Norton under Cannock in 1817


Description from A Topographical History of Staffordshire by William Pitt (1817)


Norton-under-Cannock, is situated on the south of that extensive waste called Cannock-heath, and about half-a-mile north of the Watling-street.

At the time of the Conquest, it belonged to the Bishop of Chester. Two-thirds of this manor were purchased in 1760, by Richard Gildart, Esq. of Liverpool, and the other third has since been purchased by Phineas Hussey, Esq. of Little Wyrley.

The Church is a neat gothic edifice, with a small tower, and contains several monuments of the Fowke, Hussey, and other families. Norton wake is held on the first Sunday in August, when it is customary to adorn the interior of the Church with flowers and laurels.

Little Wyrley is a hamlet of this parish; it was held by the Bishop of Chester, at the time of the Conquest, and has passed from the family of Fowkes, by marriage, to the family of Hussey.

The old manor-house, called Little Wyrley Hall, is, from its situation amid groves of elms and other full-grown trees, a curious and picturesque specimen of the architecture of our ancestors.

The Hall is decorated with several pieces of ancient armour, which, with the old-fashioned wooden chairs, give it an appearance of venerable antiquity. The rooms are adorned with heraldic emblems of its owners, and several family portraits. The mansion has been much improved by Mr. Hussey, the present possessor, whose hospitality is well known.

The groves are inhabited by numerous rooks, which, after breeding-time, retire from the place, and the ground is then swept and remains clean till their return. The

Brown-hills Colliery, an old and profitable establishment, on this estate, is the property of Mr. Hussey.