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About Lichfield

Lichfield 

 

 

Lichfield is a cathedral city and civil parish in Staffordshire, England. One of eight civil parishes with city status in England, Lichfield is situated roughly 16 mi (26 km) north of Birmingham. At the time of the 2011 Census the population was estimated at 32,219 and the widerLichfield District at 100,700.

Notable for its three-spired medieval cathedral, Lichfield was the birthplace of Samuel Johnson, the writer of the first authoritative Dictionary of the English Language. The city's recorded history began when Chad of Merciaarrived to establish his Bishopric in 669 CE and the settlement grew as the ecclesiastical centre of Mercia. In 2009, the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork, was found 5.9 km (3.7 mi) southwest of Lichfield.

The development of the city was consolidated in the 12th century underRoger de Clinton who fortified the Cathedral Close and also laid out the town with the ladder-shaped street pattern that survives to this day. Lichfield's heyday was in the 18th century when it developed into a thriving coaching city. This was a period of great intellectual activity, the city being the home of many famous people including Samuel Johnson, David GarrickErasmus Darwin and Anna Seward, and prompted Johnson's remark that Lichfield was "a city of philosophers".

Today, the city still retains its old importance as an ecclesiastical centre, and its industrial and commercial development has been limited. The centre of the city retains an unspoilt charm with over 230 listed buildings in its historic streets, fine Georgian architecture and old cultural traditions. People from Lichfield are known as Lichfeldians.

 




Lichfield Collage.jpg
From top left: Lichfield Cathedral; Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum; Quonians Lane;Garrick Theatre; Cityscape.






History





The earliest evidence of settlement has been the discovery of Mesolithic flints on the high ground of the cemetery at St Michael on Greenhill, which may indicate an early flint industry. Traces of Neolithic settlement have been discovered on the south side of the sandstone ridge occupied by Lichfield Cathedral.

2.2 mi (3.5 km) southwest of Lichfield, near the point where Icknield Street crosses Watling Street was the site of Etocetum (the Brittonic *LÄ“tocaiton, "Greywood"). Established in AD 50 as a military fortress, it had become a civilian settlement with a bath house and a mansio by the 2nd century . Letocetum fell into decline by the 4th century and the Romans had left by the 5th century. There have been scattered Romano-British finds in Lichfield and it is possible that a burial discovered beneath the cathedral in 1751 was Romano-British. There is no evidence of what happened to Letocetum after the Romans left; however Lichfield may have emerged as the inhabitants of Letocetum relocated during its decline. ACair Luit Coyd ("Fort Greywood") listed by Nennius among the 28 cities of Britain in his History of the Britains, although these were largely historic remembrances of early Sub-Roman Britain.





 

The three-spired Lichfield Cathedral was built between 1195 and 1249.






 

Geography


Lichfield covers an area of approximately 5.41 sq mi (14.0 km2) in the south east of the county of Staffordshire in the West Midlands region of England. It is approximately 25 km (16 mi) north of Birmingham and 200 km (120 mi) north west of London. The city is located between the high ground of Cannock Chase on the west and the valleys of the Rivers Trent andTame on the east. It is underlain by red sandstone, deposited during the arid desert conditions of the Triassic period. Mercia Mudstone underlies the north and north eastern edges of the city towards Elmhurst and Curborough. The red sandstone underlying the majority of Lichfield is present in many of its ancient buildings including Lichfield Cathedral and the Church of St Chad.

The ground within the city slopes down from 116m in the north west to 86m on the sandstone shelf where Lichfield Cathedral stands. To the south and east of the city centre is a ridge which reaches 103m at St Michael on Greenhill. Boley Park lies on top of a ridge with its highest point on Borrowcop Hill at 113m. To the south east the level drops to 69m where Tamworth Road crosses the city boundary into Freeford. There is another high ridge south west of the city where there are two high points, one at Berry Hill Farm at 123m and the other on Harehurst Hill near the city boundary at Aldershawe where the level reaches 134m.

The city is built on the two sides of a shallow valley, into which flow two streams from the west, the Trunkfield Brook and the Leamonsley Brook, and out of which the Curborough Brook runs to the north east, eventually flowing into the River Trent. The two streams have been dammed south of the cathedral on Dam Street to form Minster Pool and near St Chad's Road to form Stowe Pool.



 

Panorama of the city, taken from Lichfield Cathedral central spire



 
Panorama from Harehurst Hill 1.5 miles south west of the cathedral, showing Lichfield's distinctive 5 spires

 

 

 

 

Culture and community



Culture

 

 

 

Lichfield Garrick Theatre was built in 2003

 

 

 

The Lichfield Greenhill Bower, a festival dating back to the Middle Ages, takes place annually on Spring Bank Holiday. Originating from a celebration that took place after the Court of Arraye in the 12th century, the festival has evolved into what it is today but has kept many of its ancient traditions. After a recreation of the Court of Arraye at the Guildhall, a procession of marching bands, morris men and carnival floats makes its way through the city and the Bower Queen is crowned outside the Guildhall. There is a fun fair in the city centre, and another fair and jamboree in Beacon Park.

The Lichfield Festival, an international arts festival, has taken place every July for 30 years. The festival is a celebration of classical music, dance, drama, film, jazz, literature, poetry, visual arts and world music. Events take place at many venues around the city but centre on Lichfield Cathedral and the Garrick Theatre. Popular events include the medieval market in the Cathedral Close and the fireworks display which closes the festival.

Triennially the Lichfield Mysteries, the biggest community theatre event in the country, takes place at the Cathedral and in the Market Place. It consists of a cycle of 24 medieval-style plays involving over 600 amateur actors. Other weekend summer festivals include the Lichfield Folk Festival  and The Lichfield Real Ale, Jazz and Blues Festival.

Lichfield Heritage Weekend, incorporating Dr Johnson’s Birthday Celebrations, takes place on the third weekend in September with a variety of civic events including live music and free historical tours of local landmarks.

 

 

 

Community facilities
 



 

Beacon Park, in the city centre, hosts a wide range of community events.



 

There are many parks, gardens and open spaces in the city. The city centre park is Beacon Park which hosts a range of community events and activities throughout the year. Also in the city centre are two lakes, Minster Pool and Stowe Pool. The Garden of Remembrance, a memorial garden laid out in 1920 after World War I, is located on Bird Street. Many other parks are located on the outskirts of the city: these include Brownsfield Park, Darnford Park, Shortbutts Park, Stychbrook Park, Saddlers Wood and Christian Fields.

There are two public sports and leisure facilities in the city. Friary Grange Leisure Centre in the north-west of the city offers racket sports, a swimming pool, and sports hall and fitness gym. King Edward VI Leisure Centre in the south of the city offers racket sports, a sports hall and an artificial turf pitch.

Lichfield Library and Record Office is located on the corner of St John Street and The Friary. The building also includes an adult education centre and a small art gallery. The current building became the library in 1989 after it moved from Lichfield Free Library and Museum on Bird Street.

The city is served by the Samuel Johnson Community Hospital located on Trent Valley Road. This hospital replaced the now demolished Victoria Hospital in 2006.






Places of interest




 




Transport




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 theCross-City Line to Redditch via Birmingham. Additionally, Trent Valley station is on the West Coast Main Line with semi-fast services between London Euston - Stoke,Stafford and Crewe. Despite being north of Birmingham, trains to London Euston can take as little as 1 hour 9 minutes. Lichfield City is located in the city centre and Lichfield Trent Valley is located 0.85 mi (1.37 km) or 20 minutes walk north east of the city centre.

Lichfield has regular bus services in and around the city. The bus station is located on Birmingham Road opposite Lichfield City railway station, although as part of the Friarsgate development plans have been approved for it to be moved next to the railway station. Arriva Midlands as well as some other operators run regular services to AldridgeBirminghamBurntwoodBurton upon TrentNuneatonStafford,Staffordshire UniversitySutton ColdfieldStoke on TrentTamworthUttoxeter andWalsall.

Lichfield is centrally located on the UK road network. Historically the Roman roads ofWatling Street and Ryknild Street crossed 2 mi (3.2 km) south of the city atLetocetum. Today following much of the same routes are the A5 and A38. The A5 runs west towards Wales and south east towards Tamworth. The A38 runs south to Birmingham and north east to Derby. Running along the western perimeter of the city is the A51 road, which runs north to Chester and south-east to Tamworth. The nearest motorway junction is Junction T5 of the M6 Toll, located 2 mi (3.2 km) south of the city. Junction 9 of the M42and Junction 4A of the M6 are 12 mi (19 km) and 15 mi (24 km) south respectively.

Lichfield Canal was historically part of the Wyrley and Essington Canal and ran south of the city from 1797 until it was abandoned in 1955. Starting in the 1990s a works programme started to restore the canal along much of its original route and make it navigable by 2025. As of 2011, none of the 7 mi (11 km) stretch of canal is navigable. The nearest navigable canal to Lichfield is the Coventry Canal which runs through Streethay.

Two nearby airports serve Lichfield. Birmingham Airport is 20 mi (32 km) south and East Midlands Airport is 34 mi (55 km) north east.

 

 

Education




 

The main entrance to the Lichfield Campus of Staffordshire University





 

In addition to nine primary schools and 1 infant school, Lichfield has three secondary schools:

There are two independent schools:

The Lichfield campus of Staffordshire University and South Staffordshire College is located on the Friary. This campus facility was opened in 1998 and offers further and higher education courses up to and including masters degrees. A £3 million school of art, design and media, housed in purpose-built accommodation, opened in 2006. This facility received the highest possible grade of 'outstanding provision' in the latest Ofsted inspection report.







Religion and beliefs


The largest religious denomination in Lichfield parish is Christianity; 66.5% of the people in the area polled as part of the 2011 Census professed the Christian faith.[33] Lichfield has held a religious importance since St Chad became the first Bishop of Lichfield and built a monastery in 669 AD. After Chad's death in 672 AD he was buried in an Anglo-Saxon church which later became part of Lichfield Cathedral.

The Anglican faith is in the majority with three parishes as well as the cathedral. St Michael’sand St Mary’s serve one parish and Christ Church and St Chad's serve the other two. Lichfield is within the Diocese of Lichfield and represented by Jonathan Gledhill, the 98th Bishop of Lichfield.

There are two Roman Catholic churches, Holy Cross and SS Peter & Paul, which are part of the Archdiocese of BirminghamThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a meeting house on Purcell Avenue on the north side of the city. In the city centre there is aMethodist church and Wade Street Church, which is a United Reformed and Baptist church. There is a Pentecostal Church under the name Emmanuel Christian Centre in Nether Stowe and the Christadelphian Hall on Station Road. The Jehovah's Witnesses have a Kingdom Hall on Lombard Street.

There are five faith schools in the city, all of which are primary schools. St Michael’s C of E School, Christ Church C of E School and St Chad’s C of E (VC) School are all Church of England faith schools. St Joseph's RC School and SS Peter & Paul School are Roman Catholic faith schools.

There are no places of worship in Lichfield for any other major world religions.

Humanists and atheists in Lichfield are supported by the Lichfield, Walsall & South Staffordshire Humanists, affiliated to the Birmingham Humanists who are in turn affiliated to the British Humanist Association.

 



  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichfield 


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