Lichfield ( /ˈlɪtʃfiːld/) is a cathedral city, civil parish and district in Staffordshire, England. One of eight civil parishes with city status in England, Lichfield is situated roughly 16 mi (26 km) north of Birmingham. In 2008, its population was estimated at 30,583 and the wider Lichfield district at 100,700.
Notable for its three-spired medieval cathedral, Lichfield was the birthplace of Samuel Johnson, the writer of the first authoritative Dictionary of the English Language. The city's recorded history began when St Chad arrived to establish his Bishopric in 669 CE and the settlement grew as the ecclesiastical centre of the Kingdom of Mercia. In 2009 the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork, was found 5.9 km (3.7 mi) south west of Lichfield.
The development of the city was consolidated in the 12th century under Bishop Clinton who fortified the Cathedral Close, and also laid out the town with the ladder-shaped street pattern that survives to this day. Lichfield's heyday was in the 18th century when it developed into a thriving coaching city. This was a period of great intellectual activity, the city being the home of many famous people including Samuel Johnson, David Garrick, Erasmus Darwin and Anna Seward, and prompted Johnson's remark that Lichfield was "a city of philosophers".
Today, the city still retains its old importance as an ecclesiastical centre, and its industrial and commercial development has been limited. The centre of the city retains an unspoilt charm with over 230 listed buildings in its historic streets, fine Georgian architecture and old cultural traditions. People from Lichfield are known as Lichfeldians.