Staffordshire (stăfˈərdshĭr) [key], county (1991 pop. 1,020,300), 1,157 sq mi (2,997 sq km), W central England. The county seat is Stafford. Administratively, Staffordshire is divided into the districts of Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Newcastle-under-Lyme, South Staffordshire, Stafford, Staffordshire Moorlands, and Tamworth. The terrain is gently undulating except for a district of rugged moorlands in the north. The principal river is the Trent, which has various tributaries.
Much of the land is devoted to cattle pasturage. In the north the Potteries district, centered at Stoke-on-Trent (now administratively separate), is known for its manufacture of fine china (Wedgwood and Spode), glass, bricks, and clay pottery. The Black Country, with its formerly extensive coal fields, foundries, and iron and steel mills, was historically largely in the county's south. Burton upon Trent is famous for its breweries, and Lichfield for its cathedral. The Univ. of Keele is at Keele. The region was once a part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia. In 1974, Staffordshire was reorganized as a nonmetropolitan county.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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