Tamworth has something for everyone. It has a unique place in the historical landscape of the UK as the Ancient Capital of the Kingdom of Mercia. Today it offers visitors the opportunity to discover it’s rich past, as well as enjoy the attractions of a thriving and busy town set in the beautiful county of Staffordshire.
With easy access by air, rail, and road, Tamworth is a great centre from which to explore the tourism offered in the heart of the UK; including Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Lichfield, Warwick, and the Peak District. Drayton Manor Theme Park is also just a stone’s throw away.
The Castle Hotel
Situated on Ladybank, this building dates back to 1851. The Market Street frontage, which today serves as the hotel’s ‘Vodka bar’, was used as a grocer’s shop. In 1838 the hotel was the scene of a tragic fire which took the lives of 6 maidservants trapped in upper rooms. A monument was erected in the churchyard to record the incident and as a result of this fire, the town’s first fire brigade was formed. The hotel’s nightclub used to house Ford and Rowley’s Castle Garage and a petrol pump stood outside.
Situated at the end of Lady Bank and opposite the Brewery House, the Lodge Gatehouse is the most recent addition to the Castle and was built by the 2nd Marquis Townshend in 1810 as an entrance worthy of the town’s great landmark. Originally it was a single storey building but a second storey was added to the building around 1897. The coats of arms of the previous owners of the Castle are shown above the central archway of the Lodge, facing Lady Bank. Here, a stone shield bears the arms of the Marmions. On either side of this are two horseshoes, the badge of the Ferrers family. A stone shield bearing the arms of the Townshends can be found on the inside of the gateway, facing the grounds.
The Bank House
ituated on Lady Bank opposite the Castle Hotel, the Bank House was formerly the Tamworth Savings Bank. This Gothic-revival style building dates from 1848 and was purpose built to house the bank founded by Sir Robert Peel in 1823. This and the other buildings in the row have remained virtually unchanged.
Situated at the end of Lady Bank, the bridge crosses the confluence of the River Tame and the River Anker. The Lady Bridge we know today was erected in 1796 and widened at each end in 1840. It replaced a Medieval bridge which over time had become destroyed by ice and floods. Documents dating back to 1294 name this ancient bridge as The Bridge of St Mary, and probably obtained this name because it once had a pedestal supporting a figure of St Mary on a cross. The pedestal itself survived and is today placed on the approach to the Castle’s square tower. Officially known as the Marmion Stone, it is still known locally as the wishing chair, and young children often sit there to make a wish. After many years of carrying the main Birmingham to Nottingham trunk road, the bridge was closed to traffic in 1984.
The Brewery House
Situated at the end of Lady Bank opposite Holloway Lodge, this is now an annex of The Caste Hotel. The Old Brewery House was donated to the town by Lord Weymouth and Lord Middleton as a workhouse in 1750. It gained its name when it was later purchased by local businessman Edward Morgan, who owned a brewery to the rear of the property and the house became his home and Brewery Offices. The building was also used as the “dole” office in the 1960s and 70s.