Towns & Parishes
"Colwich is a small village, beautifully situated on the Stafford road, three miles NW of Rugeley, on the north bank of the river Trent, near Wolseley Bridge and Colwich Railway Station, at the junction of the North Staffordshire and Trent valley lines. The parish of Colwich is on the NE bank of theTrent, except Shugborough and Wolseley, and comprises about 8800 acres of land, and 2124 inhabitants, resident in the villages and hamlets of Bishton, Colwich, Fradswell, Shugborough, Moreton, Wolseley, Drointon, Great & Little Haywood, and Hixon, the last four being partly in Stowe parish.[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
Bishton, near Wolseley Bridge, is a hamlet and constablewick, one mile E of Colwich, with a handsome hall, the seat and property of Miss Charlotte Sparrow.
Haywood, Great and Little, are two neat villages, near Colwich, the latter three and a half, and the former four miles NW of Rugeley. Great Haywood has 765 inhabitants, and Little Haywood 519 inhabitants, 252 of the former and 49 of the latter are in Stowe parish. At Great Haywood is an extensive wharf, and corn mill. Earl Talbot is lord of the manor of Haywood, which includes the two farms of Coley, half a mile to the east.
Drointon and Hixon villages are mostly in Stowe parish for which see.
Moreton is a scattered hamlet of four farms and 42 inhabitants, four miles NW by N of Rugeley. Moreton House, a modern brick mansion upon a lofty summit, is the seat of William Hanbury, Esq.
Shugborough, the beautiful seat and demense of the Earl of Lichfield, is delightfully situated at the conflux of the rivers Trent and Sow, four miles NW by W of Rugeley. The family of Anson have been seated in this county for many generations. William Anson, having purchased, in the reign of James I, the manor of Shugborough, made it his principal seat, residing then in Oakedge Hall, situated at the south end of the manor, at a considerable distance from the present mansion.
Swanmoor, three miles NW of Colwich, is a hamlet, with two extensive farms, belonging to Earl Talbot and William Moore, Esq.
Wolseley, at the SE end of Colwich parish, two miles NW of Rugeley, includes the small village of Wolseley Bridge, where there is a large inn and extensive corn warehouses, near the Trent and the canal. Wolseley Hall, the ancient seat of Sir Charles Wolseley, Bart, is half a mile W of the bridge. The family have possessed this estate and resided here for upwards of seven centuries.
Fradswell village and township, was a chapelry to Colwich and details can be found on the Fradswell page.
'The Benedictines of Colwich, 1829-1929'
by Robert Ormston Eaton
Published 1929, by Sands & Co, London.
'A Hearsay History of the Haywoods and Colwich, 1900-1939..'
by Muriel Bradley
Published 1997, by Haywood Society, Stafford.
The population of Colwich parish was as follows:
1831 -- 1918
1841 -- 2124
"Colwich Church is an ancient edifice, dedicated to St Michael, and contains a number of monuments belonging to the Anson, Wolseley, Sparrow and other families. The burial place of the Ansons is in the shape of a catacomb, in one of the five compartments of which are walled up the remains of that celebrated admiral and circumnavigator, the first Lord Anson. The vicarage is in the patronage of the Bishop of Lichfield, and from 1828 to 1851 was in the incumbency of the Ven George Hodson, MA, archdeacon of Stafford, who resigned the living to the Rev Edward Harland, MA.
Hayward Chapel of Ease, St Stephen, is a neat Gothic structure, built in 1840. The Rev William Stone, MA is the curate. Here also is an Independent Chapel, built in 1848.
The handsome Roman Catholic Chapel, St John the Baptist, which was built in Tixall in the early part of the century, was taken down and rebuilt at Great Haywood, in 1845. The Rev O Chevalier is the priest.
Mount Pavilion, a large Gothic mansion near Colwich and Great Haywood, was purchased in 1836 by a community of Benedictine Nuns and now forms a beautiful monastery, called St Benedict's Priory, of which Mrs F Knight is the prioress, and the Rev James Dullard the priest."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
Church of England Registers
The parish register of the parish church of St Michael commences in 1590. The original registers for the period 1590-1978 (Bapts), 1590-1958 (Mar) & 1590-1872 (Bur) and Banns for the period 1793-1807 & 1889-1963 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1659-1871 (with gaps) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
Colwich parish became part of Stafford Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.
[Last updated: 10th April 2003, Mike Harbach. © 1998 - 2003]