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Things to do in Cannock, Staffordshire

Cannock is the largest town on Cannock Chase in Staffordshire.

Cannock Deer Statue © Dale Miles
Cannock Deer © Dale Miles

It is situated in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, nine miles north east of Wolverhampton.

The town has a long history dating back to 1086 when it was recorded as "Chenet" in the Domesday Book and "Chnoc" in later records. "Cnocc" was the Old English word for hillock.

History of Cannock

Cannock was the site of a bridge in 1281 and "the bridge of Cannock near the mill" was recorded in 1427.

The Roman Route of Watling Street runs nearby and in the 18th century the Birmingham to Staffordshire road ran through the town.

Royal Oak Cannock © Dale Miles
Royal Oak © Dale Miles

The Cross Keys Inn was built in 1746 as an important coaching stop on the London to Liverpool route.

In 1817 Hednesford began training racehorses and by 1851 eleven trainers and jockeys were training 120 horses in the area.

The practice continues today and four Grand National Trophy winners have been trained at the Hednesford stables.

Cannock remained a tranquil rural community until coal was discovered in the area in the 19th century.

The town then grew rapidly as industry was attracted to the area for its close location to the industrial Black Country.

Parish church, Cannock © Dale Miles
Parish Church © Dale Miles

In 1858 the railway opened and Cannock Station was the terminus.

It closed in 1965 but reopened in 1989 on the Rugeley to Birmingham line run by London Midland.

Cannock Chase was used as a range by the Cannock Rifle Volunteer Corps in 1860 and for military manoeuvres by the British Army in 1873.

It was also used for army camp training during both World War I and World War II.

Shopping Centre, Cannock © Dale Miles
Shopping Centre © Dale Miles

Present Day Cannock

Cannock had an estimated population of 28,000 people in 2009. It is an affluent area with modern housing.

It is a popular dormitory town for Birmingham and commuters can travel to Birmingham from the Cannock railway station on the Chase Line.

It is also close to the M6, M6 Toll and the M54 motorways.

Cannock has a good shopping centre, an indoor and outdoor market and several retail parks which are out of town.

Town Clock, Cannock © Dale Miles
Town Clock © Dale Miles


Traditional pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and bars provide nightlife.

There is also a leisure centre, swimming pool, ice rink and other facilities.

Cannock Hockey Club is one of the best in the UK with a number of players in the England team.

Old water pump, Cannock © Dale Miles
Old Water Pump © Dale Miles


Things to Do Around Cannock

Cannock Chase is known as the "green heart of Staffordshire" and is an area of exceptional unspoilt beauty.

The woodlands and heathlands are ideal for walkers, cyclists and naturalists with many rare birds, deer and unusual butterflies.

Castle Ring Camp is an ancient monument on the highest point of the Chase and was the earthworks for an ancient hill fort.

Another landmark to visit is Glacier Boulder which was placed on Cannock Chase in the 1950s from Scotland.

Town Centre, Cannock © Dale Miles
Town Centre © Dale Miles

The Birches Valley Forest Centre at Rugeley has a sculpture trail, play area, Go Ape high ropes course and miles of trails suitable for mountain biking.

Hire bikes, visit the café or go fishing in the Fairoak fishing pools.

The German War Cemetery is situated near Cannock where 4,885 German military graves from both world wars are carefully maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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