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Dates: 15 April & 20 July 2009

The Borough Hall of 1876 on Eastgate Street was designed by Henry Ward in the High Victorian Gothic style. It has nine bays and a rusticated ground floor. It is now the Gatehouse Theatre and houses the Tourist Information Office. In 2009, No. 79 Eastgate Street was for the registration of marriages.

Turning into Martin Street from Eastgate Street we see a range of public buildings. The County Buildings were designed by H. T. Hare and erected between 1893 and 1895. On the corner of Martin Street and Eastgate Street is this three storey house used for Registration of Births and Deaths. Martin Street runs into Greengate Street. Timber-framed High House in Greengate Street is now a museum. On the east side of Greengate Street is one of the town's oldest pubs, formerly called The Bear it has now reopened in 2009 as The Bear Grill.

St. Chad's stands on Greengate Street. The 12th century church was restored first by Ward in 1854. Between 1873 and 1874 George Gilbert Scott rebuilt the west front, which had collapsed in a style to match the interior. The columns in the nave, the chancel and chancel arch are Norman. The tower is in the Perpendicular Style and the nave walls are 19th century.

Moat House, 133, Newport Road, appears to be the building described by Pevsner as The Mount, was built about 1820 with three bays and a porch containing two pairs of Greek Doric Columns. Water Wheel displayed near Victoria Park. There was a mill on the River Sow from about 1164/5. The last mill on this site was pulled down in the 1950s.

When I visited in 2009, the Women's Institute in Stafford, celebrated its 90th Anniversar in Flowers in Victoria Park. The Park lies on both banks of the River Sow and was opened on 14 June 1908. The County War Memorial on Victoria Road near the Park was unveiled in 1923. The plaque lower left on the plinth reads, "To the officers and men of Staffordshire Units, and all other Staffordshire men who gave their lives for their country in the Great War, 1914-1918"

The famous angler, Izaak Walton, was born in Stafford. He lived from 1593 to 1683 and wrote the seminal work 'The Compleat Angler' published in 1653. Returning towards the town centre one crosses the bridge over the Sow, which was built in 1933 to replace an earlier bridge of 1866. Ahead is Stafford College. The Hogshead faces the Court Buildings and is on the corner of Earl Street. It was formerly known as Bridgewood House.

Turning back up Mill Street and then up Church Lane one comes to St. Mary's Place. Just in front of the west front the remains of the Anglo-Saxon church of St. Bertelin were discovered in 1954. St. Mary's was a medieval collegiate church and was extensively restored by George Gilbert Scott between 1841 and 1844. Difficult for the amateur to spot what is Scott and what is not. From the church one enters the Guildhall Shopping Centre and emerges on Crabbery Street with the entrance to the old St. John's Market. To the right of the entrance to St. John's Market is the modern entrance to the Guildhall Shopping Centre shown at the extreme right of the picture. The public house is named after Dr.William Palmer, surgeon, MRCS, the Rugeley poisoner, who was hanged at Stafford on 14 June 1856 before a crowd of 30,000.

At the west end of Crabbery Street is Chapel Street where there is a tower, built as part of a Wesleyan Methodist chapel that operated from 1863 to 1984. Designed by Hayley and Sons, it was built on the site of an earlier chapel dating from 1811. When the site was redeveloped for the Guildhall Shopping Centre, the congregation joined with that of the United Reform Church to build Trinity Church in Mount Street, which was opened in 1988.

From Chapel Street I made a quick detour to see Broad Eye Windmill on Tenterbanks. It was built in 1796 with stone from the old Elizabethan Shire Hall, when the new one was constructed. Returning to the town centre to Market Square and the Shire Hall, built by John Harvey between 1795 and 1799. It has nine bays and is faced with ashlar. On the north side of the Market Square is the former Stevenson, Salt and Co. Bank building of about 1795, contemporary with the Shire Hall and in a similar style. The bank eventually became part of Lloyds. Immediately to the right of the Bank is the William Salt Library, established in 1872, which was formerly the Old Bank House. It is now the Stafford Railway Building Society. Through the arch is Bank Passage. At the end of Gaolgate Street is Gaol Square and the clock. The sign on the wall of the coffee house states that Alderman Thomas Sidney, Lord Mayor of London from 1853 to 1854 was born there in 1805


County Building   County Building
Borough Hall of 1876, Eastgate Street   Entrance to Borough Hall on Eastgate Street
Eastgate St.   Eastgate Street
Eastgate Street, Colonnade dated 1560   79 Eastgate Street
Salt Library   Eastgate Street
William Salt Library in Eastgate Street. House built in 1730   Eastgate St. two-storey bow windows
Shrewsbury Arms   Record Office
Shrewsbury Arms on Eastgate Street   County Record Offic. Eastgate St. opposite entrance to Cope St.
Martin Street   Martin St
Martin Street   Community and Scientic Services in 2009
Corner of Martin and Eastgate St.   Pediment above the door on building shown above
County Buildings   Entrance to County Buildings
County Buildings, Martin Street   Entrance to the County Buildings in Martin Street
St. Martin's Place   Staffordshire Know
West end of Martin St. and St. Martin's Place   On the gate to the County Building
a   Bear Grill
High House in Greengate Street of 1555   One of the town's oldest pubs formerly "The Bear"
St. Chad's   a
St. Chad's   Entrnce to St. Chad's
Moat House   Water Wheel
Moat House is 133, Newport Road   Water wheel near Victoria Park
Staffordshire Emblem   War Memorial
Ninety years of the W.I. in flowers   War Memorial on Victoria Road.
Izaak Walton   Stafford College
Statue of Izaakk Walton, Stafford born angler   Stafford College
College   Hogshead
The corner of Stafford College   The Hogshead
a   Entrance to Hogshead
The Nag's Head on the corner of Mill and Water Streets   Ornate entrance to Hogshead
  St. Oswald's
Entrance to St. John's Market   St. Oswald's
Palmers   Market Hall Entrance
Public House named after Dr. William Palmer   Old Market Hall entrance
Tower   tower
Tower from former Weslyand Chapel   Broad Eye Windmill, Tenterbanks
Shire Hall   Bank
Shire Hall on Market Square, 1795-99   The former Stevenson, Salt & Co. Bank
William Salt Library   Clock
Original William Salt Library of 1872   Gaol Square

A mile to the SW of Stafford are the remains of Stafford Castle, parts of which date from 1315. The motte was created from a natural feature in the later 11th century and would have had timber pallisades and a wooden fortification on top. When the Parliamentarians took the castle in 1643 it was slighted to prevent further use by the Royalists. Later the east wing and keep were rebuilt but the castle fell into disrepair in the 20th century. Since 1978 new work has taken place to secure the ruins and create a visitor centre.

Stafford Castle
Stafford Castle


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Strolling through Staffordshire

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