Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire in England.
It lies in the north of the West Midlands region, between Wolverhampton and Stoke-on-Trent.
Population Stafford 63,681, Borough of Stafford 124,531 (2001 census)
Stafford means 'ford' by a 'staithe' (landing place).
The town's location was the only feasible place for a large army to cross the River Trent, and so was strategically important in the wider region.
The original settlement was on an island in the middle of the marshes of the River Sow, a tributary of the Trent.
There is still a large area of marshland just north of the town, which in both 1947 and 2000 saw floods.
In the year 913 Stafford was fortified by Ethelfleda, Lady of Mercia and daughter of Alfred the Great, becoming the new capital of Mercia (the previous capital having been in or near Stone).
Queen Ethelfleda ruled Mercia from Stafford for five years as Queen of Mercia, after the death of her father and husband - at around this time the county of Staffordshire was first formed.
King Alfred's son Edward, with the crucial aid of Ethelfleda, finally conquered and christianised the Vikings who had settled in the east of England.
Stafford Castle was built by the Normans on a nearby hilltop in 1070, four years after the invasion of 1066.
It was first made of wood, and later rebuilt of stone.
It has been rebuilt twice since, but now only 19th century ruins remain atop the impressive earthworks.
Night-time illuminations create a landmark for motorists on the M6 motorway and train travellers on the West Coast Main Line.
Stafford was considered part of the ancient Pyrehill hundred.
The oldest building in Stafford is St Chad's church.
Opened in 1908, Victoria Park is a 13 acre (53,000 mē) Edwardian riverside park with an open-air paddling pool, bowling green, bird cages, greenhouse and two play areas.
Stafford Gatehouse Theatre is the town's main entertainment and cultural venue.
An Arts centre has also been planned for the town to offer more culture and try and boost tourism in the town.
For a more information about Stafford see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stafford) November 2005
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in November 2005. E. & O.E.
I probably endanger Hui Chin's and my life by saying about Stafford - been there, done that.
I was going to leave it that, when I rememberred, this was another English town where we had to trolley around with our suitcases for hours to find a place for us to sleep.
In the end, we didn't care what it was or how much we had to pay for it. We did find one in the end and it did cost us an arm and a leg.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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