The unremarkable little town that was the capital of England long before London

Although London has long held the title, it wasn’t always the capital of England.

The city took the title from the city of Winchester in the 12th century when the Palace of Westminster became the permanent location of the royal court.

The first capital way before Winchester and London, was a modest town northeast of Birmingham in Staffordshire.

Tamworth was once the centre of King Offa of Mercia’s England.

Then known as Tamworthie, it was so important to King Offa that he built a royal palace in the town, one which would continue to have an eventful history in the centuries to come.

READ MORE Furious locals slam millionaire neighbour for ‘blocking’ their seaside view[LATEST]

Before and after the famous Norman conquest of England, Tamworth enjoyed a period of prosperity as lords of the manor built castles in and around the town.

However, a series of disasters would knock Tamworth, threatening its existence as fires and the Black Death decimated the population.

The town’s rights and privileges were confirmed by Queen Elizabeth I in a 1560 charter which allowed Tamworth to elect a representative to Parliament. A 1588 charter allowed it to self-govern.

Tamworth survived the English Civil War, and several outbreaks of plague, before it rediscovered financial prosperity in the middle of the 17th Century.

While the 18th Century saw the arrival of canals and improved trading links to Tamworth, the 19th Century would arguably become its most significant.

Tamworth was home to the Peel family, one which dominated the town with its cotton mills and banks.

While Robert Peel got the ball rolling, it was his son, Sir Robert Peel who would put Tamworth on the map when he wrote his Tamworth Manifesto.

The manifesto created what we now know as the Conservative Party.

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Pretty English village crowned most ‘captivating’ place to visit this autumn[REPORT]
One of Wales’s prettiest villages sits at the gateway to adventure[REPORT]
The beautiful seaside town with a pub beer garden on every list of the UK’s best[REPORT]

Alongside giving birth to the Conservative Party, Sir Robert Peel also helped create the modern police force.

Fast forward to the 20th century and Tamworth’s influence dwindled a little as it welcomed railways, electricity, and paved roads.

This wasn’t to say it didn’t have some influence during World War 2.

Born in Tamworth, Sir Ernest Titterton became a research officer for the British Admiralty before joining the British Mission to help develop the atomic bomb.

During peacetime, the town became a hive of noise when the Reliant Motor Company began to thrive.

The company’s Scimitar shooting brake was so popular that Princess Anne decided to buy one.

Although the company would later go bust, a blue plaque hangs on Kettlebrook Road to mark the birthplace of the first Reliant prototype built in 1934.

Contemporary famous faces from the town include Star Wars actress Erin Kellyman, racing driver Martin Plowman, and Phil Bates.

Source: Read Full Article