Infobox UK place
country = England
population = EnglishDistrictPopulation|ONS=41UK (English statistics year)
population_density= Pop density km2 to mi2|(English district density|ONS=41UK) |precision=1|abbr=yes|wiki=yes
area_total_km2 = 30.85
region= West Midlands
postcode_district = B77, B79
static_image_caption= Tamworth town centre
website= [http://www.tamworth.gov.uk/ www.tamworth.gov.uk]
Tamworth is a
townand local government district in Staffordshire, England, located 14 miles (22 km) north-east of Birminghamcity centre and 103 miles (165 km) north-west of London. The town takes its name from the River Tame, which flows through the town, as does the River Anker. At the 2001 census the town had a populationof 74,531. [ [http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/pyramids/pages/41uk.asp westmidlands Statistics Online - Census 2001 - Population Pyramids - Tamworth ] ]
Tamworth is the home of the historic
Tamworth Castleand Moat House, and has a non-league football team, Tamworth FC. The Snowdome, Western Europe's first real-snow indoor ski slopeis located in Tamworth. Tamworth also now has one of the Midlands' premier music venues "The Palace" which was converted in 2007 from the towns original Palace Cinema. There is also tenpin bowling at Strykers bowl, and only a short distance away is Drayton Manor Theme Park.
The town's main industries include logistics, engineering, clothing, brick, tile and paper manufacture. It was also home to the
Reliantcar company, which produced the famous three-wheeled Robin model and the Scimitar sportscar for several decades.
Tamworth has existed since Saxon times, and once was the capital of
Mercia, the largest of all English kingdoms of its time (see Heptarchy). It was by far the largest town in the Midlandswhen today's much larger city of Birminghamwas still in its infancy. This is largely because of its strategic position at the meeting point of two rivers (the Tame and the Anker), which meant the town was perfectly placed as a centre of trade and industry.
The town was later sacked by
Danesin the 9th century. A wooden fort was constructed on the site of the current castle,Fact|date=September 2008 designed to defend the town against further Danish invaders by Ethelfleda, Lady of the Mercians, the daughter of King Alfred the Great.In the 11th century, a Norman castle was built on the probable site of the Saxon fort, which still stands to this day as an important tourist attraction. Grants of borough privileges, including rights to a third additional fair in 1588, consolidated Tamworth’s historic importance as ‘the seat of Saxon kings’.
In the Middle Ages Tamworth was a small market town. However the king gave it charters in 1319. In the Middle Ages a charter was a document granting the townspeople certain rights or confirming existing ones. In 1337 Tamworth was granted the right to hold two annual fairs. In the Middle Ages fairs were like markets but they were held only once a year and they attracted buyers and sellers from far and wide.
In 1345 Tamworth suffered a disastrous fire. Much of the town burned [ [http://www.tamworth.gov.uk/generalL.asp?id=SXADCF-A7819895&cat=1056 Tamworth Borough Council ] ] . Fire was a constant hazard in the Middle Ages because most buildings were made of wood with thatched roofs. On the other hand, once burned they could be easily rebuilt.
Queen Elizabeth granted Tamworth another charter in 1560.
In the 16th and 17th centuries Tamworth, like all towns, suffered from outbreaks of plague. It struck in 1563, 1579, 1597-98, 1606 and 1626. Each time the plague struck many people died but each time the population recovered. Fortunately the 1626 outbreak was the last.
Tamworth continued to grow and remained of the most populous towns in the Midlands by 1670, when the combined hearth tax returns from Warwickshire and Staffordshire list a total of some 320 households. Its strategic trade advantage lay with control of the two vital
packhorse bridges across the Anker and the Tame on the route from London to Chester. While it remained a local market town, it did a brisk trade providing travellers with the staple bread, ale and accommodation, maintaining trading links as far afield as Bristol. Charles II’s reconfirmation of its borough's privileges in 1663 gave the town an added boost, as confirmed by Richard Blome's description of its celebrated market, well served with corn, provisions and lean cattle.
In 1678 the town's future MP
Thomas Guyfounded almshouses in Tamworth, rebuilt in 1913. He also built Tamworth Town Hall in 1701 and later founded Guys Hospitalin London.
There are four cannons in the Castle Grounds, an indication of the town's previously violent past.Fact|date=February 2007
In 1801, the population was a little over 3000.
There were a number of improvements to Tamworth during the 19th century. In 1807 the pavements were flagged. From 1835 Tamworth had gaslight. In the late 19th century a piped water supply was created.
The town grew rapidly in the 18th and 19th centuries during the
Industrial Revolution, benefitting from the surrounding coalmines. It also became a hub of the canalnetwork, with the Coventry Canaland the Birmingham and Fazeley Canalbeing built through the town. Later, the railways arrived with the Midland Railwayroute from Derbyto Birminghamarriving in Tamworth in 1847, and later the London and North Western Railway, which provided direct trains to the capital. A split-level station exists where the two main lines cross one-another, the higher level platforms (on the Derby to Birmingham line), being at right angles to the lower ones on the main line to London.
The first cemetery opened in 1876. The Assembly Rooms were built in 1889. In 1897 the corporation bought Tamworth Castle.
A hospital was built in Tamworth in 1880. An infirmary was built in 1903.
The first council houses in Tamworth were built in 1900. More were built in the 1920s and 1930s and after 1945.
The first public library in Tamworth was built in 1905. Tamworth gained an electricity supply in 1924.
Prime Minister Sir Robert Peelserved as the town's MP from 1830 until his death in 1850. It was in Tamworth that Robert Peel unveiled his Tamworth Manifestoin 1834 which created what is now the modern Conservative Party. During the 19th century a breed of pig called Tamworth Pigwas initially bred here using some imported Irish stock. Samuel Parkeswho won the Victoria Crossin the Charge of the Light Brigadewas born in Wiggintonand baptised at St. Editha's on 24 December 1815. His parents, Thomas and Lydia, are buried in its churchyard.
Tamworth grew rapidly in the postwar years as it soaked up overspill from the West Midlands conurbation to the southwest. A population of about 7,000 in 1931 had risen to some 13,000 just after the
Second World War; this figure remained fairly static until the late 1960s when a major expansion plan was implemented. Although not officially a "New Town", Tamworth's expansion resembled the development of many new towns. As part of this plan the town boundaries were expanded to include the industrial area around Wilnecoteto the south. The 1961 population of the new enlarged area was 25,000. In 1971 it was 40,000; in 1981, 64,000; in 1991, 68,000 and in 2001, 74,000, meaning that the town's population had almost doubled within 30 years.
A high profile
murdertook place at Tamworth in June 1972. The victim was Judith Roberts, the 14-year-old daughter of a local school teacher. Andrew Evans (18) was found guilty of her murder at Birmingham Crown Courtin April 1973and sentenced to life imprisonment. He remained in prison for 25 years until his conviction was quashed in the High Courton 4 December 1997. [http://www.innocent.org.uk/cases/andrewevans/#The%20Daily%20Telegraph] Evans later received compensation totalling almost £1million for his wrongful conviction and imprisonment. [http://www.innocent.org.uk/cases/andrewevans/#compensation]
The town of Fazeley merges almost completely into the town to the southwest, but belongs to the Lichfield District area rather than Tamworth Borough. It became a town, by holding a referendum, to prevent efforts from Tamworth to absorb it. Fact|date=August 2007.
Tamworth was historically split between
Staffordshireand Warwickshire, with the county boundary running through the town centre. Staffordshire was made to include the entire borough in 1888.
The A5 £26,000,000 5 mile dual-carriageway "
Fazeley, Two Gates and WilnecoteBypass" opened in July 1995, acting both as a bypass of Watling Street, and as a fast route for traffic into the town. This was further extended to meet the M6 Toll and A38 in 2005. The road's official name is Thomas GuyWay.
1868The " Tamworth Herald" was launched by Daniel Addison, with its original premises in Silver Street.Mr Addison continued to publish the paper for nine years until October 29, 1877, when it was taken over by a consortium of leading townsmen. The paper now has its offices on the town's Ventura Park industrial estate.Daniel Addison had a son Albert Christopher Addisonwho was an historical writer.
*No Man's Heath
The Teardrop Explodesfrontman and solo artist/writer Julian Copewas raised in Tamworth and later lived in nearby Drayton Bassett. Cope recorded three solo albums during his Tamworth years, 'World Shut Your Mouth' (1984), 'Fried' (1984) and 'Saint Julian' (1987), and all three used various locations around Tamworth for their sleeve art. The heavy rock band Wolfsbane cut their teeth in the town, before their lead singer Blaze Bayleywent on to front the legendary Iron Maiden. The rock music internet-based radio station Rock 24/7 Onlinehas it's studios in Tamworth.
One of the more notable personalities to come from Tamworth is former Manchester City goalkeeper
Tony Coton, who made a number of appearances over the years. Tamworth F.C.has also fielded a number of notable players in recent times, including West Bromwich Albion legend Bob Taylor and, for one match in the 2005/2006 season, former Aston Villa and Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson. Tamworth FC showed signs of progress, just surviving to get their third season in the Nationwide Conference, playing former league sides such as Halifax Town, Oxford United & Kidderminster Harriers on a regular basis. The club also has a keen rivalry with fellow Staffordshire clubs Stafford Rangers and Burton Albion However, their biggest rival is Nuneaton Borough who are in the same division as Tamworth now. After a difficult season which saw them at the wrong end of the table, they were eventually relegated from the Conference and now play in the Blue Square Conference North league.Other football players from Tamworth include goalkeeper Martin Taylor who played for Derby and Wycombe, and currently Ashley Williams who has just signed for Swansea and been called up to the Wales squad.
Speedway racing took place in the Tamworth area in the 1930s and in the post war era featured at the Greyhound Stadium in Fazeley. The Hounds started out in 1947 racing in the National League Division Three before becoming The Tammies in 1950 when the venture was purchased by Birmingham promoter Les Marshall.
ports Teams In Tamworth
"Club" "Sport" "Founded" "League" "Venue" "Logo" Tamworth Rugby 1925 Midlands 4 West (North)Midlands Wigginton Park Bolehall Swifts Football 1953 Midland Combination Premier Division Rene Road Ground Dosthill Colts Football 1990 Midland Combination Division Two Rene Road Ground Mile Oak Rovers Football 1958 Midland Combination Division One Recreation Ground Tamworth Football 1933 Conference North The Lamb Ground
J. Gould, “The Medieval Burgesses of Tamworth: their Liberties, Courts and Markets”, "Transactions of the South Staffordshire Archaeological Society", No. 13 (1971-2).
* [http://www.tamworthherald.co.uk Tamworth's Local Paper]
* [http://www.thelambs.co.uk/ Tamworth Football Club]
* [http://www.tamworthbusiness.co.uk/ Tamworth Business Directory]
* [http://www.tamworth.gov.uk/ Tamworth Council]
* [http://www.ents24.com/web/venue/16033/Tamworth/Assembly_Rooms.html Tamworth Assembly Rooms]
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