Staffordshire stretches from the Black Country in the south into forest in the north, and within these lands it bears all the contrast of industry and urban life, gentle farmland, modernity and history, and the beginnings of the fell country.
South-eastern Staffordshire is covered by urban growth arising from its central part in the Industrial Revolution. This is the Black Country, rich in coal mines and strung with industrial canals. The heavy industry of the nineteenth century gathered here and in nearby Birmingham, so that all have grown together into a giant conurbation of communities, in which are the City of Wolverhampton, West Bromwich, Walsall and Wednesbury.
Another hive of the urban industry, where the Industrial Revolution began, is the Potteries, a district on the upper Trent where six industrial towns grew together to become Stoke on Trent, and which has since grown together with Newcastle under Lyme.
In complete contrast, elsewhere there is fine natural scenery. Dovedale, on the boundary of Staffordshire, and Beresford Dale are renowned. The high ground in the north of the county north of Leek has beautiful valleys as the land rises up to the Peak District.
In the centre of the county is Stafford itself. Lichfield is one of the smaller cities of the land. Restrained in its houses and shops, the city has a large and ornate three-spired mediæval cathedral. The bishopric is one of the oldest in Britain (and indeed it became briefly the seat of an archbishop under King Offa). Eastward there remains something of the open heaths of Cannock Chase. Burton-on-Trent in the east is historically the heart of the brewing industry, a continuing tradition.
County Town: Stafford
Main Towns: Burslem, Burton upon Trent, Hanley, Leek, Lichfield, Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford, Uttoxeter, Walsall, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton.
Main Rivers: Trent, Penk, Sow, Blithe, Tean, Dove, Churnet, Tame.
Highlights: Alton Towers; Castle Ring hill fort; Lichfield Cathedral; Wightwick Bank; Wedgwood factory, Barlaston; Weston Park.
Highest Point: Cheeks Hill, 1,705 feet.
Area: 1,171 sq miles
County Flowers: Heather