Stirchley: Local government

Page 192

A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1985.

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In 1284 or 1285 the abbot of Buildwas claimed the right to hold courts at Stirchley. (fn. 1) The pleas and perquisites of the abbot's court there were valued at 6s. 8d. in 1291 (fn. 2) but no court records survive. No courts were held at the time of the Dissolution. (fn. 3) Buildwas abbey withdrew Stirchley's suit from Bradford hundred court on acquiring the manor c. 1243 (fn. 4) but by 1590 Stirchley was again making suit to the hundred court. In that year it was presented for not using the pillory and for having no lock on the pound or stocks. (fn. 5) In 1612 the tenant of Stirchley Hall, considered in the 15th and 16th centuries to be a member of Dawley manor, owed suit to the manor court of Great Dawley when he was summoned. (fn. 6)

The parish had two churchwardens in 1612 but only one in the later 18th century. (fn. 7) The appointment of an overseer was recorded from 1766. In the 19th century the number of unpaid parish officials increased, two overseers being appointed annually from 1837 and a road surveyor from 1839. The offices were filled largely by the small group of tenant farmers on whom the bulk of the rates were levied. For most of the 19th century the day-to-day administration of parish affairs fell to a salaried official. From 1814 to 1823 Edward Blocksidge of Dawley held the combined posts of overseer, churchwarden, and surveyor at an annual salary of £14. Blocksidge's appointment ended in 1823; in 1838 a new salaried post of assistant overseer was created. (fn. 8)

Only a small number of poor families were supported by the parish during the late 18th century, no more than four paupers receiving a full year's weekly pay in any one year between 1766 and 1800. The overseers also bought clothes, medical treatment, and fuel for the poor and assisted towards their payment of rent, and the poor rate was occasionally used towards the upkeep of the parish roads. In 1785 a family of children from Stirchley was lodged in Dawley poorhouse. (fn. 9)

Stirchley was in Madeley poor-law union 1836- 1930. (fn. 10) The parish was a member of Wrekin highway district 1863-81 but reverted to maintaining its own roads between 1881 and 1895 when it was placed in Shifnal rural district. (fn. 11) In 1934 the north-west side of the parish was transferred to Dawley urban district, to which the rest of the parish was added in 1966. (fn. 12) Stirchley was within the designated area of Dawley (from 1968 Telford) new town from 1963 and the district of the Wrekin from 1974.


  • 1. Eyton, viii. 120; cf. Collect. Topog. et Geneal. i. 118.
  • 2. Tax. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 260.
  • 3. P.R.O., SC 6/Hen. VIII/3006, m. 8.
  • 4. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 57.
  • 5. P.R.O., SC 22/197/96; Staffs. R.O., D. 593/J/10, ct. r.
  • 6. S.R.O. 513, box 13, deed of 1612.
  • 7. L.J.R.O., B/V/6, Stirchley, 1612-1708; S.R.O. 1345/1.
  • 8. S.R.O. 1345/48, 60, 62.
  • 9. Ibid. /48.
  • 10. V.C.H. Salop. iii. 169-70; Kelly's Dir. Salop. (1929), 4.
  • 11. S.R.O., q. sess. order bk. 1861-9, p. 127; Orders of Q. Sess. iv. 252; S.R.O. 1345/60, 62; V.C.H. Salop. ii. 217.
  • 12. V.C.H. Salop. ii. 217, 227 n.