The River Sow the main river that passes through Stafford begins its journey in a valley on the
outskirts of Fairoak nr Eccleshall. From its birth as it emerges as a spring it develops into a major river before
ending its journey at the Essex Bridge near Shugborough where it becomes a tributary of the River Trent.
On the way it passes through some of the finest countryside that Staffordshire can offer. Its tranquil journey belies the events
that have happened to the places on its route, events that many know nothing about. These events helped shape the
landscape we see today, made and lost the towns and villages we live in. Many people have been associated with the
river and these places, some have become Saints, some have shaped the lives of others, some have met Kings. From
all that has happened, the river has always been there and has played a major part and has been mostly ignored.
This journey along the 15 miles the river travels will tell you of the beautiful countryside that is waiting to be discovered and
hopefully leave you with the desire to explore and find your favourite stretch of the river, or to investigate the
events that have happened.
What of the events that have happened at some of the places the river passes?
This will attempt to tell you of these major historical events and tell you about some of the historical buildings
associated with those events.
But first a bit of history. In the 12th and 13th centuries the Sow was known
as Sowe and its meaning was a sough, drain, stream or channel. It's actual name origin is unknown.