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Stone

"Stone is an extensive parish forming a hilly but generally fertile district, in the South Division of Pirehill Hundred of 22,000 acres of land, including many villages and hamlets. It is divided into four quarters, Stone, Kibblestone, Beech and Hilderstone Quarters.
Stone quarter comprises the an ancient and well built market town of Stone, and the village of Stallington. Stone is pleasantly situated on the banks of the River Trent, and the Trent & Mersey Canal, seven miles N by W of Stafford, and nine miles SSE of Newcastle-under-Lyme. It has a station at the junction of the North Staffordshire Railway with a branch from the the London & North Western line. Being on the great turnpike road from Liverpool, Manchester & the Potteries, to Birmingham and London, Stone was a very lively town, and a great thoroughfare for coaches, carriers and travellers, till the railways robbed it of this traffic. No fewer than 38 stage coaches passed through the town daily. The principal offices of the Trent & Mersey Canal were formerly here, but have lately been removed to Stoke. Stone is as famous for shoes as Stafford, and its extensive manufacturers employ many of the cordwainers in the surrounding parishes. The large fortnightly cattle and sheep market, established about 16 years ago, has risen to great importance, being convenient for the populous district of the Potteries, and near some of the finest grazing districts in the county. The High Street is of considerable length and has many well stocked shops and good houses. Earl Granville is lord of the manor of Stone, but the Duke of Sutherland, Viscount St Vincent, the Hon Edward Jervis, Swynfen Jones, Esq, WB Taylor, Esq, John Joule, Esq, Viscount Sidmouth, and many smaller owners, have estates in the parish. Stallington is a small scattered village and liberty, five miles N by E of the town. Richard Clarke Hill, Esq, is the principal owner, and resides in the Hall.
Beech Quarter comprises the following villages; Beech, three and a half miles NW, Darlaston, one and a half miles NNW, Tittensor, three miles NNW, and Walton, half a mile S, of Stone. Beech stands on a lofty eminence, and is partly in Swinnerton parish. G Fitzherbert, Esq, is lord of the manor. Darlaston is on the west bank of the river Trent, near Darlaston Hall, a handsome brick mansion, which is the seat of Swynfen Jones, Esq, the lord of the manor of Darlaston and owner of the soil. Tittensor is a well built village on the Newcastle road, which gives name to a liberty belonging to the Duke of Sutherland. On the opposite side of the Trent to Stone town is the pleasant village of Walton, reached by a neat stone bridge, which forms a south-west suburb of Stone. WB Taylor, Esq, whose seat is The Brooms, half a mile S, is lord of the manor of Walton.
Hilderstone quarter, forms the eastern side of Stone parish, and includes the following villages and hamlets; Little Aston, two miles S; Burston, three and a half miles SSE; Stoke, one mile SE; Fulford, Saverley-Green, and Crossgate, from five to seven miles NE; Shapley Green and Hilderstone, four and a half miles ENE; and Normacot, six and a half miles N of Stone. Little Aston is a hamlet and manor, on the SW side of the Trent, opposite to Stone, of which Viscount St Vincent is lord of the manor and principal owner. Aston Hall, a large moated mansion, was the property of the late Sir James Simeon, and was bequeathed to a Roman Catholic community, now consisting of the Rev Father Superior Gaudentius and a few monks. Normacot, at the north end of the parish, adjoins Blurton, and the large pottery town of Longton. It includes Mear Lane, Mear Heath, Mear Furnaces, and many neat houses, some of which are occupied by china and earthenware manufacturers. A new suburb, called Dresden, is being built here.
The township of Fulford formed a chapelry to Stone parish and details can be found on the Fulford parish page.
The township of Hilderstone formed a chapelry to Stone parish and details can be found on the Hilderstone parish page.
Kibblestone Quarter comprises the following villages and hamlets, lying on the eastern side of the Trent, and near the Longton road; Oulton Cross, Oulton, Meaford, Hobbergate, Knenhall, Moddershall, Berry Hill, Rough Close, Spot, and Spot Hill, extending from one to four miles N & N by E of Stone, and forming a hilly but fertile district. Oulton, the largest village in this quarter, is about one and a half miles NE of Stone, on a bold acclivity, near the foot of which is Oulton Hall, a respectable ladies boarding school, Oulton Villa, the seat of Edward Barlow, Esq, and Oulton Retreat, a large and well conducted private Lunatic Asylum, belonging to Mrs Sarah Bakewell, and under the superintendence of Samuel Glover Bakewell, MD, late of Spring Vale. Meaford Hall is the delightful seat of Viscount St Vincent, and has been the residence of the Jervis family for several generations, but their oldest seat is Darlaston Hall, on the opposite side of the Trent. Meaford Old Hall is the seat of John Joule, Esq and Meaford Farm, a large and fertile estate, belongs to Viscount Sidmouth."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Bibliography

'Researches into the History of the Parish and Parish Church of Stone, Staffordshire'
by William Highclere Bowers & John W Clough
Published 1929, by Midland Educational Co, Birmingham.

'Stone in Staffordshire. The History of a Market Town'
by Norman Atkins Cope.
Published 1972, by Wood, Mitchell & Co, Hanley.

'Stone, An Industrial Tour'
by Fred Brook
Published 1980, by Staffordshire Industrial Archeology Society, Rugeley.

'Stone, Sandon & Barlaston. A Portrait in Old Picture Postcards'
by Jane, Joy & Tony Priestley
Published 1988, by Brampton, Loggerheads.

'A History & Guide to Stone Parish Church, Staffordshire'
by Norman Atkins Cope
Published 1958, by British Publishing Co, Gloucester.

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Census

The population of Stone parish (including chapelries) was as follows:
1801 -- 2843
1831 -- 7808
1841 -- 8349

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Church History

"Stone parish church, St Michael, is a plain but neat building, standing on an eminence, in a spacious burial ground, at the south end of the town. It was commenced in 1753, and finished in 1758, when it was dedicated to St Michael the Archangel, of whom here is a beautiful painting, presented by the late Earl St Vincent, whose remains are interred in the churchyard, within the walls of a massive stone mausoleum, built by the Jervis family many years ago. The Lord Chancellor is patron of the perpetual curacy, in the incumbency of the Rev. Gibson Lewis, BA.
The old church, which was dedicated to St Ulfred, stood nearer to the parsonage house than the present edifice, and enclosed an ancient tomb, now left open to the churchyard, which has upon it the recumbent effigies of Sir Thomas Crompton and his lady. It was a venerable Saxon pile, and was so decayed and dilapidated in 1749, that a large portion of it fell down on December 30th, after the funeral of Elizabeth Unitt.

Christ Church stands on the north side of the town, where the population is rapidly increasing. It is a plain structure, erected in 1839. The perpetual curacy is in the patronage of the trustees of the late Rev C Simeon, and incumbency of the Rev Fras. Kitchen, MA.

A view of Christ Church.

Aston church, St Saviour, is a neat structure in the Early English style, built in 1845, by Viscount St Vincent, who is patron of the perpetual curacy, in the incumbency of the Rev HB Greenwood, BA.

Normacot church, a beautiful structure in the style which prevailed in the 13th century, was erected by the Duke of Sutherland, in 1847. The curacy is annexed to Blurton, and the incumbent is the Rev Canon Hutchinson, MA.

In the town of Stone are three small dissenting places of worship, the Wesleyan Chapel in Lichfield Street, Zoar New Connexion Methodist Chapel, in Abbey Court, built in 1821, and the Independent Chapel, in Chapel Street, built in about 1791"

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

Postcard of Stone Congregational Chapel c1930.

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Church Records

Church of England Registers
The register of the parish church of St Michael commences in 1568. The original registers for the period 1568-1924 (Bapts), 1568-1912 (Mar) & 1568-1960 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1668-1892 (with gaps 1671-72, 1677-78, 1693 & 1809-12) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
An indexed transcript of the Stone St Michael Bishops Transcripts (including Fulford Chapel) for the period 1638-1741 has been published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

The register of the church of Christ Church, Stone commences in 1840. The original registers for the period 1840-1938 (Bapts), 1845-1957 (Mar) & 1840-1959 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts of Christ Church, 1840-1879 (Bapts) & 1840-1872 (Bur) (with gaps 1849-51 & 1874-75) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.

The register of the church of Holy Evangelists, Normacot commences in 1847. The original registers for the period 1847-1954 (Bapts), 1853-1977 (Mar) & 1847-1964 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.

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Directories

'Adie's Annual consisting of Almanac, Diary & Directory of Stone, Eccleshall & surrounding places' was published by TG Adie & Co, Stone, in 1902 and 1930.

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Poorhouses, Poor Law etc

Stone Union was formed following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 and comprised the 10 parishes of Barlaston, Chebsey, Cold-Norton, Eccleshall, Milwich, Sandon, Standon, Swinnerton, Stone and Trentham, extending over an area of 119 square miles and containing 18,837 inhabitants in 1841.
The workhouse was originally built for the parish, and enlarged for the union in 1839, with room for about 300 paupers.
Most of the surviving records are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office but staff registers, 1837-1921, and correspondence, 1836-1900, are deposited at the Public Record Office.

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