"Brewood is a small and very ancient town, with several good streets, pleasantly situated about two miles W of Four-Ashes Railway Station, seven and a half miles NNW of Wolverhampton and eleven miles SSW of Stafford. The Birmingham & Liverpool Canal passes through it, and has commodious wharfs and warehouses in the town, and at Chillington. The Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal skirts the east side of the parish, near Somerford and Four-Ashes Station. The old Roman road, called Watling Street, bounds the parish on the north, and is here in good preservation. The small River Penk flows northward through the heart of the parish, and receives here several tributary streams. Its market, formerly held on Friday, has entirely declined, owing to the rapidly growing influence of its gigantic neighbour, Wolverhampton. A charter for a market at Brewood was granted by Henry III, in 1221, to William de Cornhull, then Bishop of Lichfield & Coventry and it was confirmed by another royal charter in the 13th of Richard II. The town still has two annual fairs for cattle, swine, pedlery, etc on the second Thursday in May, and on September 19th. The parish contains about 12000 acres, of which 6718 are arable, 4040 pasturage, and 1090 woods, etc. It is divided into eight liberties which include the hamlets, etc, of Bishop's Wood, Chillington, Coven, Engleton, Hatton & Gunstone, Horsebrook, Kiddermore-Green, and Somerford. TW Giffard, Esq, lord of the manors of Brewood and Chillington, and George Monckton, Esq, lord of the manors of Coven and Somerford, own most of the parish.
Bishop's Wood, about three miles W by N of Brewood, adjoins Shropshire, and was till recently an open common, belonging to Mr Giffard's manor of Brewood, but is now enclosed. Many cottages, originally built on encroachments on the waste, still remain.
Chillington liberty, six miles NW of Wolverhampton, and two miles SW of Brewood, includes five farms, and Chillington Hall, the handsome seat of Thomas William Giffard, Esq, standing on an elevated site, in an extensive and beautiful park. The Giffards have been seated here since the reign of Henry II, and the family still adheres to the tenets of the Church of Rome. Until recently, their tenents were nearly all Romanists, but the present Mr Giffard has adopted liberal views, and now has only three or four tenents of the Romish persuasion. He married a Protestant lady, and has three daughters bought up in the faith of the Church of England. Boscobel, where Charles II was concealed after the battle of Worcester, is close to Chillington, though in Shropshire, and formerly belonged to the Giffards, who rendered considerable service to the unfortunate king, during his concealment in this neighbourhood.
Coven is a large liberty, with a considerable village, two miles SE of Brewood, and five miles N of Wolverhampton. It comprises 1750 acres, and 650 inhabitants. Some of its inhabitants are locksmiths, and there is an iron foundry in the village.
Engleton is a small estate, with a corn mill, one and a half miles NE of Brewood, and was formerly the seat of the Moretons.
Hatton and Gunstone are adjoining hamlets, containing four farms and a few cottages, two miles S of Brewood, and near them are the farms of Hyde, Woolley, and Park Lanes.
Horsebrook is a small hamlet near the Roman road, one mile N of Brewood.
Kiddermoor Green (a corruption of Kerri-Moor) is a hamlet of scattered houses, one and a half miles W of Brewood.
Somerford, from one to two miles E of Brewood, is a large estate, consisting of a number of farms, and Somerford Hall, on the River Penk, the elegant seat of George Monckton, Esq. This estate was nearly stripped of its sylvan ornaments by its former possessors, but the late Edward Monckton, father of the present owner, improved its general appearance, by extensive plantations. The Moncktons are a younger branch of the family of Viscount Galway in Ireland."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]