32 Facts About Stafford


The town population in 2021 was 71, 424 and that of the wider borough of Stafford was 122, 000, making it the third largest in the county after Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

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Stafford is thought to have been founded about AD 700 by a Mercian prince called Bertelin, who, legend has it, founded a hermitage on a peninsula named Betheney.

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Stafford Castle, built by the Normans on a nearby hilltop to the west about 1090, was first made of wood and later rebuilt in stone.

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When James I visited Stafford, he was said to be so impressed by the Shire Hall and other buildings that he called it "Little London".

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In 1658 Stafford elected John Bradshaw, who had been judge at the trial of King Charles I, to represent the town in Parliament.

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Lord Stafford was among those accused; he was unfortunate to be the first to be tried and was beheaded in 1680.

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Stafford became a major junction, which helped to attract other industries.

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In 2013 Stafford celebrated its 1, 100th anniversary year with a number of history-based exhibitions, while local historian Nick Thomas and writer Roger Butters were set to produce the two-volume A Compleat [sic] History of Stafford.

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The office of Mayor of Stafford Borough has existed since the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act 1835.

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Stafford has its own parliamentary constituency, represented since 2019 by Theo Clarke, a Conservative.

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Stafford Castle was built by the Normans on the nearby hilltop to the west in about 1090, replacing the post-Conquest fort in the town.

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Oldest building now in Stafford is St Chad's Church, dating back to the 12th century.

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The annual Shakespeare Festival at Stafford Castle has attracted many notable people, including Frank Sidebottom and Ann Widdecombe.

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Stafford is covered by BBC West Midlands and ITV Central, both broadcasting from Birmingham to the wider West Midlands region.

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Stafford is mainly served by the Sutton Coldfield transmitting station, just north of Birmingham, but some residents get a better picture from The Wrekin transmitting station, near Telford.

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In terms of BBC Local Radio, Stafford is covered by BBC Radio Stoke, with a transmitter based on top of the County Education building.

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Stafford can get marginal signals from the West Midlands regionals, like Heart and Smooth Radio, and is at the very north of Free Radio's Black Country and Shropshire coverage area.

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Stafford has a community radio station serving the town and surrounding areas, Stafford FM.

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Stafford has a history of shoemaking as far back as 1476, when it was a cottage industry, but a manufacturing process was introduced in the 1700s.

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Stafford had several government contracts through the town's Member of Parliament, the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

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Stafford is a dormitory town for commuting to Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham.

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The only block of Stafford University left in use is the School of Health in Blackheath Lane, which teaches medical nursing.

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Since Arriva CrossCountry took over the franchise and adopted a new timetable in 2008, this has reversed and services between Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street almost always stop at Stafford, giving a service typically every 30 mins on weekdays.

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Stafford has five taxi firms and several independent operators from ranks at the station, Bridge St, Broad St and Salter St.

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The Shire Hall, Stafford, completed in 1798, used to be a court house, but is an art gallery.

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Stafford Prison is a Category C men's prison, operated by HM Prison Service.

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Originally RAF Stafford, the base was a non-flying Royal Air Force station.

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Stafford Court was divided into 13 "houses" named after local villages.

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Stafford Post Office Rifle and Pistol Club is a Home Office approved rifle club founded in 1956.

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Notable people from Stafford include the 17th-century author of The Compleat Angler, Izaak Walton, whose cottage at nearby Shallowford is an angling museum, and the 18th-century playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, who was once the local MP.

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Stafford's was the Poet laureate from 2009 to 2019, and now lives in Manchester.

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Baron Stafford is a title created several times in the Peerage of England.

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