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Birmingham - A Shoppers' Paradise in the Midlands of England

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The Birmingham Bullring Markets - 850 years of market trading in the same place!
Inside one of Birmingham's many markets

Inside one of Birmingham's many markets

© Ferne Arfin
Birmingham's markets reflect this multi-cultural city - 25 per cent of the population comes from ethnic minorities. No where is this ethnic diversity more apparent than in Birmingham's vibrant, cosmopolitan markets, especially the famous Birmingham Rag Market.

Yet the Birmingham markets are not new, nor did they spring up to serve recently arrived immigrants. In fact, there are have been Birmingham Bullring markets for almost 850 years, dating from a charter granted to the lord of the manor in 1166.

Today there are three distinct Birmingham Bullring markets as well as a large wholesale market immediately south of the area:

  • The Bullring Indoor Market More than 80 stalls selling everything from meat and fish to fruit and vegetables, sweets, hosiery, lingerie, garden accessories, pet foods, carpets,household linens and fashion. Open every day but Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • The Bullring Open Market Covered walkways protect customers of the 130 market stalls, buying fresh fruit and vegetables, farm produce, clothing and fancy goods. Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Rag Market The most famous, and perhaps the oldest of Birmingham's markets, 350 stalls sell textiles, haberdashery, clothing and sewing craft materials. In recent years its sari merchants have become world famous. Indian brides from throughout the UK and Europe travel to Birmingham to buy wedding fabrics and trimmings at the Rag Market and nearby shops.Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Victorian St. Martin's Church, sits on ancient foundations, that have overlooked the Birmingham Bullring markets since the 13th century. Before you hit the markets, visit its stained glass windows by Edward Burne-Jones, a native son and leading Pre-Raphaelite artist who also designed windows for Trinity Church, Boston.
Next:The Jewellery Quarter
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