the county town of Staffordshire, stands
on the River Trent and its name means 'ford by a landing place
(staithe)'. This was the only feasible place for a large
army to cross this important river and as a result the location
was of strategic importance for a large area.
settlement was originally on an island in the middle of marshes
on the River Sow, a tributary of the River Trent.
became the capital of the Kingdom of Mercia in 913 AD and
in 1070 William the Conqueror built a wooden fortress on a
hillside nearby. This timber structure was later replaced
by a stone castle, which was rebuilt several times over the
only 19th century ruins crown the earthworks. #The castle
has dominated the Stafford skyline for over 900 years and
at night-time the illuminated castle makes an impressive landmark
for motorists on the M6 and travellers on the West Coast Main
Stafford's most famous residents was Izaak Walton (1593 -
1683). Famous as the author of the Compleat Angler,
Walton lived in Shallowford and his thatched
cottage is now open to the public.
famous resident was Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751 - 1816).
Well known as a playwright, Sheridan was also also the local
the turn of the 20th century Stafford has been known for its
heavy engineering and in particular the production of power
station transformers. Occasionally a vast transformer can
be seen being transported by road, pulled by an 8-wheel drive
'Goliath' tractor and pushed by 3 more.
is also home to the computing and IT campus of Staffordshire
University, the main campus is in Stoke on Trent.
has many attractions. The town's oldest building is the church
of St Chad, dating from the 12th century. Built in the late-Norman
style, the church in noted for its magnificent arches and
Street, Stafford's main shopping area, stands the Ancient
High House. This building, built in 1595, is the largest
timber-framed town house in England. Charles I and his nephew
Prince Rupert stayed here in 1642 at the start of the English
Civil War and the Parliamentarians later used the building
as a prison for Royalist officers. The Ancient High House
is a museum with regularly changing exhibitions.
Hall Gallery, in the Market Square, hosts contemporary
art exhibitions and visitors can also view the historic courtroom.
The gallery has a craft shop and café.
the River Trent stands Victoria Park, opened in 1908.
Stafford are Weston
Park , Shugborough