A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 7, Leek and the Moorlands. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1996.
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WARSLOW AND ELKSTONES
Warslow, Lower Elkstone, and Upper Elkstone were formerly a township in Alstonefield parish and later a civil parish called Warslow and Elkstones 3,597 a. (1,456 ha.) in area. (fn. 1) The land is mostly pasture. Warslow village on the east side of the parish is the main centre of population, with a smaller village at Upper Elkstone nearly 2 miles to the west. North of Warslow village there is a small estate centred on Warslow Hall. The river Manifold forms the eastern boundary with Wetton and a tributary, Warslow brook, part of the southern boundary with Butterton. The river Hamps forms the western boundary with Onecote, in Leek parish. In 1934 183 a. centred on Herbage in Fawfieldhead were transferred to Warslow and Elkstones. (fn. 2)
Warslow village lies at 984 ft. (300 m.). To the east and south the land falls gently and lies at 662 ft. (202 m.) at the confluence of the Manifold and Warslow brook. Heathland north-west of the village rises to 1,312 ft. (400 m.) on the top of Revidge. Upper Elkstone village stands on the east side of a hill which rises to 1,376 ft. (419 m.). The underlying rock is sandstone of the Millstone Grit series as far east as Warslow village, where it becomes Carboniferous Limestone. On the sandstone the soil is clay or fine loam over clay; on the limestone it is loam. (fn. 3)
Fourteen taxpayers were recorded in Warslow in 1327 and 10 in 1332; a further 10 were recorded separately at Elkstone in 1332. Fortythree people were assessed for hearth tax in 1666 in Warslow and Lower Elkstone and 19 in Upper Elkstone. (fn. 4) The number of people owing suit at the manor court in 1769 was 77 in Warslow and 18 in Lower Elkstone. (fn. 5) A population increase noted in 1784 was chiefly the result of mining at Ecton, in Wetton, (fn. 6) and the township's population was 731 in 1801, 828 in 1811, and 854 in 1821. Mining at Ecton declined in the 1820s, and by 1831 Warslow's population had fallen to 696. Mining in Warslow itself presumably accounted for the rise to 772 by 1841. The population was 715 in 1851 and 720 in 1871. There was a decline to 574 in 1881, 494 in 1901, 464 in 1911, and 419 in 1921. The population was 444 in 1931, 368 in 1951, 357 in 1961, 341 in 1971, 326 in 1981, and 313 in 1991. (fn. 7)
There is a Bronze Age barrow on the northeastern side of Warslow village, with two others further east, and one at Brownlow to the southwest. Three Bronze Age barrows also stand on top of the hill south-west of Upper Elkstone village. (fn. 8) The position of Warslow village on a site from which there are views down the Manifold valley as far as Thor's Cave in Wetton may explain the first part of its name, which is apparently derived from Old English weard, guard, and setl, a habitation. (fn. 9)
There was a church at Warslow possibly by the 13th century and certainly by the earlier 16th century. (fn. 10) The present Greyhound hotel was known as the Greyhound and Hare in 1789, (fn. 11) and by the later 1820s there were two other inns, the Crewe and Harpur Arms and the Red Lion, respectively west and north-east of the church. (fn. 12) They served a village enlarged by 1784 by miners who worked the duke of Devonshire's copper mines at Ecton. (fn. 13) As mining at Ecton declined in the 1820s, some miners presumably transferred to work in mines already opened in Warslow, where mining continued until 1874. (fn. 14) By 1860 the Crewe and Harpur Arms had been reopened as the Grouse, which became a temperance hotel between 1900 and 1904; still open in 1916, it had been closed by 1924, and the Greyhound thereafter was the only village inn. (fn. 15)
The first telecottage in the United Kingdom was opened at Warslow in 1989. Housed in Manifold primary school, it provides access to computers, fax machines, and other equipment relating to information technology, the intention being to enable people to work at a distance from urban centres of employment. Community groups also use the equipment, through funding by Staffordshire county council. (fn. 16) In a further effort to arrest the decline in population, land behind the former Grouse inn was being developed in 1994 by Coventry Churches Housing Association for 16 one-bedroomed flats and bungalows. (fn. 17)
A house in existence by 1515 at Brownhill to the north-east of the village was rebuilt in 1830 as Warslow Hall. (fn. 18) The nearby Upper Brownhill Farm is partly of the 17th century. A cottage which existed by 1600 at Cowlow on the Hartington road east of Warslow Hall was rebuilt as the present farmhouse in 1860. (fn. 19) Ivy House Farm, dated 1742, stands in School Lane, which runs south from the village and formerly continued to Butterton. There was a cottage at Oils Heath west of the village by 1665. (fn. 20) Brownlow Farm south-west of the village was built in 1854. (fn. 21)
Elkstone was recorded c. 1215 as Elkesdon, the name presumably referring to the dun, or hill, south-west of Upper Elkstone village. By the earlier 1440s the name had become Elkstone. (fn. 22) The mention of Over Elkstone in 1272 suggests that there was by then also a settlement at Lower Elkstone; it existed as Nether Elkstone by 1290. (fn. 23) Upper Elkstone was in different ownership from Lower Elkstone, and it had its own church by the 1530s. (fn. 24) Strung out on the hillside, the village had an inn by 1816, called the Cock in 1834; it was closed in 1976. (fn. 25) The site of Hill House south of Upper Elkstone village was occupied probably by 1521 and certainly by 1660. (fn. 26)
By 1444 there was a house called Black Brook in the south-west corner of the township beside a tributary of the river Hamps. (fn. 27) Hill Farm to the east beside a tributary of Warslow brook existed by the mid 17th century, (fn. 28) and the site of Hole Farm further north was occupied probably by 1608 and certainly by 1738. (fn. 29) On the edge of the common waste north of Lower Elkstone there was a house at Averhill Side by the earlier 16th century. (fn. 30)
A road to Ecton crosses the Manifold east of Warslow village, where a bridge was recorded c. 1220. (fn. 31) The road between Cheadle and Buxton (Derb.) via Longnor was turnpiked in 1770, and by 1781 there was a tollgate where it entered the township at Brownlow. A branch to Hartington (Derb.) was also turnpiked in 1770. It ran through Warslow village and then north-east past Cowlow, and by 1781 there was a tollgate east of the village at a place called Dale. (fn. 32) The original line of the Buxton road ran some distance west of Warslow village. In the 1820s Sir George Crewe began to lay out a new line to run along the south and east sides of the village. The new line was sanctioned by an Act of 1833, as was a new line for the branch to Hartington running south of Warslow Hall and replacing the earlier line to Cowlow. (fn. 33) The road was disturnpiked in 1878. (fn. 34)
A packhorse way through Warslow village probably followed the road across Lum Edge mentioned in 1662. (fn. 35)
The Leek & Manifold Valley light railway, opened in 1904, ran through the east side of the township, with a station where it crossed Warslow brook. The line was closed in 1934. (fn. 36)
A horse post which operated between Longnor, Hartington (Derb.), and Leek three days a week in 1829 passed through Warslow, and in 1834 a carrier to Ashbourne (Derb.) also handled mail. (fn. 37) There was a village post office by 1861. (fn. 38) There was a police constable in Warslow by 1844. (fn. 39) A cottage at Seven Chimneys on the west side of the village was a police station by 1871, and it retains part of the original cell with its wooden bed. (fn. 40) A police station and two police houses were built north of the former Grouse inn in the early 1950s; one of the houses was sold in 1993. (fn. 41)
A mains electricity supply was available in Warslow by 1940, but not until 1962 in Upper and Lower Elkstone. (fn. 42)
Love ales were held at Upper Elkstone in 1521 and at Warslow in 1556. (fn. 43) In the earlier 19th century Warslow wake took place on the second Sunday in August, near the feast of St. Lawrence (10 August), the patron saint of the church. (fn. 44) Elkstone had its own wake by 1903, when it was held on the second Sunday in July. In 1947 the date was changed to the Sunday nearest the feast of St. John the Baptist (24 June), the patron saint of the church. (fn. 45) After the closure of the Cock inn in 1976 the Elkstone wake ceased. It was revived by the Elkstonian Society, a group of local people formed in 1978 to preserve Elkstone's heritage. (fn. 46)
There was a brass band at Warslow by 1873. It became a silver band in the early 1950s and still existed in 1994. (fn. 49) Warslow had a reading room by 1884. Still open in 1933, it was then in financial difficulties and was closed probably soon afterwards. (fn. 50) Warslow village hall, designed by the Leek architect R. T. Longden, was opened in 1935. (fn. 51)
The separate recording of WARSLOW in the Domesday Book entry for Alstonefield manor may indicate that it had been a separate estate before the Conquest. (fn. 52) It was part of Alstonefield manor until 1516, when it was bought by John Mundy (d. 1537). (fn. 53)
In 1563 John's younger son Vincent granted what was then styled the manor of Warslow and Longnor to his uncle, John Browne, who was succeeded in 1570 by his son William. (fn. 54) In 1593 William's son John sold the manor to John Harpur, the lord of Alstonefield, (fn. 55) and it again descended with Alstonefield manor. By 1594 the manor of Warslow and Longnor was called a barony, a style already applied in 1592 to Longnor alone. The manor was still styled a barony in 1612, but by 1614 the name was again used only to describe Longnor. (fn. 56)
Warslow Hall, north of Warslow village, was built by Sir George Crewe in 1830 principally for the agent of his Alstonefield estate, Richard Manclark, but also as a summer residence for himself and his family. It stands on the site of Brownhill Farm, evidently Manclark's home by 1826: his initials and that date are on the surviving outbuildings, which are extensive. The Georgian-style house is a rectangular stone block with a north wing, and the main entrance on the east has a Tuscan porch. There is a drawing room and a dining room on either side of the front hall and an office for the agent at the rear. After Manclark's death in 1850 Sir John Harpur Crewe used the house as a shooting lodge, and two service wings were added on the north side. The kitchen wing was removed in 1973; the other wing, containing the servants' hall, survives. (fn. 57) The grounds, 115 a. on either side of the Longnor road, were landscaped and planted with trees in the early 1830s, and there was a grotto by 1835. (fn. 58) Two pools on either side of the road feed a series of small cascades in the steep-sided valley south of the house.
About 1215 Geoffrey Griffin gave to Trentham priory land in Elkstone together with his body for burial. (fn. 59) In 1253 the prior was sued for what was called the manor of ELKSTONE by Adam of Elkstone, and in 1272 Adam's three surviving sisters and the heirs of two others sued the prior for what was called the manor of Over Elkstone. Judgement was given in the plaintiffs' favour in 1272, and the manor was divided into five parts. (fn. 60) The manor covered only part of Upper Elkstone, and in 1272 there was a separate estate of four houses with land, possibly identifiable as the estate in which Maud of Elkstone had successfully claimed dower against Geoffrey Griffin and others in 1227. (fn. 61) In 1337 Maud Basset of Nuneaton (Warws.) granted the houses to Trentham priory, (fn. 62) which later regained possession of the manor: it was holding manor courts by the late 15th century. (fn. 63) At the priory's dissolution in 1537 it had four tenants holding houses at will, probably corresponding to the houses acquired in 1337. The priory's estate evidently comprised six other houses, which were included in the Crown's grant of the priory's land at Elkstone to Sir William Herbert in 1550. (fn. 64) Sir William promptly granted his Elkstone estate to Edward North. (fn. 65) The later descent is unknown until 1605, when Henry Offley of Madeley settled the manor of Elkstone on his son John. It was still confined to the Upper Elkstone area, Lower Elkstone then being part of Sir John Harpur's Alstonefield estate. (fn. 66) Elkstone manor descended in Offley's family, which adopted the surname Crewe in 1708. (fn. 67) In 1778 John Crewe conveyed the manor to trustees, who in 1789 granted it to the duke of Devonshire. (fn. 68) The dukes were still the lords in 1834. (fn. 69) Nothing further is known about the manor.
In 1086 Warslow had 4 villani and 2 bordars with 1 ploughteam. (fn. 70) There were probably at least two open fields in the Middle Ages: the names Smith field and Town field survived in the later 1820s for land respectively south-west and north-east of Warslow village. (fn. 71) In the late 1460s a customary payment of 3d. was made to a man for guarding a gate on the north side of the village, probably to prevent cattle wandering into Town field. (fn. 72) New field west of the village was created in the earlier 1550s, following the inclosure of 240 a. of common waste at the request of cottagers. (fn. 73) At least part of New field was managed as an open field and probably accounted for the 135 a. of arable held by Sir John Harpur's tenants in the Warslow part of the township in the earlier 1630s. (fn. 74) The tenants also held 386 a. of pasture. Freeholders at the same date held 190 a., but the balance between arable and pasture is unknown. There were also 118 a. of common pasture, lying mostly at Brownlow, where the township's bull was kept in 1612, and at Lord's Wood beside the Manifold south-east of the village. (fn. 75) In 1839 open-field land and common pasture totalling 78 a. were inclosed under an Act of 1834 amended in 1836. (fn. 76)
At Lower Elkstone an open field called White field was mentioned in 1595 and one called Town field in 1599. (fn. 77) No open-field land was recorded in the earlier 1630s. (fn. 78) It is not known whether Upper Elkstone had any open-field land.
Rough pasture on Revidge, Swallow Moss, and Lum Edge was inclosed in 1839 under the 1834 Act. Sir George Crewe was allotted 384 a. as impropriator of Alstonefield rectory and 8 a. as lord of the manor, and the vicar of Alstonefield was allotted the remaining 128 a. (fn. 79) At Upper Elkstone 275 a. of common waste were inclosed in 1822 under an Act of 1813. The duke of Devonshire as lord of the manor was allotted 14 a. and the curate of Upper Elkstone 9 a. (fn. 80)
Of the 908 ha. of farmland returned for the civil parish in 1988, grassland covered 742.3 ha. and there were 151.4 ha. of rough grazing. The farming was dairy and sheep, with 1,244 head of cattle and 2,721 sheep and lambs. Of the 38 farms returned, 32 were under 40 ha. in size, 5 were between 40 and 49 ha., and one was between 50 and 99 ha. Woodland covered 8.3 ha. (fn. 81)
A tithe barn in Warslow township in the 17th century probably stood in Warslow village: there was a building called the tithe barn north-east of the Greyhound in the later 1820s. (fn. 82)
There was a mill in Warslow in 1396. It probably stood on Warslow brook south-west of the village, where there was a mill in 1592. (fn. 83) A mill there was still worked in 1834 but seems to have been abandoned soon afterwards. (fn. 84)
There was a mill at Upper Elkstone apparently c. 1215 and certainly in 1272. (fn. 85) Nothing further is known about it.
Trade and Industry.
Lead mining in Warslow, which became important in the earlier 19th century, appears to have been first attempted in 1717 when Sir John Harpur licensed three Derbyshire men to dig in Warslow and at Fleetgreen, in Fawfieldhead. The licence was for 11 years, and Sir John was to take 1/7 of lead ore. (fn. 86) The search was probably soon abandoned, and in 1723 Sir John licensed four other Derbyshire men to dig for lead and copper in Alstonefield parish for 18 years, paying him 1/9 of the ore. (fn. 87) On the expiry of that licence in 1741 Sir Henry Harpur made a new one on the same terms for 21 years to a partnership headed by John Wall and Thomas Fisher, stewards of the Harpur estates respectively in Staffordshire and Derbyshire; his son, also Sir Henry, renewed the lease in 1762. What was believed to be a rich seam of lead ore was discovered in Warslow in 1766. (fn. 88) Productive by 1769, the mine lay east of Warslow village beside the Ecton road and was called Dale mine by 1771. (fn. 89) In 1789 Sir Henry Harpur renewed the lease in favour of Charles Greville. (fn. 90)
In 1800 a group of 25 men, mostly local and headed by John and Peter Dakeyne of Gradbach mill in Quarnford, took a 21-year lease of mines in Warslow, Lower Elkstone, and part of Fawfieldhead. Sir Henry included himself in the partnership, which by 1801 operated as the Dale Mine Co. and apparently still existed in 1811. (fn. 91) Dale mine and a mine at Hayesbrook Gate on the Warslow-Fawfieldhead boundary were the chief workings, and they were included in a lease made by Sir George Crewe in 1823 to a successor partnership, the Warslow Mineral Co. Work at Dale mine at least had ceased by 1832. (fn. 92) With the formation in 1836 of a public joint stock company, the North Staffordshire Lead and Copper Mining Co., the Warslow mines were exploited on a larger scale. Dale mine was reopened, and others were started at White Roods, west of Cowlow, and at Lime Pits, south-east of Warslow village. By 1842 the company employed 20 miners, the number rising to 50 by 1849. (fn. 93) In 1858 a partnership which had taken over from the company in the early 1850s was itself replaced by Dale Mining Co. Ltd., formed in the previous year. (fn. 94) Under the management of Richard Niness, also the manager of mines at Upper Elkstone, the Warslow mines prospered, and in 1863 New Dale mine was opened north of the original Dale mine. The company was replaced in 1868 by New Dale Mining Co. Ltd., which survived until 1874 when all lead mining in the area ceased. (fn. 95)
Copper ore had been discovered at Upper Elkstone by c. 1680. (fn. 96) It was worked, possibly for the first time, from 1730 when mining rights at Royledge by the river Hamps were leased. In 1736 land elsewhere in Upper Elkstone was leased to a prospector for seven years. (fn. 97) Trial digging was still taking place in the late 18th century, (fn. 98) and not until 1849 is there evidence that mines were worked commercially, and then only on a small scale. There were two mines adjacent to each other, New York and Royledge; the former was closed in 1859 and the latter in 1862. (fn. 99)
Two lime pits mentioned in 1679 possibly lay south-east of Warslow village, where there was land called Upper and Near Lime Pit in the later 1820s. (fn. 100) The Warslow Lime Kiln Co. mentioned in 1833 was possibly established to work a lime kiln built that year by Sir George Crewe. (fn. 101) Lime working in Warslow apparently continued until the earlier 1860s. (fn. 102)
Warslow and Lower Elkstone formed a tithing in Alstonefield manor. (fn. 103) By the late 1390s it sent two frank pledges to the twice-yearly view. (fn. 104) In 1499 a 12-man jury for Warslow was empanelled separately from a similar jury for the rest of Alstonefield manor, and in 1500 a separate great court was held for Warslow. It met at Alstonefield, apparently on the same day as the Alstonefield view of frankpledge. In April 1505 the Warslow court met on the day after the Alstonefield view and possibly at Warslow. (fn. 105) Two 12-man juries were empanelled at that court, one for Warslow and the other for Longnor. A separate view of frankpledge for Warslow and Longnor was held by 1525, but it apparently ceased after 1535. (fn. 106) A Warslow great court, however, met in the late 1540s and earlier 1550s. (fn. 107) In April 1594 a view of frankpledge was held for Alstonefield, Warslow, and Longnor, but from October that year a separate view for Warslow and Longnor was held either on the day after or the day before a view for the rest of Alstonefield manor. From 1611 there was a further division, a separate view being held for Longnor on the same day as one for Warslow. That remained the pattern in 1629. (fn. 108) Separate views for Warslow and Longnor were still held in October 1674, but on different days. From 1675 a joint view was held, two frankpledges (by then styled headboroughs) representing Warslow with Lower Elkstone, and one representing Longnor. (fn. 109) In 1697, apparently for the first time, the spring view was held at Longnor. From 1708 it was normal to hold only an autumn view, for which Warslow was the usual venue, although spring views were occasionally held at Longnor. From 1775 there were again spring and autumn views, and Longnor had replaced Warslow as the meeting place for both. The Harpur Arms in Longnor market place was mentioned as the venue in 1790. (fn. 110) The court still met at Longnor when last recorded in 1853. (fn. 111)
It was stated in 1674 that there had never been a pillory in Warslow, but stocks and a whipping post were mentioned in 1686. (fn. 112) An order to set up stocks was made in 1713. (fn. 113) The remains of what may be 19th-century stocks survived in 1994 at the corner of the Longnor road and School Lane. There was a pinfold in Warslow in 1532, and a pinner was mentioned in 1596. (fn. 114) A pinfold whose construction, on the site of a ruined pinfold, was ordered in 1715 probably stood in School Lane: one certainly stood there north-east of Ivy House Farm in the later 1820s. (fn. 115) In the late 1870s a pinfold stood on the north-west side of the village near the former workhouse; it had been removed by the late 1890s. (fn. 116)
Warslow apparently had a surveyor of the highways in 1594. By 1601 two surveyors were appointed at the manor court, one of them probably for Lower Elkstone, as was the case in the later 17th century. (fn. 117)
The prior of Trentham held courts at Upper Elkstone infrequently in the late 15th century but apparently annually in the earlier 16th century. (fn. 118) A court was held by the duke of Devonshire in the earlier 1830s. (fn. 119) The manor apparently formed a constablewick in 1377, and a constable for Upper Elkstone was mentioned in 1728. (fn. 120)
The poor of Warslow, Lower Elkstone, and Upper Elkstone were maintained jointly probably by the later 17th century and certainly by 1750. (fn. 121) There was a workhouse north-west of Warslow village by the later 1820s. The township became part of Leek poor-law union in 1837. (fn. 122)
There may have been a chapel at Warslow by the 13th century, on the evidence of the font in the present church, and part of the shaft and base of a late medieval cross survives in the churchyard on the south side of the church. A chapel at Warslow was mentioned in 1524, and its dedication to St. Katharine was recorded in 1533. A chapel at Elkstone, also mentioned in 1524, probably stood at Upper Elkstone, where there was a church in 1682. (fn. 123)
A grant from Queen Anne's Bounty shortly before 1766 was lost because neither Warslow nor Elkstone chapel had a nominated curate. The chapels were then served by the vicar of Alstonefield's curate, Luke Story, who visited the area frequently 'for a very small subscription', recorded in 1784 as £1 6s. 8d. (fn. 124) The two chapels were served jointly by a perpetual curate from 1785, the patron being the vicar of Alstonefield. (fn. 125) There was a separate benefice for each, and each was styled a vicarage from 1868. (fn. 126) The parish of Warslow with Elkstone was created in 1902, and the benefices were united in 1908. (fn. 127) In 1985 the benefice of Warslow with Elkstone was united with those of Alstonefield, Butterton, and Wetton, although all four parishes remained separate. Alstonefield was made the vicar's place of residence. (fn. 128)
In 1785 Warslow and Elkstone were each assigned a grant of £200 from Queen Anne's Bounty. Warslow received further grants of £200 in 1786, 1790, 1808, and 1813, and Elkstone received similar grants in 1786, 1789, and 1792 and one of £400 in 1824. The money was used in 1826 to buy 31 a. in Longnor as an endowment for both Warslow and Elkstone. (fn. 129) In 1824 Warslow was awarded £1,400 by Queen Anne's Bounty on account of its increased population. In 1825 Elkstone received another £200 grant, and in 1829 a grant of £200 was made to Warslow to meet a benefaction of £600. (fn. 130) By 1832 the endowments comprised the land in Longnor, a 40-a. farm in Ipstones, and 12 a. in Upper Elkstone. The curate's income was then £105 for Warslow and £74 for Elkstone. (fn. 131) There were 104 a. of glebe in 1887, with an estimated rental of £143 3s. (fn. 132) By will of 1897 George Sutton left Black Brook farm to augment the living; it was sold for £1,024 8s. (fn. 133)
In 1590 the curate of Warslow was the tenant of a house in Warslow churchyard. (fn. 134) A house south-west of Warslow village was built in 1829 for the newly appointed curate, Richard Pidcocke. It is a large, stone house with a central porch and Gothick windows. (fn. 135) It was sold in 1982. (fn. 136)
In 1604 Sunday services at Elkstone were taken by Richard Bullock, a reader who was not licensed to preach and who was described as 'a young scholar, going to a grammar school all the week'; his stipend was £1 a year together with 'holiday board'. Henry Smith, also an unlicensed reader, served Warslow at the same date. (fn. 137) Both chapels were still served by readers in the later 17th century. (fn. 138) It is not known whether the perpetual curate appointed in 1785 resided, and when Warslow church was rebuilt in 1820 it was being served by an assistant, William Richardson. (fn. 139) The curate appointed in 1828 (fn. 140) took Sunday services alternately at Warslow and Elkstone in 1830; Communion was celebrated four times a year at each church. There were psalm singers at Warslow in 1820 and at Elkstone in 1830. (fn. 141) They possibly survived at Warslow until an organ was acquired in the mid 1860s. (fn. 142) On Census Sunday 1851 there was a morning service at Elkstone attended by 18 adults and one in the afternoon at Warslow attended by 200, besides Sunday school children. (fn. 143) High Church practices introduced at Warslow by William Hill, vicar 1908-34, were continued by his successor Albert Oliver (1934-60). (fn. 144)
Elkstone chapel had two wardens in 1553. (fn. 145) One of the four churchwardens of Alstonefield parish recorded in 1569 may have been for Warslow and Elkstone, the arrangement in the early 18th century. From the late 1780s Warslow and Elkstone each had its own churchwarden. The wardens presented at the Easter vestry for Alstonefield parish until 1827. (fn. 146) Both chapelries, however, continued to contribute to the maintenance of Alstonefield church. (fn. 147) In 1830 Warslow and Elkstone shared a clerk, who was paid £2 12s. (fn. 148) Warslow church had a dog whipper by the earlier 1720s. He was paid 5s. a year, still his salary in 1827. (fn. 149)
The present church of ST. LAWRENCE at Warslow, so called by 1850, (fn. 150) dates from 1820. Its predecessor was a narrow building, 44 ft. long and 20 ft. wide, which dated at least in part from the earlier 17th century: a stone dated 1631 is on the east wall of the present church. Permission was given in 1784 to insert a west gallery and to repew the nave; the pulpit then stood on the north side of the nave. (fn. 151) The church was rebuilt in Georgian style in 1820, 2 ft. shorter than the earlier building but 7 ft. wider. Of coursed ashlar, it consisted of an aisleless nave with a west gallery, a south door, and a west tower. The communion table stood at the east end of the nave and a combined pulpit and reading desk on its north side; there were pews for the clerk and for the churching of women at the north-east end of the nave. (fn. 152) A chancel, north vestry, and south organ chamber were added in 1908, at the expense of Sir Thomas Wardle of Leek, whose country seat was at Swainsley, in Butterton. The architect was Charles Lynam of Stoke-upon-Trent. The box pews in the nave were replaced with open benches, and a pew for the Harpur Crewe family was provided at the east end of the nave on the south side. Lady Harpur Crewe gave altar furnishings. (fn. 153) Glass by Morris & Co. was inserted in 1909 in the side windows of the chancel in memory of Thomas and Mary Lloyd of the Greyhound and their children. In 1910 the east window was filled with glass also probably by Morris & Co., in memory of Sir Thomas Wardle and his wife. Further Morris & Co. glass was inserted in the centre window on the north side of the nave as a war memorial in 1920. (fn. 154) The present pulpit is dated 1935. A south porch was added in 1970. (fn. 155)
The font dates from the 13th century. Removed from the church at an unknown date, it was reinstated in 1937. (fn. 156) There was a single bell in 1553, besides what was probably a hand bell. (fn. 157) The church of 1820 originally had one bell. It had three by 1850, two of which were destroyed by fire in 1887. The loss was made good in 1906 with the gift of two bells by Mary Lloyd of the Greyhound. (fn. 158)
The plate in 1553 consisted of a silver chalice and paten. (fn. 159) The present plate includes a silver paten of 1751 and a silver chalice of 1784. (fn. 160) A clock made by Francis Abbott of Manchester was installed in the tower in 1837. (fn. 161) Four boards with the text of the Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the Creed date from 1820.
The registers date from 1785 for baptisms and 1791 for burials. (fn. 162)
The church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST at Upper Elkstone dates from the late 1780s. Built of coursed ashlar, it is a rectangular-shaped building with a south door and a west bellcot. It was built 'under the care and inspection' of William Grindon at a cost of £200, of which £140 was raised by a brief and the rest by a levy from the township. (fn. 165) The church has 18thcentury fittings consisting of a pulpit with a sounding board and a clerk's desk, box pews with name plates, and a west gallery originally entered through the west gable. (fn. 166) An internal staircase and a vestry were later added in place of pews at the west end. Royal arms of George III hang over the Venetian east window, and there are boards with the Commandments, Lord's Prayer, and Creed.
No plate was mentioned at Elkstone in 1553, although there were altar furnishings. From the 19th century, and possibly earlier, the church used the same plate as Warslow. (fn. 167) There is a single bell.
The churchyard was enlarged in 1905. (fn. 170)
In 1766 Luke Story, the stipendiary curate, reported that before he began to visit the Warslow area Methodists had made gains there and that he had been very hard on them since. (fn. 171) In 1790 there was a Methodist society with 42 members at the home of Richard Gould of Brownhill. (fn. 172) It still existed in 1811, when a Sunday service was held fortnightly, but no longer in 1829. (fn. 173) A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in Warslow village in 1848, and on Census Sunday 1851 it had a morning congregation of 65. (fn. 174) Primitive Methodists registered a house in Warslow in 1814, (fn. 175) and in 1848 they built a chapel north-west of the village. On Census Sunday 1851 there were attendances of 12 in the morning and 67 in the evening. (fn. 176) The Wesleyan chapel remained in use until 1938, when the combined Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist congregations moved into the former Primitive Methodist chapel. (fn. 177) That chapel was closed in 1992. (fn. 178) In 1994 the derelict Wesleyan chapel was being converted into a house, and the Primitive Methodist chapel stood unused.
There was a Primitive Methodist society at Elkstone in 1857, and a chapel was opened north-west of Upper Elkstone village in 1872. Services continued until c. 1930, and the chapel was demolished in 1955. (fn. 179)
A schoolmaster recorded at Warslow in 1640 was probably also responsible for reading prayers in church: he was described as the curate of Warslow at his death in 1656. (fn. 180) A master who subscribed in 1663 was licensed to read prayers. (fn. 181) Thomas Smith (d. 1730), apparently the curate of Warslow, left £200 to Warslow school, and his trustees nominated the master who subscribed in 1744. (fn. 182) By will proved 1734 Thomas Gould left £2 10s. a year for teaching six poor children, and by will proved 1804 Thomas Grindon left an annuity of £1 10s. also for teaching poor children; about 1807 c. 9 a. were inclosed from the waste to provide funds for the same purpose. (fn. 183) In or shortly before 1819 Jesse Watts Russell of Ilam Hall gave £20 to provide free teaching for poor children. He gave a further £20 in 1820. (fn. 184) In the earlier 1830s the master taught 15 children free in respect of £12 15s. received as rent from the inclosed waste and five children in respect of the legacies of Gould and Grindon. A further 40 children were taught at their parents' expense. (fn. 185) In 1784 the school was held at the west end of Warslow church. A building for it was erected by subscription south of the church in 1788; it was enlarged in 1834 by Sir George Crewe and in 1856 by Sir John Harpur Crewe. (fn. 186) In 1871 there were 72 children on the books. (fn. 187)
The school became a board school after a board had been compulsorily formed for Warslow and Elkstones in 1875. (fn. 188) The school became Warslow council school in 1903 and was called Manifold primary school by 1969. It became Manifold first school in 1980, after the opening in 1979 of a middle school in Warslow. The schools shared premises in a building north-west of the village previously occupied by Warslow secondary school. The first school served Warslow and Elkstones, Butterton, Sheen, and from 1982 Alstonefield; the middle school served Warslow and Elkstones, Hollinsclough, Longnor, Quarnford, and Onecote, in Leek parish. The middle school was closed in 1988, and the first school became Manifold Church of England (C.) primary school. (fn. 189)
A secondary school was opened in 1959 with 210 children on its books, nearly a quarter of whom came from Derbyshire. It was closed in 1979. (fn. 190)
A board school was built at Upper Elkstone in 1880. (fn. 191) It became Upper Elkstone council school in 1903 and was called Cloughside county primary school by 1960. It was closed in 1970 and the children were transferred to Manifold primary school. (fn. 192) The building later became a house.
There was a Church of England Sunday school at Warslow by 1830, and in the earlier 1830s it had 40 boys and 50 girls. A Wesleyan Methodist Sunday school was established in 1833 with 20 boys and 20 girls. (fn. 193) On Census Sunday 1851 there was an attendance of 122 at the Church of England Sunday school; no Sunday school was recorded that day at the Wesleyan Methodist chapel. (fn. 194) A Church of England Sunday school was started at Elkstone in 1865. (fn. 195)
CHARITY FOR THE POOR.
By 1786 William Mellor had left £40 for the poor, but the charity no longer existed in the earlier 1820s. (fn. 196) Also by 1786 John Greensmith had left 20s. a year for four poor widows in Warslow. A distribution was still made in 1883, but nothing further is known about the charity. (fn. 197)