Town and borough (pop., 2001: 120,653), county seat of Staffordshire, west-central England. Founded by the daughter of Alfred the Great, the town had its own mint from the reign of Aethelstan to that of Henry II. After being chartered in 1206, it grew as a market town. Parliamentarians demolished its 11th-century walls and castle in 1643 during the English Civil Wars. It is situated on the London-Birmingham-Manchester road and rail routes; its industries include electrical and mechanical engineering. It was the birthplace of Izaak Walton, and its Swan Hotel was associated with Charles Dickens. The borough of Stafford includes a large rural agricultural area and the towns of Stone and Stafford.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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