Pictures of Cannock
Think of Cannock and nearly always there springs to life a vision of the wonderful landscape of Cannock Chase, originally a giant "Royal Forest" gradually reduced in size and grazed by numerous flocks of sheep until the turn of the 20th century. By this time only a tiny portion of the old forest had survived, this was Brocton Coppice.
It was not until later in the century that the area became popular. By then it had become recognised for its rich combination of fascinating wildlife, heath and marshland. Rare plants flood the heath-land, amongst these is the bilberry-cowberry cross. Marsh Orchids and sundew flourish in the valleys, and in Brocton Coppice there are the ancient oaks and birches that gave the chase its historic character. Ongoing plantation by the Forestry Commission and wildlife, including fallow deer, badger, red squirrel, and an amazing variety of woodland birds add to the enchantment and beauty of the area which has been an Area of Outstanding Beauty since 1958. It now acts as a Country Park, inviting to nature lovers, birdwatchers and country lovers from all parts of the region. Interestingly, many are drawn here to see the graves of the first Zeppelin crew shot down over Britain. There is also an informative visitor centre.
But Cannock also has an interesting, lively town with a modern town centre and square with a dramatic looking town clock. Spread out from this are streets full of shops where a glance above the windows crammed full of attractive goods, reveals buildings of a bygone age. Some show handsome black and white timber framing from Tudor times, others are solid Georgian and Victorian.
Visitors will find plenty of interest in the town, gardens to relax in when you've tired of the shops and a good mixture of inns, cafe's and restaurants for refreshment. As recently as 2003 Cannock made the news when it was thought an Alligator type creature had been spotted in a pool in Roman View, Churchbridge. However, on investigation both the police and RSPCA inspectors thought it to be nothing more dramatic than a basking carp!
Sons of the town have included author David Christie Murray(1847-1907) who was born near to Cannock and set all his novels in and around the area. William Henry Robinson, novelist and publisher (1847-1926) was born in Cannock, and Tom Wakefield (1935-1996) the novelist who was born and brought up in the town, his father was a local miner. Famous footballer Stan Collymore is also from Cannock and American singer Tiffany lives in Cannock having married a local businessman.
Historically, Cannock is mentioned in the Doomsday Book, its name comes from the old English for "small hill" so it is likely the first settlement here developed along a hill. Latter day history rests with the spread of the coalfields during the middle of the 19th century, and the restless march of industry during the Industrial Revolution.
Today, this ancient area with its attractive centre and beautiful country park has rapidly developed into a desirable residential location for people working in local commercial centres, such as Wolverhampton, Walsall, Stafford and the City of Birmingham.
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