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13 November 2014

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Odd Staffordshire

You are in: Stoke & Staffordshire > Discover Staffordshire > Local Life > Odd Staffordshire > Curious Staffordshire Facts

Staffordshire facts

Curious Staffordshire Facts

Staffordshire is a place for unexpected and unusual facts - and we've been compiling a list of the most weird and wonderful. You can suggest your own "Curious Staffordshire Fact" too...

Just scroll down this page to the form if you want to submit a Curious Staffordshire Fact we haven't come across.
If you have a photo - even better! See the 'Odd Staffordshire' photo-gallery by clicking on the link in the top right hand corner of this page.

But here are the ones you've sent so far...

Curious Staffordshire Facts

  • Most dangerous place in Staffordshire?
    Chartley Moss (near Stafford) is pretty much as it was  20,000 years ago – a swamp!.  On the water is a thick ‘raft’ of peat and moss, so if you dare walk over it, it moves; it is a ‘Quaking Bog’. So, walking in some of its areas is not advised – and there are adders and seriously nasty biting insects too.

There are more miles of canals in Staffordshire than any other county in England!

  • Biddulph Turks?
    There is a long tradition that a number of families on the Moorlands around Biddulph are of Middle Eastern descent. It’s said that slaves acquired in the Crusades were brought to the area by the local lord.
    Curiously, the local scouts’ troop is named ‘The Saracens’...

The co-founder of Marks & Spencer, Thomas Spencer is buried in St. Giles Church, Whittington, a village on the outskirts of Lichfield.  The church hall is named in his memory.

An Annual Conker Tournament is held at The Red Lion, in Boundary near Cheadle every October.

  • In for a penny? No.
    In March 1982, the comedian Spike Milligan was sacked as the VIP ambassador for Keele University Students. His crime? He failed to write an article for the rag magazine. But he probably wasn't bothered - the job pays just 1 penny a year!

We always think the Saxon place-names in the county are exotic - but the Saxons were quite practical really.  Take 'River Churnet' (the watercourse in the Moorlands). Er, it's a tautology, as Churnet means... river!

  • Mary, Mary
    Mary Queen of Scots whilst was imprisoned at Chartley Castle near Stafford, but don't get mixed up.
    The place she was held at is NOT the ruins by the main road that we call the Castle today. In fact she stayed at a house in the wood below. People who tell you they see her ghost in the ruins are fibbing!
  • Prince's Park in Burntwood is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest park in the UK - though it looks more to us like a patch of ground (just big enough to hold two trees) that serves as a roundabout!

last updated: 18/11/2009 at 10:16
created: 25/07/2005

Have Your Say

Got an unexpected Staffordshire fact? List it here! (PS We try to verify all facts, so it would be helpful if you say where you found the fact)

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Stack Yates
When I was a boy my Gran told me that Saracens live on the moor,and that's why theres a camel on the Stoke coat of arms. is that right?

David Bourne
I was born in West Smethwick, Staffs, and brought up in Wolverhampton, the son of Staffordshire parents.I was frequently told that the origin of the Staffordshire knot was designed to hang 3 people at once.How true is this?

On the subject of the Biddulph Turks, I believe they were brought over as stone masons and one of the churches in Biddulph consequently has carvings of elephants in it - a beast that would obviously have been unknown to domestic masons.

Nick R.
The churchyard at St Michael on Greenhill, Lichfield, is the largest mediaeval churchyard in the country - at 9 acres - see the notice in the church porch. It now has one more claim to fame! It has to be unique! The churchyard has its own set of traffic lights! Since the redevelopment of the Tesco site we now have our own lights - operated by a sensor (?)

Eleanor N
The first jar of Marmite was produced there in 1902

Katie Bramall
Penkridge, was for a short time, the capital of England.

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