Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, the most populous city in the English Midlands. It is the most populous metropolitan district in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 1,137,123 inhabitants, is considered the social, cultural and commercial centre of the Midlands, it is the main local government of the West Midlands conurbation, the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,897,303 in 2017. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 4.3 million. It is referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city". A market town in the medieval period, Birmingham grew in the 18th-century Midlands Enlightenment and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw advances in science and economic development, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society. By 1791 it was being hailed as "the first manufacturing town in the world".
Birmingham's distinctive economic profile, with thousands of small workshops practising a wide variety of specialised and skilled trades, encouraged exceptional levels of creativity and innovation and provided an economic base for prosperity, to last into the final quarter of the 20th century. The Watt steam engine was invented in Birmingham; the resulting high level of social mobility fostered a culture of political radicalism which, under leaders from Thomas Attwood to Joseph Chamberlain, was to give it a political influence unparalleled in Britain outside London, a pivotal role in the development of British democracy. From the summer of 1940 to the spring of 1943, Birmingham was bombed by the German Luftwaffe in what is known as the Birmingham Blitz; the damage done to the city's infrastructure, in addition to a deliberate policy of demolition and new building by planners, led to extensive urban regeneration in subsequent decades. Birmingham's economy is now dominated by the service sector.
The city is a major international commercial centre, ranked as a beta- world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Its metropolitan economy is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $121.1bn, its six universities make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London. Birmingham's major cultural institutions – the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Library of Birmingham and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts – enjoy international reputations, the city has vibrant and influential grassroots art, music and culinary scenes. Birmingham is the fourth-most. People from Birmingham are called Brummies, a term derived from the city's nickname of "Brum", which originates from the city's old name, which in turn is thought to have derived from "Bromwich-ham"; the Brummie accent and dialect are distinctive. Birmingham's early history is that of a marginal area; the main centres of population and wealth in the pre-industrial English Midlands lay in the fertile and accessible river valleys of the Trent, the Severn and the Avon.
The area of modern Birmingham lay in between, on the upland Birmingham Plateau and within the densely wooded and sparsely populated Forest of Arden. There is evidence of early human activity in the Birmingham area dating back to around 8000 BC, with stone age artefacts suggesting seasonal settlements, overnight hunting parties and woodland activities such as tree felling; the many burnt mounds that can still be seen around the city indicate that modern humans first intensively settled and cultivated the area during the bronze age, when a substantial but short-lived influx of population occurred between 1700 BC and 1000 BC caused by conflict or immigration in the surrounding area. During the 1st-century Roman conquest of Britain, the forested country of the Birmingham Plateau formed a barrier to the advancing Roman legions, who built the large Metchley Fort in the area of modern-day Edgbaston in AD 48, made it the focus of a network of Roman roads. Birmingham as a settlement dates from the Anglo-Saxon era.
The city's name comes from the Old English Beormingahām, meaning the home or settlement of the Beormingas – indicating that Birmingham was established in the 6th or early 7th century as the primary settlement of an Anglian tribal grouping and regio of that name. Despite this early importance, by the time of the Domesday Book of 1086 the manor of Birmingham was one of the poorest and least populated in Warwickshire, valued at only 20 shillings, with the area of the modern city divided between the counties of Warwickshire and Worcestershire; the development of Birmingham into a significant urban and commercial centre began in 1166, when the Lord of the Manor Peter de Bermingham obtained a charter to hold a market at his castle, followed this with the creation of a planned market town and seigneurial borough within his demesne or manorial estate, around the site that became the Bull Ring. This established Birmingham as the primary commercial centre for the Birmingham Plateau at a time when the area's economy was expanding with population growth nationally leading to the clearance and settlement of marginal land.
Within a century of the charter Birmingham had grown into a prosperous urban centre of merchants and craftsmen. By 1327 it was the third-largest town in Warwickshire, a position it would retain for the next 200 years; the principal governing institutions of medieval Birmingham – including the Guild of the Ho
A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a parish priest, who might be assisted by one or more curates, who operates from a parish church. A parish covered the same geographical area as a manor, its association with the parish church remains paramount. By extension the term parish refers not only to the territorial entity but to the people of its community or congregation as well as to church property within it. In England this church property was technically in ownership of the parish priest ex-officio, vested in him on his institution to that parish. First attested in English in the late, 13th century, the word parish comes from the Old French paroisse, in turn from Latin: paroecia, the latinisation of the Ancient Greek: παροικία, translit. Paroikia, "sojourning in a foreign land", itself from πάροικος, "dwelling beside, sojourner", a compound of παρά, "beside, by, near" and οἶκος οἶκος, "house".
As an ancient concept, the term "parish" occurs in the long-established Christian denominations: Catholic, Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Lutheran churches, in some Methodist, Congregationalist and Presbyterian administrations. The eighth Archbishop of Canterbury Theodore of Tarsus appended the parish structure to the Anglo-Saxon township unit, where it existed, where minsters catered to the surrounding district. Broadly speaking, the parish is the standard unit in episcopal polity of church administration, although parts of a parish may be subdivided as a chapelry, with a chapel of ease or filial church serving as the local place of worship in cases of difficulty to access the main parish church. In the wider picture of ecclesiastical polity, a parish see. Parishes within a diocese may be grouped into a deanery or vicariate forane, overseen by a dean or vicar forane, or in some cases by an archpriest; some churches of the Anglican Communion have deaneries as units of an archdeaconry.
The Church of England geographical structure uses the local parish church as its basic unit. The parish system survived the Reformation with the Anglican Church's secession from Rome remaining untouched, thus it shares its roots with the Catholic Church's system described above. Parishes may extend into different counties or hundreds and many parishes comprised extra outlying portions in addition to its principal district being described as'detached' and intermixed with the lands of other parishes. Church of England parishes nowadays all lie within one of 44 dioceses divided between the provinces of Canterbury, 30 and York, 14; each parish has its own parish priest and supported by one or more curates or deacons - although as a result of ecclesiastical pluralism some parish priests might have held more than one parish living, placing a curate in charge of those where they do not reside. Now, however, it is common for a number of neighbouring parishes to be placed under one benefice in the charge of a priest who conducts services by rotation, with additional services being provided by lay readers or other non-ordained members of the church community.
A chapelry was a subdivision of an ecclesiastical parish in England, parts of Lowland Scotland up to the mid 19th century. It had a similar status to a township but was so named as it had a chapel which acted as a subsidiary place of worship to the main parish church. In England civil parishes and their governing parish councils evolved in the 19th century as ecclesiastical parishes began to be relieved of what became considered to be civic responsibilities, thus their boundaries began to diverge. The word "parish" acquired a secular usage. Since 1895, a parish council elected by public vote or a parish meeting administers a civil parish and is formally recognised as the level of local government below a district council; the traditional structure of the Church of England with the parish as the basic unit has been exported to other countries and churches throughout the Anglican Communion and Commonwealth but does not continue to be administered in the same way. The parish is the basic level of church administration in the Church of Scotland.
Spiritual oversight of each parish church in Scotland is responsibility of the congregation's Kirk Session. Patronage was regulated in 1711 and abolished in 1874, with the result that ministers must be elected by members of the congregation. Many parish churches in Scotland today are "linked" with neighbouring parish churches served by a single minister. Since the abolition of parishes as a unit of civil government in Scotland in 1929, Scottish parishes have purely ecclesiastical significance and the boundaries may be adjusted by the local Presbytery; the church in Wales is made up of six dioceses. Parishes were civil administration areas until communities were established in 1974. Although they are more simply called congregations and have no geographic boundaries, in the United Methodist Church congregations are called parishes. A prominent example of this usage comes in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, in which the committee of every local congregation that handles staff support is referred to as the committee on Pastor-Parish Relations.
This committee gives recommendations to the bishop on behalf of the parish/congregation since it is the United Methodist Bishop of the episcopal area who appoints a pastor to each congregation. The same is true in the Af
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is an area of countryside in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, designated for conservation due to its significant landscape value. Areas are designated in recognition of their national importance, by the relevant public body: Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, or the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. In place of AONB, Scotland uses the similar national scenic area designation. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty enjoy levels of protection from development similar to those of UK national parks, but unlike with national parks the responsible bodies do not have their own planning powers, they differ from national parks in their more limited opportunities for extensive outdoor recreation. The idea for what would become the AONB designation was first put forward by John Dower in his 1945 Report to the Government on National Parks in England and Wales. Dower suggested there was need for protection of certain beautiful landscapes which were unsuitable as national parks owing to their small size and lack of wildness.
Dower's recommendation for the designation of these "other amenity areas" was embodied in the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 as the AONB designation. The purpose of an AONB designation is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the designated landscape by placing it under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. There two secondary aims: meeting the need for quiet enjoyment of the countryside and having regard for the interests of those who live and work there. To achieve these aims, AONBs rely on practical countryside management; as they have the same landscape quality, AONBs may be compared to the national parks of England and Wales. National parks are well known to many inhabitants of the UK. However, the National Association of AONBs is working to increase awareness of AONBs in local communities, in 2014 negotiated to have the boundaries of AONBs in England shown on Google Maps. There are 46 AONBs in Britain; the first AONB was designated in 1956 in South Wales.
The most confirmed is the Tamar Valley AONB in 1995, although the existing Clwydian Range AONB was extended in 2012 to form the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB, the Strangford Lough and Lecale Coast AONBs were merged and redesignated as a single AONB in 2010. AONBs vary in terms of size and use of land, whether they are or wholly open to the public; the smallest AONB is the Isles of Scilly, 16 km2, the largest is the Cotswolds, 2,038 km2. The AONBs of England and Wales together cover around 18% of the countryside in the two countries; the AONBs of Northern Ireland together cover about 70% of Northern Ireland's coastline. AONBs in England and Wales were created under the same legislation as the national parks, the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. Unlike AONBs, national parks have special legal powers to prevent unsympathetic development. AONBs in general remain the responsibility of their local authorities by means of special committees which include members appointed by the minister and by parishes, only limited statutory duties were imposed on local authorities within an AONB by the original 1949 Act.
However, further regulation and protection of AONBs in England and Wales was added by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, under which new designations are now made, the Government has in the National Planning Policy Framework stated that AONBs and national parks have equal status when it comes to planning decisions on landscape issues. Two of the AONBs, which extend into a large number of local authority areas, have their own statutory bodies, known as conservation boards. All English and Welsh AONBs have other staff; as required by the CRoW Act, each AONB has a management plan that sets out the characteristics and special qualities of the landscape and how they will be conserved and enhanced. The AONBs are collectively represented by the National Association for AONBs, an independent organization acting on behalf of AONBs and their partners. AONBs in Northern Ireland was designated under the Amenity Lands Act 1965. There are growing concerns among environmental and countryside groups that AONB status is under threat from development.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England said in July 2006 that many AONBs were under greater threat than before. Three particular sites were cited: the Dorset AONB threatened by a road plan, the threat of a football stadium in the Sussex Downs AONB, larger than any other, a £1 billion plan by Imperial College London to build thousands of houses and offices on hundreds of acres of AONB land on the Kent Downs at Wye. In September 2007 government approval was given for the development of a new football ground for Brighton and Hove Albion within the boundaries of the Sussex Downs AONB, after a fierce fight by conservationists; the subsequent development, known as Falmer Stadium, was opened in July 2011. The Weymouth Relief Road in Dorset was constructed between 2008 and 2011, after environmental groups lost a High Court challenge to prevent its construction. Writing in 2006, Professor Adrian Phillips listed threats facing AONBs, he wrote that the apparent big threats were uncertainty over future support for lan
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 3.2 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation; the local authority is Manchester City Council. The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium or Mancunium, established in about AD 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell, it was a part of Lancashire, although areas of Cheshire south of the River Mersey were incorporated in the 20th century. The first to be included, was added to the city in 1931. Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a manorial township, but began to expand "at an astonishing rate" around the turn of the 19th century. Manchester's unplanned urbanisation was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, resulted in it becoming the world's first industrialised city.
Manchester achieved city status in 1853. The Manchester Ship Canal opened in 1894, creating the Port of Manchester and directly linking the city to the Irish Sea, 36 miles to the west, its fortune declined after the Second World War, owing to deindustrialisation, but the IRA bombing in 1996 led to extensive investment and regeneration. In 2014, the Globalisation and World Cities Research Network ranked Manchester as a beta world city, the highest-ranked British city apart from London. Manchester is the third-most visited city after London and Edinburgh, it is notable for its architecture, musical exports, media links and engineering output, social impact, sports clubs and transport connections. Manchester Liverpool Road railway station was the world's first inter-city passenger railway station. Manchester hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games; the name Manchester originates from the Latin name Mamucium or its variant Mancunium and the citizens are still referred to as Mancunians. These are thought to represent a Latinisation of an original Brittonic name, either from mamm- or from mamma.
Both meanings are preserved in Insular Celtic languages, such as mam meaning "breast" in Irish and "mother" in Welsh. The suffix -chester is a survival of Old English ceaster and from that castra in latin for camp or settlement; the Brigantes were the major Celtic tribe in. Their territory extended across the fertile lowland of what is now Stretford. Following the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century, General Agricola ordered the construction of a fort named Mamucium in the year 79 to ensure that Roman interests in Deva Victrix and Eboracum were protected from the Brigantes. Central Manchester has been permanently settled since this time. A stabilised fragment of foundations of the final version of the Roman fort is visible in Castlefield; the Roman habitation of Manchester ended around the 3rd century. After the Roman withdrawal and Saxon conquest, the focus of settlement shifted to the confluence of the Irwell and Irk sometime before the arrival of the Normans after 1066. Much of the wider area was laid waste in the subsequent Harrying of the North.
Thomas de la Warre, lord of the manor and constructed a collegiate church for the parish in 1421. The church is now Manchester Cathedral; the library, which opened in 1653 and is still open to the public today, is the oldest free public reference library in the United Kingdom. Manchester is mentioned as having a market in 1282. Around the 14th century, Manchester received an influx of Flemish weavers, sometimes credited as the foundation of the region's textile industry. Manchester became an important centre for the manufacture and trade of woollens and linen, by about 1540, had expanded to become, in John Leland's words, "The fairest, best builded and most populous town of all Lancashire." The cathedral and Chetham's buildings are the only significant survivors of Leland's Manchester. During the English Civil War Manchester favoured the Parliamentary interest. Although not long-lasting, Cromwell granted it the right to elect its own MP. Charles Worsley, who sat for the city for only a year, was appointed Major General for Lancashire and Staffordshire during the Rule of the Major Generals.
He was a diligent puritan, banning the celebration of Christmas. Significant quantities of cotton began to be used after about 1600, firstly in linen/cotton fustians, but by around 1750 pure cotton fabrics were being produced and cotton had overtaken wool in importance; the Irwell and Mersey were made navigable by 1736, opening a route from Manchester to the sea docks on the Mersey. The Bridgewater Canal, Britain's first wholly artificial waterway, was opened in 1761, bringing coal from mines at Worsley to central Manchester; the canal was extended to the Mersey at Runcorn by 1776. The combination of competition and improved efficiency halved th
Rugeley is a historic market town in the county of Staffordshire, England. It lies on the north-eastern edge of Cannock Chase next to the River Trent, is situated between the towns of Stafford, Cannock and Uttoxeter. At the 2001 census the town's population was 22,724. Increasing to 24,033 at the 2011 Census. Rugeley is twinned with Western Springs, Illinois and in July 1962 the towns made telephone history on national television when the chairman of Rugeley Urban District Council made the first telephone call via the new Telstar satellite to the Mayor of Western Springs; the town known as Rudgeley or Ridgeley, is listed in the Domesday Book. This name is thought to be derived from'Ridge lee', or'the hill over the field'. In the mediaeval period, it thrived on iron workings and was a site of glass manufacturing. During the Industrial Revolution the economy of Rugeley benefited from the construction of the Trent and Mersey Canal and from it becoming a junction on the railway network. Although smaller pits had existed beforehand, the town became a centre of industrial scale deep shaft coal mining from the 1950s, to access similar coal seams to those under Cannock Chase.
The Lea Hall Colliery that opened in July 1960 was the first modern coal mine opened by the National Coal Board, which managed the United Kingdom's nationalized coal industry. Nearby the Central Electricity Generating Board built two power plants. With the construction of Rugeley A and B power stations Rugeley became a major centre for electricity generation; these developments led to the town growing quickly in the 1960s. The Rugeley A power station was designed to take its fuel directly from Lea Hall by conveyor belt; this was the first such arrangement in Britain. The Rugeley B coal-fired power station continues to dominate the skyline where a flue gas desulphurisation plant has been constructed; this will allow it to continue to comply with environmental legislation. St. Augustine's Church in Rugeley has memorials to the Levett family, who live at nearby Milford Hall and who established the Rugeley Home and Cottage Hospital on Church Street in 1866. Between 1793 and 1967 Rugeley Grammar School provided selective secondary education for the town and for Hednesford.
Historical characters who were educated at RGS include the banker and railway promoter Edward Charles Blount and the Australian pioneer and politician Charles Bonney. For many years in the 1970s and 1980s Rugeley was served by British Rail, with four services each way to and from Stafford and Rugby/Coventry. After the closure of Rugeley A power station and Lea Hall Colliery and a reduction in rail freight, it became possible to open up the Rugeley to Walsall line for passenger traffic. Rugeley now has two railway stations Rugeley Trent Valley and Rugeley Town. Rugeley Trent Valley lies on the West Coast Main Line, has a regular hourly service to London via Lichfield, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes, to Crewe via Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent. Rugeley Trent Valley has an hourly service via Rugeley Town railway station and the Chase Line suburban route connecting to Cannock and Birmingham; the town continues to benefit from the Trent and Mersey Canal on its eastern side which, since the popularity of canals as a leisure activity, brings additional tourism into the town The major roads into Rugeley are the A460 from Cannock, the A51 Lichfield to Stone.
A new eastern bypass was opened in 2007 to facilitate the development of new employment areas on the former colliery site, to reduce congestion in the town centre. BBC Midlands Today and ITV Central cover Rugeley from studios in Birmingham; these are received from the Sutton Coldfield transmitting station, some parts of the town are shielded from Sutton Coldfield and rely on the Rugeley relay, located at The Hart School. Some parts of Rugeley can receive good signals from the Waltham transmitting station near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, which carries BBC East Midlands and the East Midland variant of ITV Central. Rugeley lies within the coverage areas of the West Midland regional stations, like Heart and Planet Rock, Touch FM and Signal 1 in Stoke-on-Trent. BBC Local Radio is covered by BBC WM from Birmingham on 95.6 FM, though reception is not good, in some parts, BBC Radio Stoke on 94.6 FM is better received. In terms of community radio, the town is covered by Cannock Chase Radio. For many years up to 1980, Rugeley had its own newspaper, the Rugeley Times published from Bow Street.
The paper was sold to the Staffordshire Newsletter. Today the town is covered by the Star. Students from the local area began writing a newspaper for Rugeley called The Hart of Rugeley; this is published three times a year. The team of students are based at The Hart School. Rugeley is a mixed community in terms of age groups and household incomes, but in terms of its ethnic make-up it remains an overwhelmingly White British town. Much of the ageing population and their families are linked to the ex-mining communities, with an increasing proportion of the younger population being new to the area and associated with the services sector; as former mining towns and neighbouring Brereton suffer from a moderate level of social deprivation, with parts of the town consisting of council or ex-council house stock or former National Coal Board housing, such as the Pear Tree Estate. However, on the fringes of Rugeley there is more affluence in some of the areas bordering Cannock Chase, some of the older Georgian streets including the conservation area of Crossley Stone or waterfront properties along