Bird's eye view of Birmingham
This image shows central Birmingham in 1886, from a point above the current Central Library in Chamberlain Square. There were many new civic buildings at this time. In the foreground on the left is Mason College, the forerunner of Birmingham University. On the right is the old library, in the centre are the Chamberlain fountain, with the Council House and the Town Hall behind. Christ Church used to stand on Victoria Square. In the background on the left are the Birmingham School of Art and the School of Art. In the centre stands St. Philip's. In the right background are the old King Edward's School near the bottom of New Street, and further away St. Martin's, Birmingham's oldest parish church. The scene appears smoky, but at those times this was probably taken as a sign of trade, industry and prosperity; rather than pollution.