Inflammation is an unstable state; it either resolves or persists. Inflammatory reactions often have a propensity for specific anatomical sites. Why inflammation persists with specific tissue tropism remains obscure. Increasing evidence suggests that stromal cells which define tissue architecture are the key cells involved, and therefore make attractive therapeutic targets. Research on stromal cells in general and fibroblasts in particular has so far been hampered by a lack of fibroblast-specific cell markers. This review highlights our increasing understanding of the role of fibroblasts in inflammation, and suggests that these cells provide the cellular basis for site specific chronic inflammation.