Things to do in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire
The small village was named after the new castle and "Lyme" either refers to the lime trees in the area or the Lyme Brook.
By 1253 Newcastle not only had its charter but was also a free borough with a merchant guild and other privileges.
Apart from a plundering by the royalists, Newcastle-under-Lyme remained largely untouched during the English Civil Wars.
Its main trades were silk and cotton weaving and the hat trade, in the 1820s there were 20 hat-making factories.
The station opened in 1852 after numerous problems with tunnels at Hartshill, one of which was 605 yards in length. The railway was unviable and closed in 1964.
Famous residents in Newcastle-under-Lyme include Josiah Wedgwood MP who served in the first Labour government.
Philip Astley was the founder of the modern-day circus and singer Jackie Trent was born in the town.
Present Day Newcastle-under-Lyme
Although close in proximity to the pottery town of Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle was not heavily involved in the ceramics industry.
Newcastle Town FC plays in the Northern Premier League First Division and there is also a cricket and a rugby club.
It is close to the M6 motorway and within easy reach of the main Stoke-on-Trent railway station which is on the West Coast Main Line.
Things to Do Around Newcastle-under-Lyme
Newcastle has some wonderful gardens and was a national winner in the Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom competition for the small city/large town category.
The Queen Elizabeth Garden is well worth a visit to see the summer flowerbeds.
Brampton Park, just half a mile from the town centre, is home to the Borough Museum and Art Gallery. Set in beautiful parkland it has galleries of artworks and a life-size Victorian replica street complete with a pawnbroker's shop, ironmongers and a chemist's shop.