Worcestershire is a county in the West Midlands of England. Between 1974 and 1998, it was merged with the neighbouring county of Herefordshire as Hereford and Worcester; the cathedral city of Worcester is county town. Other major towns in the county include Bromsgrove, Evesham, Malvern and Stourport-on-Severn; the north-east of Worcestershire includes part of the industrial West Midlands. The county is divided into six administrative districts: Worcester, Wychavon, Malvern Hills, Wyre Forest, Bromsgrove; the county borders Herefordshire to the west, Shropshire to the north-west, Staffordshire only just to the north, West Midlands to the north and north-east, Warwickshire to the east and Gloucestershire to the south. The western border with Herefordshire includes a stretch along the top of the Malvern Hills. At the southern border with Gloucestershire Worcestershire meets the northern edge of the Cotswolds. Two major rivers flow through the county: the Avon; the geographical area now known as Worcestershire was first populated at least 700,000 years ago.
The area became predominantly agricultural in the Bronze Age, leading to population growth and more evidence of settlement. By the Iron Age, hill forts dominated the landscape. Settlement of these swiftly ended with the Roman occupation of Britain; the Roman period saw establishment of the villa system in the Vale of Evesham. Droitwich was the most important settlement in the county in this period, due to its product of salt. There is evidence for Roman settlement and industrial activity around Worcester and King's Norton. Worcestershire was the heartland of the early English kingdom of the Hwicce, it was absorbed by the Kingdom of Mercia during the 7th century and became part of the unified Kingdom of England in 927. It was a separate ealdormanship in the 10th century before forming part of the Earldom of Mercia in the 11th century. In the years leading up to the Norman conquest, the Church, supported by the cathedral, Evesham Abbey, Pershore Abbey, Malvern Priory, other religious houses dominated the county.
During the Middle Ages, much of the county's economy was based on the wool trade. Many areas of its dense forests, such as Feckenham Forest, Horewell Forest and Malvern Chase, were royal hunting grounds subject to forest law; the last known Anglo-Saxon sheriff of the county was Cyneweard of Laughern, the first Norman sheriff was Urse d'Abetot who built the castle of Worcester and seized much church land. On 4 August 1265, Simon de Montfort was killed in the Battle of Evesham in Worcestershire. In 1642, the Battle of Powick Bridge was the first major skirmish of the English Civil War; the county suffered from being on the Royalist front line, as it was subject to heavy taxation and the pressing of men into the Royalist army, which reduced its productive capacity. The northern part of the county, a centre of iron production, was important for military supplies. Parliamentarian raids and Royalist requisitioning both placed a great strain on the county. There were tensions from the participation of prominent Catholic recusants in the military and civilian organisation of the county.
Combined with the opposition to requisitioning from both sides, bands of Clubmen formed to keep the war away from their localities. The Battle of Worcester in 1651 ended the third civil war. There was little enthusiasm or local participation in the Scottish Royalist army, whose defeat was welcomed. Parliamentarian forces ransacked the city of Worcester, causing heavy damage and destruction of property. Around 10,000 Scottish prisoners were sent into forced labour in the New World or fen drainage schemes; the small bands of Scots that fled into Worcestershire's countryside were attacked by local forces and killed. In the 19th century, Worcester was a centre for the manufacture of gloves. Droitwich Spa, situated on large deposits of salt, was a centre of salt production from Roman times, with one of the principal Roman roads running through the town; these old industries have since declined. The county is home to the world's oldest continually published newspaper, the Berrow's Journal, established in 1690.
Malvern was one of the centres of the 19th century rise in English spa towns due to Malvern water being believed to be pure, containing "nothing at all". The 2011 census found the population of Worcestershire to be 566,169, an increase of 4.4% from the 2001 population of 542,107. Though the total number of people in every ethnic group increased between 2001 and 2011, the White British share of Worcestershire's population decreased from 95.5% to 92.4%, as did the share of white ethnic groups as whole, which went from 97.5% to 95.7%. While this change is in line with the nationwide trend of White British people's share of the population shrinking, Worcestershire is still much more ethnically homogeneous than the national average. In 2011 England as a whole was 79.8% White British, much lower than Worcestershire's figure of 92.4%. Local government in Worcestershire has changed several times since the middle of the 19th centiry. Worcestershire had several exclaves, which were areas of land cut off from the main geographical area of Worcestershire and surrounded by the nearby counties of Warwickshire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.
The most notable were Dudley, th
Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. It borders with Cheshire to the northwest and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the southeast, West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south, Shropshire to the west; the largest city in Staffordshire is Stoke-on-Trent, administered separately from the rest of the county as an independent unitary authority. Lichfield has city status, although this is a smaller cathedral city. Major towns include Stafford, Burton upon Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Tamworth. Smaller towns include Stone, Uttoxeter, Burntwood/Chasetown, Eccleshall and the large villages of Wombourne, Tutbury, Barton-under-Needwood and Abbots Bromley. Cannock Chase AONB is within the county as well as parts of the National Forest and the Peak District national park. Wolverhampton, West Bromwich and Smethwick are within the historic county boundaries of Staffordshire, but since 1974 have been part of the West Midlands county. Apart from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire is divided into the districts of Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Newcastle-under-Lyme, South Staffordshire, Staffordshire Moorlands, Tamworth.
Staffordshire was divided into five hundreds: Cuttlestone, Pirehill and Totmonslow. The historic boundaries of Staffordshire cover much of what is now the metropolitan county of West Midlands. An administrative county of Staffordshire was set up in 1889 under the Local Government Act 1888 covering the county except the county boroughs of Wolverhampton and West Bromwich in the south, Hanley in the north; the Act saw the towns of Tamworth and Burton upon Trent united in Staffordshire. In 1553 Queen Mary made Lichfield a county corporate, meaning it was administered separately from the rest of Staffordshire, it remained so until 1888. Handsworth and Perry Barr became part of the county borough of Birmingham in the early 20th century, thus associated with Warwickshire. Burton, in the east of the county, became a county borough in 1901, was followed by Smethwick, another town in the Black Country in 1907. In 1910 the six towns of the Staffordshire Potteries, including Hanley, became the single county borough of Stoke-on-Trent.
A significant boundary change occurred in 1926 when the east of Sedgley was transferred to Worcestershire to allow the construction of the new Priory Estate on land purchased by Dudley County Borough council. A major reorganisation in the Black Country in 1966, under the recommendation of the Local Government Commission for England led to the creation of an area of contiguous county boroughs; the County Borough of Warley was formed by the merger of the county borough of Smethwick and municipal borough of Rowley Regis with the Worcestershire borough of Oldbury: the resulting county borough was associated with Worcestershire. Meanwhile, the county borough of Dudley a detached part of Worcestershire and became associated with Staffordshire instead; this reorganisation led to the administrative county of Staffordshire having a thin protrusion passing between the county boroughs and Shropshire, to the west, to form a short border with Worcestershire. Under the Local Government Act 1972, on 1 April 1974 the county boroughs of the Black Country and the Aldridge-Brownhills Urban District of Staffordshire became, along with Birmingham and Coventry and other districts, a new metropolitan county of West Midlands.
County boroughs were abolished, with Stoke becoming a non-metropolitan district in Staffordshire, Burton forming an unparished area in the district of East Staffordshire. On 1 April 1997, under a recommendation of the Banham Commission, Stoke-on-Trent became a unitary authority independent of Staffordshire once more. In July 2009 the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold found in Britain was discovered in a field near Lichfield; the artefacts, known as The Staffordshire Hoard have tentatively been dated to the 7th or 8th centuries, placing the origin of the items in the time of the Kingdom of Mercia. This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of the non-metropolitan county of Staffordshire at current basic prices published by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British pounds sterling; some nationally and internationally known companies have their base in Staffordshire. They include the Britannia Building Society, based in Leek. JCB is based in Rocester near Uttoxeter and Bet365, based in Stoke-on-Trent.
The theme park Alton Towers is in the Staffordshire Moorlands and several of the world's largest pottery manufacturers are based in Stoke-on-Trent. Staffordshire has a comprehensive system with eight independent schools. Most secondary schools are from 11–16 or 18, but two in Staffordshire Moorlands and South Staffordshire are from 13–18. Resources are shared. There are two universities in the county, Keele University in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire University, which has campuses in Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and Shrewsbury; the modern county of Staffordshire has three professional football clubs – Stoke City and Port Vale, both from Stoke-on-Trent, Burton Albion, who play in Burton upon Trent. Stoke City, one of the oldest professional football clubs in existence, were founded in 1863 and played at the Victoria Ground for 119 years from 1878 until their relocation to the Britannia Stadium in 1997, they were among the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888. By the late 1930s, they were establi
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands of England, bordering Wales to the west, Cheshire to the north, Staffordshire to the east, Worcestershire and Herefordshire to the south. Shropshire Council was created in 2009, a unitary authority taking over from the previous county council and five district councils; the borough of Telford and Wrekin has been a separate unitary authority since 1998 but continues to be included in the ceremonial county. The county's population and economy is centred on five towns: the county town of Shrewsbury, culturally and important and close to the centre of the county; the county has many market towns, including Whitchurch in the north, Newport northeast of Telford and Market Drayton in the northeast of the county. The Ironbridge Gorge area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale and a part of Madeley. There are other historic industrial sites in the county, such as at Shrewsbury, Broseley and Highley, as well as the Shropshire Union Canal.
The Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers about a quarter of the county in the south. Shropshire is one of England's most rural and sparsely populated counties, with a population density of 136/km2; the Wrekin is one of the most famous natural landmarks in the county, though the highest hills are the Clee Hills and the Long Mynd. Wenlock Edge is another significant geological landmark. In the low-lying northwest of the county overlapping the border with Wales is the Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve, one of the most important and best preserved bogs in Britain; the River Severn, Great Britain's longest river, runs through the county, exiting into Worcestershire via the Severn Valley. Shropshire is landlocked and with an area of 3,487 square kilometres is England's largest inland county; the county flower is the round-leaved sundew. The area was once part of the lands of the Cornovii, which consisted of the modern day counties of Cheshire, north Staffordshire, north Herefordshire and eastern parts of Powys.
This was a tribal Celtic iron age kingdom. Their capital in pre-Roman times was a hill fort on the Wrekin. Ptolemy's 2nd century Geography names one of their towns as being Viroconium Cornoviorum, which became their capital under Roman rule and one of the largest settlements in Britain. After the Roman occupation of Britain ended in the 5th century, the Shropshire area was in the eastern part of the Welsh Kingdom of Powys, it was annexed to the Angle kingdom of Mercia by King Offa in the 8th century, at which time he built two significant dykes there to defend his territory against the Welsh or at least demarcate it. In subsequent centuries, the area suffered repeated Viking incursions, fortresses were built at Bridgnorth and Chirbury. After the Norman conquest in 1066, major estates in Shropshire were granted to Normans, including Roger de Montgomerie, who ordered significant constructions in Shrewsbury, the town of which he was Earl. Many defensive castles were built at this time across the county to defend against the Welsh and enable effective control of the region, including Ludlow Castle and Shrewsbury Castle.
The western frontier with Wales was not determined until the 14th century. In this period, a number of religious foundations were formed, the county falling at this time under the Diocese of Hereford and that of Coventry and Lichfield; some parishes in the north-west of the county in times fell under the Diocese of St. Asaph until the disestablishment of the Church in Wales in 1920, when they were ceded to the Lichfield diocese; the county was a central part of the Welsh Marches during the medieval period and was embroiled in the power struggles between powerful Marcher Lords, the Earls of March and successive monarchs. The county contains a number of significant towns, including Shrewsbury and Ludlow. Additionally, the area around Coalbrookdale in the county is seen as significant, as it is regarded as one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution; the village of Edgmond, near Newport, is the location of the lowest recorded temperature in England and Wales. Shropshire is first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle annal for 1006.
The origin of the name is the Old English Scrobbesbyrigscīr, which means "Shrewsburyshire". The name may, therefore, be derived indirectly from a personal name such as Scrope. Salop is an old name for Shropshire used as an abbreviated form for post or telegrams, it is thought to derive from the Anglo-French "Salopesberia", it is replaced by the more contemporary "Shrops" although Shropshire residents are still referred to as "Salopians". Salop however, is used as an alternative name for the county town, which shares the motto of Floreat Salopia; when a county council for the county was first established in 1889, it was called Salop County Council. Following the Local Government Act 1972, Salop became the official name of the county; the name was not well-regarded locally however, a subsequent campaign led by a local councillor, John Kenyon, succeeded in having both the county and council renamed as Shrops
Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire, in the West Midlands of England. It lies 16 miles north of Wolverhampton, 18 miles south of Stoke-on-Trent and 24 miles north-west of Birmingham; the population in 2001 was 63,681 and that of the wider borough of Stafford 122,000, the fourth largest in the county after Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme. Stafford means'ford' by a'staithe'; the original settlement was on dry sand and gravel peninsula that provided a strategic crossing point in the marshy valley of the River Sow, a tributary of the River Trent. There is still a large area of marshland northwest of the town, which has always been subject to flooding, such as in 1947, 2000 and 2007, it is thought Stafford was founded about 700 AD by a Mercian prince called Bertelin who, according to the legend, established a hermitage on the peninsula named Betheney. Until it was thought that the remains of a wooden preaching cross from this time had been found under the remains of St Bertelin's chapel, next to the collegiate Church of St Mary in the centre of the town.
Recent re-examination of the evidence shows this was a misinterpretation – it was a tree-trunk coffin placed centrally in the first, chapel at around the time Æthelflæd founded the burh, in 913 AD. The tree-trunk coffin may have been placed there as an object of commemoration or veneration of St Bertelin. A centre for the delivery of grain tribute during the Early Middle Ages, Stafford was commandeered in July 913 AD by Æthelflæd, Lady of Mercia, in order to construct a burh there; this new burh was fortified and provided with an industrial area for the centralised production of Roman-style pottery, supplied to the chain of West Midlands burhs. Æthelflæd and her younger brother, King Edward the Elder of Wessex, were attempting to complete their father King Alfred the Great's programme of unifying England into a single kingdom. Æthelflæd was a formidable military leader and tactician, she sought to protect and extend the northern and western frontiers of her overlordship of Mercia against the Danish Vikings, by fortifying burhs, including Tamworth and Stafford in 913, Runcorn on the River Mersey in 915 among others, while King Edward the Elder concentrated on the east, wresting East Anglia and Essex from the Danes.
Anglo-Saxon women could play powerful roles in society. Edward the Elder of Wessex took over her fortress at Tamworth and accepted the submission of all who were living in Mercia, both Danish and English. In late 918 Aelfwynn, Æthelflæd's daughter, was deprived of her authority over Mercia and taken to Wessex; the project for the unification of England took another step forward. Stafford was one of Æthelflæd's military campaign bases and extensive archaeological investigations, recent re-examination and interpretation of that evidence now shows her new burh was producing, in addition to the Stafford Ware pottery, food for her army and weaponry, but no other crafts and there were few imports; the Lady of Mercia, Æthelflæd, ruled Mercia for five years after the death of her father and husband, dying in Tamworth in 918. At around this time the county of Staffordshire was formed. Stafford lay within the Pirehill hundred. In 1069, a rebellion by Eadric the Wild against the Norman conquest culminated in the Battle of Stafford.
Two years another rebellion, this time led by Edwin, Earl of Mercia, culminated in Edwin's assassination. This meant. Robert de Tonei was granted one third of the king's rents in Stafford; the Norman conquest in Stafford was therefore brutal, resulted not only in the imposition of a castle, but in the destruction and suppression of every other activity except the intermittent minting of coins for about a hundred years. Stafford Castle was built by the Normans on the nearby hilltop to the west about 1090, it was first made of wood, rebuilt of stone. It has been rebuilt twice since, the ruins of the 19th century gothic revival castle on the earthworks incorporate much of the original stonework. Redevelopment began in the late 12th century, while the church, the main north-to-south street and routes through the late Saxon industrial quarter to the east remained, in other ways the town plan changed. A motte was constructed on the western side of the peninsula, overlooking a ford, facing the site of the main castle of Stafford, on the hill at Castle Church, west of the town.
Tenements were laid out over the whole peninsula and trade and crafts flourished until the early 14th century, when there was another upset associated with the plague of Black Death, followed in the mid 16th century by another revival. In 1206 King John granted a Royal Charter. In the Middle Ages Stafford was a market town dealing in cloth and wool. In spite of being the shire town, Stafford required successive surges of external investment from the time of Æthelflæd to that of Queen Elizabeth I. King Richard II was paraded through the town's streets as a prisoner in 1399, by troops loyal to Henry Bolingbroke; when James I visited Stafford, he was said to be so impressed by the town's Shire Hall and other buildings that he called it'Little London'. Charles I visited Stafford shortly after the out-break of the English Civil War, he stayed for three days at the Ancient High House. The town was captured by the Parliamentarians, while a small-scale battle was fought at nearby Hopton. Stafford fell to the Parliamentarians, as did
Featherstone is a small village in the district of South Staffordshire, near to the border with Wolverhampton. A farming community consisting of a few scattered farms, it is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, was owned by the clergy of Wolverhampton Church, it is possible that the population numbers were static until the opening of a new mine, Hilton Main, in the 1920s, it closed in 1969. The Duke of Cleveland was lord of the manor of this small township of 550 acres and just 34 souls in 1851; this was once the residence of the noted antiquary. The principal inhabitants were Joshua Price and Edward Tunycliffe, John Perry the lock manufacturer and Thomas Hill a vermin killer; the village's population at the time of the 1851 census was 35. By 1921 this had risen to 39. By the time of the 2001 census it was 3,948 The village has one primary school, Featherstone Academy and a pub, the Red and Blue. Controversy was sparked over the proposed building of 1,500 houses on green belt land, although many people believed the extra facilities proposed would make the village a better place to live.
After much public opposition this plan was rejected in early 2009. Featherstone has a Methodist church and some small shops. There are three off licences a chemist. In 2008 there was some concern over the future of the post office, but it was not one of those closed. On the outskirts of the village are three prisons. Nearby is the site of the former Brinsford Lodge Teachers' Training College and Polytechnic Hall of Residence; the site of the old college, which stood near Oakwood Prison, is rich in history. There are traces of several old Second World War tiles from the kitchens. Featherstone Academy, the Avenue Featherstone is part of the ecclesiastical Parish of Shareshill, where the Parish Church of St Mary & St Luke is situated. There is a Methodist chapel sited at the junction of the Avenue and the A460; the Red and Blue public house was built in the 1920s to replace a much older building nearby. Through the village there is a bus service, with only one bus going through at all times; these are: Bus No. 70 - Cannock Via Cheslyn Hay Bus No. 70 - WolverhamptonEvery 30 Minutes weekdays and Saturdays Sunday Buses: Bus No. 33 - Cannock Via Cheslyn Hay Bus No. 33 - WolverhamptonEvery 2½ Hours Featherstone has a parish council with two wards.
Brinsford Ward, two councillors. Featherstone Ward, nine councillors. Featherstone is represented in the House of Commons by Member of Parliament Gavin Williamson, Conservative member for South Staffordshire. Andy Thompson an English former footballer, played 533 professional games, of which 376 were for Wolverhampton Wanderers F. C. Media related to Featherstone, Staffordshire at Wikimedia Commons