1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland
Description and History from 1868 Gazetteer
"STONE, a parish and market town in the S. division of Pirehill hundred, county Stafford, 6 miles S. of Stoke-upon-Trent, and 7 N.E. of Stafford. It is a station on the North Staffordshire railway, and a branch line goes to Norton-Bridge, where it joins the main line of the London and North-Western railway, 3 miles distant from the town of Eccleshall. The parish consists of 17,000 acres, and a population of nearly 10,000 souls, and contains the townships of Stone, Walton, Darlaston, Meaford-Oulton, Tittensor, Beech, Moddershall, Hilderstone, Fulford, Stallington, Normicott, Aston, Burstone and Stoke, and Little Aston.
The land is chiefly arable and pasture, and the soil fertile. The town stands on the left bank of the river Trent, here crossed by a bridge, connecting it with the suburb of Walton, and at a short distance from the North Staffordshire section of the Grand Trunk canal, which runs parallel with the High-street through the entire length of the town. The principal street forms part of the great road from London to Liverpool, with lesser streets branching off from it. It is well built, paved, and lighted with gas. The only public institutions are the mechanics' institute, a savings-bank, and the union poor-house. The staple manufacture of the place is that of shoes, principally women's boots, and on the Scotch brook which here falls into the Trent are several corn and flour mills. There are also in the town and its vicinity an extensive brewery, malting establishments, tanneries and brickfields.
In the neighbourhood are several noblemen's and gentlemen's seats. Stone is a polling place for the county elections and a petty sessions town. A county court is held every two months. It is also the head of a Poor-law Union. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Lichfield, value £240, in the patronage of the bishop.
The parish church is dedicated to St. Michael, and was rebuilt in the middle of the last century on the site of the Abbey Church. It contains a marble monument to Earl St. Vincent, with a bust of the earl by Chantrey, and has over the altar "St. Michael binding Satan," painted by Sir William Beechy, R.A., and presented by Earl St. Vincent, who is buried in the churchyard. The register dates from 1568. There are schools in connection with the parish church, which have been rebuilt, through the perseverance of the rector, at a cost of £2,000; school chapels have also been erected in several of the townships.
In addition to the parish church are the district churches of Christ Church with Tittensor, Aston with Burston, Fulford, Hilderstone, and Normicott, the livings of which are perpetual curacies, varying in value from £200 to £63; of these the only one situated in the town is Christ Church, erected in 1840. The Wesleyans and New Connexion Methodists and Independents have chapels. The Roman Catholics have a very spacious monastery in the town, with a church attached, and an extensive nunnery at Oulton, also a chapel at Aston. The grammar school, founded in 1558 by the Rev. Thomas Alleyn, is free to 6 boys, and to 24 others of the parish on payment of a small fee. A new school-house has recently been erected and the endowment increased to £100 per annum.
There are a Bible society, Church Missionary society, Dorcas society, besides various clothing and benefit clubs. The charities produce about £200 per annum, including a rent-charge of £100 out of the Stone Park estate, bequeathed in 1771 by Lady K. Levison Gower for the relief of 10 poor widows. Market day is Tuesday for corn and provisions, and the cattle market every alternate Tuesday. Fairs are held on 5th August for cattle and sheep, on the third Tuesdays in April and October for cheese, bacon, &c., and on Shrove Tuesday, Whit Tuesday, and Tuesday before Michaelmas Day."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]