Alton

Extract from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England, 1831.
Transcribed by Mel Lockie, © Copyright 2010
Lewis Topographical Dictionaries

ALVETON, [or ALTON], a parish in the southern division of the hundred of TOTMONSLOW, county of STAFFORD, 4 miles (E. by S.) from Cheadle, comprising the chapelry of Cotton, and the townships of Denston and Farley, and containing 2170 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Stafford, and diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, rated in the king's books at £5. 16. 5., endowed with £200 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Earl of Shrewsbury. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, displays a mixture of the Norman and modern styles of architecture. There are places of worship for Calvinists and Wesleyan Methodists. The village is situated in a beautiful and romantic district, on the banks of the river Churnet, which here flows through a fertile vale. The Caldon canal passes through it, its course for some miles being parallel with that of the river, which it here crosses by means of an aqueduct.

Near the side of the river is a wire-mill; and on the summit of a rock, three hundred feet above its bed, are the ruins of Alveton castle, which, in the reign of Henry II., belonged to the family of De Verdon: the property is now in the possession of the Earl of Shrewsbury, whose mansion, with its fine park and pleasure grounds, is situated on the opposite bank of the river. The remains of the castle consist of some of the outer walls, and one of the towers, overgrown with ivy; on the side opposite to the river it was defended by an intrenchment. On the summit of an adjacent eminence is a lofty tower, commanding extensive and varied prospects of the windings of the Churnet. Courts leet and baron are occasionally held here. Anthony Wall, in 1721, founded and endowed a school for the instruction of twelve boys, which is now open to all children of the parish; the school-room has been rebuilt on an enlarged plan by the Earl of Shrewsbury. At Bunbury, in this parish, are the remains of a very extensive fortress, of an irregular form, ascribed to Ceolred, King of Mercia, about 715: it is defended on three sides by a double vallum, and on the fourth by a steep declivity.

FARLEY, a township in the parish of ALVETON, southern division of the hundred of TOTMONSLOW, county of STAFFORD, 4 miles (E. by N.) from Cheadle containing 398 inhabitants.

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