"Alton, or Alveton, is a large and well-built village, picturesquely situated on the south-western side of the river and Churnet Valley Railway, on which it has a handsome station in the Italian style, four miles E of Cheadle, and seven miles NNW of Uttoxeter. Its parish contains 2390 inhabitants and about 7000 acres of land, divided into four townships: Alton, 2251 acres & 1168 souls; Cotton, 1270 acres & 519 souls; Denstone, 1690 acres & 231 souls; and Farley, 2221 acres & 472 souls. On the opposite side of the valley, in Farley township, is Alton Towers, the princely seat of the Earl of Shrewsbury, the lord of the manor and constablewick of Alton. The mansion is an extensive pile of Gothic masonary, erected in the last forty years by the late and present earls, and is now one of the most magnificent residences in the kingdom.
Denstone, or Denston, is a hamlet and township on the canal, adjoining to Rocester parish, five miles N of Uttoxeter, and two and a half miles ESE of Alton.
Farley, on the north side of the River Churnet is a township including Alton Towers, as already noticed, and the neat village of Farley, four miles E of Cheadle. Farley Hall is the handsome seat of John Bill, Esq. The township adjoins Oakamoor, and includes a small part of that village, which is mostly in Cheadle parish. Farley includes Alton Paper Mills , Woodhead Colliery and many scattered houses.
(Cotton was a chapelry to Alton and details can be found on the Cotton
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]