On this page you will find: 
∙ A list of reference books and websites about this district’s history
∙ A list of the history articles 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

Blythe Colour Works archive – saved!
Was there coal in Draycott Colliery?
Anthony Draycot – religious zealot
Some of Draycott’s History mysteries
Find the past in Draycott’s parish registers
The grave of Mary Bagnall – a sad tale of long ago
Walk back into Norman 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
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.

16 responses to “History

  1. 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)


  2. Wartime evacuees

    The VE Day events across the country reminded me of the evacuees who were sent to Draycott. Fortunately, the records at Draycott Manor Primary were saved, and show list/s of children and their teachers who came from Kent at the time.

    From what I recall of the notes, Draycott children were on the normal register, with the kids from Kent on a separate register. Again from my memory, some of the notes referred to the children and the US Troops based in Cresswell at the time throwing a Christmas party. I have seen a document from the US Archives …… giving the same account.

    My cousin, now almost 85 years old, who lived in South East London, was one of the lucky ones, because she came to stay with my Grandma in Uttoxeter Road in Blythe Bridge. She recalls going to the then Blythe Bridge Secondary School.


    PS – The then Blythe Bridge Secondary was on the site that is now The William Amory School, opposite the Co-Op. Around the early to mid 1950s children from Blythe Bridge were transferred to Moorside/Cellarhead while Blythe Bridge High was being built.
    The old Forsbrook Infants School was demolished years ago. It was next to the St Peter’s Churchyard,just behind the Co-op.


  3. 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


  4. 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


  5. 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.
    Anyone in the village like to take the role of guide?

    My contact is levisonwoodsnr@yahoo.co.uk

    Lev Wood, Hon Secretary


  6. 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


  7. 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.



  8. 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


  9. 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


  10. 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


    • Dr Healey's history

      I remember the booklet you refer to. It was written by Rev’d Dr. Charles W Healey…a man of great distinction in his own right. There’s a memorial headstone near to the east end of St Margaret’s… as he was buried in his home town of Harrogate I believe.
      Nigel Peake


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