Local history and traditional beer go hand in hand. So what can a brewer of Bulldog beer, available from Burghley Homebrew, tell you about his or her local town of Stamford?
Well, Stamford was declared by the Sunday Times in 2013 to be the finest place to live in England, an accolade which was no doubt partly down to the ready availability of fine homebrew beer and wine supplies in the town. Indeed, a community with such a proud tradition of home brewed beverages could hardly fail to characterise all that is admired and respected about the east of England. Any Bulldog brewer from the town of Stamford will boast that when you are in the mood for a refreshing change from your regular beverage, there are upward of twenty-five licenced premises which serve real ale.
The architecture of Stamford is the envy of towns all over the region. With its five medieval parish churches, and many stone and timber framed buildings dating back hundreds of years, Stamford is a living history of urban development. Our Bulldog brewer could point you to the 600 listed buildings in the town, and the many coaching inns with doorways large enough to admit horses, which were sometimes built from the same local limestone as Lincoln Cathedral. And we must not forget the ruined stretches of the old walls and castle which can still be found, some of which date back almost 1000 years.
The Bulldog brewer of Stamford would proudly show you around the historic Tolethorpe Hall, with it’s regular Shakespeare productions. This seven acre estate is one of the most significant in the smallest of England’s historic counties, Rutland. Worthy of special consideration would be the Elizabethan mansion of Burghley House, which our guide would cite as the inspiration for Burghley Homebrew, originators of his beloved Bulldog beer.
Of course, the tangible remnants of a town’s past can only ever tell part of its story. Just as significant to the history of Stamford, the Bulldog brewer would assert, is its heritage in the ceramics and textile industries, in particular its woollen cloth which became famous throughout Europe by the reign of Henry III. And of course, we can’t forget the famous Stamford fair, held annually since the middle ages and mentioned by Shakespeare in Henry IV pt2 (act 3 scene 2).
The area surrounding Stamford is home to limestone and slate quarrying industries, and also to some of the richest farmland in England. This preponderance of fine, traditional industries would be of comfort to our amiable Bulldog brewer, who wouldn’t want to see things changing too quickly in the borough lest local identity be lost. Also worth a mention is the proximity of RAF Wittering, which is a main employer in the area. Throw in a weekly game of cricket, and it would seem the town of Stamford holds al the typically English delights a Bulldog brewer could ask for. I might even pay it a visit myself!