Staffs Knot Green

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HISTORY

One of the many stories behind the Staffordshire Knot is that a hangman designed it, as he had 3 criminals to dispatch and only a short piece of rope.We need to test that.

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A Short History of South Staffordshire compiled from extracts by William Pitt & Others

Watling Street or The Street-way  (straight line) enters Staffordshire in the west at Crackley-bank then through Weston, by Stretton (Pennocrucium), and crosses the River Penk near the Spread Eagle PH at Gailey (written as Gragelie in the Domesday book). It crosses the Wolverhampton to Stafford Road, over Calf Heath to the Four Crosses Inn, then continues to Norton and Wyrley and onwards to Wall (Etocetum).

There were two Roman Stations on this road; one placed at Wall (Etocetum) and one near either Penkridge or Stretton called Pennocrucium) - unestablished.
Possibilities are at Horsebrook near Roley-hill.

The Saxons arrived in AD449 during the reign of Valentinian and the Romans left the country from 459.
Fighting between Britons, Angles, Saxons and Danes occurred in the years up to AD700. Eventually 7 Saxon Kingdoms were established. (Staffordshire was part of Mercia). Wulferus governed Mercia 657 to 676
The Saxon Heptarchy was divided into hides of land (relating to the cultivated parts). A hide being as much land as one team of oxen could manage in a year (about a hundred acres). Hyde Farm Brewood is an example.
Mercia contained 30 000 hides.
Egbert of West Saxony conquered the other 6 kingdoms and became the first Saxon Monarch.
This heralded the era of castle building - and centuries of warring between Danes and Anglo Saxons.

King Alfred the Great battled the Danish Vikings in many places, eventually setting up a Burghal (or Borough) system of fortified towns. He finally defeated the Danes at Bridgnorth in 895. He proceeded to divide his kingdom into Shires or Counties and into Hundreds and Tythings. This was specified in the Roll of Winchester.
Staffordshire gained its name from Stafford town - adjacent to shallows on the river Sow which could be forded by the help of a staff.
Staffordshire was divided into five divisions known as Hundreds: Offlow, Totmanslow, Pirehill, Seisdon and Cuddleston. The latter is where we reside and nothing but a bridge over the river Penk remains with this name. The Hundreds are thought to relate to a hundred acres or a hide.
Following the Norman conquest (1066) many of the ancient families lost their lands to Norman favourites such as Robert de Stafford. The great barons battled for land and favours. The centuries of Baron's wars, led into the civil wars of Charles the First and the Royalists. Earls and Barons fought according to their loyalties. Stafford castle was ordered to be demolished in 1643.
Charles II escaped from Oliver Cromwell by hiding around Staffordshire - Moseley Old Hall and Boscobel House before escaping to Wales then Normandy. Upon his return in 1669, certain families were rewarded and strengthened.
The division of land into Hundreds was then subdivided into Parishes. Each Parish being a tract of land having a place of worship and united by common interest.
Cuddleston comprised 23 parishes including Brewood, Cannock, Dunston, Lapley, Penkridge, Stretton and Shareshill.

.............to be continued. Return soon to learn about the Littletons, the Legges, the Smythes, the Congreaves and the Moncktons. The spoils of the East Indies and the coming of the canals and railways.




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