The urbanizing of Staffordshire: the first phases
By Christopher Dyer
Staffordshire Studies, Vol.14 (2002)
Synopsis: The aim of this lecture is to highlight the significant phases of urbanization in Staffordshire before 1550, and to show that the county had a capacity for change long before the age of Wedgwood and the ironmasters. We should recognize the achievements of the town planners of the period 900-1300, and of the traders and artisans who populated the early towns. The network of towns that had developed by the fourteenth century is one important indication that Staffordshire was not a backward county, but one with a greater capacity for enterprise and innovation than some other parts of the country. This was proved by the towns’ resilience in the episode of ‘urban decline’ in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.