Stramshall history

Stramshall in Domesday

  • Hundred: Totmonslow
  • County: Staffordshire
  • Total population: 7 households (quite small).
  • Total tax assessed: 2.3 carucates units (quite small).
  • Taxable units: Taxable value 2.3 carucates units.
  • Value: Value to lord in 1086 £0.3.
  • Households: 2 villagers. 5 smallholders.
  • Ploughland: 1 men’s plough teams.
  • Other resources: 2.25 new lands. Meadow 2 acres. Woodland 40 * 40 perches.
  • Lord in 1066: Alric.
  • Lord in 1086: Alric.
  • Tenant-in-chief in 1086: Alric.
  • Phillimore reference: 17,17

Excerpt from the first free online copy of Domesday Book

Stramshall has an entry in the Domesday Book of 1085. In the great book Stramshall is recorded by the name Stagrigesholle (see above). The manor was owned by the King. The main tenant was Alric who had owned the manor before the Norman Conquest.

There are references to a village being sited at Stramshall dating as far back as the 13th Century.

The village has been referred to by various names, some of these are Strangricheshall, Strangricheshull, Strongeshulf, Strangeshide, Stranshill and Strogsihull.

Records show  the village described as “ a village on a hill overlooking the Tean and Dove Valleys, 12.5 miles North East of Stafford”.

It is believed that there are several burial moulds in and around the village. Some of these possible sites have been examined and pottery believed to be Romano- British was found.

There are records which indicate that there is a Quaker burial ground within the village.These records also show that the South West angle of the Church Yard was known as “Quaker’s Bit”.

The Church of St Michael and All Angels was built in 1850 – 1852 and became a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1853. The Reverend Charles Frederick Lowry Barnwell who was born 1853 and died in 1933 was the Vicar for 54 years.

The Vicarage and grounds covered the area now called Vicarage Drive. Also in the grounds was a small schoolroom with a caretaker’s cottage.

Sadly the Vicarage, the Schoolroom, the caretaker’s cottage and cottages by the village green were demolished in the 1960’s.

The Glebe House in the High Street was the new Vicarage until Stramshall no longer had its own vicar in the 1980’s.

The Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in the late 19th century and there are photographs which show the chapel dated 1906.

Chapel Cottage by the side of the chapel used to be the caretaker’s cottage.

A small Methodist Chapel at Beamhurst was converted to a private residence in the 1980’s.

There are records showing the Hare and Hounds public house  in existence in 1890.

The landlord then was Thomas Griffin who had a son also named Tom and they carried out a trade as a shoe and bootmakers on part of the premises. Farm worker’s boots were the main business.

The Griffin family ran the pub until the 1930’s but Tom carried on as a bootmaker and cobbler on the premises until 1950 when he moved his business to his home in Broomyclose Lane.

The former cobbler premises then became part of the public house to increase capacity.

The Hare and Hounds was a very popular venue during the 1950- 1980 period but gradually lost trade and closed in the late 1990’s. Re-opened in 2008 see following link for more information: http://hareandhoundsstramshall.co.uk/

Stramshall Mill, now a listed building “ Mill Farm” is recorded in existence in the 18th century.

Originally it was a corn mill, but for a few years the water wheel was used to drive cotton spinning jennies before reverting back to grinding corn.

The mill ceased to grind corn in the early 1900’s.

The site of  “Weaver View”  houses was originally occupied by a wheelwright serving the local farmer’s needs of  wheels and repairs  to horse drawn carts.

The current Village Hall was built in 1979 and stands on the site of the previous Village Institute.

This Institute was a wooden building and was erected in 1929 and had served the village well for 50 years.

During the late 1940’s through to the early 1960’s the annual flower and vegetable shows were highly acclaimed.

In the early 1950’s, Jack Ford  a milk retailer living at Church Farm, opened a Grocery Shop attached to the premises and also took on the Post Office business. This was a successful business upto the late 1980’s when it closed down. The shop premises can still be identified. The Post Office business has had several locations over the years but closed down due to lack of potential managers. It’s last location was at Bridge Farm where a post box is still sited.

Up to the end of the 19th century the majority of villagers were employed in agriculture by the local farmers who were tenants to the large landowners,  Stramshall Hall, Crakemarsh Hall, Beamhurst Hall, Springfields and Woodseat Hall. These large estates also employed people in service.

Stramshall Hall no longer exists but it was occupied by Thomas Trobeshaw in the 15th century. Records show that he moved to Shugborough Hall sometime later. Hall Farm House is situated on the High Street.

Crakemarsh Hall was owned by the Cavendish family and dates back to 1820. Records show that the hall was built on the site of a previous building and  encompassed an impressive staircase dating back to the reign of Charles II.

In 1912 Tyrell William Cavendish, his wife Julia Florence and her maid  Ms Nellie Barber were on the Titanic when it sank.  Mr Cavendish died but his wife and her maid were rescued from a lifeboat. Mr Cavendish’s body was later recovered.The Cavendish’s had two children but they did not travel on the Titanic. Mrs Cavendish returned to live at Crakemarsh Hall and was a regular worshipper at Stramshall Church.

The Hall was occupied by USA troops during the Second World War and was badly damaged. It was also used to hold Italian POW’s. After the war the hall was converted into flats and the outbuildings rented out. At one time around 1948 Mr J.C. Bamford rented premises before moving to Rocester. In the  1970’s JCB purchased the Hall with intent to create an hotel for visitors. However a fire damaged the building but the staircase was saved and now is at Wootton Hall. The Hall was demolished in 1998 although the North Lodge Gate House is still occupied and the Stables converted to homes.

Woodseat Hall demised after the Second World War and became a ruin eventually purchased by JCB to become a training centre.

Beamhurst Hall and Springfields still remain today as  impressive buildings with landscaped gardens.

The Uttoxeter Canal ran from Uttoxeter (The Wharfe) through Spath to Bridge Farm (ie bridge over the canal for road from Stramshall to Spath), up to Bridge Cottage on Creighton Lane (ie bridge again over canal) past the playing field on to Rocester and up to Froghall. Traces of the canal can be seen at Spath and at the edge of the field near to the playing field. The life of the canal was very short. It opened in 1811 and closed in 1849,being replaced by the Manifold Railway which ran from Uttoxeter to Manchester.

The Manifold Line ran adjacent to long stretches of the canal. The level crossing at Spath was the first to have an  automated barrier installed. After the railway line was closed the land was sold and returned to agriculture.

Stramshall had its own small sewage plant which closed down after the Second World War. The current playing field is on the site of the old sewage plant.

The village green had an iron fence around its boundary complete with a gate but this was taken down to be melted for the war effort.

Although it was only a hamlet at the time of the First World War seven young men lost their lives in the war. Up to the end of the Second World War Stramshall had remained a very small village with less than fifty houses, most of these in the High Street. Sadly the bulldoze era of the sixties saw quite a few of the small cottages demolished robbing the village of character. In the late 1940’s twenty council houses were built in Hollington Lane , all for Stramshall families and many for farm workers. In the early 1950’s twelve more council houses were built in Broomyclose Lane again all for Stramshall families. In the 1960’s private housing took off creating St Michaels Rd with sixteen houses and Barnwell Close with twenty houses. Also in the 1960’s the Vicarage was demolished and senior citizen’s bungalows and more council houses built creating Vicarage Drive. From the 1970’s to 2007  the available building land has been utilized and the Local Plan has no housing allocated for Stramshall. The majority of the former council houses are now privately owned.

Spath automated rail crossing

In 1961 Spath Automated Rail Crossing opened and became the first one in Britain.

Initially, the signal box and attendant remained in place just to monitor motorists disregarding the red stop signals.

For further information visit: www.derby-signalling.org.uk

Stevenson’s buses at Spath

In 1926 John Stevenson a farmer from Fole, sold his farm and bought two former United States School buses to set up a business at Spath. The company grew over the years and the garages at Spath were established. The company operated in a small way and only had a fleet of forty buses in 1977.

In 1983 the company merged with East Staffordshire District Council buses, and by 1994 was operating a fleet of two hundred and seventy vehicles, and was the largest independent bus operator in the UK.

In 1994 the company sold out to Arriva.

The garage and land still remain at Spath but are now home to various businesses.

More information in this article on WikiPedia.

Spath Green History

In 1965 the Churnet Valley Line that ran from Uttoxeter through Spath to Leek was closed.

The automated railway equipment was removed and around the same time the former home of John Stevenson was demolished to create room to widen the road. The growth of JCB was creating a large increase in road traffic, particularly HGVs.

The area not used for the road scheme became a very large grassed area.

When the new B5030 Ashbourne was opened in 1984 the old road across the former railway line was closed.

The grassed area had become an eyesore and Staffs County asked URPC if they would adopt it.

A Green Grant was obtained via ESBC and the site was developed into Spath Green.

The work was supervised by Arthur Gilbert, URPC Councillor, and the work carried out by prisoners from Sudbury Prison. The site is maintained by URPC.