs 

Buy new and used books at Court 15, the second-hand bookshop at Birmingham Back to Backs. Donate your pre-loved books.