If you visit Lichfield not knowing of its tumultuous history you might second guess it by observing the whack and whumph of the cathedral. This place - so small and yet so seismic in the story of these isles - is an architectural wonder.

In the 9th century, Lichfield was the hub of the mighty Mercian power-grasp for political hegemony. King Offa (who built that dyke) made it an archbishopric with dominion from the Humber to the Thames.

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