April 2020. Birmingham, West Midlands

Archaeologists working at the site of the proposed HS2 Curzon Street Station in Birmingham have unearthed what is thought to be the world’s oldest roundhouse. Curzon Street was once the northern terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway, which opened throughout in 1838. According to Industrial Archaeology, the roundhouse was built ‘to a design by Robert Stephenson, (and) opened on 12 November 1837, which predates the previous oldest example, in Derby, by almost two years.’ The main station building has long stood forlornly in the middle of waste ground, but is now to become part of the new HS2 station on the site. The bulletin (erroneously) added that ‘this Grade 1 listed building is the world’s oldest surviving piece of railway architecture.’ (Jane Ellis)