Towns & Parishes
"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.[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
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 page.) "
The population of Alton parish was as follows:
1831 -- 2391
1841 -- 2390
"The parish Church, St Peter, was erected in the 12th century, by Bertram de Verdon, who gave it to the monks of Croxden. In 1830 it was enlarged, and partly rebuilt, but the ancient tower still remains.
The vicarage is in the patronage of the Earl of Shrewsbury, and incumbency of the Rev. JP Jones, BA, who has a good residence.
The Independents and the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists have small chapels here.
The Roman Catholics have a chapel in the castle precincts, and the Rev Henry Winter, DD, is the priest."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851)
The church of St John the Baptist, Cotton, was a chapelry in Alton parish and details can be found on the Cotton page.
Church of England Registers
The parish register of the parish church of St Peter commences in 1681. The original registers for the period 1681-1892 (Bapts), 1681-1882 (Mar) & 1681-1952 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1676-1852 (with some gaps) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A transcript of the registers for the period 1681-1746, Bishops Transcripts 1676-1682 & 1746-1758 and Banns 1754-1769 has been published jointly by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society and the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
A transcript of the registers for the period 1746-1812 (Bapts), 1769-1812 (Mar), 1769-1812 (Bur) & 1769-1808 (Banns) has been published in 2002 jointly by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society and the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
Nonconformist Church Registers
The original registers of the Alton Independent Providence Chapel for the period 1811-1837 are deposited at the Public Record Office.
The original registers of the Alton Congregational Chapel for the period 1811-1835 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
The original registers of the Alton Roman Catholic Chapel are deposited at Birmingham Diocesan Archives.
The parish became part of Cheadle Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.
[Last updated: 10th July 2002, Mike Harbach. ©1998, 1999, 2000, 2002]