The soaring spire of its cathedral is the sight most commonly associated with the picturesque city of Lichfield.
This week, however, some of the residents of the Stafford-shire city have been treated to a view which is a little less reassuring.
A large bird of prey has been swooping down out of the sky and attacking joggers. It has also killed a cat.
The bird, which is 18 inches high with a three-foot wingspan, is thought to be an escaped Harris Hawk, which are common in Central and South America.
D iane Jackson-Bond described how she was left blooded and terrified after being attacked while running along a country lane.
Miss Jackson-Bond, a former policewoman, said: "I'd seen the bird and thought that it was following me but put the idea out of my head and carried on jogging.
"Moments later it flew down on to my head with such a force that it almost knocked me sideways.
"It had its talons embedded in my skull and it was agony. I managed to shoo it away briefly, but then it came back at me.
"Luckily a man who was driving past, stopped the car and said 'get in'. So I did and he drove me to safety. I was so frightened. I had blood all over my head and face. I had some nasty scratches for some days afterwards."
Her attack mirrored that of another jogger who was running through woodland when the hawk pounced.
Marketing manager Russell Deane, who lives in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne but was staying with his parents in Lichfield at the time, said: "I had run into a wooded lane from an open area and this large hawk suddenly flew down at me a couple of times, narrowly missing me.
"Then he clattered into the back of my head from behind. It was a sharp pain and he managed to grip my skull for a couple of seconds before letting go.
"I felt the back of my head and there was quite a bit of blood. As I carried on running this bird carried on dive-bombing me.
"I was running while trying to cover my head and ducking out of the way.
"When I got home later, I had to dab antiseptic on the wounds they were that bad."
Another resident, Janice Barton, saw the hawk kill a neighbour's cat then disappear with it hanging from its talons.
"The cat was just hanging limp," she said. "I have never seen anything like that happen before and I want people with babies and pets to be aware and vigilant." Paul Dancer, aged 56, who runs an adhesive company from his home, managed to photograph the hawk in his back garden.
He added: "There are woods at the back of us and we do have the odd buzzard but this was much different.
"I noticed it sitting on a tree branch in my back garden and I was fascinated at how large it was.
"I quickly grabbed my camera and got as close as I could to it. It didn't appear to be fazed at all by my presence."
It is thought the bird may have escaped from a falconer having been bred in captivity.
Margaret Overend, an RSPB officer, said the hawk may have been used to receiving food when it landed on people, as it would be if trained for displays.
"It is used to people because it comes back to the handler, so we are wondering if it is seeing these people and thinking 'there's food here'", she said.
"Obviously people are seeing this bird coming towards them with a three-foot wing span, and its talons out and putting their arms up, and that is exactly how it flies back to its handler. The falconer would have protective gear on, joggers don't."
The hawk is not thought to be have been at large for longer that a few days.