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Coordinates: 52°41′07″N 1°49′50″W / 52.6853°N 1.8305°W / 52.6853; -1.8305

City of Lichfield
City of Lichfield is located in Staffordshire
City of Lichfield

 City of Lichfield shown within Staffordshire
Population 30,050 (Mid-2007 estimate)
OS grid reference SK115097
Parish Lichfield
District Lichfield
Shire county Staffordshire
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LICHFIELD
Postcode district WS13, WS14
Dialling code 01543
Police Staffordshire
Fire Staffordshire
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament Lichfield
List of places: UK • England • Staffordshire

Lichfield (pronounced /ˈlɪtʃfiːld/) is a city and civil parish[1] in Staffordshire, England. One of seven civil parishes with city status in England, Lichfield is situated roughly 25 km (16 miles) north of Birmingham and 200 km (124 miles) northwest of London.

Lichfield is notable for its three-spired cathedral and as the birthplace of Samuel Johnson, the writer of the first authoritative Dictionary of the English Language. Today it still retains its old importance as an ecclesiastical centre, but its industrial and commercial development has been relatively small; the centre of the city thus retains an essentially old-world character. The construction of a major shopping and leisure complex, which will transform the city centre, was due to begin in 2009, however, due to the global economic downturn, the construction has been delayed.[2] In July 2009, the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found in Britain was discovered in a field near Lichfield.

The population of the city according to the 2001 census is 27,900 and the wider Lichfield district has a population of 93,237. In mid-2007, the city had an estimated population of 30,050 (from the estimated headcounts[3] of its electoral wards Boley Park, Chadsmead, Curborough, Leomansley, St.Johns and Stowe).

Contents

Etymology

Legend has it that a thousand Christians were martyred in Lichfield around AD 300, during the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, and that the name 'Lichfield' actually means 'field of the dead'. There is however, no evidence to support this legend.[4] At Wall, 3 miles (5 km) to the south of the present city, there was a Romano-British village called Letocetum from the British (Celtic) for "grey wood", from which the first half of the name Lichfield is derived.[5] The second part of the name is derived from the Old English "feld", meaning 'open country'. In that sense 'Lichfield' would be 'common pasture in grey wood', 'grey' perhaps referring to varieties of tree prominent in the landscape, such as ash and elm.[6]

History

The history of the city of Lichfield is closely linked to its cathedral.
The motto on Lichfield's coat of arms quotes Samuel Johnson's tribute to his native city in his Dictionary, "Salve, magna parens" ("Hail great parent").
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Early history: Religious centre of Mercian kings

The early history of Lichfield is obscure. The first authentic record of Lichfield occurs in Bede's history, where it is called Licidfelth and mentioned as the place where St Chad fixed the episcopal see of the Mercians in 669. The first Christian king of Mercia, King Wulfhere donated land at Lichfield for Chad to build a monastery. It was because of this that the ecclesiastical centre of the Diocese of Mercia became settled at Lichfield, which was approximately 3 miles north of the seat of the Mercian kings at Tamworth. The first cathedral to be built on the present site was in 700 when Bishop Hedda built a new church to house the bones of St Chad which had become a sacred shrine to many pilgrims when he died in 672. The burial in the cathedral of the kings of Mercia, King Wulfhere in 674 and King Ceolred in 716, further increased the prestige of Lichfield.[7] In 786 Offa, King of Mercia, raised Lichfield to the dignity of an archbishopric, with authority over all the bishops from the Humber to the Thames. However after King Offa's death in 796, Lichfield's power waned and in 803 the primacy was restored to Canterbury by Pope Leo III after only 16 years. The Historia Britonum lists the city as one of the 28 cities of Britain around AD 833.

9th century: Viking invaders and decline

During the 9th century, the Kingdom of Mercia was devastated by the Vikings from Denmark. Lichfield itself was unwalled and the cathedral was despoiled, so Bishop Peter moved the see to the fortified and wealthier Chester in 1075. His successor, Robert de Limesey, transferred it to Coventry, but it was eventually restored to Lichfield in 1148. Work began on the present Gothic cathedral in 1195. At the time of the Domesday survey, Lichfield was held by the bishop of Chester, where the see of the bishopric had been moved 10 years earlier; Lichfield was listed as a small village. The lord of the manor was the bishop of Chester until the reign of Edward VI.

Middle Ages: New town laid out by Bishop Clinton

Bishop Clinton was responsible for transforming the scattered settlements to the south of Minster Pool into the ladder plan streets we recognise today. Market Street, Wade Street, Bore Street and Frog Lane linked Dam Street, Conduit Street and Bakers Lane on one side with Bird Street and St John Street on the other. Bishop Clinton also fortified the cathedral close, enclosed the town with a bank and ditch, and gates were set up where roads into the town crossed the ditch.[7] In 1291 Lichfield was severely damaged by a fire, which destroyed most of the town, however the Cathedral and Close survived unscathed.[8] In 1387 Richard II gave a charter for the foundation of the gild of St Mary and St John the Baptist; this gild functioned as the local government, until its dissolution by Edward VI, who incorporated the town in 1548.

16th century: Reformation and martyrs

Henry VIII had a dramatic affect on Lichfield. The Reformation brought the disappearance of pilgrim traffic following the destruction of St Chad's shrine in 1538 which was a major loss to the city's economic prosperity. That year too the Franciscan friary was dissolved, the site becoming a private estate. Further economic decline followed the outbreak of plague in 1593, which resulted in the death of over a third of the entire population.[9]

Three people were burned at the stake for heresy under Mary I. The last person in England to be burnt at the stake for heresy was in Lichfield. Edward Wightman from Burton upon Trent was burnt at the stake in the Market Place on 11 April 1612 for refusing to recant his Baptist beliefs.

17th century: Destruction of the Civil War

In the English Civil War, Lichfield was divided. The cathedral authorities, with a certain following, were for the king, but the townsfolk generally sided with the Parliament. This led to the fortification of the close in 1643. Lichfield's position as a focus of supply routes had an important strategic significance during the war, and both forces were anxious for control of the city. Lord Brooke, notorious for his hostility to the church, led an assault against it, but was killed by a deflected bullet on St Chad's day, an accident welcomed as a miracle by the Royalists. The close yielded and was retaken by Prince Rupert of the Rhine in this year; but on the breakdown of the king's cause in 1646 it again surrendered. The cathedral suffered extensive damage from the war, including the complete destruction of the central spire. It was subsequently restored at the end of the Commonwealth period under the supervision of Bishop Hacket, and thanks in part to the generosity of King Charles II.

18th century: Thriving coaching city and cultural centre

Lichfield started to develop a lively coaching trade as a stop-off on the busy route between London and Chester from the 1650s onwards, making it Staffordshire's most prosperous town. By the start of the 18th century the city thrived as a busy coaching city on the main route to the northwest and Ireland. It also became a centre of great intellectual activity being the home of many famous people including Samuel Johnson, David Garrick, Erasmus Darwin and Anna Seward, this prompted Johnson's remark that Lichfield was "a city of philosophers". In the 1720s Daniel Defoe described Lichfield as 'a fine, neat, well-built, and indifferent large city', the principal town in the region after Chester.[10] An infantry regiment of the British Army was formed at Lichfield in 1705 by Col. Luke Lillingstone in the King's Head pub in Bird Street. In 1751 it became the 38th regiment of foot and in 1783 the 1st Staffordshire Regiment; after reorganization in 1881 it became the 1st battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment.[10]

19th century: Industrial Revolution and decline

The arrival of the Industrial Revolution and the railways in the 19th century signaled the end of Lichfield's position as an important staging post for coaching traffic. Whilst the industrial development at nearby Birmingham exploded, along with its population, Lichfield remained largely unchanged in character.

20th century: World War II and post-War expansion

The first council houses were built in the Dimbles area of the city in the 1930s. The outbreak of World War II brought over 2000 evacuees from industrialised areas. However due to the lack of heavy industry in the city, Lichfield escaped lightly, although there were air raids in 1940 and 1941 and 3 Lichfeldians were killed. Just outside the city Wellington Bombers flew out of Fradley Aerodrome which was known as RAF Lichfield. After the war the council built many new houses including high-rise flats in the 1960s and a large housing estate at Boley Park . The city's population tripled between 1951 and the late 1980s. Today the city continues to expand; to the west, a new area of housing has been under development for a number of years which has swelled the city's population by some 3,000.

21st century

Plans have been approved for a major new £100 million shopping and leisure complex, at Friarsgate, opposite Lichfield City Station. Friarsgate garage, Lichfield's multi-storey car park, police station, bus station and public toilets will all be demolished to make way for 22,000 square metres of retail space and 2,000 square metres designated for leisure facilities. It has been announced that this will consist of a flagship Debenhams department store, a six-screen cinema, a hotel, 37 individual shops and 56 apartments.[2] However, due to the global economic downturn, the construction has been delayed. In July 2009, The Staffordshire Hoard the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found was discovered in a field near Lichfield.

Places of interest

The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum in the Market Square
  • Lichfield Cathedral — England's only medieval Cathedral with three spires. The present building was started in 1195, and completed by the building of the Lady Chapel in the 1330s. It replaced a Norman building begun in 1085 which had replaced one, or possibly two, Saxon buildings from the seventh century.
  • The Bishop's Palace (built 1687) and a theological college (built 1837) are adjacent to the cathedral.
  • Milley's Hospital dates back to 1504 and was a women's hospital.
  • St. John's without the Bars — a distinctive Tudor building with a row of seven tall brick chimneys. This was built outside the city walls (bars) to provide accommodation for travellers arriving after the gates were shut. It now provides home for elderly Gentlemen and has an adjacent Chapel.
  • The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum — a museum to Samuel Johnson's life, work and personality.
  • The Lichfield Heritage Centre — in the market square, an exhibition of 2,000 years of Lichfield's history.
  • Erasmus Darwin House — once home to Erasmus Darwin was restored to create a museum which opened to the public in 1999.
  • The Church of St Chad — ancient though extensively restored; on its site St Chad is said to have occupied a hermit's cell.
  • Christ Church Lichfield — an outstanding example of Victorian ecclesiastical architecture and a grade II* listed building.
  • The Market Square contains two statues, one of Samuel Johnson overlooking the house in which he was born, and one of his great friend and biographer, James Boswell.
  • Just outside the city is the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas.
  • Cannock Chase is also nearby. A designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It comprises a mixture of natural deciduous woodland, coniferous plantations and open heathland. There are a number of visitor centres, museums and waymarked paths, including the Heart of England Way and the Staffordshire Way. On the Chase's north-eastern edge can be found Shugborough Hall, ancestral home of the Earls of Lichfield.

Famous Lichfeldians

Statue of Dr. Johnson in Lichfield's Market Square

Governance

Local government

Historically the Bishop of Lichfield had authority over the city. It wasn't until 1548 with Edward VI's charter that Lichfield had anything like a secular government. As a reward for the support given to Mary I by the bailiffs and citizens during the duke of Northumberland's attempt to prevent her accession, the queen issued a new charter in 1553, confirming the 1548 charter and in addition granting the city its own sheriff. The same charter made Lichfield a county separate from the rest of Staffordshire. It remained so until 1888.

Today, the City Council has 28 members who are elected every four years. The Mayor is the civic head of the Council and chairs Council meetings. The Deputy Mayor undertakes the Mayor's duties in the absence of the Mayor. The Council also appoints a Leader of Council to be the main person responsible for leadership of the Council's political and policy matters. The Council is also one of only 15 towns and cities in England and Wales which appoints a Sheriff.[11]

Members of Parliament

The Lichfield constituency sent two members to the parliament of 1304 and to a few succeeding parliaments, but the representation did not become regular until 1552; in 1867 it lost one member, and in 1885 its representation was merged in that of the county.[10]

The current Member of Parliament for Lichfield is the Conservative Michael Fabricant, who has been MP for Lichfield since 1997. Fabricant was first elected at the 1992 general election for Mid Staffordshire, regaining the seat for the Conservatives following Sylvia Heal's victory at the 1990 by-election. He took the seat with a majority of 6,236 and has remained a Member of Parliament since. The Mid Staffordshire seat was abolished at the 1997 general election, but Fabricant contested and won the Lichfield constituency, which partially replaced it, by just 238 votes. He has remained the Lichfield MP since, increasing his majority to 4,426 in the 2001 general election and to 7,080 in 2005.

Economy

The Tudor Café in Bore Street was built in 1510

Lichfield's wealth grew along with its importance as an ecclesiastical centre. The original settlement prospered as the place where pilgrims gathered to worship at the shrine of St Chad, this practice continued up until the Reformation when the shrine was destroyed.

In the Middle Ages, the main industry in Lichfield was making woollen cloth. There was also a leather industry in Lichfield. Much of the surrounding area was open pasture and there were many surrounding farms.

In the 18th century, Lichfield became a busy coaching centre, there was little industry, the main source of wealth to the city coming from the money generated by its many visitors. The invention of the railways saw the decline in coach travel and with it came the decline in Lichfield's prosperity.

By the end of the 19th century, brewing was the principal industry, and in the neighbourhood were large market gardens which provided food for the growing populations of nearby Birmingham and the Black Country.

Today there are a number of light industrial areas predominantly in the east of the city, not dominated by any one particular industry. The district is famous for two local products: Armitage Shanks, manufacturers of baths/bidets and showers, and Arthur Price of England, master cutlers and silversmiths. Many residents commute to Birmingham.

It is predicted that once completed, the new Friarsgate retail and leisure development could attract 11,000 more visitors to the city every month, generating annual sales of around £61 million and creating hundreds of jobs in the city.[12]

Demographics

At the time of the 2001 census, the population of the City of Lichfield was 27,900. Lichfield is 98.1% white and 79% Christian. 56.7% of the population over 16 were married. 63.2% was employed and 16% of the people were retired. All of these figures were higher than the national average.[13]

Population growth of the City of Lichfield since 1685
Year 1685 1781 1801 1831 1901 1911 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001
Population 3,040 3,555 4,840 6,252 7,900 8,616 10,260 14,090 22,660 25,400 28,666 27,900

Culture

Lichfield Garrick Theatre was built in 2003

The Garrick Theatre was opened in 2003 replacing the Civic Hall, which was built in the 1970s. Each year in July The Lichfield Festival takes place, based primarily around the cathedral and the Garrick Theatre, it is celebration of classical music, dance, drama, film, jazz literature, poetry, visual arts and world music.[14] Since 1995 the Festival has incorporated a Medieval Market, taking place in the Cathedral Close.

Once every three years, The Lichfield Mystery Play cycle is performed in the Cathedral, the Market Place and on Stowe Fields. It is a cycle of 26 medieval plays involving nearly 1000 people, making it one of the largest community arts events in Europe.[15]

In 2009 the first Inspire Film Festival took place at the Garrick theater, created by a group of local media students. The event featured short films and documentaries from students all over the country.

The Lichfield Bower takes place on Spring Bank Holiday Monday, it dates back to the Middle Ages, when the townsfolk, after fulfilling their duty of attendance at the Court of Arraye, were given the rest of the day as holiday. A procession of marching bands and carnival floats makes its way through the city, where the Bower Queen is crowned outside the Guildhall at noon. There is also a fun fair in the city centre, and a fair and jamboree in Beacon Park.

The Lichfield Real Ale, Jazz & Blues Festival takes place in June each year.

The Bloodstock Open Air heavy metal music festival takes place every year at Catton Hall, approximately 7 miles outside of Lichfield.

Sport

Historically rugby was more popular in the city than football, this was largely due to the fact that it was the main sport at Lichfield Grammar School. However, both sports have remained at amateur level. Lichfield Rugby Union Football Club was founded in 1874. As of 2008-09 season they play in the Midlands 3 West (North) League. The team plays at Cooke Fields located on the road to Whittington village, next to the Horse and Jockey public house. The club moved there in the 1980s after their former home was sold for housing.

Lichfield City Football Club (formerly known as Beacon Park F.C. until June 2006) played in the Burton & District League until 2008, when the club gained entrance to the Midland Football Combination. The 1st team play at Brownsfield Park next the new Lichfield City FC Social Club (formerly known as Enots). LCFC are a FA Charter Community club with teams from under 7's to Adults.

Lichfield Diamonds LFC is at the forefront of girls football in Staffordshire, being the first all female club to achieve Charter Standard Status. The team plays at the Collins Hill Sports Ground.

Lichfield Cricket Club is a cricket team currently playing in the Third Division of the Birmingham and District Premier League. They also play at the Collins Hill Sports Ground.

Lichfield Archers were reformed over 40 years ago. The club shoot at their indoor and outdoor ranges at Christian Fields where they have a 20 yard indoor range and a 100 yard outdoor range

Education

The Lichfield campus of South Staffordshire College is located on The Friary.

In addition to numerous Primary schools Lichfield has three secondary schools:

Additionally, based in the Cathedral Close and Longdon is the fee paying Cathedral School.

There is a campus facility of Staffordshire University in Lichfield which opened in 1998.
There is a DfES Approved Independent Special School for dyslexic children at Maple Hayes Dyslexia School, Abnalls Lane.

Suburbs

Stowe | Nether Stowe | Chadsmead | Curborough | Christchurch | Sandfields | Leomansley | Boley Park | The Dimbles

Nearby places

Tamworth | Burntwood | Burton-on-Trent | Birmingham | Whittington | Shenstone | Sutton Coldfield | Rugeley | Armitage | Wall | Stafford | Cannock | Uttoxeter | Cannock Wood | Gentleshaw | Hammerwich

Twinnings

The City of Lichfield is twinned with:

Transport

Lichfield City Station

Lichfield is served by two railway stations, Lichfield City and Lichfield Trent Valley, both built by the London and North Western Railway. These stations are now on the Cross-City Line to Redditch via Birmingham. Additionally, Trent Valley station is on the West Coast Main Line with hourly direct semi-fast services to Euston, and also to Stafford, Stoke and Crewe, supplemented by occasional fast services.

Despite being north of Birmingham, trains between Lichfield Trent Valley and London Euston can take as little as 1 hour 10 minutes.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Names and codes for Administrative Geography". Office for National Statistics. 31 December 2008. http://www.ons.gov.uk/about-statistics/geography/products/geog-products-area/names-codes/administrative/index.html. Retrieved 15 September 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "New Friarsgate development gets delayed due to 'credit crunch'". icLichfield. http://iclichfield.icnetwork.co.uk/news/localnews//tm_headline=credit-squeeze-delays-friarsgate&method=full&objectid=22250839&siteid=108911-name_page.html. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  3. ^ Mid-2007 Quinary Estimates for 2009 wards (experimental) at "Ward mid-year population estimates for England and Wales (experimental)". Office for National Statistics. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/Product.asp?vlnk=13893. Retrieved 7 November 2009. 
  4. ^ "Explaining the origin of the 'field of the dead' legend". British History Online. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42340. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  5. ^ English Place Name Society Database at Nottingham University
  6. ^ [From: 'Lichfield: The place and street names, population and boundaries ', A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 14: Lichfield (1990), pp. 37-42. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42340 Date accessed: 20 July 2009.]
  7. ^ a b From: 'Lichfield: History to c.1500', A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 14: Lichfield (1990), pp. 4-14. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42336 Date accessed: 24 July 2009.
  8. ^ "Brief History of Lichfield". Local Histories. http://www.localhistories.org/lichfield.html. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  9. ^ "'Lichfield: From the Reformation to c.1800', A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 14: Lichfield (1990), pp. 14-24.". British History Online. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42337. Retrieved 22 November 2008. 
  10. ^ a b c From: 'Lichfield: From the Reformation to c.1800', A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 14: Lichfield (1990), pp. 14-24. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42337 Date accessed: 24 July 2009.
  11. ^ http://www.lichfield.gov.uk/cc.ihtml
  12. ^ "Economic benefits of new development to Lichfield". icLichfield. http://iclichfield.icnetwork.co.uk/news/localnews//tm_headline=credit-squeeze-delays-friarsgate&method=full&objectid=22250839&siteid=108911-name_page.html. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  13. ^ http://www.lichfield.gov.uk/cc-statistics.ihtml
  14. ^ "About The Lichfield Festival". Lichfield Festival. http://www.lichfieldfestival.org/2008/content/view/25/40/. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  15. ^ "About The Lichfield Mysteries". http://www.lichfieldmysteries.co.uk/. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Lichfield is a city and civil parish in Staffordshire, England. One of seven civil parishes with city status in England, Lichfield has a population of 31,000 & is situated 16 miles north of Birmingham and 124 miles northwest of London.

Lichfield is notable for its three-spired cathedral and as the birthplace of Dr. Johnson, the writer of the first authoritative Dictionary of the English Language. A Dictionary of the English Language, one of the most influential dictionaries in the history of the English language, was prepared by Samuel Johnson and published on April 15, 1755. Today Lichfield still retains its old importance as an ecclesiastical centre, but its industrial and commercial development has been relatively small; the centre of the city thus retains an essentially old-world character, with pockets of historic charm.

Get in

By road

Lichfield is well placed for the main road network being close to the A38, A5 and M6 (Toll) so is easy to get to by car. Parking can be more of an issue as the number of spaces is often not sufficient to cope with demand, especially on Saturdays. However, the city does not usually get busy until mid morning on Saturdays and before Christmas, so early birds do well. Main car parks are as follows:

  • Multi-storey car park situated near Lichfield City Station - warning tight spaces;
  • The Friary - Large car park, but a little further from the centre;
  • Cross Keys - Recently built two storey car park;
  • Off Beacon Street - Large car park at rear of shops, but tends to fill up first

By rail

Lichfield has 2 stations. It is on the Cross City Line from Birmingham with hourly trains terminating either at Lichfield City Station or one stop further at Lichfield Trent Valley. The City Station is adjacent to the centre and is the easiest way for rail travellers to get in to the city. Trent Valley Station is really useful because it is on the West Coast Main Line with regular direct trains to London, Manchester, Glasgow and Liverpool. Other trains run to Rugby, Nuneaton, Stafford and Tamworth.

By bus

Bus routes into the city visit the Bus Station, which is adjacent to Lichfield City Station and main shopping areas. Buses serve destinations including Stafford, Rugeley, Tamworth, Cannock and local villages.

Get around

Lichfield is small enough to be able to get around most of the areas of interest in the centre on foot. There are local buses running on selected routes, but they generally are really of use only to residents.

See

There are many things to see and do in the centre of Lichfield and in the surrounding area. Within Lichfield, here are the main places to visit:

  • Lichfield Cathedral and Cathedral Close - the world's only Medieval Cathedral with three spires, dates back to the 7th Century.
  • Darwin House
  • Lichfield International Festival - well-established major music and arts festival every July with famous international performers at venues throughout Lichfield. [1].
  • Dr Johnson Birthplace Museum - inventor of the Dictionary and amongst England's best known literary figures. Dr Johnson was an essayist, poet, biographer, lexicographer and a critic of English Literature. Also considered to be a great wit and prose stylist, he was well known for his aphorisms. The single most quoted English writer after Shakespeare.
  • St. Mary's Heritage Centre - housing a Lichfield museum in central Lichfield market square
  • Minster Pool and Stowe Pool
  • Dam Street
  • Market Place
  • Corn Exchange
  • Beacon Park - a huge expanse of recreational parkland
  • Milley's Hospital
  • St. Johns without the Bars

Eat

Within the city there are many good places to eat out, most are situated on Bird Street. They are typically of high quality and attract customers from outside the city. Recommended restaurants include the following:

Indian

  • Eastern Eye
  • Qmin
  • Lal Bagh

Chinese

  • Ruby
  • Lee Garden
  • Crystals

Thai

  • Thai Rainbow

Spanish

  • Don Paco

Italian

  • Pizza by Goli

Cafes

  • Cafe Nero
  • The Lounge
  • Dovestons

Fast food

  • MacDonalds
  • Subway
  • Numerous pizza, kebab and fish and chip shops
  • On Friday nights a mobile fish and chip van drives around much of Lichfield cooking and serving as they go - the food couldn't be fresher!
  • Queens Head, Queen St, 01543 410932. Legendary and friendly pub just outside of the city centre serving 6 top quality Real Ales. There is a huge cheese counter where customers can order cheese, pickles, bread to soak up the beer !
  • Earl of Lichfield, Conduit St, 01543 251020. Popular city centre pub serving well kept Marston's Pedigree from nearby Burton on Trent.
  • Best Western George Hotel, Bird Street, 01543 414822 (fax: 01543 415817), [2]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM.  edit

Stay safe

As with the rest of the UK, in any emergency call 999 or 112 (from a land-line if you can) and ask for Ambulance, Fire or Police when connected. It is free to call the Emergency Services from Payphones.

Lichfield is a generally safe city with most crime levels well below the national average. Incidents of violent crime and sexual offences are very low. However, as with the rest of the United Kingdom it is advisable to avoid large drunken groups where possible as alcohol-related crime is on the rise throughout the country. It is also advisable to exercise normal security measures.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LICHFIELD, a city, county of a city, and municipal borough in the Lichfield parliamentary division of Staffordshire, England, 118 m. N.W. from London. Pop. (1901) 7902. The London and North-Western railway has stations at Trent Valley Junction on the main line, and in the city on a branch westward. The town lies in a pleasant country, on a small stream draining eastward to the Trent, with low hills to the E. and S. The cathedral is small (the full internal length is only 370 ft., and the breadth of the nave 68 ft.), but beautiful in both situation and style. It stands near a picturesque sheet of water named Minster Pool. The present building dates from various periods in the r3th and early 14th centuries, but the various portions cannot be allocated to fixed years, as the old archives were destroyed during the Civil Wars of the 17th century. The earlier records of the church are equally doubtful. A Saxon church founded by St Chad, who was subsequently enshrined here, occupied the site from the close of the 7th century; of its Norman successor portions of the foundations have been excavated, but no record exists tither of its date or of its builders. The fine exterior of the cathedral exhibits the feature, unique in England, of a lofty central and two lesser western spires, of which the central, 252 ft. high, is a restoration attributed to Sir Christopher Wren after its destruction during the Civil Wars. The west front is composed of three stages of ornate arcading, with niches containing statues, of which most are modern. Within, the south transept shows simple Early English work, the north transept and chapter house more ornate work of a later period in that style, the nave, with its geometrical ornament, marks the transition to the Decorated style, while the Lady chapel is a beautiful specimen of fully developed Decorated work with an apsidal east end. The west front probably falls in date between the nave and the Lady chapel. Among numerous monuments are - memorials to Samuel Johnson, a native of Lichfield, and to David Garrick, who spent his early life and was educated here; a monument to Major Hodson, who fell in the Indian mutiny, and whose father was canon of Lichfield; the tomb of Bishop Hacket, who restored the cathedral after the Civil Wars; and a remarkable effigy of Perpendicular date displaying Sir John Stanley stripped to the waist and awaiting chastisement. Here is also the" Sleeping Children," a masterpiece by Chantrey (1817) .

A picturesque bishop's palace (1687) and a theological college (1857) are adjacent to the cathedral. The diocese covers the greater part of Staffordshire and about half the parishes in Shropshire, with small portions of Cheshire and Derbyshire. The church of St Chad is ancient though extensively restored; on its site St Chad is said to have occupied a hermit's cell. The principal schools are those of King Edward and St Chad. There are many picturesque half-timbered and other old houses, among which is that in which Johnson was born, which stands in the market-place, and is the property of the corporation and opened to the public. There is also in the market place a statue to Johnson. A fair is held annually on Whit-Monday, accompanied by a pageant of ancient origin. Brewing is the principal industry, and in the neighbourhood are large market gardens. The city is governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen and 18 councillors. Area, 3475 acres.

There is a tradition that " Christianfield " near Lichfield was the site of the martyrdom of a thousand Christians during the persecutions of Maximian about 286, but there is no evidence in support of the tradition. At Wall, 3 m. from the present city, there was a Romano-British village called Letocetum (" grey wood "), from which the first half of the name Lichfield is derived. The first authentic notice of Lichfield (Lyecidfelth, Lychfeld, Litchfield) occurs in Bede's history where it is mentioned as the place where St Chad fixed the episcopal see of the Mercians. After the foundation of the see by St Chad in 669, it was raised in 786 by Pope Adrian through the influence of Offa, King of Mercia, to the dignity of an archbishopric, but in 803 the primacy was restored to Canterbury. In 1075 the see of Lichfield was removed to Chester, and thence a few years later to Coventry, but it was restored in 1148. At the time of the Domesday Survey Lichfield was held by the bishop of Chester: it is not called a borough, and it was a small village, whence, on account of its insignificance, the see had been moved. The lordship and manor of the town were held by the bishop until the reign of Edward VI., when they were leased to the corporation. There is evidence that a castle existed here in the time of Bishop Roger Clinton (temp. Henry I.), and a footpath near the grammarschool retains the name of Castle-ditch. Richard II. gave a charter (1387) for the foundation of the gild of St Mary and St John the Baptist; this gild obtained the whole local government, which it exercised until its dissolution by Edward VI., who incorporated the town (1548), vesting the government in two bailiffs and twenty-four burgesses; further charters were given by Mary, James I. and Charles II. (1664), the last, incorporating it under the title of the " bailiffs and citizens of the city of Lichfield," was the governing charter until 1835; under this charter the governing body consisted of two bailiffs and twenty-four brethren. Lichfield sent two members to the parliament of 1304 and to a few succeeding parliaments, but the representation did not become regular until 1552; in 1867 it lost one member, and in 1885 its representation was merged in that of the county. By the charter of James I. the market day was changed from Wednesday to Tuesday and Friday; the Tuesday market disappeared during the 19th century; the only existing fair is a small pleasure fair of ancient origin held on Ash-Wednesday; the annual fete on Whit-Monday claims to date from the time of Alfred. In the Civil Wars Lichfield was divided. The cathedral authorities with a certain following were for the king, but the townsfolk generally sided with the parliament, and this led to the fortification of the close in 16 43. Lord Brooke, notorious for his hostility to the church, came against it, but was killed by a deflected bullet on St Chad's day, an accident welcomed as a miracle by the Royalists. The close yielded and was retaken by Prince Rupert in this year; but on the breakdown of the king's cause in 1646 it again surrendered. The cathedral suffered terrible damage in these years.

See Rev. T. Harwood, Hist. and Antiquities of Church and City of Lichfield (1806), Victoria County History, Stafford.


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Simple English

City of Lichfield


City of Lichfield shown within Staffordshire
Population 27,900
OS grid reference SK115097
District Lichfield
Shire county Staffordshire
Region West Midlands
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LICHFIELD
Postcode district WS13, WS14
Dialling code 01543
Police Staffordshire
Fire Staffordshire
Ambulance Staffordshire
UK Parliament Lichfield
European Parliament West Midlands
List of places: UKEngland • Staffordshire
Coordinates: 52°41′07″N 1°49′50″W / 52.6853°N 1.8305°W / 52.6853; -1.8305

Lichfield is a small city in Staffordshire, England.

The first part of the name comes from a nearby Roman-British village called Letocetum. It was captured by the Mercians some time before 669, when it was called Licidfelth. Between 786 and 803, the Christian archbishop in England was here, instead of Canterbury.


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