"Burton-upon-Trent is a well-built and flourishing market town, celebrated for its ale, and pleasantly situated on the west bank of the River Trent, which divides it from Derbyshire, and in three places separates into two streams, and insulates three tracts of large meadows. In the northern part of the town a broad expansion of the river is crossed by a venerable stone bridge of 36 arches, very narrow but over 300 yards in length. The Birmingham & Derby portion of the Midland Railway has a commodious station on the west side of the town. Further to the west the Trent & Mersey canal traverses the fine open vale, and sends a branch to the river, at the south end of the town, where there are several extensive wharfs. Burton is eleven miles SW of Derby, twelve miles NE of Lichfield and twenty-four miles E of Stafford. It is the head of a County Court district, a large poor law union, a polling district, and a petty sessional division.
The parish of Burton-upon-Trent comprises the five townships of Burton, Burton-Extra, Branstone, Horninglow, and Stretton, in the north division of Offlow Hundred, and also Winshill and part of Stapenhill, which are in Derbyshire. It comprises about 10,000 acres of land and 8136 souls. The Marquis of Anglesey is lord of the manor and owner of most of the soil, but there are in the town a great many freehold houses and premises. The east and west sides of the parish are rather hilly, and have a strong red, marly soil, well suited for the growth of barley, wheat, etc, the rest is a fine champaign district, forming rich, loamy pastures, which in rainy seasons, are often flooded by the waters of the Trent and Dove, the latter of which bounds the parish on the north.
The town of Burton extends into Burton-Extra, or, as it is sometimes called, Bond End, and includes most of the population of that township. High Street is more than 800 yards in length, and contains many good houses, shops, inns, etc, and is now well flagged and paved. At the south end of High Street is the Market place and Town Hall, whence Lichfield Street extends southwards to the wharfs. The other principal streets are Horninglow Street, New Street, Station Street, Bridge Street, and Anderstaff Lane. Some of the breweries, with their large malt-houses, are very extensive establishments, and here are also two large iron foundries and machine works. The market is held every Thursday, chiefly under and around the Town Hall, under a charter granted by King John, and the trade in corn, especially barley, is extensive. There are four annual fairs, for horses, cattle, etc, held on Candlemas Day, April 5th, Holy Thursday, and October 29th. The latter, on the feast of St Modwen, is famous for cheese and colts. A statute fair, for hiring servants, is held on the Monday after Michaelmas Day.
Burton-Extra, or Bond End, comprises the southern portion of the town, and the hamlet of Shobnall, distant one mile W, and forming in monastic times the Abbey Grange. The Abbey grounds, Back Street, Lion's Lane, the Wharfs, and part of Lichfield Street are in this township, which contains 1193 inhabitants and 932 acres.
Branstone, or Branston township has about 2350 acres, 450 inhabitants, many neat farmhouses, and a scattered village, two miles S by W of Burton. The high road through the village is in the line of the Roman Icknield Street, and on an eminence are traces of an encampment. This estate was given by Leofric, Earl of Mercia, to Burton Abbey, and now belongs to the Marquis of Anglesey. Sinai Park is a pleasant eminence, commanding a fine view of the Trent valley, and is said to have been a summer retreat of the abbots.
Horninglow, a pleasant and improving village, one and a half miles NW of Burton, gives name to a township containing about 900 inhabitants and 2100 acres, including Outwood and Wetmore hamlets, Burton Union Workhouse, Anglesey Terrace, Little Burton, and other north-western suburbs of the town. Horninglow is now the principal canal port of the district, having extensive wharfs, warehouses and graneries, and agents and wharfingers for the North Staffordshire Railway Company, Pickford & Co, J & W Soresby, J Smith & Sons, and other great carriers. Here is also a brewery. The Marquis of Anglesey owns most of the township, and the rest belongs to a number of freeholders. Wetmore, a hamlet of four farms, was anciently in one farm occupied by the Abbots of Burton.
Stretton, a small village on an eminence near the Icknield Street, two miles N of Burton, has in its township 410 souls and about 1,230 acres of land, extending to the confluence of the rivers Trent and Dove. In the valley of the Dove are several scattered houses, Dove Cliff, the pleasant seat of E Thornewill, Esq, and the extensive ironworks of Clay Mills. The Trent & Mersey Canal crosses this valley into Derbyshire, by a stupendous aquaduct of 23 arches.
Stapenhill is a village and township of 577 souls and 1770 acres, on the eastern side of the Trent, opposite the south end of Burton. It is all in Derbyshire, and partly in the parish of Burton-upon-Trent, but mostly in the parish of Stapenhill, Derbyshire.
Winshill, a picturesque township on the eastern side of the Trent, about a mile ENE of Burton and all in this parish, although it is in Derbyshire, has about 380 souls and 1150 acres of land. It has several large corn mills and a tape mill, and the long bridge previosly mentioned crosses the Trent to this township from Burton."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]