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Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire, in the West Midlands region of England. It lies approximately 16 miles north of Wolverhampton and 18 miles south of Stoke-on-Trent, adjacent to the M6 motorway Junction 13 to Junction 14. The population of Stafford was given in the 2001 census as 63,681, with that of the wider borough of Stafford as 122,000, making Stafford the fourth largest settlement in the Ceremonial county, after Stoke-on-Trent, Tamworth and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
|OS Settlement Classification||Town|
|Fire and Rescue Authority||Staffordshire|
|Fire and Rescue Authority||Staffordshire|
|Ambulance Authority||West Midlands|
|Population||55,700 (2011 Census)|
Other names by which Stafford, Staffordshire has been known in the past
Betheney ~ Staefford ~ Stafeford ~ Statford ~ Stad-
Stafford, Staffordshire in John Bartholomew's "Gazetteer of the British Isles" (1887)
Stafford, parl. and mun. bor., par. and township, and county town of Staffordshire, on river Sow, 27 miles NW. of Birmingham and 134 NW. of London by rail - par. (Stafford Saints Mary and Chad), 8441 ac., pop. 17,032; township, 3653 ac., pop. 14,399; bor. (comprising Stafford township, part of Hopton and Coton township, Stafford par., and part of Castle Church par.), 1012ac., pop. 19,977; 3 Banks, 2 newspapers. Market-day, Saturday. Stafford grew up around a Saxon stronghold, which was replaced after the Conquest by a Norman castle. Fragments of the old walls still remain. The town is pleasantly situated, and is in general well built. Among the principal objects of interest are the two old churches of St Mary and St Chad, both recently restored; Edward's VI.'s grammar school; the "William Salt" library; the county and town buildings, &c. Stafford is an important rail-way centre. Its chief industrial establishments are breweries, tanneries, and several extensive factories for the mfr. of boots and shoes. Izaak Walton (1593-1683), the angler, was a native. Stafford gives the title of marquis to the Gowers, and of baron to the Jeninghams. It returns 1 member to Parliament; it returned 2 members from Edward I. until 1885, when its parliamentary limits were extended.
Stafford, Staffordshire in "A Topographical Dictionary of England" edited by Samuel Lewis (1848)
STAFFORD, a borough and market-town, consisting of the united parishes of St. Mary and St. Chad, and forming the head of aunion, locally in the S. division of the hundred of Pirehill, N. division of the county of Stafford; containing 10,730 inhabitants, of whom 9245 are in the borough, 136 miles (N. W.) from London, on the road to Chester. This town, which is of great antiquity, was originally called Stadeford or Stadford, from the Saxon Stade, signifying "a place on a river," and from the trajectus or ford across the Sow, on which stream it is situated. It is said to have been in 705 the devotional retirement of St. Bertelin, the son of a Mercian king, upon whose expulsion from his hermitage, at a spot called Berteliney or Betheney, meaning "the island of Bertelin," several houses were built, which furmed the origin of the present town. In 913, Ethelfleda, Countess of Mercia, erected a castle on the north side of the river, and surrounded the town with walls and a fosse, of which the only remains are one side of a groove for a portcullis, at the entrance to Eastgate-street. Edward the Elder, brother of Ethelfleda, about a year after the erection of the castle, built a tower, the site of which Mr. Pennant supposes to have been the mouut called by Speed Castle Hill. From this period to the Conquest, the town appears to have increased considerably in extent and importance; and though it had received no charter of incorporation, it is in Domesday book called a city, the king having eighteen burgesses in demesne here, and the earls of Mercia twenty "mansions." William, out of all the manors in the county, reserved this only for himself, and built a castle to keep the barons in subjection, appointing as governor Robert de Toeni, the progenitor of the house of Stafford, on whom he bestowed all the other manors, with the title of Baron de Stafford. The castle, after having been rebuilt by Ralph de Stafford, a celebrated warrior in the reign of Edward III., remained standing till the civil war in the time of Charles. It was then garrisoned by the royal forces under the Earl of Northampton, was at length taken by the troops under the command of Sir William Brereton, and subsequently demolished by order of the parliament. The remains consisted chiefly of the keep, and were situated on the summit of a lofty eminence, about a mile and a half south-west of the town; the walls were eight feet thick, and at each angle was an octagonal turret, with a tower similarly shaped on the south-west side. About seventy years since, the only visible remains were part of a wall, which the late Sir William Jerningham underbuilt, to prevent it from falling; in doing which it was discovered that the basement story lay buried under the ruins of the upper parts. Sir George Jerningham (now Lord Stafford) afterwards began to rebuild the castle on the old foundation, but completed only the south front, flanked with two round towers, in which are deposited some ancient armour and other curiosities.
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