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Stone is an old market town in Staffordshire, situated about seven miles north of Stafford, and around seven miles south of the city of Stoke-on-Trent. It is the second town, after Stafford, in the Borough of Stafford.
Stone stands in the valley of the River Trent, and was an important stopping-off point for the coaches on one of the roads turnpiked in the 18th century.
The River Trent, which runs through the town, had been used for cargo-carrying vessels since Roman times and the Trent & Mersey Canal offered an efficient way to bring raw materials to the potteries and to transport finished wares.
The coming of the railway was to end Stones era as a coaching and canal town. The North Staffordshire Railway opened its main line from Stoke on Trent through Stone to Norton Bridge on 3 April 1848; the following year a branch line from Stone to Colwich began operating.
The town is not currently served by train services following the West Coast Mainline speed upgrade, but there will be an hourly semi-fast direct service to London Euston from January 2009.
Today there are two trunk roads, the A34 linking Birmingham to Manchester and the A51 linking Lichfield to Chester. Stone is by-passed by the M6 motorway.