A Brief History of Tamworth

Tamworth has a population of about 80,000. It's in the south of Staffordshire, which is joined with several other counties in the middle of England to form the region known as "The Midlands" - no prizes for guessing why! Here's a map on which you might spot "Watling Street". This was one of the main roads built by the Romans about 100 AD, some 1900 years ago, it runs from London all the way to Anglesey at the northern tip of Wales. The nearest major city to Tamworth is Birmingham, which is the UK's second city, after London.

Tamworth has a wonderfully preserved castle (actually a Shell Keep on top of an even older Motte and Bailey site). Tamworth was the capital of Mercia under King Offa in around 750 AD, and at that time Mercia was much larger than today's "Midlands". Along it's western border with Wales, relations with the Welsh being somewhat troubled at the time, King Offa built a defensive dyke, all the way from the North to the South, quite a feat! There are remains of a stone gatehouse from that time, but the castle itself is a bit younger than that, being not quite 1000 years old.

Tamworth also has a large church, St Editha's, some of which dates from the 12 centuary. It not only houses the Girlguiding Tamworth Division Flag in the beautiful St. George's chapel, but also has a very rare double spiral stone staircase, many fantastic stained glass windows, and a rare set of 10 bells. For even more information click here.

To further extend your knowledge of Tamworth trivia, you should know that Sir Robert Peel the founder of the police force came from Tamworth. The police are often referred to by the nickname of "Bobbies", based of course on Robert. He also produced the very first party political manifesto - now where would we be without those!

For recreation we've got the first indoor ski slope, with real snow, to be built in Europe, at the Snowdome. We've got Drayton Manor theme park on the outskirts of the town too, the old Drayton Manor being the former home of Sir Robert Peel. And if you are a golf player by any chance, then you will have heard of the Ryder cup, which was in the US recently, but when played in Europe has been held at the Belfry, about 7 miles outside Tamworth.

Other "famous" things to come out of Tamworth include a variety of pig no less! Pig fans click here. Also, some years back we used to have a type of three wheeler car made in Tamworth by a firm called Reliant. They were made of fibre glass, and as a result of Tamworth's links with the aforementioned pig these cars got nicknamed "plastic pigs"! You may recall the Trotters having one of these in the BBC comedy series "Only Fools and Horses".

More recently, in 2009 one of the largest and most important finds of Anglo Saxon gold was discovered not far from Tamworth.

It's amazing what two thousand years of history can reveal!

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Site last updated 13th December 2016