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"Pirehill, one of the most populous and largest of the five Hundreds of Staffordshire, is as remarkable for the fertility of its soil, for the beauty and diversity of its scenery, and the number and beauty of its seats of nobility and gentry, as it is for the extent and importance of its manufactures of earthenware and china, in the long chain of towns and villages called the Potteries, and of shoes at Stafford and Stone.
It is about 28 miles in length, and from 8 to 15 in breadth, and is bounded on the north-east by Totmonslow, on the east by Offlow, on the south by Cuttlestone Hundred, and on the west and north-west by Shropshire and Cheshire.
The River Trent rises at its northern extremity, and flows through it in a south-easterly direction, passing the noble seats of Trentham, Ingestre, Shugborough, and Wolseley, and nearly parallel with that river runs the Trent & Mersey Canal, which has branches to Stafford, Newcastle, etc.
This large Hundred is also traversed by the North Staffordshire and the Grand Junction (or Birmingham & Liverpool) Railways, which have several branches.
It includes the boroughs of Stoke-upon-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and part of Stafford, and is divided into 43 parishes, which comprise about 150 townships, liberties and hamlets, and many chapelries or district parishes. Besides Stoke, Stafford and Newcastle, it has seven other market towns, Burslem, Tunstall, Hanley & Shelton, Longton, Stone, Eccleshall, and Abbot's Bromley.
It is divided into North and South Divisions, and is all in the Northern Parliamentary Division of Staffordshire, in the Diocese of Lichfield, Archdeaconry of Stafford, and Deaneries of Newcastle and Stone.
Its population has increased rapidly during the last half century, from 64,946 in 1801, to over 150,000 in 1851. The great bulk of this augumentation has occurred in the three parishes of Burslem, Stoke-upon-Trent, and Wolstanton, which include the Potteries."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]