The Knot

The Stafford Knot

When I first thought about doing this project I didn't exactly know how it was going to look and how I am going to accomplish it (I still don't). But one thing I knew: I was going to take pictures of the famous Stafford knot.
Well, everywhere I could see it or find it. On buildings, road signs, flags, crests and so on.
Behind it there are more legends.
In one story I have read that the knot originated following the sentencing of three criminals to death by hanging (
It appears that the executioner had only one piece of rope and three criminals to hang, so in order not to leave one of them out he tied his rope into three loops and got rid of all of them in one go. In another version of the story one of the criminals was actually the one who invented the knot, fact that ultimately saved his life.
Another story speaks about the motto of the knot : "The Knot Unites". 
"The Knot was said to symbolically bind three different local areas which joined to form what is now known as Staffordshire. A more detailed account tells us of Ethelfleda, eldest daughter of Alfred the Great, who, more than a thousand years ago, defended a stronghold at Stafford. She symbolically took off her girdle and said to the local lords: "With this girdle, I bind us all as one", and the three areas became Staffordshire" (

A huge knot on the pavement close to the Market Square, by the old County Council's building

The knot inside the Court room in The Shire Hall Gallery

Knot jewellery

"Knoted" labels

Remember Totty beer? The locally produced beer has been banned from the Stranger's Bar in the House of Commons last year, because of the half-naked woman pictured on the label and which offended female MPs. 
I found Totty in one of Stafford's coffee shops, along with its other beer sisters, and took a picture of the knots found on their labels :)

The Stafford Knot inside the old County Council's building

The Knot on Staffordshire County Council's buildings (old and new)

The Knot on Stafford Castle's Gate

The Knot on the War Memorial, Victoria Park

The Stafford knot as a letter, The Stafford Ale - found close to the Stafford Market (two pictures below)

The Knot on Sir Martin Noell's Almshouses, Mill Street

I found the two knots pictures below on Sir Martin Noell's Almshouses in Mill Street.
I had no idea about the story behind it or what an almshouse is, so I found out on Here it is: 
"Sir Martin Noell was a London merchant who was born in Stafford in the 17th century. He had these almshouses built on Mill Street for the poor of the town. The inhabitants were also given a small pension and a coal allowance from the Corporation. The almshouses had their own chapel, whose stained-glass windows were believed to have come from the old castle church. A weekly service was held by the Sub-Rector of St. Mary's Church" (

A sweet "piece" of Knot

Sometimes the knot is not only on a building, but on a cake. On July 30th, The Stafford Knot Storytelling Club organised a special evening dedicated to Stafford's 1,100 celebration and brought together Staffordshire's Folk Tales author Johnny Gillet (The Journey Man), a Stafford Quiz, many stories and a lovely audience. Below Ana Lines and Cath Edwards, who give life every month to this club, holding the tasty Stafford Cake. I am not sure what kind of cake it was, but it was tasty (a few more pictures from here in the event section...)

The Knot inside Saint Mary's Church

The Knot on Victoria Park's gates and pillar

The Knot on Chambers building

The Knot in Gold (in picture below the Mayor of Stafford Borough, Angela M. Loughran)

                                           The Knot on Borough Council offices (below)

The Knot on Gatehouse Theatre

The Knot out and about 

The Knot on the Public free Library building

The Knot sewed 

The Knot sculpted in wood, in the Stafford Castle forest

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