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Anglo-Saxon Birmingham - The Ballad of the Beorminga

In 2015, we undertook a project with a number of groups based in different schools. The writer David Calcutt worked first with a group of girls at Al Hijrah School, to develop ideas for a play, in the form of a pageant.

The play was based on the story of the Anglo-Saxon origins of Birmingham; it was called The Ballad of the Beorminga


David observes: ‘The history books tell us Birmingham was founded in the 7th century by an Anglian tribe. They might have been followers of a man called Beorma – and the name of the city comes from "Beorma-ing-ham" (meaning "Beorma's people's village"). But we don’t know much more about it than that.


With the girls from Al-Hijrah School, we made up a story about how Beorma and his tribe journeyed to England from across the seas, and they found their home.’

In May 2015, the play was performed at the Birmingham and Midland Institute, by children from four schools: Chilcote Primary School; Woodrow First School; Calthorpe School; and Al-Hijrah School. You can see a video by clicking on the image.

The project was funded with a grant from Awards for All (National Lottery Community Fund).

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