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Help and advice for Burton-upon-Trent

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"Burton-upon-Trent is a well-built and flourishing market town, celebrated for its ale, and pleasantly situated on the west bank of the River Trent, which divides it from Derbyshire, and in three places separates into two streams, and insulates three tracts of large meadows. In the northern part of the town a broad expansion of the river is crossed by a venerable stone bridge of 36 arches, very narrow but over 300 yards in length. The Birmingham & Derby portion of the Midland Railway has a commodious station on the west side of the town. Further to the west the Trent & Mersey canal traverses the fine open vale, and sends a branch to the river, at the south end of the town, where there are several extensive wharfs. Burton is eleven miles SW of Derby, twelve miles NE of Lichfield and twenty-four miles E of Stafford. It is the head of a County Court district, a large poor law union, a polling district, and a petty sessional division.
The parish of Burton-upon-Trent comprises the five townships of Burton, Burton-Extra, Branstone, Horninglow, and Stretton, in the north division of Offlow Hundred, and also Winshill and part of Stapenhill, which are in Derbyshire. It comprises about 10,000 acres of land and 8136 souls. The Marquis of Anglesey is lord of the manor and owner of most of the soil, but there are in the town a great many freehold houses and premises. The east and west sides of the parish are rather hilly, and have a strong red, marly soil, well suited for the growth of barley, wheat, etc, the rest is a fine champaign district, forming rich, loamy pastures, which in rainy seasons, are often flooded by the waters of the Trent and Dove, the latter of which bounds the parish on the north.
The town of Burton extends into Burton-Extra, or, as it is sometimes called, Bond End, and includes most of the population of that township. High Street is more than 800 yards in length, and contains many good houses, shops, inns, etc, and is now well flagged and paved. At the south end of High Street is the Market place and Town Hall, whence Lichfield Street extends southwards to the wharfs. The other principal streets are Horninglow Street, New Street, Station Street, Bridge Street, and Anderstaff Lane. Some of the breweries, with their large malt-houses, are very extensive establishments, and here are also two large iron foundries and machine works. The market is held every Thursday, chiefly under and around the Town Hall, under a charter granted by King John, and the trade in corn, especially barley, is extensive. There are four annual fairs, for horses, cattle, etc, held on Candlemas Day, April 5th, Holy Thursday, and October 29th. The latter, on the feast of St Modwen, is famous for cheese and colts. A statute fair, for hiring servants, is held on the Monday after Michaelmas Day.
Burton-Extra, or Bond End, comprises the southern portion of the town, and the hamlet of Shobnall, distant one mile W, and forming in monastic times the Abbey Grange. The Abbey grounds, Back Street, Lion's Lane, the Wharfs, and part of Lichfield Street are in this township, which contains 1193 inhabitants and 932 acres.
Branstone, or Branston township has about 2350 acres, 450 inhabitants, many neat farmhouses, and a scattered village, two miles S by W of Burton. The high road through the village is in the line of the Roman Icknield Street, and on an eminence are traces of an encampment. This estate was given by Leofric, Earl of Mercia, to Burton Abbey, and now belongs to the Marquis of Anglesey. Sinai Park is a pleasant eminence, commanding a fine view of the Trent valley, and is said to have been a summer retreat of the abbots.
Horninglow, a pleasant and improving village, one and a half miles NW of Burton, gives name to a township containing about 900 inhabitants and 2100 acres, including Outwood and Wetmore hamlets, Burton Union Workhouse, Anglesey Terrace, Little Burton, and other north-western suburbs of the town. Horninglow is now the principal canal port of the district, having extensive wharfs, warehouses and graneries, and agents and wharfingers for the North Staffordshire Railway Company, Pickford & Co, J & W Soresby, J Smith & Sons, and other great carriers. Here is also a brewery. The Marquis of Anglesey owns most of the township, and the rest belongs to a number of freeholders. Wetmore, a hamlet of four farms, was anciently in one farm occupied by the Abbots of Burton.
Stretton, a small village on an eminence near the Icknield Street, two miles N of Burton, has in its township 410 souls and about 1,230 acres of land, extending to the confluence of the rivers Trent and Dove. In the valley of the Dove are several scattered houses, Dove Cliff, the pleasant seat of E Thornewill, Esq, and the extensive ironworks of Clay Mills. The Trent & Mersey Canal crosses this valley into Derbyshire, by a stupendous aquaduct of 23 arches.
Stapenhill is a village and township of 577 souls and 1770 acres, on the eastern side of the Trent, opposite the south end of Burton. It is all in Derbyshire, and partly in the parish of Burton-upon-Trent, but mostly in the parish of Stapenhill, Derbyshire.
Winshill, a picturesque township on the eastern side of the Trent, about a mile ENE of Burton and all in this parish, although it is in Derbyshire, has about 380 souls and 1150 acres of land. It has several large corn mills and a tape mill, and the long bridge previosly mentioned crosses the Trent to this township from Burton."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]



'Burton-on-Trent, Its History, Its Waters and Its Breweries'
by W Molyneux.
Published by Trubner, 1869.

'History of Burton upon Trent'
by CH Underhill.
Published by Tresises, Burton, 1941.

'County Borough, the History of Burton upon Trent 1901-1974. Part 1, Edwardian Burton'
by Denis Stuart.
Published by The Charter Trustees of Burton upon Trent, 1975.

'County Borough, the History of Burton upon Trent 1901-1974. Part 2, 1914-1974'
by Denis Stuart.
Published by The Charter Trustees of Burton upon Trent, 1977.

'Deus Nobiscum, A History of Burton Grammar School'
by GE Radford.
Published by GE Radford, 1973.

'A Brief History of St Modwen's, the Parish Church of Burton-upon-Trent'
by Ernest Aldington Hunt.
Published by British Publishing Co, Gloucester, 1973.

'The Development of Industry in Burton-upon-Trent'
by CC Owen.
Published by Phillimore, Chichester, 1978.

'Charters of Burton Abbey'
by PH Sawyer.
Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979.



The population of Burton-upon-Trent parish (Except Stapenhill) was as follows:
1801 - 5,587
1811 - 6,208
1821 - 6,508
1831 - 6,797
1841 - 8,136
1851 - 9,768

A surname index of the 1851 census of Burton-upon-Trent parish is included in the Staffordshire 1851 Census Surname index, Volume 9, PRO Ref: HO 107/2011 (part) and HO 107/2012, published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Burton-upon-Trent area or see them printed on a map.


Church History

"The parish church, St Modwen, stands in the southern part of the town, in a spacious burial ground, upon a gentle eminence, adjoining the Trent and the Abbey grounds. It is a large and neat edifice, in the Italian style, with a fine tower, and was built in 1720, on the site of the ancient Abbey church. The benefice is a perpetual curacy but is now called a vicarage, and the Marquis of Anglesey is patron, and the Rev Samuel Steed, MA, the incumbent.
Holy Trinity church, in Horninglow Street, was erected in 1824, as a chapel of ease for the northern part of the town, and the hamlets of Horninglow, Stretton, Wetmore, and Winshill, which have lately been annexed to it as a separate ecclesiastical district. It is a handsome fabric, in the florid Gothic style. The Marquis of Anglesey is patron of the perpetual curacy, and the Rev Peter French, MA, the incumbent.
Stretton church is a small brick building, erected in 1841/2 as a chapel of ease to Holy Trinity church, to which its curacy is annexed.
Christ Church, in New Street, in the south-western part of the town, is an elegant cruciform structure, in the early English style, with a tower and spire at the north end. It was built in 1843/4 for a district of the parish comprising about 2,600 souls. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Burton, and incumbency of the Rev William Morgan.
There are in the town five dissenting places of worship. The Independent Chapel, in High Street, occupies the site of a Nonconformist meeting house, which was formed out of two dwellings, for the congregation of the Rev Thomas Bakewell, who was ejected from the Rolleston rectory in 1661. The present handsome Gothic structure was erected on the site in 1842. The Wesleyan Chapel, in Horninglow Street, occupies the site of one built in 1766, and was erected in 1813. Salem Chapel, in Station Street, belongs to the Particular Baptists, and was erected in 1803. The General Baptist Chapel, in Burton-Extra, was built in 1825, and the Primitive Methodist Chapel, in Station Street, was erected in 1829.
Branstone has a neat Independent Chapel, built in 1834. Horninglow has a Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1843, and Winshill also has a small Wesleyan Chapel."

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

"All Saints is an ecclesiastical parish, formed May 4th 1898. The church, in Branstone Road, erected in 1903-5 at a cost of £30,000, defrayed by Sir WAH Bass, Bart, JP, is a building of stone in the Late Decorated style, consisting of a nave, aisles, western narthex, south porch and a tower on the north side, 120 feet high and containing one bell, hung in 1908. The east window is stained; there are sittings for 800 persons. The register dates from the year 1898. The living is a vicarage, in the gift of the Church Pastoral Aid Society, and held since 1897 by the Rev Edwyn Gilmour, of St Bees.
St Paul's is an ecclesiastical parish, formed September 2nd, 1873. The church, in St Paul's Square, at the west end of the town, completed in 1874, was built and presented by the late Michael Thomas Bass, esq, at a total cost of about £56,000, including the vicarage and endowment. It is a noble cruciform ediface of stone, in the Early Decorated Style, consisting of a chancel with aisles, lofty naves, transept, sacristy and a massive central tower, containing 8 bells. The register dates from the year 1874. The living is a vicarage, in the gift of the Dowager Lady Burton, and held since 1901 by the Rev Joseph John Gabbett Stockley, MA, of Trinity College, Dublin."

[From Kelly's Directory of Staffordshire, Kelly's Directories, London, 1912)

Postcard of All Saints Church c1905.

Postcard of St Paul's Church c1905.

Postcard of St Paul's Church South Transept c1919.


Church Records

Church of England Registers
The parish register of the parish church of St Modwen, Burton, commences in 1538. The original registers for the period 1538-2001 (Bapts), 1538-1990 (Mar) & 1538-1914 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1663-1882 (with gaps 1765-73) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A transcript of the registers for the period 1790-1837 (Marriages only) has been published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
The register of the church of Holy Trinity, Burton, commences in 1824. The original registers for the period 1824-1968 (Bapt), 1844-1969 (Mar) & 1826-1969 (Bur), are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office. Banns for the period 1882-1965 are deposited at Burton upon Trent Archives.
Bishops Transcripts, 1824-1889 (Bapt) & 1826-1871 (Bur) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
The register of the church of All Saints, Burton, commences in 1898. The original registers for the period 1898-1942 (Bapt) & 1905-1951 (Mar), are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office. The church has no burial ground.
The register of the church of St Paul, Burton, commences in 1874. The original registers for the period 1874-1967 (Bapt) & 1874-1977 (Mar), are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office. The church has no burial ground.
The register of the St Margaret, Burton, the mission church of St Paul's, Burton, commences in 1892. The original registers for the period 1892-1967 (Bapt) & 1893-1966 (Mar), are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
The register of the church of Christ Church, Burton, commences in 1844. The original registers for the period 1844-1951 (Bapt) & 1860-1946 (Mar), are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office. The church has no burial ground.
Bishops Transcripts, 1847-1864 (Bapt) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.

Nonconformist Registers
The following nonconformist registers are deposited at Burton upon Trent Archives:
Burton Primitive Methodist Circuit 1844-1880 (Bapt)
Burton Primitive Methodist Second Circuit 1881-1945 (Bapt)
Burton Primitive Methodist Third Circuit 1894-1992 (Bapt)
Burton Wesleyan Methodist Circuit 1795-1958 (Bapt), 1853-1867 (Mar)
Burton Ash Street Wesleyan Methodist 1893-1958 (Bapt)
Burton Byrkley Street Wesleyan Methodist 1880-1970 (Bapt), 1899-1972 (Mar)
Burton Carlton Street United Methodist 1899-1947 (Bapt), 1911-1965 (Mar)
Burton Dale Street United Methodist 1897-1959 (Bapt)
Burton High Street Independent/Congregational 1808-1902 (Bapt), 1841-1861 (Bur)
Burton Horninglow Road Wesleyan Methodist 1872-1937 (Bapt), 1921-1981 (Mar)
Burton Mosley Street Primitive Methodist 1924-1945 (Mar)
Burton Napier Street Wesleyan Methodist 1893-1958 (Bapt)
Burton Outwoods Primitive Methodist 1952-1969 (Bapt)
Burton Parker Street Primitive Methodist 1894-1992 (Bapt), 1936-1985 (Mar)
Burton Station Street Wesleyan Methodist 1899-1958 (Mar)
Burton Sydney Street Wesleyan Methodist 1885-1967 (Bap), 1925-1970 (Mar)
Burton Uxbridge Street Methodist 1885-1948 (Bap), 1946-1950 (Mar)
Burton Victoria Street United Methodist 1869-1966 (Bap), 1915-1966 (Mar)
Burton Wetmore Road Primitive Methodist 1946-1960 (Bap)

The following nonconformist registers are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office:
Burton Methodist 1825-1837 (Births & Bapt)
Burton Methodist New Connexion 1795-1836 (Births & Bapt)
Burton Cat Street Particular Baptist 1793-1836 (Births)
Burton Cat Street Primitive Methodist 1826-1837 (Births & Bapt)
Burton Clarence Street Wesleyan Methodist 1893-1958 (Bapt)
Burton-Extra General Baptist 1825-1836 (Births)
Burton New Street Baptist 1946-1974 (Mar)


Description and Travel

A transcription of the section on Burton from A Topographical History of Staffordshire by William Pitt (1817)

You can see pictures of Burton-upon-Trent which are provided by:



'Burton-on-Trent and District Directory' was published by WJ Cook & Co, Hull, in 1902.

'Burton-on-Trent and District Directory' was published by Tresises, Burton-on-Trent, in 1911, 1925 & 1932.



Ask for a calculation of the distance from Burton-upon-Trent to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Burton-upon-Trent has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Burton was anciently famous for ornamental works in alabaster. How long these works continued to flourish is unknown, but during the last 150 years there has been no business of this kind carried on here, although abundance of alabaster is still to be found in the vicinity of Needwood Forest.
In the 17th century many of the inhabitants were clothiers, and their kerseys were held in great estimation.
At present, the chief production of Burton is its ale, for which it has long been celebrated. The origin of this lucrative trade was in 1610, when Benjamin Printon began a small brewery, and his success induced others to engage in the same business. Hence the trade has gradually risen to its present importance.
There are now sixteen breweries in the town, and immense quantities of Burton ale are sent yearly to all parts of Great Britain, and to many foreign countries, especially to the East and West Indies. Catherine II, Empress of Russia, is said to have been immoderately fond of this beverage. For more than two centuries Burton has been noted for its excellent ale, and within the last 20-30 years the reputation of its breweries has been greatly extended.
Two of the principal firms, Messrs Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton, and Messrs Allsopp & Sons, have long been engaged in supplying a light, agreeable kind of beer, called Pale Ale, for the East Indies and other countries, and also ale of greater gravity for Australia and other parts of the world. But the taste for Pale Ale has lately spread in this country, and most of the brewers in the town are now engaged in supplying the home market, and in nearly all the large towns in the kingdom there are now depots and agencies for the sale of Burton Ales.
Most of the malt used here is made in the town, and there are now no fewer than 867 men and 61 boys employed here in the breweries and malt-houses.
Four large cotton mills, built many years ago by Messrs John Peel & Co, and employed in both spinning and power loom weaving, are now abandoned. The manufacture of hats, formerly extensively carried on here, has also declined during the last thirty years, and a manufacture of screws has also been abandoned, so that the only considerable manufactory, besides the breweries, now flourishing in the town, is Messrs Thornewill Warham's Ironfoundry & Engine & Machine Works, employing 75 men and 25 boys.

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


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

The parish gave name to, and became part of Burton-upon-Trent Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.

Burton-upon-Trent Union comprised 53 parishes and townships, of which 40 were in Derbyshire, as follows: Anslow, Ash, Barton-Blount, Barton-under-Needwood, Bearwardcote, Branstone, Bretley, Burnaston, Burton-upon-Trent, Burton-Extra, Castle-Gresley, Caton, Cauldwell, Church Broughton, Church Gresley, Coton-in-the-Elms, Dalbury-with-Lees, Drakelow, Dunstall, Eggington, Etwall, Findern, Foremark, Foston-and-Scropton, Hanbury, Hatton, Hoon, Hilton, Horninglow, Inglebury, Linton, Lullington, Marston-upon-Dove, Mickleover, Newton-Solney, Osleston-and-Thurvaston, Radbourn, Repton, Rolleston, Rosliston, Stanton-and-Newhall, Stapenhill, Stretton, Sutton-on-the-Hill, Swadlincote, Tatenhill, Trusley, Tutbury, Twyford-and-Stenson, Walton-on-Trent, Wichnor, Willington, and Winshill.
In 1841 the union had a population of 28,871, of whom 15,703 were in Derbyshire.
The Union Workhouse was an large, brick building in Horninglow Street, erected in 1838, with room for more than 300 people.

The following records of the union are deposited at Burton-upon-Trent Library:
Births & Deaths registrations 1837-1879
Admissions & Discharges 1880-1930

The following records of the union are deposited at the Public Records Office, Kew:
Correspondence, etc 1834-1838, 1843-1900 (Class ref MH12/11232-66)
Staff Registers 1837-1921 (Class ref MH9/3)