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Cannock is the most populous of three towns in the district of Cannock Chase in the central southern part of the county of Staffordshire in the West Midlands region of England.

Cannock lies to the north of the West Midlands conurbation on the M6, A34 and A5 roads, and to the south of Cannock Chase, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Cannock is served by a railway station on the Chase Line.

Cannock had a 2010 mid-year estimated population of 27,883 (from the estimated headcounts of its four district council electoral wards). The Cannock South ward includes the civil parish of Bridgtown, but the rest of Cannock is unparished.

Cannock is part of Cannock Chase District’s largest built-up area. The area is covered by nine district council electoral wards and part of another ward whose estimated population in 2001 was 60,814.

Cannock is also part of a wider built-up area which includes parts of South Staffordshire District. This is the Cannock urban subdivision of the Cannock/Great Wyrley Urban Area. Its population in the 2001 census was 65,022.

Cannock was called Chenet in the Domesday Book of 1086. It was called Chnoc c.1130, Cnot in 1156, Canot in 1157, and Canoc in 1198. Cannock is probably Old English cnocc meaning ‘hillock’, modified by Norman pronunciation by the insertion of a vowel to Canoc. 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 its coal reserves. Cannock’s population continued to increase steadily in the 20th century and its slight fall since the 1981 census has been more than compensated for by house-building in the adjoining village of Heath Hayes. The last colliery to close in the town was Mid Cannock in 1967, and the last remaining colliery to close in the Cannock Chase area was Littleton (in Huntington) in 1993. There is now no heavy industry in the area, and Cannock 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 on a south-west facing slope, falling from the highest point on Cannock Chase (244m) at Castle Ring, to about 148m in the town centre and 111m near Wedges Mills. The soil is light with a gravel and clay subsoil, and there are extensive coal measures.

Cannock has a reasonably sized town centre which includes 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 leisure centre which contains a swimming pool and other sporting facilities. It also has an ice rink, Silverblades, although this is a small rink compared to other larger rinks to be found at Telford and Solihull. It also has a three-screen cinema which was recently renovated as part of an on-going attempt at redeveloping this part of the town centre.

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. It reopened in 1989 and is part of the Rugeley – Cannock – Walsall – Birmingham line operated by London Midland. There are two trains per hour from the station to Rugeley, Walsall, and Birmingham.

Note: this page is partly based on a Wikipedia page. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Where possible, text is being updated to original, fully referenced research. ‘Our photos’ means we took the photographs. The Street View and street map visuals are courtesy of Google.

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