Lichfield is known for its magnificent cathedral, its reputation as an intellectual centre in the 18th century, and for being the birthplace of Samuel Johnson, the man behind the very first authoritative English Dictionary. The city is one of the most unspoilt and attractive in the Midlands, with many handsome Georgian buildings still standing. In total there are over 230 listed properties in Lichfield. There are also plans for the development of a £100 million leisure centre, cinema and shopping complex.
This makes Lichfield popular with professionals and especially amongst those who commute to the commercial and business centre of Birmingham 15 miles to the south. There are two stations in the city – Lichfield City and Lichfield Trent Valley just to the north-east of the city – from where Birmingham New Street can be reached in 40 minutes. Similarly, London Euston can be reached by a fast train in around an hour and ten minutes.
Within the Midlands Lichfield stands north of Birmingham, with Tamworth to the south-east and Leicester to the east, Cannock to the west, with the north the Staffordshire countryside and small towns such as Abbot’s and King’s Bromley. The M6 toll road runs just to the south, with A roads heading north and east to Burton-on-Trent and Stafford, and to the south to Tamworth and Birmingham.
The recorded history of Lichfield begins in the 7th century when it was one of the main cities of the Mercian kingdom and the base of St Chad in his evangelisation of the Midlands. The cathedral, famous for its three spires, was begun in the 12th century. In the 18th century Lichfield was known, in the words of Samuel Johnson, as the ‘city of philosophers’. At this time the inhabitants included the poetess Anna Seward, the Shakespearean actor David Garrick, and the natural philosopher Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles Darwin.
In the middle ages the economy had relied on the pilgrim trade and the leather and cloth industries. During the later 17th and 18th centuries Lichfield grew to be the most prosperous town in Staffordshire as a coaching stop on the road from London to Chester. In the 20th century the town was known as the base for Armitage Shanks, the bathroom furniture manufacturer.
Lichfield provides a full calendar of arts and entertainment events and is known as a cultural centre – the modern Garrick Theatre was opened in 2002, whilst heritage weekends take place across the year, along with a major international arts festival involving jazz, literature and theatre.
Properties for sale in Lichfield
Lichfield, WS13 7ET
Fradley, Lichfield, WS13 8NZ