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Coordinates: 52°53′53″N 1°51′36″W / 52.898°N 1.860°W / 52.898; -1.860

Uttoxeter is located in Staffordshire

 Uttoxeter shown within Staffordshire
Population 12,500 
OS grid reference SK0933
District East Staffordshire
Shire county Staffordshire
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district ST14
Dialling code 01889
Police Staffordshire
Fire Staffordshire
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament Burton
List of places: UK • England • Staffordshire

Uttoxeter (pronounced /juːˈtɒksɪtə/ yew-TOKS-i-tər) About this sound pronounced (listen) is a small market town in Staffordshire, in the West Midlands region of England. The current population is approximately 12,500, though new developments in the town will increase this figure. Uttoxeter lies close to the River Dove and is near the cities of Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and Lichfield. It was twinned with Raisdorf in Germany (with whom close links are still maintained), and Fumel in France.



Uttoxeter's name has had 79 spellings since it was mentioned in the Domesday Book as "Wotocheshede": it probably came from Anglo-Saxon Wuttuceshǣddre = "Wuttuc's heath". Some historians point to pre-Roman settlement here and Bronze Age axes have been discovered in the town (now in display in Hanley museum.) It is possible that Uttoxeter had some form of Roman activity due to its strategic position on the River Dove and closeness to the large garrison forts at Rocester between 69 and 400, and recently discovered fort at Stramshall, though little collaborating archaeology has been found.

Uttoxeter also saw the last major royalist surrender of the English Civil War, on August 25, 1648, when James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton surrendered to Parliamentarian General John Lambert.

Perhaps the most famous event to have occurred in Uttoxeter is the penance of Samuel Johnson. Johnson's father ran a bookstall on Uttoxeter market, and young Samuel once refused to help out on the stall. When Johnson was older, he stood in the rain (without a hat) as a penance for his failure to assist his father. This event is commemorated with the Johnson Memorial, which stands in the Market Place, in the town centre and there is also an area of town called Johnson Road, which commemorates him.

Mary Howitt (Quaker writer of the poem 'The Spider and the Fly'), lived in Balance Street, Uttoxeter for a long period of her life. The town influenced some of her poems and novels, as well as fuelling her love of natural history, which also featured in her books. Howitt Crescent, a residential road in the town, was named after her. Recently, three of her poems were displayed in the town's bus shelters by the Uttoxeter Arts Festival Committee to increase awareness of art.

Bunting’s brewery occupied a large area of the centre of the town from Victorian times. It stopped producing beer in the 1930s after being bought by Bass Brewery of Burton on Trent. The last remains of the brewery were demolished in the 1960s to make way for the Maltings shopping precinct and car park. The brewery clock was recently re-furbished and installed on the town hall.

Uttoxeter was the birthplace of Joseph Cyril Bamford (creator of the JCB Empire), who started his small business in a small garage in the town. Their international headquarters are now based in Rocester, a near-by village.

The Bamford family had previously started Bamfords, later Bamford International Farm Machinery which was a large employer in the town from the end of the 19th century through to the early 1980s when it gradually went into decline before closing in 1986. The company was famous for its bailers, hay turners, rakes, mangold cutters and standing engines, which were exported all over the world. The site was subsequently bought and used by JCB.

The Writer and Director, Shane Meadows was born and brought up in Uttoxeter. Parts of his film, 'A Room for Romeo Brass' were filmed at Oldfield's Hall Middle School in 1997. He is also known for the films '24:7', 'Once upon a Time in the Midlands' and This Is England.

Other notables include:

  • Admiral Lord Gardner - commanded a younger Nelson) was born at the Manor house in the town in 1742, and died at Bath in 1810.
  • Alex Newport - Record producer and musician who attended Thomas alleynes High School in the 1980s.
  • Bartley Gorman bare knuckle boxer, lived for many years in the town.
  • Francis Redfern - Historian, the first writer to publish a history of the town in 1865.
  • Henry Yevele - Medieval architect.
  • Jack Holland, writer and co-founder of the Rough Guides travel series, attended Alleyne's Grammar School.
  • Jayne Bostock, women's rights campaigner.
  • Peter Vaughan - actor who lived in the town for part of his young life.
  • Robert Bakewell - Artist and Metal worker.
  • Ruth Gledhill, journalist, grew up in Gratwich.
  • Sir Simon Degge, an antiquary, well known for his manuscript notes on Plot's Natural History of Staffordshire.

700 Year Market Charter anniversary in 2008

Uttoxeter celebrated its 700 year anniversary of the awarding of a Market Charter (1308) in 2008, which underpins the market provision on Saturdays and Wednesdays in particular, and other festival markets. The 1308 charter followed a more general Royal Charter granted to the towns' burgesses in 1252. Copies of the charters can be seen in the Town Hall's Alan Dean Suite. The originals reside at the National Archives in Kew and the Deferrers Museum in Leicester.


Uttoxeter's new-look Market Place

The main employers in Uttoxeter are JCB, makers of construction, agricultural machinery and heavy products, at three sites in the local area, and Fox's Biscuits' (previously Elkes' and Adams). Elkes were the creators of the famous Malted milk (biscuit). Also nearby is the Alton Towers Theme Park and Resort, and the Peak District national park.

Agriculture is still a big part of the local economy. The town is set in rich dairy farming country, and previously housed a large dairy and was historically a major trader in butter and cheese. Currently the local dairy is at Fole, 5 miles to the north of the town.

Another major attraction of Uttoxeter is the racecourse, which is home to the Midlands Grand National.


  • Locals often refer to the town as Uttoxeter - you-tox-eat-er - which probably closely resembles the original pronunciation of the Anglo Saxon name - "Wotocheshede".Some refer Uttoxeter as Uttcheter. A very select group of young locals colloquially refer to it as Utah (sometimes spelled Uttah), Uttoh and Utox. The older local pronunciation appears to have been /ˈʌtʃɪtə/
  • Uttoxeter residents are known as Uxonians.
  • One of the local papers, the Uttoxeter Advertiser, is referred to as the Stunner.


Uttoxeter is on the main A50 and has a mainline railway station, Uttoxeter railway station which was opened by the North Staffordshire Railway on October 1, 1881, however, there were earlier stations opened by the North Staffordshire Railway, with full information to be found at Uttoxeter railway station. The bus stop next to the station runs an hourly service to Cheadle, Hanley and Alton Towers (32A).

Buses to Stafford run every 2 hours; buses to Burton upon Trent run every hour. The 32A operated by First PMT (Potteries) runs every two hours departing from Hanley and arriving at Uttoxeter. There is a revised time table in the summer where frequency of this service is extended to every hour.

At one time it was also the terminus of a branch of the Caldon Canal (aka the Uttoxeter Canal), although most signs of this, apart from an area of Uttoxeter called "The Wharf", have now disappeared - largely because much of the bed of the canal was used in the 19th century as the route of the North Staffordshire Railway main line from Uttoxeter to Macclesfield (which has now also disappeared).

The nearest airport to the town is East Midlands, which is about 16 miles away.


Uttoxeter has a three-tier schooling system that consists of several first schools, three middle schools (Oldfields Hall Middle School, Windsor Park Middle School and Ryecroft Middle School, Rocester) and a high school. The high school, Thomas Alleyne's, has over 1,400 pupils, an astroturf football pitch, swimming pool, gymnasium and several grass football pitches. Thomas Alleyne's is the only high school in Staffordshire that offers an accelerated mathematics course, RAF fast track scheme and a farm. The school also includes a sixth form centre, and is one of three schools founded by the 16th century priest Thomas Alleyne.

Prior to this educational structure, the town had a selective secondary and grammar school system which consisted of Oldfields Boys' School, Oldfields Girls' School and Alleyne's Grammar School.


Uttoxeter Rugby Union Football Club

Uttoxeter Rugby Club was formed in 1982 when JCB Rugby club began to play its games at Oldfields sport and social club in Uttoxeter establishing the first Rugby side in the town traditionally associated with football. In those days there was no league structure in place nationally so Uttoxeter played "friendly" fixture and developed great rivalries with other local sides including Cannock and Rugeley to name two which have endured over the last 20 years.



U festival was/is the brainwave of local Punk nutcase rocker Keith Harvey. Originally staged at the racecourse, then moved to stowe by chartley before finally finding it's home at the festival fields in uttoxeter behind the leisure centre. Plans are afoot for the festival to actually go ahead this year until someone can be found as an excuse to cancel the festival again.

Uttoxeter Civic Society

Uttoxeter Civic Society was re-established in 2004 to act as a civic watchdog and to protect and promote the history and heritage of Uttoxeter. The Civic Society's range of activities can be found on their website.

Flourish Festival

Breeze & Wilson at the 2007 Flourish Festival

The 2007 Flourish Festival was a huge success, bringing local, national and international talents to Uttoxeter. The voluntary group held over 30 different events from the 16th to 23 June attracting over 1,600 visitors. Visual Arts & Film, Drama, Dance, Music and Food based activities were run throughout the week celebrating the arts in Uttoxeter.

The 2008 festival is scheduled to take place from Friday 20th to Saturday 28 June and plans currently include a music weekend, visual art galleries and taster sessions, amateur dramatic performances and a film festival celebrating Uttoxeter's heritage.

More information is available on their website, including pictures and videos from 2007 and 2006.

The Uttoxeter Lions

Each year, the Uttoxeter Lions run a successful Bonfire and Fireworks Night in November and an annual Christmas fair and market called the Christmas Cracker in the town centre every December. The 2006 Cracker Night took place on Thursday 14 December.

Uttoxeter Lions also hold a book sale on the first Saturday of each month at the St John's Ambulance Brigade Hall on Carter Street, 10.00 am - 2.00 pm, admission free.

Uttoxeter Town Brass Band

Uttoxeter Town Brass Band is a Brass band based in Uttoxeter. They are asked to play at many concerts and events in the town such as Remembrance Sunday, Christmas Fairs and school events.

The Uttoxeter Farmers Market

Since 28 June 2007, Uttoxeter's new Market Place has been home to a new Farmers' Market, run by the local NFU. The market is held on the last Saturday of every month and is becoming larger and larger each time. The market is a huge benefit to the town and was spurred on by the successes of the previous two food festivals held during Flourish Festival week.

Theatre Cats Stage School

Theatre classes are held at Picknalls First School near Uttoxeter Leisure Centre for children aged 5–16 every Friday evening during term time. Simply go to the to register for a free taster class. The classes are a great way for children to gain confidence and make new friends whilst taking part in activities they love. The stage school also runs summer schools, exams, theatre trips and performances.

Uttoxeter Soul Club

Run by Rob and Sean who are trying to bring the scene back to the area.

TV and media

TV and radio

Uttoxeter receives East Midlands Television from the relay station in Ashborne; local radio stations include BBC Radio Derby, BBC Radio Stoke, Touch, Signal 1 and Ashborne Radio. A film directed by Shane Meadows titled 'This is England' is based in Uttoxeter following a young boy growing up on the 'Bronx' council estate during the 80s in the town.

Television appearances

Uttoxeter obtained minor fame as the setting of a recurring comedy sketch by comedians Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie in their BBC television series A Bit of Fry and Laurie. In one episode of the sketch, two obnoxious business entrepreneurs (who run various companies in Uttoxeter throughout the series) develop grand plans for a popular sports centre. The sketch derives its humour from the fact that Uttoxeter is in fact a very quiet and sedate town. The name can also be said with mild humorous effect.

The town also featured in Country File, as a 'mystery town'. The towns' cattle market featured in the programme, ironically it was the last cattle market ever in the town centre site in 2005. Local people participated in the programme from the local Uttoxeter Advertiser and Uttoxeter Racecourse staff.

Oldfields Hall Middle School was featured in the film A Room for Romeo Brass, written and directed by Shane Meadows and Paul Fraser, two Uxonians who have risen to fame.

The town also featured in a critically praised short story entitled The Long, Long Road to Uttoxeter by journalist and TV presenter Rod Liddle in his book Too Beautiful for You.

Top Gear presenter and journalist Jeremy Clarkson has previously written that his favourite car journey of all time was in an Aston Martin from Newcastle upon Tyne to Uttoxeter Race Course. He also said in the Sunday Times that the countryside around Uttoxeter was as pretty as any in Cornwall.

Utoxeter Racecourse has been used on several occasions as the racecourse visited by residents of the popular soap Coronation Street.

Places of interest

  • St. Mary's Catholic Church in Balance Street which was Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin's first church design.
  • St. Mary's Church
  • The Uttoxeter Heritage Centre is open to all on Carter Street. Free Entry.
  • The Market Place contains the town's War Memorial, Millennium Monument and the Dr. Johnson Memorial.
  • Uttoxeter Racecourse is one of Uttoxeter's most famous landmarks and is a short walk from the town centre.
    Uttoxeter Racecourse
  • Uttoxeter Golf Course is a short walk from the main town.
  • Bramshall Road Park is the town's recreational ground and offers tennis courts, skate ramps, a basketball court, a football pitch, a bowling green and two children's play areas, as well as floral arrangements and fields.
  • The Quaker Meeting House on Carter Street.
  • The Wednesday and Saturday Markets are held weekly in the town's Market Place.
  • The Spook Market is run every Friday in the town's newly refurbished Market Place.
  • The Alton Towers Resort is around 10 miles (16 km) from Uttoxeter.
  • The Peak District National Park is about 20 miles away.
  • Smallwood Manor, formerly a country house, now home to Smallwood Manor Preparatory School


Town Centre improvements

Uttoxeter has recently gone through a development scheme, with the Market Place, High Street and Carter Street having undergone a complete transformation. The work was carried out by Staffordshire County Council and the main elements are now complete. One part of the High Street is still awaiting completion, due to the Cattle Market's development. The £1.5million project was run by the UttoxeterPlus programme.

Dovefields Retail Park

Dovefields Retail Park was first created in 1998 with the opening of a Tesco supermarket on the edge of the town. There is still a lot of controversy regarding the store, which was extended to around 50,000 sq ft (5,000 m2) in 2008. Tesco Uttoxeter is a very successful store; its location outside the town centre resulted in shop closures throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s as the High Street area became less visited.

The retail park was further expanded in 2002 with the creation of seven large retail outlets, which feature Focus, Argos, Brantano, Pets at Home and Carpet Right.

In 2005, work commenced on the new entertainment development situated between Focus and Tesco. The development was officially opened in September 2006 with an opening party and laser show. This complex has been built by M.J. Barrett Developments and is home to a bowling alley, a 3-screen cinema, a children's crèche and a fitness centre (opening autumn 2007). These facilities are a welcome addition to the town's infrastructure and were used for the Flourish Festival's film event.

Around this time, a branch of Frankie & Benny's was opened on the corner to the entrance of Tesco, and a KFC outlet has since been completed, with another similar building under construction.

The Cattle Market Development 'Carters' Square'

The old Cattle Market, which closed in November 2005, has been demolished to make-way for a retail and housing development, consisting of 20,000 sq ft (1,900 m2) of retail space. The land was bought from Bagshaws by the Town Council, and sold on to Taylor Woodrow for around £3million.

The start date had been set at November 2005, though due to public pressure to include more car parking and the Town and Borough Councils not being satisfied with the finalised designs, this has now been put back.

The project should be complete in 2009 and will feature retail space, housing and 200 extra car parking spaces.

The new Cattle Market is soon to be built by M.J. Barrett on the outskirts of the town.

Uttoxeter Town Hall

The existing Town Hall is currently under evaluation to ascertain if it can fulfill a wider range of functions. The 'Matthew Hart', as it has been termed, is not generating enough revenue to sustain itself. Therefore the council has invited two developers to advance ideas for its progression. One of the candidates, Taylor Woodrow, is also currently working on the Cattle Market Development (see above).

Both themes include Cafe/Restaurants, with some space for community facilities. There has been some objection to the plans from members of the public. For now the Town Council is still deciding on what is best for the town.

The Flourish Festival proved however in 2007 that the Town Hall can be used for exciting activities to the benefit of the town and brought back a feeling of community cohesion and culture to the town.

The Town Council in August 2007 released a new scheme called 'Option Two'. This involves the Council keeping charge of the Town Hall and developing it themselves. The main changes to the existing building are:

  • The creation of a new floor in the Main Hall. The ground floor will be leased to a retail company, while the newly created first floor will be for community use. Due to the building being Grade II listed, the existing balcony has to be kept in the design, and therefore raised towards the ceiling.
  • The use of the cellar. Plans are being made to create a youth facility within the cellar of the building, which previously housed the town police station and mortuary, and which currently houses the old toilets (which used to be accessible from the front of the building) and the town's Christmas decorations.
  • The blocking up of several walls to create separate areas, including to the left of the Foyer to create a separate office space, accessible from outside the Town Hall's main entrance.

Negative parts of the plan, raised by some members of the public include:

  • The sale of the rear land.
  • Not enough space designated for arts use.
  • The Council's keenness to continue with weddings which stops community use if one is taking place.

Architects have now become involved and the plans should now start to develop further. The land to the rear has now been sold for a small amount to Taylor Wimpey reducing any chances of the building enlarging in the future.

The JCB site

JCB submitted plans in August 2007 to change the use of its factory to domestic housing (around 250 houses), parkland, offices, retail unit (a supermarket) and a petrol station. As of 2009, the company has completed the £40 million move of the Heavy Products division from the facility in the Town Centre to a plot of land on the A50 near to the World Parts Centre. The old facility now stands empty until the site's ultimate fate is decided.[citation needed]

Criticisms have been made regarding the proximity of the proposed retail unit and petrol station to current housing. Questions have also been raised regarding the need for another supermarket for the town and what affects this would have on the Town Centre, which has already seen a decline in trade since the development of the Dovefields Retail Park.




  • Around Uttoxeter, Roy Lewis, Tempus Publishing, April 30, 1999, ISBN 0752415131

External links

See also

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

UTTOXETER, a market town in the Burton parliamentary division of Staffordshire, England, 15 m. N.E. by E. of Stafford by a branch of the Great Northern railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 5133. It is also served by the North Staffordshire railway. The town lies pleasantly on high ground near the river Dove, a western tributary of the Trent, here the boundary with Derbyshire. There are large works for the manufacture of agricultural implements, and brewing and brick-making are carried on. Several agricultural fairs are held annually. The church of St Mary has a fine decorated tower and spire; the rest of the fabric dates from 1828. Alleyn's grammar-school was founded in 1558. In the market-place here Dr Johnson stood hatless in the rain doing voluntary penance for disobedience to his father. A bas-relief commemorates the incident. The name of the town is locally Uxeter, or an approximate pronunciation. At Denstone, 5 m. N. of Uttoxeter, is St Chad's College, a large middle-class school for boys, founded in connexion with St Nicholas' College, Lancing.

Uttoxeter (Wotocheshede, Uttokeshather, Utcester, Uttoxater) was probably not a Roman site, although the termination of the name suggests one, and a few remains have been discovered. It formed part of the estates of Algar, earl of Mercia; at the time of the Domesday Survey it was held by the king; later it passed to the Ferrers family and was included in the honour of Tutbury. In the early 12th century Earl Robert de Ferrers constituted Uttoxeter a free borough, and granted to the inhabitants freedom from all tolls, tonnage, poundage and other exactions. These privileges were confirmed and amplified by a charter, dated August 15, 1251, from William de Ferrers, earl of Derby. Uttoxeter, with the rest of the honour of Tutbury, escheated to the Crown in 1266 owing to the complicity of Robert Ferrers in the barons' rebellion; it was regranted to Edmund Crouchback, ancestor of the dukes of Lancaster, under whom it became part of the duchy of Lancaster, from which it was not severed until 1625. The Wednesday market, which is still held, was granted by Henry III. to William Ferrers, earl of Derby, together with a fair to be held on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (September 8), which was kept up in the 18th century. In 1308 Thomas, earl of Lancaster, obtained the grant of a fair on the vigil, day and morrow of St Mary Magdalene. In Leland's time "the men of the town used grazing" in the "wonderful pastures upon Dove," and in the 17th and 18th centuries the market was the greatest in that part of England for cattle and provisions; in the 18th century it furnished cheeses to many London cheesemongers. In 1648, on the defeat of the invading Scottish army under the marquis of Hamilton by Cromwell, its leader was captured here by Lambert.

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Simple English

Uttoxeter is a small market town in Staffordshire, England. The current population is about 12,000. This number is expected to grow when new developments in the town will have finished. Uttoxeter is close to the River Dove. It is near the cities of Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and Lichfield. It is twinned with Raisdorf in Germany (with whom close links are still maintained), and Fumel in France.

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