"Cotton is a long but narrow township of 519 souls, situated in Alton parish. It includes the hamlets of Upper and Lower Cotton, seven miles W of Ashbourn, and many scattered houses, extending from two to four miles n of Alton, bounded on the east by the Weaver Hills, and on the south by Oakamoor. There was a copper mine at Ribden, and there were foundations of a smelting furnace at 'Blazing Star' but the former was discontinued in 1827, and the latter many years before. The extensive limekilns of Cauldon Low are partly in this township.
In 1844, T Gilbert, Esq, sold Cotton Hall to the Earl of Shrewsbury, who converted it into a monastery for monks of The Order of the Passion. Connected to this monastic institution by a cloister is the handsome chapel of St Wilfred, erected by the Earl in 1846, in the decorated style, with stained glass windows."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]