it all began...
was first given the right to hold a market in 1166. Most of
the market people were gathered close to the church walls
and in Spiceal Street. Although not named today this street
still runs from the inner ring road.
the 16th century a man called John Cooper was given the right
to bait bulls at a site opposite St Martins Church, this became
known as the Bull Ring.
statue of Lord Nelson
great triangle of space with St. Martins as its base, gathered
all the outdoor traders of Birmingham.
1809 the Bullring was made more distinctive by the first statue
of Lord Nelson to be put up in Britain. By the 1830's a magnificent
market hall overlooked the barrow boys and other dealers.
early 19th century...
the early 19th century the area around St. Martins had become
crowded with old buildings, narrow streets and traders stalls.
It was decide to open up the area by knocking down the buildings
on the east side of Spiceal Street and on the west side of
the Bullring. This led to the emergence of the Bullring of
original Market Hall, with room for 600 stalls and an ornamental
fountain, was built in 1835, again designed by Charles Edge,
the man who finished the Town Hall.
In 1940 it was gutted after being hit by a German incendiary
bomb. It was still in use although roofless until the redevelopment
of Birmingham swept it away in the early 1960's.
began to redevelop the Bullring in 1961, and eight million
pounds later the new Bull Ring opened by the Duke of Edinburgh
in May 1964.
by escalators and stairs was a 23 acre air-conditioned shopping
centre and 350,000 feet of retail trading area. It was meant
to be the ultimate shopping experience,and was declared to
be the biggest indoor shopping mall outside the USA, but many
said the feel of the old market had been lost.
in 1964 by James A Roberts, the Rotunda is the most visible
symbol of the city centre redevelopment that transformed the
Bull ring area in that decade.
For many Brummies the Rotunda is a symbol of Birmingham, and
stands out as a popular landmark.
It was originally planned to be 12 storeys high with a roof
top restaurant. There was also talk of a cinema and a crèche.
The finished Rotunda is bigger - 25 storeys - but less glamorous.
No food, no films, no babies, just offices.
The view from the top of the Rotunda is spectacular.
Carl Chinn talks about the history of the Birmingham Bullring.
Carl Chinn as he takes you on a historical tour of
the Bullring Shopping Centre.