ellipse about 140 yards in length and 100 yards in width, and had an
area of about 3^ acres, encircled by a vallum from 30 to 40 ft. in
width and from 3 to 4 ft. in height. Outside this was a flat space
forming the top line of the great fosse, which, again, was bounded by
another wall running along the slope of the hill. The entrance to the
enclosure was at the north-west, and was by a narrow roadway
between two raised flanking mounds.
The party then drove through Trentham Park to the Hall, having
accepted the kind invitation of the Duke of Sutherland to take re-
freshments there on their way back to Stoke.
In the evening a conversazione took place in the Town Hall, by
invitation of the members of the North Staffordshire Naturalists' Field
Club and Archseological Society, The visitors were received by the
President of the society (Mr, Wells Bladen).
Mr. W. S. Brough read a paper entitled " Notes on North
Staffordshire," which has been printed above at p. 1.
Mr. T. Blashill, in proposing a vote of thanks to Mr, Brough, said
he had given them a very interesting summary of the early Roman
history of the district, and he had done it in a manner which would,
he was sure, commend itself to their admiration,
Mr. J. Challinor seconded the motion, which was heartily carried.
A large number of interesting views were then thrown upon a
screen by the aid of a lime-light lantern. The views were explained
in detail by Mr. A. Scrivener, who stated that the photographs were
taken by Mr. Thomas Taylor.
On the motion of Mr, W. de Gray Birch, F.S A., seconded by
Mr. Wells Bladen, Mr. Scrivener was cordially thanked for his services,
and the company soon afterwards separated.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONGRESS. 75
TUESDAY, 13 AUGUST.
Soon after 9 a.m., the members set out for Abbey Hulton, where
the foundations of the ancient Cistercian abbey, unearthed some
ten years ago by instructions of the owner, the late Rev. Walter
Sneyd, were inspected.
Mr. C. Lynam explained the result of the investigations, which will
form the subject of a separate paper hereafter.
The thanks of the company were tendered to Mr, Lynam, and, the
inspection being completed, the drive was continued to Milton Station,
where the party took train to Leek. Here they were met by Mr.
W. S. Brough, who conducted them to the parish church of St.
Edward. The chief features of the building were commented upon by
After luncheon at the Swan Hotel, the drive was continued to the
site of Dieu-la-Cresse Abbey, They were conducted by the Rev. W.
Beresford, vicar of St. Luke's, Leek, who read a paper on " A Bit of
Lost History," which will find a future place in the Journal.
The drive was then resumed to Rushton Church, or, the " Chapel
in the Wilderness," the Rev. S. Thomas, vicar, conducting the com-
pany. The unique, primitive character of the interior forcibly struck
the visitors, who expressed themselves much impressed with the
In the evening a meeting was held in the Council Chamber of the
Town Hall, Mr. A. M. M'Aldowie being in the chair. Miss C. S,
Burne read a paper on " Stafibrdshire Folk-Lore," which has been
printed above at pp. 24-33,
A second paper was on "The Conversion of the West and Midlands
of Great Britain," by the Rev, W. S. Lach-Szyrma, D.D., which will
be printed hereafter,
Mr. W. De Gray Birch, F.S.A., Hon. Sec, read a paper entitled
" Historical Notes on the Town and Priory of Stone," by Mrs. Collier.
Stone, the writer stated, was an ancient market town, situated in the
western division of Staffordshire, in the hundred of Pirehill, and in a
valley watered by the Trent. It was built on the northern bank of
that river, seven miles north-west of Stafford. It had its rise in
Saxon times, and was supposed to have derived its name from a heap
of stones, or, according to another tradition, to a stone monument
erected by Queen Ermenilda over the remains of her two sons. There
are fewer British remains in Staffordshire than in any of the other
neighbouring counties, but some Roman remains have been found
76 PROCEEDINGS OFT HE CONGRESS.
near Stone, and the brass head of a Roman venabuluni, or hunting-
spear, at Yarlet, from whence one might gather that the Romans had
at one time or other some residence here, with leisure to follow such
sports as the country round about afforded them. In Saxon times
Staffordshire was included in the kingdom of Mercia. The son of king
Penda, Wulphere, governed the kingdom from a.d. 657 to 676. He
became a Christian, and married Ermenilda, daughter of the Christian
king Erconbert, of Kent. There was reason to believe that Wulphere
had a residence in the vicinity of Stone, and, according to traditions,
it was built at the top of Bury Bank, a short distance from Darlaston,
and now included in the domain of Trentham. When Plot wrote,
there were on the summit of the hill the ruins of a castle, fortified with
a double vallum and entrenchments about 250 yards in diameter ; the
gate at the west, where the side banks on either hand were visible.
The keep was of Saxon structure, built of limestone from the rock.
On the south side was a round conical hill, like a tumulus, cast up
higher than all the rest of the work, and probably the place of. sepul-
ture of Wulphere. At present no traces of Wulpherchester are to be
The names of three of the children of Wulphere and Ermenilda had
come down ; one Wereburga, or Werburgh, became Abbess of
Trentham and Hanbury. She was buried at the latter place, but in
A.D. 875, upon the invasion of this district by the Danes, the religious
fled to Chester, and carried the bones of their saint with them. The
sons were called Wulfade and Rufin, and became martyrs. Wulfade,
one day hunting in a forest near Lichfield, and in pursuit of a stag of
unusual size and beauty, came upon the cell of a holy hermit named
Ceadda, or Chad. The latter first instructed Wulfade and then his
brother Rufin, in the Christian faitli, and baptised them. But his
hermitage being too remote from Wulpherchester, the seat of tlieir
father, they entreated the holy man to remove nearer to them for their
more convenient attendance on him, to receive further instructions
and to be able to perform their devotions together with liim. To this
request of the young princes he readily complied, and took up his
abode in a forest between Trentham and Burston. Hither, under the
pretence of hunting and other diversions in the field, they often re-
paired to him, and became well-grounded Christians. They were very
cautious in their movements, so that their father, who had lapsed into
paganism, and had become a persecutor of the Faith, should not come
to know of their conversion. At length, however, they were betrayed
by one of their father's evil counsellors, and Wulphere, seeking out
the Saint's oratory, surprised liis sons at their devotions, and in his
PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONGRESS. 77
rage and fury, slew Wulfade on the spot. Rutin fled, but was over-
taken at Burwestone, now Burston, and likewise killed Vjy the hand of
his father. St. Chad escaped the fury of the pagan king, and returned
to his cell at Stowe, near Lichfield. The deed done, Wulphere began
to reflect upon his barbarity, and, being tormented in mind, could find
no ease till he repaired to St. Chad, to whom he acknowledged his sin.
He was enjoined by St. Chad to suppress idolatry throughout the
kingdom of Mercia and to establish the Christian religion. Being
thus converted a second time, he became devout and zealous, and gave
proof of his sincerity by building churches and monasteries. The
bodies of the two princes were brought by Queen Ermenilda to Stone.
Here a priory was raised in their memory which, with the stately
abbey of Peterborough, likewise the work of Wulphere, remained to
future ages the monument of his crime and his repentance. In the
western cloister of the latter abbey might be seen painted on the
windows the legend of the martyrs of Stone. Queen Ermenilda is also
said to have built a small nunnery at Stone, and at Burston she
erected a chapel on the spot where Rutin was slain. When Erdeswick
wrote his survey of Staffordshire (1593) it was still standing. Not
many years ago an oak door, with iron clamps and curious lock, was
shown at Burston as having belonged to the chapel ; it has since
disappeared. The blood of the little martyrs became, as it were, the
seed of the Church, for from that hour the Faith took root in Mercia,
and a few years afterwards Chad himself became its bishop, and com-
pleted the conversion of the country. The memory of the local
martyrs has been revived in Stone in the Roman Catholic Church of
St. Dominic, where an altar is consecrated to their honour. The two
panels of the reredos represent Wulfade and Rutin being baptised by
St. Chad and slain by Wulphere.
During the Danish invasion, the inmates of the religious houses fled
and dispersed, but, upon the retreat of the Danes, they seem to have
returned, or the monasteries were refounded, for there could be no
doubt that a religious house existed at Stone at the time of the
Conquest, though much decayed. After the Con(iuest, Enysan de
AValton, who came to England with the Normans and took his name
from the little village of Walton, close to Stone, found only a few
nuns and a priest, who celebrated service in honour of the martyrs.
He slew them, and took possession of their demesnes and left them to
his son. The latter having forfeited them to the king, they were given
to Robert de Stafford. He, out of great veneration for St. Wulfade,
founded in the same place a priory of Augustinian canons, restoring
to them the endowments of the nunnery and increasing their revenues
78 PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONGRESS.
with other lands. The priory became henceforth the place of inter-
ment of the Staffer ds. At its dissolution the bodies of all the lords of
Stafford were removed to the Augustinian priory at Stafford, in the
hope that tlie house, not being endowed, but supported by the charity
of good people, would be spared, and so the bodies have rested there
undisturbed. It was not so : the rich shrines and other valuables of
the lords of Stafford brought destruction to the Priory ; the fair and
costly tombs were pulled down and buried in a heap of ruins. At the
time of the dissolution the Abbey of Stone was valued at j£119 14s. lie?.
The property Avas granted to one Harper, but soon passed by purchase
to the Colliers of Darlaston and the Cromptons, Wm, Crompton
being a merchant of London. St. Wulfade's Church was a fine speci-
men of ecclesiastical architecture, but it was allowed to fall into decay.
The tower gave way first, and for some time one of the bells, swung on
a large tree, summoned the parishioners to the services. Finally, on
the night of the 30th of December 1749, it fell down, after which an
Act of Parliament was obtained for building the present church. It
did not retain the ancient dedication, but was called St. Michael's. It
was erected at some little distance from the site of the old church, the
position of which might be traced by the tombs of Sir Thos. Crompton
and his wife now in the churchyard, but which stood formerly in the
chancel of St. Wulfade's. When constructing the road at the south
end of the town in 1773, several subterranean passages were discovered
by the workmen, connecting the various buildings of the priory.
At that time a considerable portion of the walls was demolished. A
very small remnant remains, the foundation of a wall and the base-
ment of a pillar, and in the priory house a bit of cloister is still to be
seen. The memory of the site will, however, be perpetuated by the
names of Abbey Court and Abbey Lane given to the adjacent places.
The following notes have reference to the civil war of the seventeenth
century : —
March 19, 1642. William Brereton (Parliamentary army), in
giving an account of the battle of Hopton Heath, mentions that on
March 19, the Sabbath day, he marched from Newcastle to Stone, and
so on to Sandon, and joined Sir John Gill's forces near Salt Heath.
"January 5th, 1643, It is ordered that the weekly pay of Stone,
Darleston, Tittensor, Aston, Walton, Burston, Barleston, Swynnerton,
Stanndon, Copenhal, and Levedale shall likewise be assigned to Captain
Leicester Barbour, for payment of his officiers and souldiers." Stafford-
shire was the scene of many marches and countermarches of the
Royalist forces. A certain Capt. Symonds, an officer of the King's
army, amused himself in his marches by keeping a diary, the following
PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONGRESS. 79
being extracts concerning Stone: — "Thursday, May 22, 1645. We
marched from Draycott to Stone, in the county of Stafford. His
Majestie lay at Mr. Crompton's house. A sweet place, in a fine park.
He a rebel." " Friday, May 23rd. The army rested." " Saturday, May
24th. "We marched to Uttoxeter." The " sweet place " owned by the
rebel, Mr. Crompton, was Stone Park, now a farmhouse, from which
Lord Granville, lord of the manor, takes his title. Lord Granville
Leveson-Gower, youngest son of the first Marquis of Stafford, was
created Viscount Granville of Stone Park, county of Stafford, and Baron
Leveson, of Stone, July 15, 1815, and advanced to the earldom in 1833.
At the outbreak of the rebellion of 1745 a powerful army was soon
organised, which, under the command of the Duke of Cumberland,
marched to Stone, where they remained for some days, to the great
inconvenience and confusion of the inhabitants. They encamped
upon spacious rising ground to the north of the town, called Stone-
tields, in hourly expectation of an engagement, thinking the enemy
would come from Leek, but having had false intelligence of their route,
no engagement took place. The general confusion which was spread
over this part of the country, and in the town of Stone in particular,
at this crisis, would seem incredible to those who had not heard the
details. In fact, there was no real cause for such alarm. The enemy,
Scotch mountaineers who were quite undisciplined, and had never
before taken arms, were soon scattered and retreated to Scotland.
The Common Plot, a piece of ground that was reserved at the time
the commons were enclosed, to secure pasture for a certain number of
industrious people who kept a cow, was occupied by the Duke of
Cumberland's troops. The earthworks thrown up to protect the camp
are still to be seen.
At the close of the eighteenth century Stone enjoyed a considerable
prosperity and increase of trade, owing to the construction of the
Newcastle and Liverpool canal, which flows past the town, and to its
being situated on the great coach road to the north. Thirty-live
coaches passed daily through Stone, and this explains the great
number of public-houses which it possesses. With the railroads the
coaches disappeared, and the traffic on the canal greatly diminished.
Mr. Wells Bladen moved a vote of thanks to Mrs. Collier for her
paper, and remarked that the deep drainage scheme was being carried
out in Stone, and it was quite possible, as a branch was being carried
through Abbey Court, that i-emains of the old buildings might be
Mr. Lynam seconded the motion, which was carried, and the com-
pany then separated.
80 PRO( FEEDINGS OF THE CONGRESS.
WEDNESDAY, 14 AUGUST.
On Wednesday the members, under the leadership of Mr. A.
Scrivener, journeyed to Lichfield and Tamworth. The cathedral was
described by the Dean (Dr. Luckock), who met the party at the north
transept, and perambulated the whole edifice with them.
After luncheon, partaken of at the Swan Hotel, the party went to
Tamworth. Here the parish church of St. Editha, with its Norman
work and numerous tombs, was described by the Yicar.
Mr. Thos. Blashill made some general remarks upon the church.
He dwelt particularly upon the fine but much mutilated monuments,
and with respect to the Eerrers' tomb, said it was a particularly good
piece of Gothic work for the late date of 1572. In the choir they
stood, he said, under what had probably been the central tower of a
Norman church, and there would be similar arches once crossing the
church, as well as the fine Norman arches they saw. It was probably
an aisleless church. In subsequently walking round the church, a
moulding in the western corner of the south aisle and another upon
the doorway were adduced as pieces of evidence relied upon to prove
the fact that the Norman church extended to the west end of the
present building, and the signs here favour Mr. Blashill's idea that it
was an aisleless church.
Mr. Scrivener thought the bases of the pillars of the nave were of a
later character than the pillars themselves.
The party then walked to Tamworth Castle, and Mr. Blashill gave a
history of the castle and its foundation.
In the evening the members assembled by invitation of the Mayor
and Mayoress of Stoke (Mr. and Miss Birks) at a conversazione in the
Assembly-room of the Town Hall. Members of the Corporation and
a few friends were included in the invitations, amongst those present
being the Mayor of Newcastle (Mr. C. H. Hardeman) and the Mayor
of Hanley (Mr. E. J. Hammersley).
Mr. A. Scrivener continued his illustrated description of objects of
interest within tlie county. It is hoped that this lecture, with re-
production of some of the views, may take the form of a separate
paper hereafter in the Journal.
THURSDAY, 15 AUGUST.
The members this day paid a visit to Newcastle, where, by the
courtesy of the Mayor and Corporation, the ancient charters and
regalia were inspected with much interest, the members being received
PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONGRESS. 81
by the Mayor (INIr. C. H. Hardem.-in), the Town Clerk (Mr. J.
Griffiths), and the Borough Accountant (Mr. R. Fenton).
Mr. W. de Gray Birch described the MSS., and made suggestions
for their safe preservation.
On the motion of Mr. H. C. Compton, seconded by Mr. G. Patrick,
a vote of thanks was cordially passed to the Mayor and Corporation
for their courtesy.
In acknowledging the compliment, the Mayor said the suggestions
which had been made with regard to the preservation of the ancient
charters and maces would be borne in mind by the Corporation.
The members then proceeded to the Roman Camp at Chestertonj
where Rev. T. W. Daltry read a paper which will be printed hereafter.
An ancient crucible, which had been recently found here, was exhibited
by the owner.
The members then visited Heleigh Castle, whei^e a paper was read,
to be printed further on in the Journal.
The journey was then continued to Market Drayton, where luncheon
was partaken of at the Corbet Arms Hotel. Afterwards the members
proceeded to Hawkstone Park, where Mr. Daltry read a paper upon
the history of the Red Castle, prepared by Mr. W. Phillips, of Shrews-
bury. With regard to the ruins themselves, it was explained that
there were so few remains that one could form but an imperfect notion
of the original character of the castle. In outline it was an irregular
oblong, 500 ft. from north to south, and 300 ft. from east to west.
The principal object of interest in the ruins was a lofty circular tower
or keep, cut for about 40 ft. in the solid rock, and continued upwards in
masonry of different periods to a height of over 100 ft. from its
base. Immediately under the tower is a circular well, 10 ft. in
diameter and 105 ft. deep, known as tlie Giant's Well. The defensive
works can be traced along the top of several of the rocks that bound
The Rev. T. W. Daltry presided at the evening meeting, when Miss
Edith Bradley read a paper on " The Story of St. Chad."
Mr. W. de Gray Birch, F.S.A., read a portion of his paper on " The
Newly-recovered Charters of Burton-on-Trent Abbey," which it is hoped
may be printed hereafter.
Mr. Thos. Blashill read a paper on " The Ancient Arrangement for
the Tillage of the Common Fields," a subject which he dealt with in
The Rev. W. Beresford afterwards submitted a paper, entitled "A
Bit of Lost History." The suUstance of the paper was an account of
the life of a typical Moorlander, William of Cheddleton, whose turbu-
82 PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONGRESS.
lent actions were coupled with a wonderful amount of bravery and
cunninw Under Edward II he was one of the most lawless of
characters, appearing, however, always to have taken the side of his
weaker neighbours against the stronger ; but under Edward III he
seems to have x-eformed, and to have acted heartily in concert with the
King, by whom he was trusted to choose archers and horsemen for the
wars in Scotland and France.
FRIDAY, 16 AUGUST.
The members, under the leadership of Mr. Wells-Bladen, this day
visited Chartley Castle. The company assembling on the mound of the
keep, Mr. A. Scrivener, of Hanley, read a valuable paper on the
history of the place, which will be printed hereafter.
On the motion of Mr. Blashill, seconded by Mr. Patrick, a vote of
thanks was accorded to Mr. Scrivener.
The company then drove back to Uttoxeter, and, having partaken of
luncheon at the White Hart Hotel, proceeded to Alton, Alton Towers,
and an ancient British camp. The ruins of the old fortress of the
De Verduns on the precipitous cliff opposite the railway station were
also visited. Leaving Alton, the party were taken to the ruins of
Croxden Abbey, which was described by Mr. Lynam.
Before the company left, the members were hospitably entertained
by Mr. and Mrs. T. Wood, of the Abbey Farm, who very kindly pro-
vided tea and refreshments.
Another drive brought the party to Checkley, where they were met
by Archdeacon Lane, the Rev. E. Phillips, (vicar). General Wrottesley,
and Mr. J. W. Phillips, who kindly offered tea in the schoolroom, after
which the party inspected the pre-Norman crosses in the churchyard.
The vicar expressed the opinion that these crosses originally marked
a preaching-station prior to the erection of the church.
The company then drove thx'ough Tean to Totmonslow, where they
took train to Stoke, arriving soon after seven o'clock.
At the evening meeting, Mr. Charles Lynam presided. Mr. C. H.
Oompton read notes on Croxden Abbey, which have been printed
above, at pp. 48-52.
Mr. Birch referred to the sad neglect of the abbey, observing that
many of the stones would not be standing a very much longer period.
He suggested that efforts should be made to put it in order under
careful supervision, so as to preserve what remained.
Mr. Wells- Bladen moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Compton for his
interesting paper, and to Mr. Birch for hjs warning as to the effort
PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONGRESS. 83
which ought to be made to prevent the further decay of tlie remains of
the abbey, whicli should also be applied to Chartley Castle and other
Dr. Phene seconded the motion.
Mr. Lynam said it did not do to assume that the abbeys were built
at the time they were founded, as the monks were not always able to
erect the buildings as soon as they commenced their labours. With
respect to Oroxden Abbey, it was private property, but still there
was no reason to suppose that steps could not be taken for securing
the remains from further decay.
The resolution was adopted.
Dr. Phene next read a paper, which was entitled " Some hitherto
little noticed Earthworks in Central Britain," which it is hoped will be
SATURDAY, 17 AUGUST.
On Saturday the members visited the Wedgwood Institute and
other places of interest.
The Congress being ended, about a dozen members had the pleasure
of seeing the remainder off by the London train in the afternoon. On
Sunday morning they visited the parish church, and again met some
of the members of the Local Committee, who afterwards invited theni
to partake of tea.
The good offices of the Local Committee were again shov/n by two
members calling early on Monday morning with invitation to inspect
the works of the Spode and Copeland China Warehouse, where the
whole system of manufacture was shown in detail. The members
were struck with the workrooms, where girls from the age of ten and
upwards were employed, some modelling, others colouring by hand the
china that was ready ; and the general demeanour and tidiness every-
where shown, and the skill with which the brushes and pencils were
handled, seemed to the visitors to lay the foundation of a School of
Art which they hoped Kensington or local influence could perpetuate,
and so bring out in future years the native-born talent of many of the
juveniles employed. The tidiness and elegance of the young girls were
also noticed, both in their hairdressing and clothing. The Messrs.