Birmingham lies in the very centre of the United Kingdom and is its second largest city. Birmingham is regarded as the social, cultural and commercial capital of the West Midlands and East Midlands and forms part of the county of West Midlands. The rivers Tame, Rea ands Cole run through it.In the middle ages Birmingham was a market town in Warwickshire and it was not until the industrial revolution with its advances in science and technology that Birmingham exploded in size and by 1791 Birmingham was hailed as the first manufacturing town in the world. The feature of Birmingham were the thousands of small workshops boasting a wide variety of very different specialist skills. This in turn helped to lead the way in creativity, innovation and invention and upon which was the base for prosperity it enjoyed through to the 20th Century. Birmingham’s energetic society produced a number of leading political figures including Thomas Atwood and Joseph Chamberlain.
Today the service sector has slowly overtaken its industrial heritage, the Birmingham City is now a major international commercial centre, renown for its retail events and as a conference centre. Birmingham forms the centre of the transport hubs across the country encircled with motorways with the M1, M5, M42 and M6 leading to the north, south, east and west. Railways similarly criss cross Birmingham with its own link to the new High-Speed railway coming soon.
Birmingham is the largest centre of higher education outside London with six universities including Birmingham University itself. Birmingham is a centre for major cultural institutions including 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.
A large proportion of the residential property in Birmingham dates from the Regency and Victorian period which can be particularly seen in Edgbaston, Moseley, Selly Park and Harborne where there are many fine homes and the wide selection of terraced homes in Stirchley, Selly Oak and Kings Heath.
Further development in Birmingham occurred in the interwar period with Northfield and Bournville which also saw the start of the Bournville Village Trust Estate.
Later came developments in Weoley Castle, Quinton, Longbridge and West Heath.
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