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Castle Church

"Castle Church parish is a fertile district, in the East Division of Cuttlestone Hundred, on the south side of the River Sow, opposite to Stafford, comprising 3460 acres of fertile land, and 1484 souls, 12 in Burton, 1318 in Forebridge and 154 in Rickerscote. These three liberties comprise the whole of the parish. Most of Forebridge forms a suburb of Stafford, and is in the Borough of Stafford. Lord Stafford is lord of the manors, and owner of the newly built Castle. He also owns about half the parish, and the rest belongs to a number of proprietors, some of whom have neat mansions here, viz, Thomas Hartshorne, Esq, of Silkmore House, John Henson Webb, Esq, of The Hough, George Keen, Esq, of Rowley Hall, and RW Hand, Esq, of Rowley Cottage. Silkmore House estate is noticed in Domesday Book under the name of Selchemore, and formerly belonged to the Mottershaw family.
Forebridge liberty is a large and well built suburb of Stafford, connected with Greengate Street by a neat stone bridge across the River Sow.
Rickerscote is a pleasant hamlet of scattered houses, two miles SW of Stafford, and adjoins the farms of Burton. The soil is a good light loam, in a high state of cultivation, and the low lands, which are mostly in pasturage, have been greatly improved during the present century, by drains and embankments, which protect them from inundation. Several saline springs have been found by digging in these meadows, and about 40 years ago a spa was discovered on the estate then belonging to TB Perkins, Esq, the water of which is said to resemble that of Cheltenham."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Bibliography

'The Story of Castle Church, Stafford'
by Rev. Peter R Heselton
Published 1968, by British Publishing Company, Gloucester.

'Stafford Castle & Castle Church'
by James Sidney Horne
Published 1933, by WD Bell & Sons, Stafford.

Census

The population of Castle Church parish was as follows:
1831 -- 1374
1841 -- 1484

A surname index of the 1851 census of Castle Church parish is included in the Staffordshire 1851 Census Surname index, Volume 1 & 2, Stafford/Stone, published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

Church History

"The parish Church, St Lawrence, stands at Deanshill, near the Castle, and was a very ancient structure, in the Norman style, but was rebuilt in 1844, in the same style. It had previously undergone many repairs.
The perpetual curacy is in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor, and incumbency of the Rev. Charles H Aitkens, MA.
St Paul's Church, Forebridge was built in 1844 for the chapelry district of Forebridge, and is a handsome cruciform structure, in the early decorated style, crowned by a fine statue of St Paul, and having a bell turret.
The perpetual curacy is in the patronage of the incumbent of Castle Church, and is now held by the Rev Edward Allen, MA. "

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

Note - Castle Church parish church was dedicated to St Lawrence until 1898 when it was re-dedicated to St Mary.

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Church Records

Church of England Registers
The register of St Lawrence / St Mary commences in 1567. The original registers for the period 1567-1961 (Bapts), 1567-1962 (Mar) & 1567-1948 (Bur) and Banns for the period 1757-1812 & 1851-1952 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1680-1868 (with gaps 1705-08, 1722-26, 1751-62, 1853 & 1857-60) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A Transcript of the registers for the period 1568-1812 was published by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society in two parts in 1903 and has been reprinted by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

The register of St Paul, Forebridge commences in 1844. The original registers for the period 1844-1896 (Bapts) & 1844-1912 (Mar) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.

Description and Travel

A transcription of the section on Castle Church from A Topographical History of Staffordshire by William Pitt (1817)

Poorhouses, Poor Law etc

Castle Church parish became part of Stafford Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.

The Overseers of the Poor Account Books of Castle Church for the period 1753-1816 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.

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