See also article on Staffordshire.
The historic county of Staffordshire included Wolverhampton, Walsall, and West Bromwich, these three being removed in 1974 to the new county of West Midlands. The resulting administrative area of Staffordshire has a narrow southwards protrusion that runs west of West Midlands to the border of Worcestershire. Further, the city of Stoke-on-Trent was removed in the 1990s to form a unitary authority, but is still considered part of Staffordshire for ceremonial purposes.
Historically, Staffordshire was divided into the five hundreds of Cuttlestone, Offlow, Pirehill, Seisdon and Totmonslow. The county probably first came into being in this form in the decade after the year 913; that being the date at which Stafford - the strategic military fording-point for an army to cross the Trent - became a secure fortified stronghold & the new capital of Mercia under Queen Æthelflæd.
The County symbol, the Staffordshire Knot, is seen on an Anglian stone cross that dates from around the year 805. The cross still stands in Stoke churchyard. Thus the Knot is either i) an ancient Mercian symbol or ii) a symbol adopted from the Celtic Christianity, Christianity having been brought to Staffordshire by Lindisfarne monks from the year 650.
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