The area of Draycott-le-Moors,  now known as Draycott-in-the-Moors, is a small locality, but one with a long and interesting history. The Romans had a base here.

An extensive history of the district, published in 2006 by Draycott Parish Council, has been written by Matthew Pointon. Copies of his book ‘A History of The Parish of Draycott-en-le-Moors‘ are still available either at St Margaret’s Church or on application to the parish council clerk.

Railway line, at Totmonslow

Old railway line, at Totmonslow

The area’s industry concentrates largely on farming – although the Blythe Colours Works were once sited here.
The old Colours factory has now been converted into the Blythe Park Industrial Estate, a site for a large number of small workshops and businesses.

An historic old railway branch line from Cheadle, that once bisected the village (through Totmonslow to Cresswell), is closed;  the tracks have recently (2012) been cleared.  This old line met the Uttoxeter-Stoke main line at Cresswell.
This main line still carries services and passes through Cresswell but doesn’t stop here. Nearest stations now are Uttoxeter and Blythe Bridge.

Some links to webpages about the area’s history

A Brief Account of Draycott on stokeuk
Recent History of Draycott – on the BBC Domesday Project
Draycott: Place Guide on staffordshire.gov.uk
Draycott Archives at Staffordshire Record Office
Draycott in the Moors History – on Genuki
Memorial Inscriptions in Draycott – on Genuki
Draycott in British History – on Vision of Britain website
Draycott Parish in British History – on Vision of Britain website
Pictures of old Draycott – on Staffordshire Past Track
Listed Buildings in Draycott le Moors – on British Listed Buildings

Some books about the area’s history

‘A History of The Parish of Draycott-en-le-Moors’ (2006) by Matthew E Pointon. Cost is £10 – on application to the local parish council clerk
Painsley – A History of Cresswell’s Roman Catholic Community’ (1973, reprinted 2005) by Fr Philip Bailey SCJ. This booklet is now out of print, but St Mary’s Church, where Fr Bailey was priest for a stint, hope to reprint it one day. A shortened version can be found on the web – click here (opens as pdf).
‘World War Two in Draycott Parish’ by Barry Phillips (2000)

A fuller list of books about the history of the area can be found in the appendix of Matthew Pointon’s book.

Some articles on this website about the area’s history
The Great War dead of Draycott
Draycott’s railway tunnel
Draycott’s Anglican parish registers (1538-1900) go online
Paynsley Hall ruins placed on English Heritage ‘at-risk’ register
Dominic Barberi – nineteenth century missionary in Cresswell
New Haden Colliery
OLD PHOTO:  Blythe Colours Car Rally
Bird In Hand pub

If you have comments about the history of Draycott-in-the-Moors, Draycott Cross, Newton, Cresswell or Totmonslow, please use the message box at the bottom of the page.

16 responses to “History

  1. St Mary's in 1840s

    I have once more been looking at the history of St Mary’s Catholic Church in Cresswell.
    My great great grandmother, Agnes Mary Alexander (Condell) and her brother Charles Alexander (Condell) were brought up by the sister of their father, Major Joseph Alexander Condell of the Hon East India Company. She was Mary Bagnall (née Condell, born Madeira) who was, I believe, organist of St Mary’s Church at one point, as well as a “school mistress” in Draycott (1841 census). She was a widow in 1841.
    The children, ages 13 and 11, born in India of an Indian mother, had dropped their father’s surname, probably because he may have disowned them.

    Their aunt’s husband had been John Bucknall, who worked in the potteries. They were married in Edinburgh in 1818. I don’t know when they moved to Draycott.
    It has been suggested that the children may have been baptised as youngsters in St Mary’s. I have found no baptisms in Madras. On retirement from the army in India, their father married a Scottish woman in Aberdeen and did not mention them in his will.

    If there is anyone interested in genealogy and knows where to find information about this Roman Catholic family, Alexander/Condell/Bagnall, I would be very interested to hear from them. I do realise that it is a shot in the dark and apologise for the length of this comment. Can you help?
    Dian Montgomerie Elvin


  2. Fantastic site

    Fantastic site. Shame some of the links to Old Draycott Website do not work.

    Cheers Jimmy, nice of you to say.

    About the link to the old Draycott website: yes, that’s a weird one. The link was working perfectly until a couple of months ago, and then … wasn’t. We’ve looked around but we can only think that the hosting organisation ‘The Web Archive’ has suspended the link for some reason. We’re still trying to work out why.

    Website editors


  3. Historical society

    Hi to Draycott.
    As our near neighbours it may be of interest to some of your residents to hear about the Blythe Bridge, Forsbrook and Dilhorne History Soc.
    We have a very active Society with over 40 members; and meet on the first Tuesday of each calendar month, April through November, at the Methodist Church Green Lane, BB (opp the Coop).

    The history of your own village is of great interest to us – and would love to include it as part of our summer walk programme.
    Anyone in the village like to take the role of guide?

    My contact is levisonwoodsnr@yahoo.co.uk

    Lev Wood, Hon Secretary


  4. Civil War in Draycott

    I am researching the English Civil War period, but have been unable to find the sources that link Ashenhurst with the searches at Paynsley Hall and the use of cannon(s) to make it surrender.
    Could these be assumptions that have become ‘fact’ over time?
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Phillip Wheeler


    • Considering that my source in my book (‘A History of The Parish of Draycott-en-le-Moors’) was the ‘History of Catholicism in Cresswell’, then I can’t answer as he didn’t record his sources, but you could be right. I’ll dig around
      Matt Pointon


      • Paynsley Hall in Civil War

        Hi Matt,
        I’m still researching Paynsley Hall’s role in the Civil War. Thank you for your reply, but I think the early history authors missed a few references. I list them below. I hope these are of use to you in the future.

        Staffordshire Committee Order Book =SoB. (1644)
        26th Feb 1644 – NS. Paynsley and Caverswall to be assessed whether to keep or not. SoB p57.
        2 &11 March – it’s to be made unservicable. P.62 & 68.
        2 April – “disgarrisoning” to be put into execution. p.87
        2 July – Earl of Denbigh, C-in-C of all Parliamentary forces in 4 Counties, orders it to be re-garrisoned with 10 men.

        1645 May. The Royalist trooper, Richard Simmond’s diary. records Paynsley R (‘rebel’) 50 men in it.

        All the best — Phillip Wheeler

        Editor’s note: Paynsley Hall, now demolished, was a large, remote manor between Newton and Cresswell


  5. American Military prescence in Cresswell

    I read with interest regarding the large part Matt undertook in compiling the History of Draycott Parish. Well done Matt. I contributed a section about WW11 in Draycott Parish complete with pictures of the American Military prescence in Cresswell during that period.

    My research involved travelling to the United States to meet US Veterans who had served here during the war. I was able to build up a picture of what it was like for these men.

    I eventually played host to three veterans who visited me here in Cresswell, and like wise I visited two of them in the USA during my trips.

    One of my hobbies was collecting military records of famous US servicemen, and over the years was able to obtain the seperation (demob) record of no other than Clark Gable.. Signing the demob form is Capt Ronald Reagan of the US Air Corp.

    The records of the American presence and local connections can be verified by the fact that the Americans are recorded in old registers held by the parish Council showing that the Yanks provided a Christmas Party for the children of the parish at Draycott Manor CP School in 1943.

    When I obtained the Unit histories of those American Units it had been recorded that the troops from Cresswell had forgone some of their rations in order that the children could have a Christmas Party.

    I’m also aware that amongst school registers held by the Parish Council there are seperate lists of evacuee children recorded alongside their teachers and these people came from Kent.



  6. Draycott family enquiry

    I am researching Sir Philip Draycott, Painsley Hall and William Draycott (born 11th April 1681) descended from Draycotts of Bainsby and Draycotts of Staffs. He was grandfather of Anna Maria Draycott.
    Would welcome any history on Painsley Hall. I read there used to be a painting of the Hall..
    Part of the family split from RC to Protestant – but would like to know the year this took place.
    Has any one information about Susanne Draycott marrying Squire Bartholomew Burkey (Burkett) of Isel Hall, Cumberland?

    Rose Birkett Reynolds (please email me if you can, or press the Reply button above to comment here on the website)


    • Paynsley farm enquiry

      Had someone knock at the door couple of weeks ago asking about Paynsley farm – their ancestors had were linked to it in some way – anyone able to follow it up?
      Maureen Myers


  7. As well as a railway, there were many tramroads in the local area. Tramroads are narrow-gauge lines, often horse-drawn that served industrial concerns. There were several around the New Haden pits and one which stretched the Parkhall Colliery just south of Cheadle that can still be clearly traced.
    Some of these tramroads were really old, predating the railways considerably and one did connect Cheadle with the Churnet Valley, though not at Oakamoor, but between there and Froghall. It was called the Woodhead Tramroad and was built around 1807. It can be traced for its entire route and incorporated a rather spectacular incline plane to get down into the valley.

    Allan C. Baker’s book ‘The Cheadle Collieries and their Railways’ is an excellent place to look if you’re interested in all this and it also covers Foxfield which was built as a colliery line. Alternatively, I have done a lot of research on the topic which I am happy to discuss.

    Regards, Matt Pointon


  8. Does anyone have a copy of the history of Draycott and St Margerats that was written up in the 60’s or 70’s.It was written by the rector at the time but was only 4-5 sheets of typed script.I used to have a copy but it has got lost over the years.It contained a lot of information that current historians might find interesting.


    • I have a copy and used it when writing the book. However, some of the scholarship was iffy and annoyingly he never recorded his sources so it’s not as much use as you’d think, although it does stand out as being the first ever written history of the church. Similarly, there was another account written in the 1960s about the Catholic community in Cresswell by a priest but that suffers from the same problems. A fascinating read nonetheless.



      • Matt, any chance of sending a emailing me a copy?

        Also have you ever heard of the the priest hole/tunnel from st margarets to paynsley hall? My mother often spoke of it and I have heard about it from several people. I mentioned it before on this site but had no comments.

        thanks – mick bettany


  9. The Draycott Arms pub displays this sign, which I presume is the arms of the ancient local landowners, the Draycot(t) family. Or is it the arms of the village?

    Draycott Arms pub-sign

    Draycott Arms pub-sign

    Does anyone know what the symbols on it represent?
    There is a cross in the top left corner of the shield, and then, there appears to be blue cross-hatching on a yellow-ish background.
    Oddly, if you go round the back of the pub, there is another version of this sign, but where the colours are all different. What are the correct colours?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Draycott coat of arms

      The coat of arms shown on the Draycott Arms pub’s sign are the arms recorded for a Draycott family in Staffordshire, but the sign is showing the colours incorrectly.
      The arms should be: “Draycott (co. Stafford). Or, fretty gu. on a canton az. a cross patonce ar.” This ‘translates’ as: on a gold shield, a fretty coloured red, with an azure (ie blue) canton on which a silver cross in patonce design [“A cross patonce is more or less intermediate between a cross pattée and a cross flory (or fleury). The ends of its limbs are trifurcated into leaf shapes” – says Wikipedia].

      Draycott was a manor held by the de Verdun/Verdon family of Alton Castle, whose arms were: “Or, fretty gu”.
      A family called “de Draycott” were their tenants. So, perhaps the arms are of these tenants and retainers of the de Verdun family, who adopted some arms based on their feudal lords….perhaps the two families were even related?

      Whatever the answer, its a pity the pub sign isn’t coloured correctly so that the full history of Draycott, with its long association with the de Verdun family can be visually evident. Perhaps the sign will be updated one day – that would be great!



      • Coat of arms correction

        A correction to my previous note: Bertram de Verdun (III) gave to Hugh de Draycott, and his heirs, Newton in the hundred of Totmonslow in the County of Stafford, to be held of the de Verduns. (Newton is within Draycott-in-the-Moors parish).

        Incidentally, Philip, son of Hugh de Draycott, attested the foundation charter of Croxden Abbey, which Bertram founded. It seems the Draycotts attested charters of the de Verdun family over a longer time period than any other family’s members.

        Whilst the Draycotts held land in Draycott-in-the-Moors, it was Draycote in Warwickshire that was held by the de Verduns… my apologies for mixing up the Draycott family, and the Draycott and Draycote places!

        However, the hypothesis for the heraldic connection – i.e. tenant adopting a design of the arms of the overlord, stands. It’s interesting that the neighbouring de Whitmore family who married a de Verdun heiress also (later) had arms with the fretty design – funnily enough the colour-scheme of them was exactly like the pub sign on the Draycott Arms (without the canton), ie gold shield, green fretty.
        The de Audley family, also tenants of the de Verduns, also mirrored their overlords’ design with a shield of red, with a gold fretty (i.e. reversing the de Verdun colours).
        It does appear the phenomenon of tenants adopting variations on the theme of their feudal lords’ arms was not uncommon.

        One last thought – it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the de Draycott family may even have been related to the de Verduns and may even perhaps be a branch that changed its name to reflect where they held their principal estates. The de Wrottesley and de Ipstone families were originally called de Verdun, until they adopted their toponym surname.



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