Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Staffordshire Places (5) : Burton-on-Trent

The market town of Burton-on-Trent has made it's fame and fortune from brewing, an industry that continues in the town to this day. A Roman camp may have been located near to the future site of the town. A monastery was probably set up in the area in the 660s, thanks to land granted by King Wulfhere of Mercia to Wilfrid the Bishop of York. The name Burton means a settlement at a fortified place and first appears in 800. However this did not stop Burton falling under viking control.

A Benedictine abbey was founded around 1000. The domesday book mentions Burton Abbey, the monastery becoming the richest and most important in Staffordshire.

Burton became a market town in 1200 with the granting of a charter by King John. Burton's location on the river Trent, and it's bridge over the river, made it a destination for many traders and travellers. Pilgrims also came to see claimed relics of St Modwen in the abbey church. It was the Trent which helped make Burton a brewing centre as it allowed for beer to be easily transported even for export. Burton was at it's height producing a quarter of all beer sold in the country, with over thirty breweries by 1880. However a hundred years later this had been reduced to just three.