Thursday, June 02, 2011

In praise of Stamford

England's most attractive town - John Betjeman

The climax [of Lincolnshire] in terms of historical as well as architectural significance, is... the town of Stamford, the English country market town par excellence - Nikolaus Pevsner

If there is a more beautiful town in the whole of England I have yet to see it. The view of Stamford from the water-meadows on a fine June evening, about a quarter to half a mile upstream, is one of the finest sights that England has to show. The western sunlight catches the grey limestone walls and turns them to gold. It falls on towers and spires and flowing water, on the warm brown roofs of Collyweston slates, and on the dark mass of the Burghley woods behind. The hipped and mansard roofs of the town rise from the edge of the river above the flashing willows, tier upon tier, to the spire of All Saints, and the towers of St Martin's, St John's, and St Michael's, and, above them all, to the noble tower and spire of St Mary's, the central jewel in the crown of Stamford - W.G. Hoskins

When we were planning the programme we presumed we would have to film all over the country - a street here, a square there, a house somewhere else. But then our researchers came back and told us they had found this marvellous town that had everything. So I went up to Lincolnshire, took one look and I knew they were right. Stamford is beautiful, extraordinary; it is absolutely stunning - Louis Marks (producer of the BBC adaptation of Middlemarch that was filmed there)

All quotations taken from the Stamford website.


Anders Hanson said...

Completely agree with all these quotations on how lively Stamford is. One of my friends is from Stamford and she got married at St Mary's and I had a chance to have a wander around the town beforehand. Very nice.

Anonymous said...

Not debating Stamford's right to be up there, but just to throw some ohers into the mix: