"ABBOT'S BROMLEY, a parish in the southern division of the hundred of Pirehill, in the county of Stafford, 12 miles to the E. of Stafford, and 128 miles from London by the London and North-Western railway. Rugeley station is about 4 miles distant from this place. The parish is situated on the E. side of the river Blithe, a branch of the Trent, and includes the liberty of Bagot's Bromley, and the township of Bromley Hurst.
Blithbury, in a neighbouring parish, was the site of a monastery of the Benedictine order, founded in the first half of the 12th century, and given at the Dissolution to the Pagets. From its proximity to this monastery the parish is supposed to have taken the addition to its name. Bromley was once a market town, and the old townhall and market-house is still standing. The principal business of the place is the malt trade. The parish includes a considerable tract of moorland. Bromley is one of the polling places for the north division of the county.
The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Lichfield, of the value of £187, in the patronage of the Marquis of Anglesea. The church, an ancient edifice altered and modernised, is dedicated to St. Nicholas. It is partly in the perpendicular style, and has a Norman entrance. The Independents have a chapel in the town. There are also a hospital and a free school: the former, founded by L. Bagot in 1702 for six old men, has an income from endowment of about £70 per annum; the latter, founded and endowed by Richard Clarke in 1606, has an income of about £35. The other charities produce about £90 a year. This parish is noted for having kept up the curious old custom, called the "hobby-horse dance," till the middle of the 17th century. The deer's horns, which a number of the dancers used to wear, are preserved in the church. Fairs for the sale of cattle are held on the 11th March, the 22nd May, and the 4th September.
An 1868 Gazetteer description of the following places in Abbots Bromley is to be found on a supplementary page.
- Bagots Bromley
- Cuckolds Haven