"Forton is a small scattered village, on the Eccleshall road, seven miles SW of that town, and one and a half miles NNE of Newport in Shropshire. Its parish is generally called in legal documents, Forton and Meer. It contains 764 inhabitants, and 3760 acres of land, divided into the four hamlets of Forton, Meer, Sutton, and Warton. Sir Thomas FF Boughey, Bart, is lord of the manor and owner of the whole parish, except 43 acres of glebe, and 143 acres belonging to R Stewart, Esq.
Aqualate Hall, the delightful seat of Sir Thomas FF Boughey, Bart, is a magnificent Gothic mansion, situated two miles SE of Forton, being near the Shropshire border, and on the south side of Aqualate-meer, a beautiful and extensive lake more than a mile in length, and half a mile in breadth. The hall was first erected by Sir Thomas Skrymsher, who died in 1633. From his family it passed in marriage to the Baldwyns, one of whom sold it to the late Sir John Fenton Boughey, who was created a baronet in 1798, and rebuilt and enlarged the old mansion.
Meertown, or Meer, is a hamlet which derives its name from the lake or meer just described, and has several neat houses in a retired situation, half a mile S of Forton.
Sutton is a small village upon a commanding eminence, one mile NE of Forton, on the Eccleshall road, near which is a farm called the Guild of Monks, from its having belonged to the abbot of a Benedictine Monastery, at Shrewsbury. An estate here formerly belonged successively to the families of Broughton, Scavington, Layton, Symonds, Bettenson, and Benbow.
Warton hamlet is about one mile E of Forton. "
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]




The population of Forton parish was as follows:
1831 -- 922
1841 -- 764




Church History

"Forton Church, All Saints, is an ancient stone building, with a nave, north aisle, and a square tower, containing five bells. The windows were formerly decorated with painted glass, all of which were destroyed by Cromwell's officers, during the civil wars, except one shield, which contained the arms of the Botetourt and Somery families, who were anciently lords of this manor, and one of whom, in the reign of Edward II, repaired the church, after the roof had been destroyed by the fall of a lofty spire, which then surmounted the tower. It was again repaired in 1723, and a gallery was erected 14 years ago. Here is the burial place of the Bougheys, and at the east end of the north aisle is a tomb to the memory of Sir Thomas Skrymsher, Knight, near which is an inscription recording the death of his grandson.
The living is a rectory is in the patronage of Sir TFF Boughey, and incumbency of the Rev JFF Boughey."

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



Church Records

Church of England Registers
The surviving registers of All Saints commence in 1755. The original registers for the period 1760-1916 (Bapts), 1755-1837 (Mar) & 1760-1885 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts for the period 1660-1868 (with many gaps) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.


Description & Travel

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

Conservation Area Appraisals for Forton and Meretown  - interesting accounts of the areas, with excellent historical detail, numerous photographs and maps.

You can see pictures of Forton which are provided by:



The transcription of the section for Forton from the Topographical Dictionary of England (1859)

The transcription of the section for Forton from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.

The transcription of the section for Forton from the Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)


Historical Geography

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



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SJ754212 (Lat/Lon: 52.787807, -2.366205), Forton which are provided by:


Military Records

A transcription of the Muster Roll of 1539 for Aqualate, Meer, Forton & Sutton


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Forton parish became part of Newport Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.




A transcription of the Hearth Tax Returns 1666 for Meer & Forton Constablewick