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Maer

"Maer is a small village, in a narrow romantic valley, with steep and lofty acclivities, on the Market Drayton road, seven miles SSW of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Its parish comprises about 2800 acres of land and 558 souls, of whom 272 are in the district called Maerway Lane, but the houses are generally scattered in small hamlets. Maer is supposed to have derived its name from a natural lake or mere, which occupies 23 acres at the foot of the village, and is the source of the Tearn, a stream that flows westward to the borders of Shropshire, and afterwards falls into the Severn. At the east end of this lake stands Maer Hall, which was the property and occasional residence of the late Josiah Wedgwood, Esq, who, about 40 years ago, re-edified it and converted it into an elegant mansion. William Davenport, Esq, the present lord of the manor, and owner of most of the parish, is repairing and enlarging the Hall for his residence, but now resides at Camp Hill Hall, a neat farmhouse, formerly called Slimersdale. The manor was anciently held by the Maers and the Staffords, from whom it passed to the Oldfield and other families.
Maer Heath, an extensive rugged moor, lying west of the village, was enclosed and divided among the freeholders about forty years ago, but a portion of it is still in a state of nature, and much of it is planted with trees. On the north side of the parish are several rocky hills, rising abruptly to a considerable elevation. One of these hills, called the Byrth, has had a fosse and rampart extended round its summit, which is nearly a mile in circuit. This and the Camp Hill, distant about a mile to the west, are supposed to have been occupied by two contending armies during the Saxon heptarchy."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Census

The population of Maer parish was as follows:
1801 -- 382
1831 -- 505
1841 -- 558

A surname index of the 1851 census for Maer Parish is included in the Newcastle under Lyme surname index to the 1851 census published by the Birmingham and Midland SGH.

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Church History

"Maer Church, dedicated to St Peter, stands near the hall, and is a neat stone edifice, which appears to have been rebuilt in 1610. It contains some monuments of the Bowyer and Macclesfield families, and its communion cloth is an old Turkey carpet, brought from Constantinople, by Margaret Tether, in 1639.
The perpetual curacy is in the patronage of William Davenport, Esq, and incumbency since 1825 of the Rev JA Wedgewood."

[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

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Church Records

Church of England Registers
The parish register of the church of St Peter commences in 1558. The original registers for the period 1558-1874 (Bapts), 1558-1996 (Mar) & 1558-1909 (Bur), and Banns for the period 1823-1964 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1674-1878 (with gaps 1693-98, 1773-76, 1786-90 1853 & 1856) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.

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Poorhouses, Poor Law etc

The parish became part of Newcastle-under-Lyme Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.

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[Last updated: 3rd June 2000, Mike Harbach.  © 1998, 2000 ]

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