Things to do in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
The name Sutton Coldfield derived from "South town" referring to it being south of Tamworth, the capital of Mercia, and "col field" meaning charcoal field.
Evidence of Roman occupation is evident in Sutton Park where a stretch of Icknield Street has been preserved. The road connected Metchley Fort in Edgbaston with Letocetum, now the town of Wall in Staffordshire. Roman coins and a pottery kiln have been found there.
When the Romans departed in the 5th century, Sutton Coldfield was little more than a hunting lodge serving the deer park at Sutton Park.
The manor of Sutone was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. In 1135 Henry I exchanged it for land in Rutland and the land remained in the hands of the Earls of Warwick off-and-on for 300 years.
In the late 1200s the town built the parish church which became the Holy Trinity Church. The clasping buttresses still survive from the early building, beneath the East window.
In return for a lease, Sir Ralph Bracegirdle was required to defend Calais from French attack and Sutton Coldfield became the training centre for soldiers. Marks can be seen on the mediaeval wall of 3 Coleshill Street where archers once sharpened their arrows.
During the 16th century Sutton Coldfield had several mills on pools within Sutton Park. Later blades, tools and gun barrels were manufactured. The town prospered during the next two centuries and many wealthy industrialists in Birmingham built grand country homes in Sutton.
The opening of the railway in 1837 made Sutton Coldfield an escape for a day out from the grimy city and it gradually developed as a commuter town.
During World War II the area was used for prisoner-of-war camps with major redevelopment after the war ended. Unfortunately many local landmarks were lost in the process.
Present Day Sutton Coldfield
Sutton Coldfield has a population of around 105,000. It has a prosperous history and many manors were built in the area including the Grade II listed Moat House. Many homes are now hotels such as the Moor Hall Hotel and Moshull Hall Hotel.
The main shopping centre is The Mall with further shops at the Red Rose Centre. Independent shops can be found on the Parade and New Hall Walk.
The High Street and King Edwards Square are now part of a conservation area. The town hall serves as a theatre, conference centre and function room.
Things to Do Around Sutton Coldfield
The town has many golf clubs including "The Belfry" which has hosted the Ryder Cup on several occasions.
The Wyndley Leisure Centre has a swimming pool and athletics track on the edge of Sutton Park, one of the largest urban parks in Europe with a nature reserve.
New Hall Valley Country Park covers 160-acres and has a working watermill.
Winterbourne House and Garden is 8 miles away and the Norman Tamworth Castle nearby has many hands-on activities for youngsters.
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