In 2013 The Sunday Times rated the Staffordshire village of Abbots Bromley one of the best places to live in the whole UK, and the top-rated location within the Midlands. The village possesses a rich history with many listed buildings still standing and is famous for the ancient horn dance ritual which is believed to date back to the Middle Ages and possibly beyond. Abbots Bromley lies in mid-Staffordshire and is surrounded on all sides by picturesque countryside. To the south of the village are Rugeley, Cannock and Lichfield. The county town of Stafford is almost directly west of Abbots Bromley, with Burton upon Trent to the east. Heading northwards from the village there is unbroken countryside until reaching Uttoxeter. The village lies in between two main A-roads – the A515 and the A51 that run from Lichfield and Cannock to Stafford and Uttoxeter. The M6 is just the other side of Stafford or can be reached by heading straight down the A515 and joining south of Lichfield. The motorway enables commuters to reach Birmingham or the Black Country, Birmingham International Airport or connect with the M40 heading to London. There are rail connections at Stafford, Lichfield, or Burton upon Trent, all of which head into Birmingham New Street in the city centre and take around forty minutes. The settlement at Abbots Bromley dates back at least as far as the 10th century. The village appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 and during the Middle Ages was the site of a market, held where today the village green stands. The village was known as a centre for glass manufacturing during the 17th century, however in the centuries that followed the village did not develop significantly as the railway was never extended to Abbots Bromley. This means that today much of the historic layout of the village remains, along with around seventy listed buildings that include timber-framed houses, inns and farmhouses. The most well-known remnant of the village’s past is the horn dance, a form of folk dance involving antlers and play-acting that sees villagers dance their way around the historic boundaries of the village and draws many visitors and interest from the national press. Within the village there are several schools, including the independent Abbots Bromley School and Richard Clarke First School, a primary school the origins of which lie in a grammar school established in the village in the 17th century. There is also cricket club with a strong junior section and a recently reformed football club. Blithfield Reservoir, just outside the village, is an area of Special Scientific Interest popular with bird-watchers and walkers.
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