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Alstonfield

"Alstonfield, or Alstonefield, is a village of well built houses, picturesquely seated on a western declivity above Dovedale, ten miles E of Leek, and six miles N by W of Ashbourne. It has a good inn, for the accomodation of tourists who come hither to view the wild and romantic scenery of this neighbourhood, which equals the grandeur of many of the most celebrated scenes in Derbyshire, from which county the extensive parish of Alstonfield is separated by the river Dove. The Hamps and its tributary streams, flow from the high moorlands and rocky hills, through the deeply secluded vallys of this widely spread parish, which contains only about 4700 inhabitants, though it has about 24000 acres of land in its nine townships of Alstonfield, Lower Elkstone, Upper Elkstone, Fawfield Head, Heathylee, Hollinsclough, Longnor, Quarnford & Warslow.
Alstonfield township contains 2995 acres and 654 souls. The following are its hamlets and their distance from the village; Gatam, one mile W; Hope, half a mile SW; Milldale, three quarters of a mile SE; Stanhope, one mile S; and Narrowdale, one mile NW.
Heathylee is a large moorland township, containing 578 souls and 5487 acres, including the village of Hardings Booth, two miles W of Longnor, and the scattered districts of Broncott, Morredge Top, Middle-Hills, Longnor-Mill, Downsdale, and some others, on the banks of the Manifold.
The township of Warslow and Elkstone (Upper & Lower) formed a chapelry to Alstonfield parish and details can be found on the Warslow parish page.
The township of Longnor formed a chapelry to Alstonfield parish which included the township of Fawfield Head and details can be found on the Longnor parish page.
The township of Quarnford formed a chapelry to Alstonfield parish which included Hollinsclough and details can be found on the Quarnford parish page. "
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Census

The population of Alstonfield parish (including chapelries) was as follows:
1831 -- 4827
1841 -- 4701

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Church History

"The parish church, St Peter, stands at the south end of the village of Alstonfield, and is a handsome Gothic structure, with a strong tower, adorned with pinnacles, and containing a clock and three bells. The large east window is partly blocked up and over it is the date 1590, but the edifice appears to be of greater antiquity.
Sir JH Crewe is patron of the vicarage, in the incumbency of the Rev. John Simpson, DD, who is also rural dean of Alstonfield."

[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851)

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Church Records

Church of England Registers
The parish register of the parish church of St Peter, Alstonfield commences in 1538. The original registers for the period 1538-1909 (Bapts), 1538-1981 (Mar) & 1538-1903 (Bur), and Banns for the period 1823-1832 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1661-1868 (with gaps 1672-5) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A transcript of the registers for the period 1538-1812 was published by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society in 1902 and has been reprinted by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

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Poorhouses, Poor Law etc

Most of the parish became part of Leek Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834. However Alstonfield township itself, together with Butterton, Grindon and Wetton were incorporated under Gilbert's Act in 1817 for the support of their poor and had a workhouse in Alstonfield for about 50 paupers.

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[Last updated: 21st May 2000, Mike Harbach.  ©1998, 1999, 2000]