Staffordshire has come into focus in the last few years because of the Staffordshire Hoard, reputed to be the largest collection of Anglo Saxon treasure ever.
Many of the of the archaeological sites are in the West Midlands Region, these include the Anglo Saxon Hoard, the Lichfield Cathedral and Tamworth Castle and form the Mercian Trail.
The Staffordshire Hoard was unearthed on July 2009 in a field near Lichfield and contains 1,500 pieces of Anglo-Saxon objects of gold, exquisitely crafted and inlaid with precious stones. It was declared Treasure on 24 September 2009. The Hoard has also resulted in much debate, moving the focus of Anglo Saxon history from the East to the West. The Staffordshire Hoard is on display in Stoke-on-Trent.
Lichfield Cathedral has been associated with the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia dated to around AD 600–800. The first cathedral was built in 700AD in Lichfield and was a religious centre of Mercia. It is the only medieval cathedral with three spires, the present Gothic cathedral begun in 1195. The Cathedral contains two other Anglo-Saxon treasures: the illuminated St Chad Gospels and a carved panel depicting the Lichfield Angel, believed to be part of the Shrine of Saint Chad.
Tamworth Castle is a Norman castle set next to the river Tame. It was built in the 11th century on a mound raised in 913 by Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred the Great.
The Stoke churchyard is the site of the wooden Anglican ‘Stoc’ church, in its churchyard is an ancient carved cross dating to around 800AD. An old Roman road links Chesterton to Derby and passed this place. It was used mainly to transport salt from the South Cheshire salt works. At the edge of the Bradwell Woods, a few hundred yards away, an inhabitant dug up some pre-Roman Cornovii pottery in their back garden, indicating the possibility of a hilltop settlement here. Also in the area a pre-Roman burial urn was discovered when the foundations of Shelton Bar mill were being dug.
In Staffordshire is the Caverswall Castle, also known as Carswell or Careswell Caverswall Castle. It has been described and possibly a Masonry Castle, and as a Fortified Manor House. There are masonry remnants and remains of ruins The manor was mentioned during the reign of Henry I (1100-1135AD) and has been rebuilt and added to in the centuries to come, in 1615 and 1890 respectively.
Chillington Hall near Brewood, Staffordshire, was originally a castle, going back to the 12th century and has been the seat of the Giffard family since that time. It was replaced in the 16th century by Sir John Giffard.