"Gnosall is a large and ancient village, seven miles W by S of Stafford, and six miles E by N of Newport in Shropshire. It has a station on the Shropshire Union Railway. Its parish is very extensive, being about six miles in length, and comprising 2424 inhabitants, and about 8000 acres of land, divided into the four Quarters of Gnosall, Cowley, Knightley, and Moreton. The soil is various, but the uplands have generally a strong loam. Here are several valleys with rivulets, and the meadows on their banks are very productive. The Bishop of Lichfield is appropriator of the tithes and lord of the manor of Gnosall, but they are held on lease by Captain Tennant, of Needwood. Except three freeholds, the land in this manor (which comprises only one quarter of the parish), is copyhold, subject to small fines and heriots. Gnosall has two annual fairs for cattle, etc, on May 7th and Sept 23rd, and a feast, or wake, on the second Sunday in August.
Apeton and Rule are small hamlets, two and a half miles SE of Gnosall, partly in Gnosall quarter and partly in Bradley parish.
Cowley quarter contains a number of scattered houses, and the hamlets of Coton, Befcott, and Plardiwick, extending from one to two miles SW of Gnosall. The principal freeholders are Sir TFF Boughey, John Morris, Esq, Mrs Buckley, and the Earl of Lichfield, the latter of whom is lord of Plardiwick.
Knightley, in the northern quarter of this parish, is a large estate, all belonging to the Earl of Lichfield, and containing 15 farmhouses, and several other scattered dwellings, from two to three miles N by W of Gnosall. The common was enclosed in 1806, and the old enclosures contain many excellent oaks.
Moreton, the southern and largest quarter of this parish, includes the scattered hamlets of Coley, Bromstead, Wilbrighton, Outwoods, and Chatwell, extending from two to four miles SW of Gnosall, and bordering on Shropshire. Chatwell, the most distant place, is said to derive its name from St Chad's Well, which was formerly of some repute. The principal landowners are Sir TFF Boughey and John Cotes, Esq. Mr Henry Green has a large farm at Moreton. At Chatwell is a valuable bed of clay, and a stratum of limestone, worked by Mr Thomas Boultbee. The Ducie family were formerly seated here, and one of them, Matthew Ducie Moreton, was created Lord Ducie, Baron of Moreton, in 1720, but on the death of his successor, without issue, the title became extinct, but his second title of Baron Ducie of Tortworth, descended to his sister's son, Thomas Reynolds, whose descendant, the present Lord Ducie, has assumed the name of Moreton, though the family has long been seated at Tortworth, in Gloucestershire "
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]