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
Masshouse is a development site in Birmingham, United Kingdom where 13 highrise blocks are being constructed for public services and residential purposes. When completed, the blocks will have a prominent position on the Eastside skyline; the Masshouse area existed in the Victorian times as nothing else but Masshouse Lane. It was a small lane, connected to Dale End and the junction at Albert Street and Duddeston Row; the name derives from the establishment of a Roman Catholic chapel there by a Franciscan priest, Leo Randolph, in 1687, followed by a convent in March 1688. Both were burned down by a mob, instigated by the Protestant Lord Delamere, in November 1688. Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham describes the building and destruction of the "mass house": Masshouse Lane:- Takes its name from the Roman Catholic Church erected in 1687, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen and St. Francis; the foundation stone was laid 23 March, in the above year, on 16 August 1688, the first stone of a Franciscan Convent was laid adjoining to the Church, which latter was consecrated 4 Sept..
The Church was 95ft long by 33ft. Wide, towards the building of it and the Convent, James II gave 125 "tuns of timber," which were sold for £180; this would appear to have been the first place of worship put up here by the Romish Church since the time of Henry VIII. and it was not allowed to stand long, for the Church and what part of the Convent was built "was first defaced, most of it burrent within to near ye vallue of 400lb. by ye Lord Dellamer's order upon ye 26 of November, 1688, ye day sevennight following ye rabble of Birmingham begon to pul ye Church and Convent down, saesed not until they had pulled up ye foundations. They sold ye materials, of which many houses and parts of houses are built in ye town of Birmingham, ye townsmen of ye better sort not resisting ye rabble, but permitting, if not prompting them to doe itt.". From 1749 to 1943 it was the site of Birmingham, it was developed in the 1960s into an elevated 800-metre road intersection on the A4400 road and was named Masshouse Circus.
The area below it was used as a surface car park. The elevated roadways were made of concrete. Under the roads was a large car park with pedestrian subways. There were six subways: New Meeting Henns Walk James Watt Chapel Street Ryder HospitalThe ring road became known as the "concrete collar" and restricted the expansion of the city centre core beyond it into the east. In March 2002, the roundabout was demolished to clear the land for development and this demolition was named the "breaking of the concrete collar"; the work was carried out by Birse Civils and designed by Gifford & Partners in a contract worth £24.2 million. The contractors sought to reuse the 20,000 cubic metres of reinforced concrete, removed during demolition. Over £9 million from the European Regional Development Fund was invested into the project. A replacement road to connect the Bullring Shopping Centre with Jennens Road was completed and opened in August 2003. However, this has been closed due to a number of injuries to pedestrians.
However, the land was left as a car park for a number of years as plans and designs for the development were created. Pieces of the rubble collected from the demolished structure, were put on sale by the Birmingham branch of Friends of the Earth with a price tag of 50p per piece. Masshouse is now cleared and ready for development with the largest of the three sites being used as a temporary car park, it has been separated into two phases with Phase 1 retaining the Masshouse name and the other plot, Phase 2, being called City Park Gate, named after the new Eastside City Park to be constructed next to it. Phase 1 will stretch from the McLaren Building to the Park Street; the scheme is being developed by David McLean Developments and has been designed by Edward Cullinan Architects. The entire scheme is expected to provide 1,100,000 square feet of space; the planning application for Block I was submitted in October 2004. Block I has been completed and the first residents moved into the building in December 2006.
Construction of the 14-storey building cost £30 million and consists of 173 studio and two-bedroom apartments. Over 50% of the building's 173 apartments were sold in the first week of release; the building is clad in 6,000 m2 of pre-cast panels. They consist of a complex mixture of finishes with some containing black polished bands bounded by a white concrete frame and finished to two different levels of exposure; the top floor penthouse apartments are clad with grey polished pre-cast panels. Many of the main cladding panels are either concave or convex with pointed ends and most will be pre-fitted with windows at the Techrete factory to accelerate the construction process. In March 2007, an outline planning application was submitted to Birmingham City Council by GVA Grimley to build a mixed-use development of up to 70,907 square metres on Plot 7; the application consisted of four buildings for retail, office and residential use. The entire scheme aims to create 500,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation, 550 high specification apartments, Ground floor cafes and retail units, Two new public squares, with traffic free landscaped areas, water features and public art and 800 car parking spaces.
There will be a 20,000 sq ft Birmingham Magistrates' Court
The A38, part of, known as the Devon Expressway, is a major A-class trunk road in England. The road runs from Bodmin in Cornwall to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, it is 292 miles long. It was known as the Leeds–Exeter Trunk Road, when this description included the A61. Prior to the opening of the M5 motorway in the 1960s and 1970s, the A38 formed the main "holiday route" from the Midlands to Somerset and Cornwall. Considerable lengths of the road in the West Midlands follow Roman roads, including part of Icknield Street. Between Worcester and Birmingham the current A38 follows the line of a Saxon salt road; the road starts on the eastern side of Bodmin at a junction with the A30 before traversing the edge of the town to meet the A30 again. It travels through the picturesque Glynn Valley to Dobwalls and Liskeard, which are bypassed by a dual carriageway; the Dobwalls section contains the most sophisticated bat bridge yet constructed in the UK. The A38 continues through the Cornish countryside, bypassing the centre of Saltash and continuing through the Saltash Tunnel.
After the tunnel the River Tamar is crossed using the Tamar Bridge where the route resumes dual carriageway status. The section from Plymouth to Exeter is known locally as the Devon Expressway, it was completed in the early 1970s. There are several grade separated junctions along its length for local traffic; the route was reserved for the Parkway as early as 1943, when it was included in the Plan for Plymouth. In the early 1990s, the Marsh Mills junction was remodelled, reducing the size of the roundabout and building a flyover over the top of it, allowing free flowing access from the Plympton bypass onto the Parkway; the viaducts carrying the A38 over the River Plym, which after the construction of the Marsh Mills flyover became the Exeter bound sliproads, were built in 1969–70 as part of the Plympton bypass. They were replaced in the 1990s due to suffering from Alkali Silica Reaction, the project, completed in February 1996 at a cost of £12.25million, involved the world's largest sideways bridge slide at the time for the 410 metres, 5,500 tonne bridge.
This required the road to be closed for only 48 hours, which won it an AA National Motoring Award in 1996 for innovation and minimisation of traffic congestion. The South Brent bypass opened in 1974 and the Ivybridge bypass both on new alignments; the A38 passes Endsleigh Garden Centre, which used to have direct access from the dual carriageway, although since the early 2000s this has been closed and the garden centre is accessed from the Westover junction for Ivybridge. After Ivybridge, the route parallels the original route, bypassing the village of Lee Mill, now home to a large trading estate; the road widens to a three-lane dual carriageway for the Plympton bypass. This opened in 1971 and was the first section of the Devon Expressway to be built on a new alignment, as well as being the first sizeable dual carriageway section of the route; the route ended at the Marsh Mills roundabout, which when opened was the largest in Europe. The section of the A38 between the A382 junction and Ashburton was built on a new alignment parallel to the old road, was opened in 1974.
Trago Mills, a locally well known retailer, is passed by the road. The Ashburton bypass, much like the Kennford bypass, uses the alignment of a much older 1930s single carriageway bypass, subsequently upgraded to dual carriageway by 1974. At the town of Buckfastleigh, the route once again bypasses on a new alignment, although due to the challenging topography of the area, the road crosses part of the town on a viaduct. From Buckfastleigh to the A385 junction, the current road follows the route of original single carriageway, with the majority of this section being upgraded between 1973 and 1974, although a small section at Dean Prior was upgraded between 1966 and 1967; this section is of a poor quality when compared to the majority of the route between Exeter and Plymouth, containing several side turnings with short exit/entry slips, properties which back onto the road. The town of Chudleigh and the village of Chudleigh Knighton are bypassed on a new alignment, which opened in 1973, the following section at Heathfield up to the A382 junction was upgraded from the original route between 1966 and 1968.
Some of this section follows part of the old Teign Valley Line railway. Before Kennford, the route splits, with the A38 heading for Plymouth and the A380 heading towards Torbay. At this point, the road becomes a dual two-lane road although a third-lane emerges for uphill traffic as the route climbs Haldon Hill, which has an average gradient of 1 in 20 over a 4 km distance, a maximum gradient of around 1 in 10; the third lane is lost at the top of the hill, the next section, the Harcombe bends is an original dual carriageway section, older than the rest of the route and this is evident with its sharp bends. The Devon Expressway ends near the village of Kennford, south of Exeter, at the terminus of the M5; this initial section was opened in 1977, along with the remaining section of the M5, is a three-lane dual carriageway. The village of Kennford is bypassed, on an alignment of a 1930s bypass, upgraded to dual carriageway in the 1960s and widened to a
The A4400 was a main road in Birmingham, United Kingdom that formed a ring around the city centre. Junctions on the road were grade separated, with pedestrians kept physically separate from vehicular traffic and most junctions allowing vehicles staying on the road to pass over or under those using the junction, it is now regarded as one of the classic urban planning blunders of the 20th century. Although seen as a revolutionary improvement when the first section opened in 1960, the'Concrete Collar', as it became known, was viewed by council planners as an impenetrable barrier for the expansion of the city centre. In particular, it became unpopular with pedestrians, who were required to use subways at the roundabouts, an unpopular route due to fear of crime. According to the Birmingham Big City Plan published in 2011, the Ring Road has restricted open spaces and economic activity, it has made the city centre more crowded and harder to navigate. Since 1988, the city council has sought to recreate links between the city centre and the neighbouring areas, enlarging the city centre and improving the pedestrian environment across the city, with an emphasis on shifting vehicular movements out to the Middle Ring Road.
Controversially, pedestrian crossings are replacing underpasses. It was first planned by Herbert Manzoni in 1943 and an Act of Parliament permitting construction was passed in 1946. Due to financial controls, the first part of the ring road, Smallbrook Queensway, did not begin construction until 1957 and was completed in 1960; the entire ring road was opened by Elizabeth II in 1971. However, since the 1990s, some of Queensway has been altered in order to reverse the earlier strict separation of road and pedestrian traffic with a view to providing a more attractive environment for pedestrians, deter through traffic, reducing the severance effects of the Inner Ring Road. A number of the altered junctions are in regeneration areas, such as Masshouse. In early 2008, the St Chads Queensway area near the St. Chad's Cathedral was modified to remove pedestrian underpasses and bring all pedestrian and car traffic back on to the traditional street level; the road consisted of the following roads (anticlockwise from A38 approach: St Chads Queensway Lancaster Street Queensway St Chads Circus Queensway Paradise Circus Queensway, below Birmingham Central Library Great Charles Queensway Suffolk Street Queensway Holloway Circus Queensway Smallbrook Queensway St Martin's Queenway Moor Street Queensway rebuilt into "Bus mall" renamed Moor Street Ringway James Watt Queensway Masshouse Circus Queensway roundabout over James Watt Queensway