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Birmingham Museums

Museums in Birmingham

Museums in Birmingham

Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, and is considered the social, cultural, financial, and commercial center of the Midlands. A market town in the medieval period, Birmingham grew in the 18th-century Midlands Enlightenment and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw advances in science, technology, 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 unique economic profile, with thousands of small workshops practicing a wide variety of specialized and highly skilled trades, encouraged exceptional levels of creativity and innovation and provided an industrial base for prosperity that was to last into the final quarter of the 20th century. The Watt steam engine was invented in Birmingham.

The service sector now dominates Birmingham’s economy, and its six universities make it the most important center of higher education in the country outside London. Birmingham has two significant public art collections. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is best known for its works by the Pre-Raphaelites. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts is an art gallery with a selection of Western art from the 13th century to the present day.

Birmingham Museums Trust runs other museums in the city, including Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall, the Museum of the Jewelry Quarter, Soho House, and Sarehole Mill. The Birmingham Back to Backs are the last surviving court of back-to-back houses in the city. Cadbury World is a museum showing visitors the stages and steps of chocolate production and the history of chocolate and the company. The Ikon Gallery hosts displays of contemporary art, as does Eastside Projects.

Thinktank is Birmingham’s main science museum, with a giant screen cinema, a planetarium, and a collection that includes the Smethwick Engine, the world’s oldest working steam engine. Other science-based museums include the National Sea Life Centre in Brindleyplace, the Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham, and the Centre of the Earth environmental education center in Winson Green.

Birmingham Museums

  • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
  • Barber Institute of Fine Arts
  • Cadbury World
  • Birmingham Museums Trust
  • Thinktank – Science Museum
  • National Sea Life Centre
  • Lapworth Museum of Geology

Birmingham’s Museums

  • City:                       Birmingham
  • Country:                England
  • Settlement:           600
  • Borough:               Seigneurial – 1166; Municipal – 1838; Metropolitan- 1974
  • City status:            1889
  • Population:           4.3m Metro

Explore Museums in the United Kingdom

London Museums

Edinburgh Museums

Glasgow Museums

Liverpool Museums

Manchester Museums

Bath Museums

Birmingham Museums

Leeds Museums


“Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead.”
– Scottish Proverb


Photo Credit: Very Quiet [CC BY-SA 2.0 (]

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