Stafford, the county town of Staffordshire is a dynamic and historic place, located along-side the River Sow. The town has a rich heritage and history, dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, in which period it was divided into shires. You can find one of the finest Tudor houses in England within the town, as well as curious cobble streets, shopping facilities, parks and a range of hospitality venues for both day and night.
Looking at the history of the town, it was founded by Aethelflaed, Lady of Mercia and Alfred the Greats daughter. Throughout the reign of Aethelstan to Henry II, Stafford had its own mint. The town was chartered in 1206, growing into a market town. It now hosts an assortment of shops that range from popular high street retailers to niche independent businesses.
It was throughout the Middle Ages Stafford became a recognised market town, primarily dealing with cloth and wool. Around the time of the Queens accession, the railway came to Stafford. Prior to having a station supply routes were directed by road or, later, by canal.
The town is known for being the birthplace of Reginald Mitchell, who designed the WW2 Spitfire, he is known as an icon within Staffordshire. The Weatherspoon’s in Hanley city centre is named after Mitchell as he went to Hanley high school.
Within the thriving town centre sits a diverse range of facilities that include museums, parks, libraries and Stafford castle. A day visit can go from a walk through the town centre, along the cobble streets to absorbing historical content in local museums.
The largest remaining, timber framed, Tudor town house in England, The Ancient High House, is located in Stafford. Recognised as one of the finest Tudor buildings in the country, the Ancient High House is now opened as a museum to celebrate its iconic heritage. The museum has fascinating changing exhibitions and gives an insight to the lives of those living in the Tudor period.
St Chad’s Church currently the oldest building in Stafford, with a rich history dating back to the 12th Century. Due to the neglect of the church in the 17th and 18th centuries, most of the Norman architecture was obscured, there was heavy restoration work in the 19th century. Inside the church it is beautifully decorated and there is a ‘time walk’ display, showing a computer generated historical exploration of the mysteries within the church.
In regards to culture and entertainment, Stafford Gatehouse Theatre is one of the town’s primary venues. Being host to stand-up comedy and live music in the Met Studio, as well as the art gallery in the Shire Hall, the Gatehouse is an iconic venue for Stafford’s national and local events.
Stafford is situated in an area that offers an ideal commute in many different directions, lying on roads and rail links connecting to London, Manchester and Birmingham, making the town an ideal location to settle. Victoria Park is another appeal to the town, a 13 acre, Riverside Park, with facilities to suit the needs of the variety of local residents as well as visitors.
Throughout this historic County Town you can experience Stafford’s rich heritage including the beautiful architecture and the large agricultural areas. The River Sow is the main river that runs through Stafford. Starting in a village called Fairoak the river travels through the British countryside, through Stafford, ending up in Shugborough where it becomes a tributary to the River Trent.
Stafford has many attractive features within the market town, making it a popular place of residence. In 2015 it was recognised as one of the top 10 places to live in the UK. It is known for having a welcoming community as a wealth of beautiful British countryside.