Birmingham, England, a city in West Midlands. It lies 110 miles (175 km) northwest of London. Birmingham is Great Britain's second largest city and one of the nation's leading industrial centers; products include automobiles, hardware, jewelry, and other fabricated metal products. It is the chief transportation center for the Midlands region. The municipal airport handles international flights.
Notable buildings date from the 19th century and include the Council House and St. Martin's Roman Catholic Church. The Town Hall, completed in 1834, is the home of the city's symphony orchestra. Located in the city are the universities of Birmingham and Aston. Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery features archeology exhibits and paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites, a group of mid-19th-century English artists.
Birmingham was founded by the Anglo-Saxons prior to the Norman conquest (1066). By the 13th century it had become a thriving market center, and by the 16th century it had several small metalworking shops. The application of steam power to industry coupled with abundant coal and iron ore nearby resulted in rapid industrial growth in the late 18th and the 19th century.
During the 1870's Birmingham became one of the first communities in England to develop housing and slum clearance programs. Birmingham acquired city status in 1896. Birmingham was heavily damaged by German air raids during World War II. After the war the city undertook extensive rebuilding programs, including redevelopment of the business district.
Population (district): 977,094.