|Population:||27,869 (mid-2009 est)|
Cannock is a towns in central Staffordshire, placed north of and far enough away from the conurbation stretching out from Birmingham and the Black Country, by the edge of Cannock Chase, a fine stretch of country designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The town spreads across a south-west facing slope, falling from the highest point on Cannock Chase (800 feet) at Castle Ring, to about 490 feet in the town centre and 365 feet near Wedges Mills. The soil is light with a gravel and clay subsoil. There are extensive coal measures but it has not been a town so heavily affected by coal mining as nearby towns of Staffordshire were in the great industrial days.
Cannock has a reasonably sized town centre with a good range of shop, and some well known high street names. It also has outdoor and indoor markets and a shopping centre, however some of Cannock's other shopping facilities are to be found in out of town locations such as Longford Island Retail Estate and the Orbital Retail Park.
Cannock has a choice of nightclubs and bars and several more traditional pubs dotted around the town centre including the White Hart and The Royal Oak. There are also many restaurants, gastro pubs, and fast food establishments offering a wide choice of food.
Cannock has a leisure centre which contains a swimming pool and other sporting facilities. It also has an ice rink. It also has a three-screen cinema which was recently renovated as part of an ongoing attempt at redeveloping this part of the town centre.
Cannock is served by a railway station on the Chase Line.
Name of the town
Cannock was called Chenet in the Domesday Book of 1086. It is found as Chnoc around 1130, Cnot in 1156, Canot in 1157, and Canoc in 1198. Cannock thought probably to be from the Old English cnocc meaning "hillock", with a stray additional vowel added for ease of pronunciation in later ages. The name may refer to Shoal Hill, north-west of the town.
Cannock was a small rural community until coal mining increased heavily during the mid to late 19th century. The area then continued to grow rapidly with many industries coming to the area because of its proximity to the Black Country and because of its coal reserves. Its population increased steadily throughout the 20th century. It is home to many commuters working in the surrounding towns and cities.
Cannock Chase German war cemetery is located nearby containing 4,885 German military dead from the First and Second World Wars. It is managed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Cannock is served by the national radio stations, and West Midlands "regional" licences Kerrang and Heart. It has no local radio station.
In November 2001, a group set up a 28-day trial broadcast of Chase FM, hoping to get a full-time commercial radio licence for the town. As well as the 28 day broadcast, the group provided roadshows in the town centre, including turning on the xmas lights, and broadcast live from Silks Nightclub. They returned for another trial in July 2002. Both of these trials were received well, however Ofcom decided there would be no more commercial radio licences.
Many of the group reformed in 2010 and are planning to obtain one of the newer community radio licences to cover the town. An internet-only version of the station is online at chasefm.net
Cannock has local "free" papers, The Chase Post and Cannock Chronicle, as well as a weekday edition of the Express and Star.
Cannock is located close to the M6, M6 toll and M54 motorways. There is an extensive network of local buses radiating out from Cannock town centre. Cannock railway station closed in 1965 as part of the Beeching Axe but reopened in 1989 and is part of the Rugeley - Cannock - Walsall - Birmingham line. There are two trains per hour from the station to Rugeley, Walsall, and Birmingham.
Cannock Hockey Club is one of the leading field hockey clubs in England, and supplies England internationals.
- W. F. H. Nicolaisen; Gelling, Margaret; Richards, Melville (1970). The names of towns and cities in Britain. London: B. T. Batsford. p. 66. ISBN 0713401133.
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