Visit Stafford and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Stafford, Staffordshire. The county town, Stafford has a history going back 1,200 years. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as a borough; it had a market in 1230; and it has been represented in Parliament since 1295. But its fame in the wider world rests on its being the birthplace of the world's most renowned angler, Izaak Walton. He was born here in 1593 and although he left for London to become an apprentice, he always remembered his native town. At Shallowford, 5 miles North East of the town, the Borough Council have taken over the trusteeship of the lzaak Walton Cottage which was opened as a museum in 1924.This was the farm Walton left to Stafford with the stipulation that the rent should be used each year to apprentice two poor boys, provide a marriage portion for a servant girl, and pay for coal for the needy. The small black-and-white cottage has been burnt down twice since 1924, but it has been carefully restored to as near the original as possible.
Stafford has connections with another famous Englishman: playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan was its M.P. from 1790 to 1806.
There are a number of buildings in the town which are worth a visit. The Church of St Mary in a garden of remembrance just behind the main shopping street, is striking for its unusual octagonal tower in dark grey stone. In the curiously shaped Norman font, Izaak Walton was baptized. A white bust in the north aisle is inscribed “Izaak Walton, Piscator”. It was around this site, at a crossing place over the River Sow, that the town began to grow. Stafford is a contraction of Staith-ford — a ford by a landing place. The story is a shadowy one of a prince of Mercia, Bertelin, repenting of his sins and building a hermitage about A.D. 700; of a church being eventually built on the same spot, to be followed by the building of the present church late in the 12th century.
Close by St Mary's is Stafford's oldest house, the handsome, four-story, timbered High House, where Charles I and Prince Rupert stayed for three nights in September 1642 while recruiting. The house, which is excellently preserved, probably dates from the mid-l6th century, and the beams were shaped from locally grown trees.
Stafford once had two castles. William the Conqueror built one in the north-west part of the town. One of his barons, Robert de Stafford, built his on a hill to the West of the town, overlooking the present M6 and the A518 from Newport. William's disappeared centuries ago; Robert's was rebuilt in the mid- 14th century, stood until its demolition by the Parliamentary forces when they captured it in 1643, was rebuilt once more early in the 19th century — and is again a ruin, its gaunt remains approachable only on foot.
Another building certain to catch the eye is the Royal Brine Baths, black-and-white but dating only from 1892. Stafford has large salt deposits, at a depth of 400 ft. found by accident during the 19th century when the council was searching for new sources of drinking water. The salt is extracted as brine — and the unusual amenity of brine swimming is available at these baths.
Two more of Stafford's buildings should be mentioned: the small Church of St Chad, tucked between the shops in Greengate Street, and possessing a fine Norman chancel arch; and the 17th-century Noel Almshouses in Mill Street.
Nearby towns: Eccleshall, Newport, Penkridge, Rugeley, Shifnal, Stone, Uttoxeter
Nearby villages: Aston Trussell, Bednall, Bickford, Blymhill, Bradley, Brockhurst, Chebsey, Church Eaton, Colwich, Coppenhall, Derrington, Dunston, Ellenhall, Gnosall, Great Bridgeford, Grindley, Haughton, Hednesford, Hilderstone, Huntington, Ingestre, Lapley, Little Bridgeford, Milwich, Newtown, Norton Bridge, Pershall, Ranton, Salt, Sandon, Seighford, Shugborough, Stowe-by-Chartley, Tixall, Weston, Wheaton Aston, Whitgreave
Have you decided to visit Stafford or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Stafford bed and breakfast (a Stafford B&B or Stafford b and b)
- a Stafford guesthouse
- a Stafford hotel (or motel)
- a Stafford self-catering establishment, or
- other Stafford accommodation