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"Lapley is a small village, seated on a pleasant eminence, three and a half miles SW by W of Penkridge, including within its parish 952 inhabitants, and 3740 acres of land, in the two townships of Lapley and Wheaton Aston which constitute a manor of which FH Swinfen, Esq, is lord, and owner of 1000 acres. GB Thorneycroft, Esq, E Wigan, Esq, and many smaller owners have estates in the parish, mostly copyholds.
Lapley had a Priory of Black Monks, which Algar, Earl of Mercia and Chester, bestowed on the Abbey of Saint Remigus, at Rheims, in the time of Edward the Confessor, but having shared the fate of the alien priories in the reign of Henry I, it became the property of the college of Tong, in Shropshire. It was suppressed by Henry V, and in the civil wars, the Priory House was fortified and garrisoned for the King, under the command of Captain Smith, but in 1645 it was dismantled under a parliamentary order. Some remains may still be seen in the walls of an old house near the church.
Wheaton Aston is a large but irregularly built village, near the canal, one and a half miles W of Lapley, and five miles WSW of Penkridge. It is the most populous part of the parish, containing 706 souls and 2170 acres. In 1777, nearly half of this village was burnt down, by the thatch, which covered the houses, taking fire. But it was soon rebuilt, and the new houses covered with tiles. Fairs for cattle and swine, etc, are held here on April 20th and November 1st, and a wake on Trinity Sunday."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
'The Parish of Lapley-with-Wheaton Aston'
by Mary Weate
Published 1982, by Lapley Parish Council.
The population of Lapley parish was as follows:
1801 -- 759
1831 -- 1042
1841 -- 952
A surname index of the 1851 census for Lapley parish is included in the 1851 Census Surname Index, Staffordshire Volume 12, Penkridge, published by the Birmingham and Midland SGH.
"Lapley Church, All Saints, is a large ancient structure, with a square tower, that may be seen at a great distance, and has a peal of five bells. The vicarage is in the patronage of FH Swinfern, Esq, and incumbency of the Rev John Rate, MA.
Wheaton Aston has a small Chapel of Ease, St Mary, vested with a body of trustees, and annexed to the vicarage.
There is an Independent Chapel, built in 1806, and a small Primitive Methodist Chapel in Wheaton Aston."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851)
A view of All Saints Church, Lapley (1).
A view of All Saints Church, Lapley (2).
A view of All Saints Church, Lapley (3).
A view of St Mary's Church, Wheaton Aston (1).
A view of St Mary's Church, Wheaton Aston (2).
Church of England Registers
The register of All Saints, Lapley commences in 1538. The original registers for the period 1538-1971 (Bapts), 1538-1969 (Mar) & 1538-1993 (Bur), and Banns for the period 1754-1880 (with gaps 1810-1822), are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office. The registers include the entries from Wheaton Aston.
Bishops Transcripts for the period 1664-1878 (with many gaps) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A transcript of the register for the period 1538-1756 was published by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society in 1983 and reprinted by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
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You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SJ874129 (Lat/Lon: 52.713586, -2.187965), Lapley which are provided by:
Lapley parish became part of Penkridge Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.