Towns & Parishes
"Ellaston, or Ellastone, is a large but scattered village, extending over two opposite acclivities, on the Ashbourn and Uttoxeter road, eight miles N of the latter town, and four miles E by N of Alton Station. Its parish is a hilly but fertile district, abounding in limestone and gritstone, and containing several handsome seats, 1308 inhabitants, and about 8000 acres of land, divided into six townships, viz, Ellaston, Calwich, Prestwood, Ramsor, Stanton, and Wootton. Arthur Davenport, Esq, is lord of the manor of Ellaston.[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
Calwich, one mile E of Ellaston, and three and a half miles from Ashbourn, on the western side of Dovedale, is a tithe-free township of 655 acres, including several scattered houses and the hamlet of Northwood. The Hon & Rev A Duncombe is the owner and lord of the manor, and resides at Calwich Abbey, a handsome mansion in the pointed style, erected on the site of the old hall in 1849-50. There was a convent of Black Canons here, founded about 1148, but no vestiges of it now remain.
Prestwood township, one mile SW of Ellaston, has about 450 acres of land, mostly belonging to the Earl of Shrewsbury, but A Davenport, Esq, is lord of the manor.
Ramsor, or Ramshorn township has a number of scattered houses, on a lofty eminence, three miles WNW of Ellaston, and includes Wootton Lodge and Park. Miss Unwin is lady of the manor, and owner of Wootton Lodge, which is romantically situated in the Weaver Valley, but is now unoccupied. It was built in the reign of James I by Sir Richard Fleetwood, from designs by Inigo Jones. It is a fine specimen of mansions of that period and was restored by the late James Wheeler Unwin, Esq. Wootton Park is the residence of George Walker, Esq, and comprises extensive woodlands diversified with finely timbered glades, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the moorlands.
Stanton is a village on a pleasant declivity, above the vale of the Titbrook, three and a half miles W of Ashbourn, comprising within its township 2308 acres of land, of which two thirds belongs to the Earl of Shrewsbury, and the remainder to Lord Scarsdale, and they are joint lords of the manor. Gilbert Sheldon, archbishop of Canterbury, was born here in 1598 and died in 1677.
Wootton township has 1500 acres of land and a small village, one and a half miles NW of Ellaston, at the foot of the lofty Weaver Hills. The inhabitants formerly described the wilderness of this moorland dell by the distich, 'Wootton under Wever, where God came never'. The Rev WD Bromley is lord of the manor of Wootton, and owner of the soil. He resides at Wootton Hall, a handsome stone mansion which was much improved about 14 years ago, and stands on a lofty acclivity, commanding delightful views of the towering hills, rocky cliffs, and hanging woods of the surrounding country."
The population of Ellastone parish was as follows:
1831 -- 1344
1841 -- 1308
"Ellastone Church, dedicated to St Peter, is a handsome Gothic edifice, standing on an eminence near the village. The nave was rebuilt and enlarged in 1830 and the tower has six bells. The Rev WD Bromley is patron of the vicarage, in the incumbency of the Rev Sir CR Lighton, Bart, MA.
In the village are two chapels belonging to the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists.
Stanton has a Chapel of Ease, erected in 1846, and a Primitive Methodist Chapel."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
A view of St Peter's Church (1).
A view of St Peter's Church (2).
Church of England Registers
The parish register of the parish church of St Peter commences in 1538. The original registers for the period 1538-1922 (Bapts), 1538-1837 (Mar) & 1538-1910 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1661-1869 (with gaps 1673-79, 1791-95) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A printed transcript of the register for 1538-1812 was published in two parts by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society in 1907 & 1912 and has been reprinted by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
The original registers of the Ellastone Primitive Methodist Chapel, Ramsor Circuit for the period 1826-1837 (Births & Bapts) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Ellastone parish became part of Ashbourne Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.
[Last updated: 23rd July 2003, Mike Harbach. © 1998 - 2003]