Evidence of Roman activity in the area of Tamworth consists of fragments of Roman building materials found near Bolebridge Street. Mercia[ edit ] Following the end of Roman rule , the area around the Tame valley was occupied by Anglo-Saxons from northern Germany and Jutland.
Stephen Pollington states that the settlers that reached Tamworth were Angles , who left their homelands after rising sea-levels flooded much of the land.
Britain offered an attractive option as its landscape was similar to their homelands, but was more fertile and had a more moderate climate. Nearby they established an "enclosed estate" called "Tomtun" — Tame-town — fortified with a palisade wall.
These people called themselves the " Tomsaete ": Tomtun was initially "not much more than a fortified manor". The settlement straddled the River Anker and contained a "large hall for public gatherings" as well as individual homes and agricultural buildings such as stables and granaries. The Lords of Tame-Settlers quickly became wealthy and Tamworth was thus able to be fortified further.
Fertile lands surrounding the rivers allotted first, then the hill lands; this land spreading further and further, spreading the power and influence of the tribes. The Tomsaete were one of countless tribes "all vying for power and influence", however the Lords of the Tomsaete came to control and to "dominate" the area known as English Midlands.
The tribes initially ruled through unions and alliances of leading families and there is evidence of contact with families across England and also back in the Anglo-Saxon homelands. However, this "warlord" form of government developed and the Tomsaete's lands became a Kingdom with a single leader. The King was not static and would not have a single residence; instead he traveled round his territories "to be seen by his people, to give legal judgments, to reward loyalty and to try offenders".
Tamworth however, was home to the King's household and children. It was by far the largest town in the English Midlands when today's much larger city of Birmingham was still in its infancy. This is largely due to its strategic position at the meeting point of the rivers Tame and Anker, placing the town perfectly as a centre of trade and industry. The town was sacked by the Danes Vikings in She made Tamworth her principal residence and died there in Grants of borough privileges, including rights to a third additional fair in [ citation needed ] consolidated Tamworth's historic importance as 'the seat of Saxon kings'.
In the Middle Ages Tamworth was a small market town. However the king gave it charters in [ citation needed ]. In Tamworth was granted the right to hold two annual fairs[ citation needed ].
In the Middle Ages fairs were like markets but they were held only once a year and they attracted buyers and sellers from great distances. In Tamworth suffered a disastrous fire, and much of the town burned. Many died but each time the population recovered. An order was issued for the castle to be destroyed but this was not carried out.
Its strategic trade advantage lay with control of the two vital packhorse bridges across the Anker and the Tame on the route from London to Chester. While it remained a local market town, it did a brisk trade providing travellers with the staple bread, ale and accommodation, maintaining trading links as far afield as Bristol. Charles II's reconfirmation of its borough's privileges in gave the town an added boost, as confirmed by Richard Blome 's[ who?
There are four cannon in the Castle Grounds, an indication of the town's previously violent past. In the pavements were flagged. From Tamworth had gaslight. In the late 19th century a piped water supply was created. The town grew rapidly in the 18th and 19th centuries during the Industrial Revolution , benefiting from the surrounding coal mines. It also became connected to the canal network, with the Coventry Canal being built through the town.
Later, the railways arrived with the Midland Railway route from Derby to Birmingham arriving in Tamworth in , and later the London and North Western Railway , which provided direct trains to the capital.
A split-level station exists where the two main lines cross each another, the higher level platforms on the Derby to Birmingham line , being at right angles to the lower ones on the main line to London. The Assembly Rooms were built in In the corporation bought Tamworth Castle.
A hospital was built in Tamworth in and was funded by one of the town's greatest benefactors, William MacGregor, at his own expense. An infirmary was built in MacGregor also built two churches at Glascote and Hopwas and had the bells at St.
He also started a free library, a working men's club, a school Now called William MacGregor School and started the Co-operative society  in the town in acting as guarantor.
He lived at the nearby Drayton Manor. While Home Secretary, Peel helped create the modern concept of the police force, leading to officers being known as "bobbies" in England and "Peelers" in Northern Ireland. During the 19th century a breed of pig called Tamworth Pig was initially bred here using some imported Irish stock. Sir Robert Peel was a member of the historic Tamworth Castle Bowls club , founded in , which still has an active membership. Editha's on 24 December His parents, Thomas and Lydia, are buried in its churchyard.
Modern history[ edit ] The first council houses in Tamworth were built in More were built in the s and s and after The first public library in Tamworth was built in Tamworth gained an electricity supply in The A5 Thomas Guy Way passing through Tamworth, looking south from Glascote Tamworth grew rapidly in the postwar years as it soaked up overspill from the West Midlands conurbation to the southwest.
A population of about 7, in had risen to some 13, just after the Second World War ; this figure remained fairly static until the late s when a major expansion plan was implemented. Although not officially a "New Town", Tamworth's expansion resembled the development of many new towns. As part of this plan the town boundaries were expanded to include the industrial area around Wilnecote to the south.
The population of the new enlarged area was 25, In it was 40,; in , 64,; in , 68, and in , 72,, meaning that the town's population had almost doubled within 30 years. The town of Fazeley merges almost completely into the town to the southwest, but belongs to the Lichfield District area rather than Tamworth Borough. It became a town, after a referendum on a choice to merge with Tamworth. The boundary was re-drawn in , with the town placed entirely in Staffordshire.
Thompson, and cars such as the Scimitar four wheeled sports cars and the Robin three wheeled economy cars were manufactured here until the company moved to Cannock in A year later the old factory was razed to the ground and a new housing estate built in its place called "Scimitar Park" with street names assuming names of Reliant vehicles i.
The A5 dual-carriageway Fazeley , Two Gates and Wilnecote Bypass opened in July , acting both as a bypass of Watling Street, and as a fast route for traffic into the town. This was further extended to meet the M6 Toll and A38 in The road's official name is Thomas Guy Way. The second largest ethnicity is White Irish , making up 0. Health[ edit ] Tamworth has a minor hospital called Sir.
Robert Peel Hospital however does not have accident and emergency facilities, the nearest one which does is Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield. Other religions include Hindu , Islam and Sikhism which make up 0.
Most of Tamworth is part of the Diocese of Lichfield , the two parishes being Tamworth and Wilnecote. However Amington is in the parish of Amington St. Editha which is part of the Diocese of Birmingham.