Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Timeline of Victorian Birmingham

  • 1837 Queen Victoria comes to the throne

  • 1838 Municipal charter establishes an elected council, adopts "Forward" as motto

  • 1838 London to Birmingham Railway opens, terminus at Curzon Street

  • 1842 Police force established

  • 1846 Adderley Park in Saltley opens (11 acres) Birmingham's first public park

  • 1850 First city asylum opens at Winson Green

  • 1851 The Improvement Act incorporates powers of old local bodies in the town council, giving it complete control over roads, sewers, lighting and sanitary arrangements, public buildings, markets and baths.

  • 1851 Kent Street baths and wash-house opens

  • 1857 Calthorpe Park opens (31 acres)

  • 1861 First public library opens, in Constitution Hill

  • 1864 Aston Hall and park opens to the public (49 acres)

  • 1867 Art gallery opens

  • 1870 School board started

  • 1872 First Medical Officer of Health, Dr Hill, appointed

  • 1872-3 First horse bus service introduced from Snow Hill to Dudley Port. The first tram lines built by the Borough Council then leased to the Birmingham Tramway Company.

  • 1873 Joseph Chamberlain becomes mayor

  • 1873 Cannon Hill Park opens (81 acres)

  • 1874 Aston Villa Football Club founded

  • 1874 First Municipal hospital (for fever only)

  • 1874-9 The Council House built

  • 1875 The Artisans Dwellings Act allows Corporations to acquire, demolish and redevelop slum areas. Clearance begins for the building of Corporation Street. Corporation takes over the supply of gas. Birmingham City Football Club founded. Birmingham Fire Brigade started.

  • 1876 Joseph Chamberlain elected as one of Birmingham's M.P.s. Bye-law passed which effectively forbids the building of back-to-back houses. Town takes over the private water supply.

  • 1878 Private Act of Parliament allows the corporation to take over certain burial grounds in the central ward and make them into public gardens - St Martin's, St Mary's, St George's, and St Philip's.

  • 1879 George and Richard Cadbury build new factory at Bournville, 4 miles from the town.

  • 1882 First steam trains introduced.

  • 1889 Birmingham becomes a city. Corporation Street completed.

  • 1891 Balsall Heath, Saltley and Harborne incorporated into Birmingham. City Takes over the supply of electricity.

  • 1901 J. Cuming Walters publishes a series of articles in the Birmingham Daily Gazette entitled "Scenes in Slumland". In June, in the face of public pressure, The Housing Committee is formed.

  • 1901 February, Queen Victoria dies.


Contrasts In A Victorian City
Digital Birmingham Photo Archive
Chronology of Birmingham 1883 - 1950