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Uttoxeter (// (listen) yoo-TOK-si-tər, sometimes locally // UTCH-ə-tər) is a market town in Staffordshire, England, close to the border with Derbyshire, one mile (1.61 km) west of the River Dove. The population was 13,089 at the 2011 Census.
- 1 History
- 2 Economy
- 3 Location grid
- 4 Demography
- 5 Transport and infrastructure
- 6 Places of interest
- 7 Media
- 8 Culture
- 9 Religion
- 10 Education
- 11 Sport
- 12 Notable people
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Uttoxeter's name has had at least 79 spellings since it was mentioned in the Domesday Book as "Wotocheshede": it probably came from Anglo-Saxon Wuttuceshǣddre = "Wuttuc's homestead on the heath"; some historians point to pre-Roman settlement here and Bronze Age axes have been discovered in the town (now in display in the Potteries Museum in Stoke-on-Trent). It is possible that Uttoxeter had some form of Roman activity due to its strategic position on the River Dove and closeness to the large garrison forts at Rocester between 69 and 400 AD, and the recently discovered fort at Stramshall, though little corroborating archaeology has been found.
Perhaps the most famous event to have occurred in Uttoxeter is the penance of Samuel Johnson. Johnson's father ran a bookstall on Uttoxeter market, and young Samuel once refused to help out on the stall; when Johnson was older, he stood in the rain (without a hat) as a penance for his failure to assist his father. This event is commemorated with the Johnson Memorial, which stands in the Market Place, in the town centre and there is also an area of town called Johnson Road, which commemorates him.
Mary Howitt, the Quaker writer of the poem "The Spider and the Fly", lived in Uttoxeter for a long period of her life; the town influenced some of her poems and novels, as well as fuelling her love of natural history, which also featured in her books. Howitt Crescent, a residential road in the town, was named after her; the house where she lived, Howitt Place, is still standing in Balance Street.
Thomas Fradgley, Uttoxeter's own architect designed the Town Hall (1854); the Johnson Memorial (1854); St. Michael's Church, Stramshall; St.Lawrence Church, Bramshall (1835), St. Mary's Church, Uttoxeter; Marchington Church, he was involved with Pugin and other architects in designs for the 16th Earl of Shrewsbury at Alton Towers including the figures of the Talbot Hounds at the entrance tower, 1830; the Angel Corbels in the Lady chapel, 1833; Alton Towers Chapel with Joseph Potter and completed in 1833; Swiss Cottage or Harper's Cottage, Farley. He was the architect in the improvement of several local schools, including Uttoxeter National School, Hanbury Free School, enlarged in 1848; Oakamoor N.S., Cauldon Low N.S., Alton N.S., and Draycott in Hanbury School. He married Clara Warner from Bramshall, their only child Thomas died aged six. Thomas Fradgley died in 1883 aged 83.
Bunting’s brewery occupied a large area of the centre of the town since the Victorian era, it stopped producing beer in the 1930s after being bought by Parkers Brewery in Burslem, later part of Ind Coope. The last remains of the brewery were demolished in the 1960s to make way for the Maltings shopping precinct and car park; the brewery clock was re-furbished and installed on the town hall in the 2000s.
In 1945, Joseph Cyril Bamford founded J C Bamford Excavators Limited in Uttoxeter, now known as JCB; the firm, based in the nearby village of Rocester, is the world's third-largest construction equipment manufacturer. The firm's first vehicle was a tipping trailer made from war-surplus materials, which J. C. Bamford built in a rented lock-up garage in Uttoxeter; the Bamford family had previously started Bamfords, later Bamford International Farm Machinery which was a large employer in the town from the end of the 19th century through to the early 1980s when it gradually went into decline before closing in 1989. The land and former building was acquired by JCB to form its 'Special Products' division which has now closed and the buildings demolished; the land has yet to be developed.
Uttoxeter celebrated its 700-year anniversary of the awarding of a market charter (1308) in 2008, which underpins the market provision on Saturdays and Wednesdays in particular, and other festival markets; the 1308 charter followed a more general Royal Charter granted to the town's burgesses in 1252. The originals reside at The National Archives in Kew and the Deferrers Museum in Leicester.
One of the main employers in Uttoxeter is the global construction, demolition and agricultural equipment company JCB; the firm is headquartered in Rocester, with other factories in Uttoxeter, Cheadle, Rugeley, Foston, Wrexham and abroad in the USA and India. Fox's Biscuits (previously Elkes and Adams) has a factory in Uttoxeter. Elkes were the creators of the famous malted milk biscuit. Glennans Crisps a crisp company specialising in vegetable crisps are based in the town, they were bought by Tyrrells Crisps in 2012.
The town's proximity to the Alton Towers Theme Park and Resort, St. George's Park National Football Centre and the Peak District National Park means tourism is an important part of the local economy. Uttoxeter Racecourse, home to the Midlands Grand National, also brings a lot of visitors to the town, as do the town centre's shops and markets.
Agriculture is still important to the local economy; the town is set in rich dairy farming country. Uttoxeter previously housed a large dairy and was historically a major trader in butter and cheese; the farming cooperative Dairy Farmers of Britain had a large dairy in the nearby village of Fole, but this closed in 2008. The next year the firm went into administration. A new cattle market was due to be built in the town, after the old one was demolished in 2004; however, no progress was made and it is now unlikely after ten years that the town will regain this lost feature.
Uttoxeter town centre went through a development scheme in 2006–7, with the Market Place, Market Street, Queens Street, Carter Street, and High Street having undergone a major transformation receiving new stone paving and street furniture.
The phased development of the Dovefields Retail Park opened in 1998 with Tesco supermarket on the edge of the town, with the further expansion of the Retail Park in 2002 with the creation of seven large retail outlets. In 2005 a new entertainment development comprising a bowling alley, ice rink, cinema, children's crèche and a fitness centre as well as business units was built.
The old Cattle Market, closed in November 2005, with the site being demolished to make way for a retail and housing development named Carter Square, opening in 2014; the new development features an Asda supermarket, Costa Coffee, and Home Bargains as well as other smaller retail units and a doctor's office.
The replacement cattle market, was to be situated on the outskirts of the town, and was granted planning permission; however, after several years no development has taken place, and a municipal recycling depot has now opened on part of the site.
The old JCB site in the centre of Uttoxeter was demolished in 2009 after the firm moved operations to one of its sites on the edge of town; the site is currently undergoing redevelopment with the new Waitrose Store having opened in 2016. In addition, plans have been approved to build hundreds of homes, a park, and business units.
According to the 2011 census the population for Uttoxeter Civil Parish was 13,089. White British makes up by far the largest ethnicity at 96% of the population with just 493 people from an ethnic minority.
Transport and infrastructure
Uttoxeter is on the main A50 trunk road; the town also has a railway station, Uttoxeter railway station, which was opened by the North Staffordshire Railway on 2 October 1881, but there were earlier stations opened by the North Staffordshire Railway.
At one time it was also the terminus of a branch of the Caldon Canal (aka the Uttoxeter Canal), but most signs of this, apart from an area of Uttoxeter called "The Wharf", have now disappeared—largely because much of the bed of the canal was used in the 19th century as the route of the North Staffordshire Railway main line from Uttoxeter to Macclesfield (which has now also disappeared).
The nearest airport from the town is East Midlands, which is around 29 miles away.
Policing in Uttoxeter is provided by Staffordshire Police, from the police station on Balance Street. HM Prison Dovegate, in the nearby village of Marchington, is a Category B men's private prison operated by the Serco. HM Prison Sudbury is located just over 6 miles away and over the Derbyshire boundary, and is operated by HM Prison Service, it is a Category D men's open prison.
There is no hospital in Uttoxeter, but the surrounding Queen's Hospital in Burton, County Hospital in Stafford, the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in Stoke-on-Trent and Royal Derby Hospital all serve the town. There is no ambulance station but a team of Rapid Response Paramedics are based in the town and supported by volunteer Community first responders.
Places of interest
St. Mary's Catholic Church in Balance Street was Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin's first church design. He later worked on Alton Towers and the Houses of Parliament. Three miles north west of Uttoxeter are the remains of Croxden Abbey, founded in 1176 by Bertram de Verdun for monks of the Cistercian Order. Redfern's Cottage:Museum of Uttoxeter Life is on Carter Street and is run by a group of volunteers; the restored timber-framed building houses local history displays and a small gift-shop selling local history books and souvenirs, with a cafe opening in 2017.
The town's refurbished Market Place contains the town's main war memorial, as well as the Millennium Monument and the Dr. Johnson Memorial; the Wednesday Friday and Saturday Markets are held weekly in the Market Place, in addition there is a monthly Makers' Market.
Smallwood Manor, just over a mile outside the town and built in 1886, was formerly a country house and is now home to Smallwood Manor Preparatory School; the National Trust's Museum of Childhood is located at nearby Sudbury Hall.
Uttoxeter Racecourse is one of Uttoxeter's most famous landmarks and is a short walk from the town centre.
Bramshall Road Park is the town's recreational ground and offers tennis courts, skate park, basketball court, football pitch, bowling green and two children's play areas, as well as floral arrangements and Picknall Brook nature reserve which can be followed through to the River Dove.
The Alton Towers Resort is around 10 miles (16 km) from Uttoxeter; the Peak District National Park is about 20 miles away.
Croxden Abbey is a ruined Cistercian Abbey approximately three miles outside of the town.
The Uttoxeter Casket or Dr Nelson's Casket is an Anglo Saxon reliquary which likely came from Croxden Abbey, it was rediscovered in a cottage in Croxden in the mid-19th century. It probably held a religious relic and was displayed on an altar; the casket currently resides in the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Ohio.
Uttoxeter lies within the BBC West Midlands and ITV Central both broadcast from the Sutton Coldfield transmitting station; because of the town's location it is also possible to receive BBC East Midlands from the Waltham transmitting station in Leicestershire.
Uttoxeter's own commercial radio station is Ashbourne Radio, broadcast on 101.8 FM locally. Other commercial stations that can be received in the town include Gem 106, Touch FM, Capital FM East Midlands and Signal Radio.
The Uttoxeter Advertiser is part of the Burton Mail group of local papers.
The Uttoxeter Echo is part of Times, Echo and Life Publications, which produce an independent family-owned and run weekly in North Staffordshire; the company has been running since 1896.
The Shire Standard is an independent family-owned and run monthly community magazine, launched in January 2017, it currently has a circulation of 9,000 magazines delivered to homes and businesses across the Uttoxeter town and villages area.
The Wednesday Friday and Saturday Markets are held weekly in the town's refurbished Market Place. A monthly Makers Market is held in the High Street.
Uttoxeter Civic Society was re-established in 2004 to act as a civic watchdog and to protect and promote the history and heritage of Uttoxeter.
Each year, Uttoxeter Lions run a beer festival in June, 'Lark in the Park' at Bramshall Road Park on August bank holiday, Bonfire and Fireworks Night in November and an annual Christmas fair and market known as 'Cracker Night'.
Uttoxeter Choral Society was founded in 1881 and is one of the oldest choral societies in the United Kingdom, they have a continuous record of making music which is matched by very few other societies.
Uttoxeter is also the home of the Acoustic Festival of Britain. 
Uttoxeter obtained minor fame as the setting of a recurring comedy sketch by comedians Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie in their BBC television series A Bit of Fry and Laurie. In one episode of the sketch, two obnoxious business entrepreneurs (who run various companies in Uttoxeter throughout the series) develop grand plans for a popular sports centre; the sketch derives its humour from the fact that Uttoxeter is in fact a very quiet and sedate town. The name can also be uttered with mild humorous effect.
The town also featured in Countryfile, as a 'mystery town'; the town's cattle market featured in the programme; it was the last cattle market ever in the town centre site in 2005. Local people participated in the programme from the local Uttoxeter Advertiser and Uttoxeter Racecourse staff.
Uttoxeter Racecourse has been used on several occasions as the racecourse visited by residents of the popular soap Coronation Street.
Uttoxeter is the home of Rockin' Johnny Austin MBE, recognised for his charity work and for rock and roll songs such as Rockabilly Stroll which was a minor hit in the 1980s. John also produced a World Cup Single, Victory Day, in 2010 which was filmed on location in Uttoxeter Market Place.
St. Mary the Virgin Church
The main religious building in Uttoxeter is the Church of England church St. Mary the Virgin Church on Church Street in the town. The present structure dates from 1877 but parts of the building date from the 15th century. There is also another Church of England church in The Heath area of the town which is known locally as The Heath Church. Both churches lie in the parish of Uttoxeter and the Diocese of Lichfield.
St. Mary's Catholic Church
Other Christian Churches
Uttoxeter also has a Methodist church which dates from 1812, a United Reformed church on Carter Street, a Pentecostal Church, a Free Church, and a Kingdom Hall for Jehovah's Witnesses.
Quaker Meeting House
The Uttoxeter Meeting House in Carter Street was built in 1706, remaining in use until the late 1880s when dwindling numbers of attendees resulted in its closure; however, it was reopened in 1922, remaining so ever since.
Uttoxeter has a three-tier schooling system that consists of several first schools, three middle schools (Oldfields Hall Middle School, Windsor Park Middle School and Ryecroft Middle School, Rocester) and a high school. All 3 schools are rated Good by Ofsted in 2015/16 and the high school was named as one of the top 10% of schools nationally for Progress at GCSE in 2015, Thomas Alleyne's, has over 1,100 pupils, an astroturf football pitch, swimming pool, gymnasium and several grass football pitches. Thomas Alleyne's is the only high school in Staffordshire that offers a school farm; the school also includes a sixth form centre, and is one of three schools founded by the 16th-century priest Thomas Alleyne.
Prior to this educational structure, the town had a selective secondary and grammar school system which consisted of Windsor Park Boys' School, Oldfields Girls' School and Alleyne's Grammar School.
Uttoxeter is the hometown of Olympic gold-medal-winning swimming star Adam Peaty, world record holder for the 50m and 100 m breast stroke. In January 2015 he opened the newly redeveloped Uttoxeter Leisure Centre which now houses the Adam Peaty swimming pool.
Uttoxeter Racecourse, which is home to the Midlands Grand National, is one of Uttoxeter's most famous landmarks and is a short walk from the town centre.
Uttoxeter Rugby Club was formed in 1982 when JCB Rugby club began to play its games at Oldfields sport and social club in Uttoxeter establishing the first rugby side in the town traditionally associated with football. In those days there was no league structure in place nationally so Uttoxeter played "friendly" fixtures and developed great rivalries with other local sides including Cannock and Rugeley which have endured over the last 30 years.
Uttoxeter has a football club called Uttoxeter Town FC, also based at the aforementioned Oldfields sports and social club which for many years has been successful in the Burton and District Sunday Football League. From 2012, Uttoxeter Town FC entered the Staffordshire County Senior League, Division 1. There is also Rocester F.C. in the nearby village of Rocester.
Uttoxeter Golf Course is a short walk from the main town; the Manor golf course is 3 miles out of the centre near the village of Kingstone.
Uttoxeter Leisure Centre in Oldfields Road has a swimming pool, gym and sports hall.
Uttoxeter Rifle Club is a Home Office Approved Rifle Club based in the village of Denstone; the club regularly shoots on the 30-yard outdoor cadet range at Denstone College as well as longer-range facilities at Catton Park and Diggle.
In order of birth:
- Thomas Alleyne (c. 1488 – 1558), a priest who founded schools such as Thomas Alleyne's High School Uttoxeter. and Alleyne's Academy in Stone.
- Thomas Blagrave (died 1590) was acting Master of the Revels in 1573–1579.
- Thomas Allen (1542–1632), English mathematician and astrologer born in the town
- Sir Simon Degge, (1612–1703) antiquary, wrote notes on Plot's Natural History of Staffordshire.
- Robert Bakewell, (1682–1752) artist and metal worker, was born in the town.
- Admiral Lord Gardner (1742–1809), who commanded a younger Nelson, was born at the manor house in the town.
- Samuel March Phillipps (1780–1862) civil servant, legal writer and Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department from 1827 to 1848.
- Samuel Bentley (1785–1868) English printer and antiquarian
- Thomas Kynnersley (1839–1874), naval officer and later MP in New Zealand, was born in town.
- Lewis Hall (1860–1933), dental surgeon and politician in British Columbia, Canada
- Joseph Cyril Bamford (1916–2001), industrialist founder of JCB, was born at what is now the Parks.
- Peter Vaughan (1923–2016) television and film actor, lived in the town and attended Uttoxeter Grammar School.
- Dave Sampson (1941–2014) English rock singer, was born in the town.
- Anthony Bamford (born 1945), billionaire industrialist and Ferrari collector, son of Joseph Cyril Bamford, was born in Uttoxeter.
- Ruth Gledhill, (born 1959) journalist, lived in Gratwich and attended Thomas Alleyne's High School.
- Shane Meadows (born 1972), writer and director, known for This Is England, was born and brought up in Uttoxeter.
- Vincent Blore (1908–1997), goalkeeper, played for Uttoxeter, Aston Villa, Burton Town, Derby County, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Exeter.
- Bartley Gorman (1944–2002), bare knuckle boxer, lived for many years in the town.
- Gary Croft (born 1974), footballer, grew up here and attended Alleynes. He was the first English footballer to play whilst wearing an electronic tag.
- Jason Beardsley (born 1989), footballer for Notts County F.C..
- Adam Peaty (born 1994), world record holder for the 50m and 100m breast stroke and Olympic gold medallist
- "Town population 2011". Retrieved 12 December 2015.
- Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; National Archives; CP 40/555, in 1399; http://aalt.law.uh.edu/H4/CP40no555/bCP40no555dorses/IMG_0036.htm; ; sixth entry. where the Plaintiff John Passemor comes from, appearing as Uttoksather
- "JCB reaps reward for 'tough action' as profits show a rise". Yorkshire Post. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
- "Crisis Deepens for Dairy Farmers". BBC News. BBC. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
- "Cattle Market a 'White Elephant'". Uttoxeter Advertiser. Staffordshire Newspapers Ltd. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
- "'Thank You All for Your Patience'". Uttoxeter Advertiser. Staffordshire Newspapers Ltd. 22 February 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
- "Cinema Project Takes Shape". Uttoxeter Advertiser. Staffordshire Newspapers Ltd. 21 February 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
- "JCB Plan Under Fire by Residents". Uttoxeter Advertiser. Staffordshire Newspapers Ltd. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
- "Area: Uttoxeter CP (Parish) population". ONS. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
- "Ethnic Group". ONS. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
- Uttoxeter Choral Society website. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- Quakers website retrieved Jan 2017
- "Peaty opens hometown leisure centre". 22 May 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 1, Allen, Thomas retrieved December 2017.
- Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 14, Degge, Simon retrieved December 2017.
- Dictionary of National Biography, 1885–1900, Volume 20, Gardner, Alan retrieved December 2017.
- Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 45, Phillipps, Samuel March retrieved December 2017.
- Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 04, Bentley, Samuel retrieved December 2017.
- IMDb Database retrieved December 2017.
- SoccerBase Database retrieved December 2017.
- SoccerBase Database retrieved December 2017.
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