"Eccleshall parish is one of the largest and most fertile parochial districts in Staffordshire. It extends from five to eleven miles NW of Stafford, and comprises within its limits the seat of the Bishop of Lichfield, with many other handsome villas, the market town of Eccleshall, a considerable number of hamlets and scattered houses, and upwards of 20,000 acres of land, watered by the River Sow and its tributary streams, and swelling into bold undulations, highly cultivated and well clothed with wood. It is divided into 21 townships or liberties. The Bishop is lord of the manor, RH Hand, Esq, of Stafford, is the manor steward, and Mr Jas Wood is the manor bailiff. The Earl of Lichfield and many other owners have estates in this extensive parish, which contains 20,930 acres but only 4730 inhabitants.
Eccleshall is a small but ancient and well built market town, pleasantly situated in a picturesque valley, seven miles NW by W of Stafford, six miles SW of Stone, and three miles WSW of Norton Bridge Railway Station. It gives name to a deanery, and a petty sessional and polling district in the Northern Division of Staffordshire and Pirehill Hundred, and has been much improved during the present century, by the erection of new buildings on the sites of old ones. Its market is held every Friday, it has four annual cattle fairs and the feast or wake is on Trinity Sunday. Many of the inhabitants are shoemakers, employed by the manufacturers at Stone. Eccleshall township comprises 1850 acres and 1439 inhabitants.
Cotes, near Standon Bridge Railway Station, is a village and township, with 850 acres and 328 souls, four miles N by E of Eccleshall, and gives name to that quarter of the parish, which includes the small hamlets and townships of Aspley, on a lofty summit, three miles N by W; Chatcull, five miles N; Cold & Mill Meece, three miles NNE; and Slindon, two miles N of Eccleshall. The six townships of Cotes Quarter contain about 4570 acres and 722 inhabitants. John Cotes, Esq, is lord of the manor of Cotes, but Thomas Salt, Esq, Thomas Astbury, Esq, and many other proprietors have estates here. Cotes Hall is the seat of JJ Matthews, Esq, and Aspley belongs to James Deakin, Esq.
Horsley is an extensive township of scattered houses, giving name to the southern quarter of the parish, in which are the small hamlets and townships of Pershall, one mile W; Walton, one and a half miles ESE; and Wootton, one mile S of Eccleshall. Pershall was the ancient seat of Robert, son of Gilbert, younger son of R de Corbeiul, a Norman, who followed the fortune of the Conqueror, and held the manor of Pershall from Robert de Stafford, by the service of a knight's fee. Hence his descendants, laying aside their own names, assumed that of Pershall. One of them, John Pershall, was created a baronet by James I. In the last century, the manor of Pershall passed to Earl Breadalbane, in marriage with the daughter and heiress of the late Sir Thomas Pershall, but it now belongs to a number of proprietors. In Horsley is Johnson Hall, the handsome seat of Robert Hargreaves, Esq, but the property of HS Hartshorne, Esq. Within two miles further to the SW is the extensive tract of land called Offley Hay, which was not enclosed till 1841, and the hamlets of Garmelow and Copmere. The four townships of Horsley Quarter comprise 4730 acres and 863 souls. Walton Hall, erected about three years ago, is a large and handsome mansion in the Italian style and is the seat of Henry Killick, Esq. Walton Villa is the seat of Mrs Ripley. James Hadderton, Esq, has a neat residence at Acton Hall. Mrs Jane Buckley, of Garmelow, Mrs Mary Johnson, of Pershall, and many smaller owners have estates here.
Broughton, a small village and chapelry, five miles NW by W of Eccleshall, is in the western or Woodland Quarter of the parish, so called from its proximity to the Bishop's Woods, and the ancient forest of Blore. This quarter includes the hamlets of Gerard's Bromley, the property of HC Meynell Ingram, Esq, six miles NW; Charnes, four and a half miles NW; Croxton, a large village on a steep declivity, three and a half miles NW; Podmore, on an eminence, six miles NW; Sugnall Magna & Parva, two and a half miles NW; and Three Farms, from one to two miles N of Eccleshall. In the latter township are the farms of Ankerton, Badon Hall, Brockton, and Hill Farm, belonging to W Moore, Esq, Mr John Wood, and other proprietors. The eight townships of Woodland Quarter comprise 8120 acres and 1340 souls. Broughton Hall, a fine mansion of the Elizabethan age, is the seat of the Rev Sir Henry Delves Broughton, Bart, who is lord of the manor. In Croxton, the bishop has 500 acres of wood, and the Golden Hill Farm, but Blore Pike and the White Farms belong to Earl Cornwallis, son of a late bishop of Lichfield, and the Fair Oak Farms to Addison Deakin, Esq. Sugnall Hall, a neat stone mansion, is the seat of Richard Hodges, Esq, and was formerly the seat of the Pershall family.
The township of Chorlton formed a chapelry to Eccleshall parish and details can be found on the Chorlton
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]