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Birmingham Bull Ring

Birmingham's Bull Ring market has been an important feature of Birmingham since the Middle Ages. The market began in the year 1154 when Peter de Birmingham a local landowner, obtained a royal charter. Initially a cattle and food market, it developed into the main retail market area for Birmingham as the town grew into a modern industrial city.

In 1964 the 'new' Birmingham Bull Ring was constructed, a mixture of traditional open-air market stalls and a new indoor shopping centre, one of the first of its kind in the UK. Sadly, the Birmingham Bull Ring was very much a creation of the 1960s and was probably not a sustainable business venture over time: pedestrian access was poor and the centre itself was little more than an island in the middle of a major road system.

The 1960s Bull Ring was demolished in 2000, and has undergone a complete rebuild, the new centre mixing both traditional market activity with up-to-the-minute retail units. The new "Bullring" (as it is now written) opened in September 2003 and features a dramatic new landmark building, the Birmingham branch of Selfridges department store. The new Selfridges store is an exciting, futuristic design from the Future Systems architectural practic.

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