In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Stafford like this:
Stafford, parl. and mun. bor., par. and township, and county town of Staffordshire, on river Sow, 27 miles NW. of Birmingham and 134 NW. of London by rail - par. (Stafford Saints Mary and Chad), 8441 ac., pop. 17,032; township, 3653 ac., pop. 14,399; bor. (comprising Stafford township, part of Hopton and Coton township, Stafford par., and part of Castle Church par.), 1012ac., pop. 19,977; 3 Banks, 2 newspapers. Market-day, Saturday. Stafford grew up around a Saxon stronghold, which was replaced after the Conquest by a Norman castle. ...
Fragments of the old walls still remain. The town is pleasantly situated, and is in general well built. Among the principal objects of interest are the two old churches of St Mary and St Chad, both recently restored; Edward's VI.'s grammar school; the "William Salt" library; the county and town buildings, &c. Stafford is an important rail-way centre. Its chief industrial establishments are breweries, tanneries, and several extensive factories for the mfr. of boots and shoes. Izaak Walton (1593-1683), the angler, was a native. Stafford gives the title of marquis to the Gowers, and of baron to the Jeninghams. It returns 1 member to Parliament; it returned 2 members from Edward I. until 1885, when its parliamentary limits were extended.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Stafford has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Stafford. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Stafford and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Stafford in Staffordshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 25th May 2013
Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time, and maybe some references to other places called "Stafford".