|A vibrant market town on the banks of the River Sow, this county town was created by King Alfred’s daughter, Aethelfraed, in the Middle Ages. Much later it became a centre for shoe making. The remains of one of two old castles can still be seen and acts as a backdrop to many events, including Shakespearian plays. The top attraction here, though, is the Elizabethan High House, England’s largest timber-framed house, which somehow survived the ravages of the English Civil War. Both Charles 1 and Prince Rupert stayed here for a few tumultuous days in 1642. The house has now become a local museum. The remarkable Williams Salt Library, run by a charitable trust, is contained in an 18th century house.|
Britain’s most famous angler Izaak Walton, was born at 92 Eastgate Street and was baptised at St. Mary’s Church. He wrote the eccentric fisherman’s handbook ‘The Compleat Angler’ . His riverside cottage in the small village of Shallowford has been turned into a museum.
Beyond Stafford stands magical Shugborough Hall, ancestral pile of the Earls of Lichfield. Restored by the National Trust, it has a magnificent collection of furniture and paintings while beyond are splendid gardens and parkland dotted with curious monuments. The Staffordshire County Museum resides in the Hall’s domestic buildings. |
Close to Stafford is the beautiful mansion of Weston Park and its huge park landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown. The interior contains tapestries, paintings and furniture. Nearby Doxey Marshes is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.