I've been a long time reader of the forum but finally decided to join today and contribute. This is my 'go to' place on the net for LZ, you guys are goldmine of info.
One thing that has always intrigued me, is the location of the urban scene that makes up part of the Led Zep IV artwork. This question gets asked quite often on the internet and the oft repeated fact is it shows Butterfield Court in Dudley. As I pass this place quite often I've never been satisfied that this is correct.
Having too much time on my hands the last couple of days I decided to see if I could find the true location. It turns out I was not the only one looking into it. A gentleman from Birmingham called Mark Wadman had also been doing the same and between us we are sure we have nailed down the exact spot. Mark was actually a step ahead of me and had already been out and photographed the site as it looks today.
The block of flats on the album is 'Salisbury Tower' and it is in the Ladywood district of Birmingham. The row of demolished houses in front is Camden Street.
Anyway I was fortunate enough to find an old B&W photo which amazingly shows the exact row of houses which are half demolished on the album cover. Pay particular attention to the position of the advertising board, the decorative surrounds of the windows and doors,etc. There's no doubt it is the same row of houses.
Using Google street view I tried to get a modern view of the same location: You can see the white houses in the distance still exist.
Mark's photo from within Camden Street shows 'Salisbury Tower'. You can even make out the other two blocks of flats which you see on the LZ cover. It is near impossible to take a photo from the same spot and alignment as the original because you'd be standing in someone's back garden!
Lastly I used an old 1946 map of the streetplan to make an estimation of where the original photo was shot from (see the red arrow). I've also highlighted the row of demolished houses in Camden St . and the position of where Salisbury Tower stands today.
Hopefully this will clear up once and for all where the photo was taken. Big thanks to Mark Wadman for helping me identify the spot and thankyou forumites for taking time to read all of this!
Some of you may find it interesting.