Anglo Saxon Hamlet // West Midlands // Big Brum Clock Tower // ‘Brummies’ // The Electric Cinema // 1 million people...

The earliest evidence of settlement in Birmingham date back some 10,400 years discovered near Curzon Street in the city centre.  In the early 7th century, Birmingham was an Anglo Saxon farming hamlet on the banks of the River Rea.

People from Birmingham are known as 'Brummies', a term that was derived from the city's nickname of 'Brum'.  The city has six twin cities: Chicago in the USA;  Frankfurt and Leipzig in Germany; Johannesburg in South Africa; Lyon in France; and Milan in Italy.

Musical History

There is a vibrant and varied musical history and Birmingham bands have made a major contribution to the musical culture of the United Kingdom, including bands such as The Moody Blues and Electric Light Orchestra.  Some describe it as the birthplace of heavy metal music, with the likes of Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Magnum, and two members of Led Zeppelin coming from the area.   The 1980s pop band Duran Duran are also from Birmingham.


Among the many theatres in Birmingham, the largest are the Alexandra ("the Alex"), The Rep, the Hippodrome and the Old Rep.  The Birmingham Royal Ballet is based in the city as is the world's oldest vocational dance school, Elmhurst School for Dance.  The Electric Cinema on Station Street is the oldest working cinema in the UK.

The nightlife is concentrated mainly along Broad Street and into Brindleyplace.


The Bullring Shopping Centre is eye-catching as regards its futuristic design and is well-known for its array of shops and department stores.  It has 3 car parks with up to 3,000 parking spaces and 2 railways stations.

Birmingham Airport is located six miles to the east of the city in the neighbouring borough of Solihull.

Birmingham has its own locally based breweries, which include Ansells, Davenports and Mitchells & Butlers.  Aston Manor Brewery is however the only significantly sized brewery.

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