History

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 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

Thirty years of the A50
Blythe Colour Works archive – saved!
Was there coal in Draycott Colliery?
Anthony Draycot – religious zealot
Some of Draycott’s History mysteries
Mysterious end for Draycott rector Sept 2014
Draycott’s most ancient yews
Missing ‘t’ at Draycott Arms August 2013
Draycott Photo: Grave for babies  July 2013 
Find the past in Draycott’s parish registers
The grave of Mary Bagnall – a sad tale of long ago
Walk back into Norman history
500 years of the ‘Draycott Dole’ May 2012
Augustus Pugin stained-glass at St Mary’s, Cresswell  April 2012
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
The Draycott Horse-Races
Fox-hunting in old Draycott

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 message box at the bottom of the page.

14 responses to “History

  1. Just a correction to my letter (above, ‘St Mary’s in the 1840s’) about the organist of St Mary’s church. She was Mary Bucknall, NOT Bagnall.
    Dian Montgomerie Elvin

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  2. 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

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  3. 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)

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  4. 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?
    Sincerely,
    Dian Montgomerie Elvin

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  5. 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

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    • 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

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      • 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

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  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)

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    • 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

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    • 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

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  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

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  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.

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    • 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

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      • 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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