Stafford is 133 miles from London, 60 miles from Liverpool and 30 miles from Birmingham. The town is on the main road and railway between London, Birmingham and the north. It lies in the countryside between the Potteries to the north and the Black Country to the south and is the county town of Staffordshire.
was founded in Saxon times and the town centre
[map or air photo]
is still based on the medieval street pattern. Later suburbs grew in the Foregate
or North End, Forebridge in the south
and Castletown by the railway station.
Stafford had some fine buildings but in the 19th century
there were shocking slums in the older parts of
town. There was no proper drainage and cesspits polluted the drinking water. Improvements
came only slowly. Irish families could be found in most parts of Stafford, but
conditions were worst for those living in mean localities like Snow's
Yard, Cherry Street, Red
Lion Street and the Back Walls.
Throughout the 19th century lots of people came to work in Stafford, including Irish immigrants. Many also left the town and emigrated, however, particularly when the shoe trade was depressed. Stafford continued to grow in the 20th century and it is now a prosperous and diverse community.
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