On this page you will find: 
∙ A list of reference books and websites about this district’s history
∙ A list of the history articles published on this website
∙ Your comments about the area’s history
∙ The stories of the men and women whose names are on the Draycott War Memorial

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.
The district covers the village of Draycott, plus the hamlets of Cresswell, Totmonslow, Brookside, Draycott Cross, Stonehouses and Newton, plus the ancient Paynsley estate site, and also the locations of Bromley Wood and the old Draycott Cross/New Haden colliery site (now better known as Huntley Quarry / Huntley Wood). Historic (lost) settlements include Niwetone and Lufamesles.

Railway line, at Totmonslow

Old railway line, at Totmonslow before the tracks were pulled up

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 were cleared in 2012 and the route is now used as a greenway.  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.

Books & websites about the area’s history

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‘ sold out in 2017.  However, extra copies can still be ordered via Lulu, the online publishing site .

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 – (see above)
# See history works at St Margaret’s History Publications
# ‘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.
Matt has also uploaded some short videos looking back at the history of the village:  Draycott History: Blythe Fields  ;  Draycott-en-le-Moors History: The Origins of Draycott   ;   Draycott History: The Mystery of the Manor Houses

Some articles on this website about the area’s history

#Heritage sites
Paynsley Hall ruins placed on English Heritage ‘at-risk’ register
History of Leese House Farm
Cresswell’s ancient water-meadows

#Religious history
Three Guides to St Margaret’s Church – republished
750 years of St Margaret’s Church
The Chimes Mechanism of St Margaret’s
Mysterious end for Draycott rector
Anthony Draycot – religious zealot
Draycott’s most ancient yews
Draycott Photo: Grave for babies
Find the past in Draycott’s parish registers
Draycott’s Anglican parish registers (1538-1900) go online
The grave of Mary Bagnall – a sad tale of long ago
500 years of the ‘Draycott Dole’
Dominic Barberi – nineteenth century missionary in Cresswell
Augustus Pugin stained-glass at St Mary’s, Cresswell

#War history
The Draycott War Memorial – our Great-War Dead     (More on Sergeant Philip Bagnall … died 1915)
The Draycott War Memorial – our WW2 Dead
Draycott’s Remembrance Anniversary
American Army in Cresswell

#Medieval history
The Warrilows of Paynsley
Walk back into Norman history
The ‘Hundred’ of Totmonslow
The Heraldry & Patonce Cross of the Draycott Family

#Industrial history
Draycott’s railway tunnel
Thirty years of the A50
New Haden Colliery         
Was there coal in Draycott Colliery?
Blythe Colour Works archive – saved!

175 Years Of Colour Making in Cresswell

#Memories & nostalgia
Some of Draycott’s History mysteries
Missing ‘t’ at Draycott Arms
OLD PHOTO:  Blythe Colours Car Rally
Bird In Hand pub
The Draycott Horse-Races
Fox-hunting in old Draycott
Draycott History Mysteries


A Brief Account of Draycott on stokeuk
Recent History of Draycott – on the BBC Domesday Project
Draycott le Moors A guide to the County’s Archive Holdings, on staffordshire.gov.uk
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
Draycott Archives at Staffordshire Record Office
Archive References to Draycott – on county council website
The History of Draycott (the archived website)
The ARCHI archaeological sites database – Saxon & medieval finds
An Account of Draycott in the Moorson county council website
Eastern Staffordshire History Lab researching the history of seven parishes, including Draycott-in-the-Moors – organised by the VCH

Gravestone Inscriptions at St. Margaret’s Church – downloadable for £3.
Graveyard Inscriptions for Draycott in the Moors for  both St Margaret’s Churchyard and Cresswell St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church Graveyard
Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish Register transcripts 1669-1900 – downloadable for £5.50.

Your Comments

Further down this page, see comments on the area’s history.
If you too have comments about the history of Draycott-in-the-Moors, Draycott Cross, Newton, Cresswell or Totmonslow, please use the Comments box at the bottom of the page.

24 responses to “History

  1. Pennyfather family

    I am researching the Pennyfather family of Barton Under Needwood and would welcome any help in establishing if the Rev William Pennyfather, who was curate at Draycott between 1576 and 1610, when he died, was related to the families in Barton. Essentially I need to establish who he married and when, and who his parents were and if possible who were his children.
    If anyone can help or point me in the right direction to take this forward I would be extremely grateful.
    Peter Ellis


  2. I am an old resident now living in Cornwall.
    Reading about Margaret Draycot, whose husband was Anthony Babington, executed in the seventeenth century for support of plot to kill Queen Elizabeth and put Mary Queen of Scots on throne.
    Margaret was from Paynsley near Cresswell.
    Does anyone have any info about her? Any info.
    Rosemary Jones


  3. Here’s a query from the Blythe Colours History Group. We are based at Cheadle History Centre. Can anyone help with an answer?

    “…I wonder if you are able to throw some light on the claim in old Blythe Colours literature – which is, that colour making started in Cresswell in 1870.
    I have established that the firm of Pigott & Scarratt were almost certainly not there until probably around 1881, but two other names appear in directories for 1872-1880 with the indication that they were colour makers.
    However, earlier directories indicate that another fellow, John Docksey, was a colour maker and flint grinder at Cresswell in the period 1860 to1868. In the 1861 census, he is however only indicated as a “flint grinder” at Cresswell Mill. He then disappears from the directories, only to return in 1884 as a flint grinder at Cresswell …. but in the 1871 and 1881 censuses is described now as a “colour manufacturer”!!! In these two censuses he is living in the Blythe Bridge/Forsbrook area – not at Cresswell.

    One other matter that is not quite certain is the date of the Wildblood take-over of the Pigott & Scarratt business. Info that I have indicates either 1908 or 1910. I would fancy the 1908 date – as otherwise I would have expected Pigott & Scarratt to feature in the 1908 directory.
    Unfortunately the Wildbloods do not appear to have inserted their details in any of the directories immediately after their take-over.
    Is it possible that there were two operations working next to each other?

    Any information you might have would be much appreciated….


  4. The Bagnall family of Cresswell and Draycott

    Hi, is there a ebook version of ‘A History of the Parish of
    Draycott-en-le-Moors’ available?
    Not sure if it’s worth buying a paper copy and having it posted to Australia.
    And… can you tell me if it mentions the Bagnall family of Cresswell and Draycott?
    Thanks, Michelle Erbacher


  5. Hello,
    Finally making the trip August this year to England on our Family History journey. Looking forward to visiting Draycott, as it was home to our ancestors Fairbanks / Warrilows for many years.
    What we are hoping to learn more about is a place called Lees House, which is mentioned numerous times as a residential area for the family back in the 1800’s. Would anybody know the history of this place or where it may have stood back in the day? thank you.
    Nari Fairbanks


  6. Pubs in Draycott

    Can anyone comment on the history of pubs in draycott?
    There are rumors that the house/houses opposite the draycott arms were once public house and I was wondering what truth there was behind this, and how old, it is if truth?
    Lee w


  7. St. Margaret carving

    I recently located a date-stone, carved on the exterior of the church’s nave, dated 1749, which confirms that a major refurbishment took place in St. Margaret’s some three hundred years ago. It’s worth a visit for any eagle eyed parishioners or history enthusiasts!
    Lev Wood (secretary, Blythe Bridge History Society)


  8. 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 Bucknall (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/Bucknall, 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


    • Henry Condell history

      Hi Dian,
      This might be a bit irrelevant but see what you think.
      The ship ‘Skelton’ arrived in Hobart Town in Australia in 1822. Aboard were Henry Cundell (or Condell), Agnes Cundell, Mary Anne Cundell and Margaret Jamison (nee Cundell) with her husband David. All were from Leith. The women were all daughters of John Cundell Esq. of Leith, a brewer who had died in 1810.
      In Van Diemen’s Land, Agnes married Thomas Atkinson and Mary Anne married George Brooks (who also came out aboard the ‘Skelton’).
      In 1836, Agnes and her husband returned to Scotland and with her sisters she appears to have contested her brother Edward’s sole inheritance of the father’s estate. They were unsuccessful. Agnes and Thomas returned to VDL. Edward appears to have come out to VDL in later years and actually died at his sister Margaret’s house in VDL.
      I wonder if Henry Condell was related to the three Cundell women aboard ‘Skelton’? It seems very possible he was a cousin or an uncle? What do you think?
      Mark Rowland


  9. 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


  10. 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


    • Painsley Hall beams?

      The wooden beams in the already listed St Mary’s House (next to Cresswell church) were of interest to the heritage inspector from Historic England.
      My theory is now that some of them are older than the house, and were taken from Painsley Hall, which was pulled down in the Civil War, 372 years ago.
      Fr David Hartley


  11. 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


  12. 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


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