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Wetton

"Wetton is a small village, in a romantic part of the Moorlands, two miles W of Alstonfield, and eight and a half miles E of Leek, near the place where the River Hamps and Manyfold pursue their subterraneous channels under the rugged limestone rocks, but in rainy seasons the water does not all pass underground, but part of it may be seen flowing through the deep valleys. Wetton parish contains 485 inhabitants and 2600 acres of land, of which the Duke of Devonshire is the chief owner.
About one and a half miles N of Wetton, is the hamlet of Ecton, above which rises Ecton Hill, where there is a copper mine, which was first wrought in the 17th century, and for many years produced a yearly profit of 30,000 to the Duke of Devonshire, but the ore having become scarce, it was given up by his Grace about 20 years ago, and is let to a small company of working miners, who still find a tolerable remuneration for their labour. This mine formerly yielded about 300 tons of pure copper annually, and on the opposite side of the hill there was a prolific lead mine, now exhausted.
Near it, in a lofty and precipitous cliff which rises above the Manyfold, is the stupendous cave called 'Thor's House Cavern', over the summit of which a poor man, Titterton Mycock, fell in a state of inebriation in 1825, and was dashed to pieces on the rocks below. Here are quarries of excellent marble, and variegated limestone.
Near Castern, on the SE side of the parish, is Clamps-in-the-Wood, a farm house embowered within the windings of a circular hollow in the hills, and secluded from the rest of the world."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Bibliography

'History of Wetton, Thor's Cave, & Ecton Mines...'
by James Roberts
Published 1900, by J Osborne, Ashbourne.

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Census

The population of Wetton parish was as follows:
1801 -- 540
1831 -- 497
1841 -- 485

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Church History

"The parish church, St Margaret, was rebuilt in 1820, except the tower, which has three bells.
The perpetual curacy is in the patronage of M Burgoyne, Esq, and incumbency of the Rev WM Ward, of Hartington, Derbyshire.
Here is a small Wesleyan chapel."

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

A view of St Margaret's Church.

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Church Records

Church of England Registers
The register of the parish church of St Margaret commences in 1657. The original registers for the period 1657-1872 (Bapts), 1657-1982 (Mar) & 1657-1992 (Bur), and Banns for the period 1823-1851 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1660-1869 (with gaps 1698-1701, 1708-1711, 1755-1758, 1776-1780 & 1838) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.

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Poorhouses, Poor Law etc

Wetton parish, together with Butterton, Grindon and Alstonfield township were incorporated under Gilbert's Act in 1817 for the support of their poor and had a workhouse in Alstonfield for about 50 paupers.
In 1869, this Gibert Union became part of Ashbourne & Leek Poor Law Union.

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[Last updated: 21st July 2003, Mike Harbach.  © 1999 - 2003]