Tatenhill in 1817


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


This village is situated in a deep narrow valley between two high hills, which gradually descend from the eastern border of Needwood Forest. It is in the deanery of Tamworth, and about three miles from Burton. This parish is extensive, comprising the manors of Callingwood, Dunstall, Barton, Newbold, and Blakenhall. The soil is a strong clay marl.

The church is situated on an eminence eastward of the village, and is a large ancient stone edifice, with a tower. It is dedicated to St. Michael, and valued at £36. ls. 8d. in the King's books. Tatenhill church is remarkable for an echo, by which four or five syllables spoken in a low voice, on the opposite hill, are distinctly reverberated by the tower.

A brook runs through the middle of the village, and formerly turned a cornmill, which has since been converted into a screw-mill, where 700 grose of screws of various sizes are manufactured weekly.

Callingwood is situated on the east side of Needwood Forest, a mile north-west from Tatenhill church, and in the survey made in the time of Queen Elizabeth, it is called a hamlet within Barton, granted out of the forest to Radulpho de Bosco Calumpniato, one of Earl Ferrer's servants.

A number of Roman coins were found in this manor, towards the close of the eighteenth century; a presumptive proof that the Romans had been on the spot, which is the more probable, as the Ikenild-street passed to the east of this place. There are some vestiges of an ancient moated house here: the present manor-house is occupied by a farmer. In the year 1650, Sir Edward Mosley, Bart, by virtue of an ancient charter, claimed a messuage and 120 acres, called Barley-fields farm, in Callingwood.

Dunstall is an ancient manor in this parish, situated close to the border of Needwood Forest, and midway between Tatenhill and Barton. This manor is not mentioned in Doomsday-book; but it appears to have been a member of Tutbury from the Conquest, and was given with Newbold, by William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby, in the reign of Henry III. to Walter de Somerville, in exchange for Barton. The present proprietor of this estate is Mr. Meek, by whom it has been much improved.

Newbold. This manor is situated on the west side of the ancient Roman Ikenild-street, which is here a turnpike-road, leading from Burton to Lichfield. The present proprietor is Mr. Webb, who resides in a commodious modern-built farm-house, not far from the navigation warehouse at Barton.

In this manor, between Burton and Bramston, there are saltsprings; and in a place called the Clots, about a mile east of Dunstall, if cattle of a black, red, or brown colour, be put to feed, they will certainly change their colour to a whitish dun, which must be ascribed to the saltness of the soil. As for horses, they rapidly improve upon these grounds, but they soon become dappled, be they of whatsoever colour.