Stamford is an ancient town
located approximately 100 miles to the north of London, just off
the A1, which was the old Great North Road leading to York and Edinburgh. It is a town within the South Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England.
situated on the River
Welland, in a south-westerly protrusion of Lincolnshire,
between Rutland to the north
and west, and Peterborough to the south. It borders Northamptonshire to the south-west at the only point in England
where four ceremonial counties meet.
Stamford was declared a
conservation area in 1967 and has over 600 listed buildings, more
than half of the total for the County of Lincolnshire.
There is a
small Museum in Broad
1968, a specimen of the Cetiosaurus
oxoniensis sauropod dinosaur was found
by Bill Boddington in the Williamson Cliffe quarry, close to
was calculated to be around 170 million years old, from the
part of the Jurassic
era. It is one of the most complete dinosaur
skeletons found in the UK, being fifteen metres long, and is now in
the New Walk
Museum in Leicester, being on display since 1975.
It is known as
the Rutland Dinosaur
. The Jurassic Way runs from Banbury to
The Hereward Way
through the town from Rutland to the Peddars
. The Macmillan Way heads through the town,
finishing at Boston and there is also the Torpel
Way from the town to Peterborough, which follows much of the
originally grew as a Danish settlement
at the lowest point that the Welland could be crossed by ford or
bridge. Stamford was the only one of the five
Danelaw borough not to become a
Initially a pottery
centre, producing Stamford Ware
the Middle Ages
it had become famous for
its production of wool
and woollen cloth
(known as Stamford
). There is an example of this cloth, also
called Haberget, in Stamford Museum.
Stamford was a walled town but only a very
small portion of the walls now remain. Stamford became an
inland port on the Great North
Road (also part of the Roman
Street - it passes nearby the town - where it forded the
River Welland). Notable buildings in the town include the
mediaeval Browne's Hospital, churches and the
buildings of Stamford
School, a public school
founded in 1532.
A Norman castle was built about 1075
apparently demolished in 1484
The site stood derelict until the late 20th century when it was built over in and now includes a bus station and a modern housing development.
The historian David Roffe has made a study of many aspects of the
Danelaw, and his web site includes an extensive and scholarly
history of Stamford Castle.
A small part of the curtain wall survives at the junction of
and Bath Row
. From the doorway within
were held until around 1971,
the candidates speaking from a position above the crowd.
The bull run
For almost 700 years Stamford was host to a renowned bull-running
festival on November 13th annually, until it was abandoned in 1837
after a controversial but successful campaign by the Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Stamford residents defended
their ancient custom as a "traditional, manly, English sport;
inspiring courage, agility, and presence of mind under danger." Its
defenders argued that it was less cruel and dangerous than fox
hunting, and one local newspaper asked "Who or what is this London
Society that, usurping the place of constituted authorities,
presumes to interfere with our ancient amusement?"
According to local tradition, the origin of the custom dated from
the time of King John when, one day, William, Earl of Warren,
standing on the battlements of the castle, saw two bulls fighting
in the meadow beneath. Some butchers came to part the combatants
and one of the bulls ran into the town, causing a great uproar. The
earl, mounting his horse, rode after the animal, and enjoyed the
sport so much, that he gave the meadow in which the fight began, to
the butchers of Stamford, on condition that they should provide a
bull, to be run in the town every 13th of November, for ever after.
The town of Stamford acquired common rights in the meadow
specified, a grassy flood plain next to the Welland, which until
the last century was know as Bull-meadow, and today just as The
Meadows - still a popular place of summer relaxation for day
The last known person to have witnessed the final bull running was
a life-long Stamford resident, James Fuller Scholes, of Petoria
Cottage, Foundry Road, who spoke of it in a newspaper interview
before his 94th birthday on August 25th, 1928, shortly before his
death. He was quoted as saying: "I am the only Stamford man living
who can remember the bull-running in the streets of the town. I can
remember my mother showing me the bull and the horses and men and
dogs who chased it. She kept the St Peter's Street - the building
that was formerly the Chequers Inn at that time and she showed me
the bull-running sport from a bedroom window. I was only four years
old then, but I can clearly remember it all. The end of St Peter's
Street (where it was joined by Rutland Terrace) was blocked by two
farm wagons, and I saw the bull come to the end of the street and
return again. My mother told me not to put my head out of the
window - apparently because she was afraid I should drop into the
Seventeenth century historians described how the bull was chased
and tormented for the day before being driven to the Bull-meadow
and slaughtered. "Its flesh [was] sold at a low rate to the people,
who finished the day's amusement with a supper of bull-beef."
1333-4, a group of students and tutors from Merton and Brasenose Colleges, dissatisfied with conditions at their
university, left Oxford to eventually establish a rival
Oxford and Cambridge universities
petitioned the King, and Edward III
ordered the closure of the college and the return of the students
to Oxford. Oxford MA
were obliged to swear the following: You shall also swear that
you will not read lectures, or hear them read, at Stamford, as in a
University study, or college general
. The site, and limited
remains, of the former 'Brazenose College, Stamford' where the 14th
century Oxford secessionists lived and studied, forms part of the
Stamford School premises .
The town has five state primary schools - Bluecoat, St Augustine's
(RC), St George's, St Gilbert's and Malcolm Sargent.
There is one state secondary school Queen Eleanor Technology
. This was formed in the late 1980s after the
dissolution of the town's two comprehensive schools - Fane and
School and Stamford High School are long established independent schools with
approximately 1,500 pupils combined.
Stamford School (boys)
was founded in 1532, with the High School (girls) founded in 1877.
The schools have taught co-educational classes in the 6th form
since 2000. Also part of the Stamford Endowed Schools is Stamford
Junior School a co-educational school for children form ages two to
secondary pupils travel to nearby Casterton
Business and Enterprise College or further afield to other schools.
Stamford offers a wide variety of vocational and academic
higher education courses including BA degrees in Art & Design awarded by the University
lying near Stamford (actually in the historic Soke of Peterborough) is Burghley
House, an Elizabethan mansion,
vast and ornate, built by the First Minister of Elizabeth I, Sir William Cecil, later
The house is the ancestral seat of the
Marquess of Exeter
. The tomb of
William Cecil is in Saint Martins Church in Stamford. The parkland
of the Burghley Estate adjoins the town of Stamford on two sides.
inside the district of Peterborough is the village of Wothorpe.
historic country house near Stamford is Tolethorpe Hall, now host to theatre productions by the Stamford Shakespeare
Stamford is known for its many churches.
- All Saints' Church, Stamford All Saint's in 39 Red Lion Square,
with its wooden war memorial
- Christ Church, Green Lane
- Stamford and District Community Church, Queen Eleanor Technical
College, off Green Lane
- Stamford Free Church (Baptist), Kesteven Road
- St George's in St George's Square,
- St John the Baptist,
- St Mary's Church, Stamford on St Mary's Street
- St. Mary and St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church,
- St Martin's Church, Stamford on the High Street St Martins.
- St Michael the Greater, at the bottom of Ironmonger
Street, is now a parade of shops.
- St. Paul's Church, St. Paul's Street. Now a chapel for Stamford
- Strict Baptist Chapel, North Street
- Salvation Army, East Street
- Trinity Methodist, Barn Hill
- United Reformed Church, Star Lane
The industrial revolution largely left Stamford untouched. Much of
town centre was built in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,
in Georgian or Jacobean style. Stamford is characterized by street after
street of timber-framed and stone buildings (using the local
limestone that Lincoln
Cathedral is built from), little shops tucked down back
The main shopping area was pedestrianized
in the 1980s.
it does on the main north-south route (Ermine Street and the A1) from London, several
Parliament were held in
Stamford in the Middle Ages.
Bull and Swan
, the Crown
and the London
were well-known coaching inns
The town had to manage with Britain's north-south traffic through
its narrow roads until 1960, when the bypass was built to the west
of the town, only a few months after the M1
opened. The old route is now the B1081. There
is only one road bridge over the Welland (excluding the A1): a
Until 1996, there were firm plans for the bypass to be upgraded to
standard; though these have been
shelved. The Carpenter's Lodge
roundabout south of the
town has been replaced with a grade-separated junction.
A16 (Uffington Road), which heads to Market
Deeping, meets the north end of the A43 (Wothorpe Road) in the
south of the town.
Foot bridges cross the Welland at the Meadows, some 500 yards
upstream of the Town Bridge, and with the Albert Bridge a similar
East railway station in 1957 saw services to Essendine and Bourne handled at the town station, until the Stamford
& Essendine line closed in 1959. The surviving
station, hidden away between Wothorpe Road and the
Welland, remains open and has direct services to Leicester, Birmingham and Stansted Airport (via Cambridge) on the Birmingham to Peterborough
It passes next to the Girls' School.
The town has a fine bus station on part of the old Castle site in
St Peter's Hill
. The main bus routes are two routes to
Peterborough, via Helpston or via Wansford, and to
Oakham, Grantham, Uppingham and Bourne.
also less frequent services to Peterborough by other routes. Delaine
services terminate at their old depot in
. Other operators active include Kimes, Blands
and Peterborough Council.
Sundays, the only service is to Peterborough via Wansford.
also a National Express coach
service between London and Nottingham each day including Sundays.
commercial shipping traffic brought cargoes to warehouses in
Wharf Road until the 1850s, this traffic is no longer
possible because of the shallowness of the river above Crowland. There is a lock at the Sluice in Deeping St.
James but it is not in use.
The river was not
conventionally navigable upstream of the Town Bridge.
River Welland banks and Town Bridge
The Stamford Mercury
claims to have been published since 1695 and to be "Britain's
oldest newspaper". The Newcastle Journal
and London Gazette
also claim this
radio provision is shared between Peterborough's Heart FM (102.7) and the smaller Rutland Radio (the 97.4 transmitter is on
Casterton Road) from Oakham.
there are the BBC's Radio
Cambridgeshire (95.7 from Peterborough), Radio
Northampton (103.6 from Corby) and
(94.9). NOW Digital broadcasts from the East
Casterton transmitter covering the town and Spalding, which provides the Peterborough 12D multiplex (BBC Radio
Cambridgeshire & Hereward FM).
the town is RAF
Wittering, a main
employer, and the Home of the Harrier.
The airbase originally
opened in 1916 as RFC
which closed then re-opened in 1924 under its present title.
engineering company Cummins Generator
Technologies (formerly Newage International), a maker of
electrical generators, is based
on Barnack Road.
National jeweller F. Hinds
can trace their
history back to the clockmaker Joseph Hinds, who worked in Stamford
in the first half of the nineteenth century and they also have a
branch in the town. Nearby to the west, along the A6121, is the Castle
Cement works at Ketton where they
have cement-manufacturing kilns which uses limestone quarried on site.
This is a
subsidiary of Heidelberg Cement.
Politics and governance
is part of the Parliamentary constituency of Grantham and
The incumbent Member of Parliament, Mr
Quentin Davies 
a member of the Labour Party
although he was elected to Parliament as a Conservative
candidate, having first
been elected for that party in 1987. He crossed the floor
of the House of Commons to
join the governing party on 26 June 2007. He went on to become a
junior Defence Minister.
has a local town council in addition to the South Kesteven District Council.
The river downstream of the town bridge, and some of the meadows
fall within the drainage area of the Welland and Deepings Internal Drainage Board
- Torben Betts, playwright
- David Cecil, 6th
Marquess of Exeter, as Lord Burghley, gold medal-winning
- William Cecil, 1st
- Sarah Cawood, television
- Malcolm Christie, professional
- Colin Dexter author, creator of
- Tom Ford broadcaster,
presenter 5th Gear
- John George Haigh "The Acid
Bath Murderer" was born in Stamford in 1909
Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe newspaper publisher
- Nicola Roberts, British singer
(most famous for being a member of Girls
- General Sir Mike Jackson
- Rae Earl, author and broadcaster
- Francis Peck (1692 – 1743)
- Robert of Ketton, Medieval
theologian, first translator of the Qu'ran
- James Mayhew, writer and
illustrator of children's books
- Sir Malcolm Sargent
- Nigel Sixsmith, founder member of
The Art Of Sound
- Sir Michael Tippett
- November 13th entry,
- November 13th entry.
- Interview, August 20th, 1928.
- Novermber 13th entry.
George's Church, Stamford