By Tim Lambert

1166 The king grants the right to hold a weekly market in Birmingham. It becomes a busy little market town.

1250 The people of Birmingham are given the right to hold an annual fair

1380 Birmingham is becoming known for its metalworking industry

1500 Birmingham has a population of about 1,500

1560 The population has risen to around 2,000. There is still a wool industry in Birmingham and a leather industry but metalworking is fast becoming the most important industry.

1635 Aston Hall is built

1642 Royalists sack Birmingham

1643 Royalists plunder Birmingham again

1650 The population of Birmingham is about 5,000

1695 Birmingham gains its first fire engine

1715 St Phillips Church is built

1720 The population of Birmingham is about 12,000

1750 The population of Birmingham is about 24,000

1765 Sarehole Mill is built

1769 A canal is built from Wednesbury to Birmingham. A body of men called Street Commissioners are given power to clean and light (with oil lamps) the streets of Birmingham

1779 A General Hospital is built in Birmingham

1801 The population of Birmingham is about 73,000

1818 The streets of Birmingham are lit by gas

1832 The botanical gardens open

1834 A new town hall is built in Birmingham

1838 Birmingham is connected to London by railway

1841 St Chad's Cathedral is built

1850 Winson Green asylum opens

1856 The first public park in Birmingham opens

1861 A by-law says that all new houses in Birmingham must be connected to a sewer

1871-72 There is a smallpox epidemic in Birmingham

1873 Horse drawn trams begin running in Birmingham

1874 Another smallpox epidemic strikes Birmingham

1879 The Council House is built. A telephone exchange opens.

1881 The Council House is built. Rubery Hill asylum opens

1882 Birmingham gains an electricity supply

1883 Smallpox strikes Birmingham again

1889 Birmingham is made a city

1890 The first electric trams run in Birmingham

1909 Birmingham University is founded

1929 Fox Hollies Park opens

1938 Queen Elizabeth Hospital opens

World War II More than 2,000 people in Birmingham are killed by German bombing

1954 A survey shows that more than 20% of the homes in Birmingham are unfit for human habitation

1964 The Bull Ring shopping centre opens

1965 Birmingham Rotunda opens

1966 Aston University is founded

1987 Pavilions Shopping Centre opens

1991 The International Conference Centre and Indoor Arena opens

1998 Ikon Gallery opens

2000 Mailbox Shopping Centre opens

2001 Millennium Point opens

A history of Birmingham

A timeline of Coventry

A timeline of Lichfield

A timeline of Wolverhampton

A timeline of Dudley

A timeline of Stafford