Burton upon Trent facts for kids

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Burton upon Trent
Town Hall - geograph.org.uk - 352398.jpg
Burton-upon-Trent Town Hall, built in 1894
Burton upon Trent shown within Staffordshire
Population 72,299 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SK245225
District
  • East Staffordshire
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BURTON-ON-TRENT
Postcode district DE13-DE15
Dialling code 01283
Police Staffordshire
Fire Staffordshire
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament
  • Burton
List of places
UK
England
StaffordshireCoordinates: 52°47′58″N 1°38′17″W / 52.7995°N 1.6380°W / 52.7995; -1.6380

Burton upon Trent, also known as Burton-on-Trent or simply Burton, is a town on the River Trent in East Staffordshire, England, close to the border with Derbyshire. In 2011, it had a population of 72,299. The demonym for residents of the town is "Burtonian".

Burton is known for brewing. The town originally grew up around Burton Abbey. Burton Bridge was also the site of two battles, in 1322 when Edward II defeated the rebel Earl of Lancaster and 1643 when royalists captured the town during the First English Civil War. William Lord Paget and his descendants were responsible for extending the manor house within the abbey grounds and facilitating the extension of the River Trent Navigation to Burton. Burton grew into a busy market town by the early modern period.

The town is served by Burton-on-Trent railway station.

History

Ryknild Street, a Roman road, ran north-east through what later became the parish of Burton, linking camps at Letocetum (Wall), near Lichfield, and Derventio (Little Chester), near Derby.

Between 666 and 669 Wilfrid, the pro-Roman bishop of York, exercised episcopal functions in Mercia, whose Christian king, Wulfhere, gave him land in various places, on which he established monasteries. Burton was almost certainly one of the sites: the name Andresey given to an island in the river Trent near the parish church means "Andrew's isle" and refers to a church there dedicated to St Andrew. The island is associated with the legend of St Modwen or Modwenna, an Irish abbess. It is likely that any surviving religious house would have been destroyed during the Danish incursion into the area in 874. Place names indicate Scandinavian influence, and several personal names of Scandinavian origin were still used in the area in the early 12th century. In 1003 a Benedictine abbey was established on a new site on the west bank of the Trent at Burton by Wulfric Spott, a thegn possibly descended from King Alfred. He is known to have been buried in the abbey cloister in 1010, alongside his wife.

Burton Abbey was mentioned in Domesday book, where it was said to control lands in Appleby Magna in Leicestershire, and Mickleover, Winshill, Stapenhill, Coton in the Elms, Ca(u)ldwell (in Stapenhill Parish) and Ticknall, all then in Derbyshire. The monastery was the most important in Staffordshire and by the 1530s had the highest revenue. It is known that there were frequent Royal visits to the abbey, including those by William I, Henry II and Edward I. In the 12th and 13th centuries streets were laid out off the west side of High Street, the earliest being New Street, which stretched from the abbey gates towards the line of Ryknild Street. Horninglow Street at the north end of High Street was part of a major east-west route using the bridge over the river.

A royal charter was granted on 12 April 1200 by King John to the Abbot to hold a market in Burton every Thursday. This charter was later renewed by King Henry III and King Edward IV There were four annual fairs for trade in horses, cattle and produce: on Candlemas Day, 5 April, Holy Thursday, and 29 October (the feast of St Modwen) although as in other British towns this practice has now died out.

Burton Bridge pre-1863
An early photograph of the 36 arch medieval Burton bridge. The bridge was an important crossing point and was the site of battles in 1322 and 1643. It was demolished and replaced in 1863.

While Burton's great bridge over the Trent was in poor repair by the early 16th century it served as "a comen passage to and fro many countries to the grett releff and comfort of travellyng people", according to the abbot. The bridge was the site of two battles, first in 1322 when Edward III defeated the rebel Earl of Lancaster and also in 1643 when the Royalists captured the town during the First English Civil War.

William Paget
Sir William Paget was granted the lands at Burton Abbey in 1546 by Henry VIII and expanded the Manor House using materials from the abbey. The family's ownership was later confiscated after being implicated in a Catholic plot against Elizabeth I, but was restored to his descendant William 6th Lord Paget.

Under Henry VIII the abbey was dissolved in 1539, to be refounded in 1541 as a collegiate church for a dean (who had been the last abbot) and four prebendaries. It was again dissolved in 1545 and granted to Sir William Paget. Paget began planning to expand the Manor House within the abbey precincts, known to have existed since at least 1514, into a grand mansion. To provide the materials for this project, the old abbey buildings were to be cannibalised. There were major alterations to the house over the next three centuries. Sir William died in 1563. After his death, the Paget family was implicated in Catholic plots against Queen Elizabeth I, the manor house along with most of the family estates were confiscated, with the Manor House leased to Richard Almond in 1612. Parts of the abbey church may have been retained for parish use, however these were demolished and replaced by a new church in 1719–26. Some fragments remain of the chapter house nearby but little of the rest remains either. Two buildings were converted to residential use - a part known as the Manor House, and the former Infirmary. The Infirmary became known as The Abbey, and is now an inn.

Canals and breweries

The Paget family's lands and title were restored to them by James I in 1602 and they owned considerable estates around Burton for over 150 years. In 1699, William Lord Paget obtained an [[Act of Parliament Burton came to dominate the brewing trade, and at its height one quarter of all beer sold in Britain was produced here. In the second half of the 19th century there was a growth in native breweries, supplemented by outside brewing companies moving into the town, so that over 30 breweries were recorded in 1880. However at the beginning of the 20th century there was a slump in beer sales, causing many breweries to fail; the industry suffered from the Liberal government's anti-drinking attitudes. This time no new markets were found and so the number of breweries shrank by closure and consolidation from 20 in 1900 to 8 in 1928. After further mergers and buy-outs, just three main breweries remained by 1980: Bass, Ind Coope and Marston's.

Burton was home to the Peel family, who played a significant role in the Industrial Revolution. The family home is still visible in the town as Peel House on Lichfield Street. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited the town on 3 July 2002 during her Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Geography

Burton is about 109 miles (175 km) north west of London, about 30 miles north east of Birmingham, the UK's second largest city and about 23 miles east of the county town Stafford. It is at the easternmost border of the county of Staffordshire with Derbyshire, its suburbs and the course of the River Trent forming part of the county boundary. Burton is closer to Derby (approx. 12 miles) than it is to Stafford. It is also near the south-eastern terminus of the Trent and Mersey Canal. Burton lies within the northern boundary of the National Forest. The town centre is on the western bank of the River Trent in a valley bottom; its average elevation is about 50 metres above sea level; the village of Winshill and the suburb of Stapenhill rise to 130 m and 100 m respectively.

Burton became a centre for the brewing industry due in part to the quality of the local water, which contains a high proportion of dissolved salts, predominantly caused by the gypsum in the surrounding hills. This allowed a greater proportion of hops, a natural preservative, to be included in the beer, thereby allowing the beer to be shipped further afield. Much of the open land within and around the town is protected from chemical treatment to help preserve this water quality.

Region

There is some confusion as to whether Burton is in the West Midlands or the East Midlands, even though the entire urban centre is southwest of the River Dove, which forms the Derbyshire/Staffordshire boundary. Being situated in Staffordshire, the town officially lies within the West Midlands region. Several factors contribute to the ambiguity of the town's status. The local vernacular shares more similarities with East Midlands English than West Midlands English; the town was formerly within the East Midlands Utility (electricity/gas) areas, and has Derby postcodes (DE13-DE15). However, it is served by the BBC Midlands (West Midlands) region, based in Birmingham and before consolidation exercises formed part of the ITV Central (West) region, again based in Birmingham.

Demography

The town had an estimated population of 43,784 in the 2001 Census. Stapenhill and Winshill were treated separately and together had a further population of 21,985 according to this source. According to the 2001 census, 71% of the town's population identify themselves as Christian, 12% as atheist or agnostic and 8.5% Muslim. In the 2011 Census, the population of the town, now treated wholly, came to 72,299.

Culture and community

Culture

The main venue for live theatre and other performing and visual arts is The Brewhouse, which is run by East Staffordshire Council. During the 1970s and 1980s a number of well known rock bands appeared at the 76 Club nightclub in Burton, including Dire Straits and the Sex Pistols. Bloodstock Open Air is an annual festival of heavy metal music, which takes place in August and has been held at Catton Hall in Walton-on-Trent, 8 miles south-west of Burton since 2005.

Burton Operatic Society is a musical theatre company based in Burton and produces two productions each year. The town was also home to the Burton School of Speech and Drama on Guild Street where many professional and amateur actors and actresses learned their craft. Following the closure of the school in July 1984, its in-house amateur company, the Little Theatre Players, continued life as an independent amateur drama company called The Little Theatre Company. LTC currently stages at least four productions a year in the town: two plays, a musical and a youth production.

Burton has one of the oldest amateur radio clubs in the UK. It was formed in 1919, although there were enthusiasts of wireless telegraphy in Burton well before the First World War. One of the founder members of the club was F. V. A. Smith, call sign XSR, (X = experimental station). Smith was licensed on 3 July 1914 and one month later, he received a message from the Marconi spark transmitter at Poldhu in Cornwall, being sent to London, on the eve of the outbreak of war. The message, which has survived and is in the present club archives, was announcing the mobilisation of Russian, French and Belgian troops.

The Statutes Fair takes place in the town every year on the first Monday and Tuesday after Michaelmas (29 September). This is usually on the first Monday/Tuesday in October but can occasionally fall on 30 September/1 October as in 2002. The fair occupies the Market Place and parts of High Street, New Street and Lichfield Street for two days.

Community facilities

The local Sea Cadet unit is TS (Training Ship) Modwena alongside the River Trent and road bridge. The town's Air Training Corps unit is No 351 (Burton-upon-Trent) Squadron. The local Army Reserve unit is F (Fire Support) Company, 4 Mercian Regiment, an infantry unit at Coltman House Army Reserve Centre, Hawkins Lane; the unit was formerly a volunteer brigade of the North Staffordshire Regiment.

Landmarks

The Burton Cooper, Coopers Square Shopping Centre - geograph.org.uk - 538303
The Burton Cooper, Coopers Square Shopping Centre The bronze sculpture, The Burton Cooper by James Walter Butler was commissioned in 1977 and depicts a local craftsman. It originally stood opposite the market and was moved to its present location in 1994.

The town's connection with the brewing industry is celebrated in The Burton Cooper a bronze sculpture, by James Walter Butler. It was commissioned in 1977 and depicts a local craftsman making a barrel. It originally stood opposite the market and - despite opposition from many townspeople - was moved to its present location inside the Cooper's Square Shopping Centre in 1994.

The National Brewery Centre (previously Coors Visitor Centre & the Museum of Brewing and before that the Bass Museum of Brewing), which celebrates the town's brewing heritage is its biggest tourist attraction. Claymills Pumping Station on the north side of Burton is a restored Victorian sewage pumping station, adjacent to the modern sewage works. Until 2006, one of Burton's most distinguishable landmarks was the Drakelow Power Station, just south of Burton on the opposite side of the River Trent. The cooling towers have since been demolished.

Finney's post is part of an ornate mediaeval oak post, which once stood at the corner of the Market Place and High Street.

Transport

Burton now lies on both sides of the River Trent. Historically, there was just one bridge over the river, Burton Old bridge, and there was a small ferry that operated from "time immemorial". This was eventually replaced by the Ferry Bridge.

The town is served by Burton-on-Trent railway station, which is accessed from the bridge on Borough Road. The station has two platforms, Platform One for Derby, Nottingham, London and the North, Platform Two for Tamworth, Birmingham and the South. The station is situated on the Cross Country Route, between the principal cities of Derby and Birmingham.

The station's operator is East Midlands Trains, although no East Midlands Trains trains call there. All of services are provided by CrossCountry, with trains between Cardiff Central, Birmingham, and Nottingham, as well as longer-distance services to destinations such as Bristol Temple Meads, Leeds and Newcastle. Burton is positioned at the southern terminus of the aborted Ivanhoe Line.

East Midlands Trains used to run two direct return weekday services to London via Derby and Leicester along the Midland Main Line. These services ended at the December 2008 timetable change with the last service running on Saturday 13 December 2008. The station utilises the PlusBus scheme where train and 'bus tickets can be bought together at a saving.

The town had its own municipal 'buses known as Burton Corporation and later East Staffordshire District Council after 1974. This was taken over by Stevenson's of Spath in the mid-1980s and in turn was absorbed by Arriva in the late 1990s. Arriva Midlands and independents now operate locally and provide services to Uttoxeter, Derby, Horninglow, Edge Hill, Stapenhill, Queen's Hospital Burton, Winshill, Stretton, Abbots Bromley, Tatenhill, Wetmore, Lichfield and Ashby-de-la-Zouch. The former Burton Corporation depot has been replaced by the Magistrates' Courts. Most buses can now be caught from New Street between the Octagon and Cooper Square shopping centres.

Burton upon Trent Corporation Tramways operated a tramway service in Burton between 1903 and 1929. The system comprised four routes going out from Station Street to Horninglow, Branston Road, Stapenhill, and Winshill. The depot was in Horninglow Road.

The town is served by the general aviation airfield located at Tatenhill four miles west.

Burton is also on 2 routes of the National Cycle Network. Route 54 links Burton with Birmingham to the south and Derby to the north with the route closely following the Trent and Mersey Canal around Burton. National Cycle Route 63 starts in Burton and links to South Derbyshire via the town centre, Stapenhill Viaduct, the recently refurbished Ferry Bridge and Stanton. Route 63 terminates at the Trent & Mersey Canal in Shobnall at its junction with route 54.

Religious sites

The mother church of Burton is St Modwen's, a Georgian building which replaced the former Burton Abbey's church. Other Anglican parish churches built to serve the expanding population include St Mark's, Winshill, St Paul's, St John the Divine, Horninglow, St Chad's and All Saints and St Mary's, Stretton.

There are five mosques in Burton, three Bareilvi or Sufi, one Deobandi and one Salafi. There is a Sikh Gurdwara established in St Chad's Community Centre. Although there was a small Jewish community in Burton in the early half of the 20th century, there is no record of a synagogue being established. There was, however, a close relationship with the community in Derby, whose minister acted as visiting teacher and shochet.

Twin towns

  • Joseph Addison in The Spectator in 1712 recorded visiting Vauxhall Gardens where he drank a glass of Burton ale.
  • In the poem "Terence, this is stupid stuff" from A.E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad, the speaker asks the question, "Say, for what were hop-yards meant, / Or why was Burton built on Trent?" referring to the town's history of beer brewing.
  • Burton-on-Trent, Its History, Its Waters and Its Breweries by W Molyneux. Published by Trubner, 1869.
  • History of Burton upon Trent by CH Underhill. Published by Tresises, Burton, 1941.
  • County Borough, the History of Burton upon Trent 1901–1974. Part 1, Edwardian Burton by Denis Stuart. Published by The Charter Trustees of Burton upon Trent, 1975.
  • County Borough, the History of Burton upon Trent 1901–1974. Part 2, 1914–1974 by Denis Stuart. Published by The Charter Trustees of Burton upon Trent, 1977.
  • Deus Nobiscum, A History of Burton Grammar School by GE Radford. Published by GE Radford, 1973.
  • A Brief History of St Modwen's, the Parish Church of Burton-upon-Trent by Ernest Aldington Hunt. Published by British Publishing Co, Gloucester, 1973.
  • The Development of Industry in Burton-upon-Trent by CC Owen. Published by Phillimore, Chichester, 1978.
  • Charters of Burton Abbey by PH Sawyer. Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979.

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