Back

ⓘ History of Staffordshire




History of Staffordshire
                                     

ⓘ History of Staffordshire

Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. It adjoins Cheshire to the north west, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the south east, West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south, and Shropshire to the west. The historic county of Staffordshire included Wolverhampton, Walsall, and West Bromwich, these three being removed in 1974 to the new county of West Midlands. The resulting administrative area of Staffordshire has a narrow southwards protrusion that runs west of West Midlands to the border of Worcestershire. The city of Stoke-on-Trent was removed in the 1990s to form a unitary authority, but is still considered part of Staffordshire for ceremonial purposes.

A historic County with an area of 1.250 sq 781.000 acres. miles and at the first census in 1801 had a population of 239.153.

The County probably first appeared in this form in the decade after the year 913, that being the date at which Stafford – the strategic military fording-for the army to cross the Trent – became a secure fortified stronghold and the new capital of Mercia under Queen Æthelflæd.

Historically, Staffordshire was divided into five hundred. The origin of hundreds of dates from dividing his Kingdom, king Alfred the Great in counties, hundreds and tithings. From the beginning, Staffordshire was divided into the hundreds of Totmonslow, Pirehill, Offlow, Cuttleston and Seisdon.

The hundredal division Staffordshire is noticeably different from the districts to the South and West, showing much greater stability. All book hundreds remain virtually unchanged up to modern times. Also in the size in hundreds. Staffordshire hundreds, five in number, in General, much more than in neighbouring countries, particularly with regard to North Staffordshire. Two hundred on the South-West a more normal degree. It seems to be mainly due to the nature of the district. North Staffordshire to a large extent of swamp, which were unattractive to early settlers. It is noteworthy, as showing where the centres of these hundreds lay, that the meeting places of the two Northern hundreds of Pirehill and Totmonslow located in the extreme South of the respective hundreds. South Staffordshire was mainly forest area. In the southern part of Seisdon hundred was covered in Kinver forest, and the greater part of two hundred in the Central part of the County, those Cuttleston and Offlow, was busy Cannock forest. The acreage of these hundreds needs in the early days was much less than at present.

The County symbol, the Staffordshire knot, is seen in England, stone cross, which dates from around the year 805. The cross still stands in Stoke churchyard. Thus, this node is either I) in the Ancient symbol of Mercia or II) a symbol adopted from Irish Christianity was brought to Staffordshire by Irish monks from Lindisfarne, about 650 ad.