Burton Upon Trent is a place-name that makes many people think of beer. Brewing played a hugely influential part in Burton's past and made the town famous, but it is far from the whole story. Burton properly began over a thousand years ago with the foundation of an abbey by the Mercian noble, Wulfric Spot, at 'the holy place of St Modwen'. But, as this compelling new book explains, archaeological evidence takes us much further back to signs of human habitation in the Trent Valley 250,000 years ago. From these faltering first hunter-gathering footsteps along the marshy banks, this new book continues the historical journey through life in the more settled Celtic period then, after some Roman discipline, centuries of struggle to make a living on a lawless Dark-Age border. A powerful Benedictine monastery brought five centuries of modest medieval prosperity - and peace - though not with-out tales of sleaze and corruption at the abbey, nor of mixed fortunes experienced by generations of the Paget lords of the manor. Then, as industry began to transform Britain into the workshop of the world, Burton enjoyed the energy, virtue and vision of such men as Michael Thomas Bass.
From this period onwards the author brilliantly combines documentary and visual sources to illuminate the rapid growth of the town over the past two centuries, and to describe, where possible with carefully chosen pictures, many lives and events that will fascinate all who live in Burton today or have an interest in its historic past.