Abbots Bromley

Abbots Bromley

infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Abbots Bromley
latitude= 52.818
longitude= -1.881
shire_district= East Staffordshire
shire_county= Staffordshire
region= West Midlands
os_grid_reference= SK080245
post_town= RUGELEY
dial_code= 01283
postcode_area= WS
postcode_district= WS15
constituency_westminster= Lichfield

Abbots Bromley is a village in Staffordshire, England. It is famous for the annual Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. It is also the home of one of the Woodard Schools, Abbots Bromley School for Girls (formerly known as the School of S. Mary and S. Anne). The parish includes Bagot's Wood the largest remaining part of the Needwood Forest and Blithfield Reservoir.

Phil Drabble's Goats Lodge nature reserve is there.


The first historical record of the village dates from 942, when the manor of "Bromleige" was given to Wulfsige the Black. The will, dated 1002, of Wulfric Spot, Earl of Mercia, gave the village to the Abbey of Burton upon Trent. There is some evidence that the current settlement was a planned town - there is evidence of burgess plots, a grid pattern of streets and a wide market place. Abbas Bromley is recorded in the "Domesday Book" of 1086-7 as "Brunlege", when it was part of the land of St Mary of Burton. [cite book| last =Williams | first =Ann | authorlink = | coauthors =G H Martin | title =Domesday Book: A Complete Translation | publisher = Penguin| date = | location =London | pages =pp. 676; 1303 | url = | doi = | id = | isbn =9780141439945 ]

In 1227, a weekly market was confirmed by Royal Charter at the site of the Butter Cross (recorded in 1339, the present structure said by Pevsner to date from the 17th Century), which survives to the present. The current, triangular market place is now grassed over and serves as a village green and the focus for events on Horn Dance Day.

The village remained affiliated to the Abbey till the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1545. Henry VIII gave Bromley Abbatis to Sir William Paget, Clerk of the Signet and Privy Councillor. The village was known as Paget's Bromley for several centuries, (distinguishing it from the part of the parish in the hands of the Bagot family, still known as Bagot's Bromley) but eventually the influence of the Paget family declined, and the name reverted to Abbots Bromley.

Despite being an agricultural centre on account of its market and fairs, Abbots Bromley enjoyed some industrial success - in the 16th century it was a major centre for glass manufacture [Citation | last = Crossley | first = DW | title = The Performance of the Glass Industry in Sixteenth Century England | journal = Economic History Review | volume = 25 | issue = 3 | pages = 421-433 | date = 08 | year = 1972 | url =] . In 1606 it gained a grammar school, now Richard Clarke First School founded by a bequest from local citizen Richard Clarke who had achieved success in London.

The church spire, destroyed by lightning strike, was rebuilt in a classical style in 1685.

Despite nineteenth century efforts to connect the town to the expanding railway network (the North Staffordshire Railway received an act of parliament to build a branch line from Stowe-by-Chartley which was never taken advantage of). Abbots Bromley remained comparatively isolated and in decline, losing its market, fairs and economic status.

By the 1950s the village faced economic decay and an ageing population. It was also comparatively late in receiving mains electricity and gas services. More recently it has become a dormitory settlement for surrounding urban areas such as the West Midlands conurbation and Derby. There has been some new development as well as the restoration of historic buildings, with a Millennium Hall perhaps the most noted recent example.

The village has a large number of listed buildings, and its historic core has conservation area status, reflecting its pre-industrial townscape. Of these, the half timbered Church House, The Goats Head Inn (claimed to be the original town hall) and the Schoolhouse (Richard Clarke's 1606 Grammar School) are some of the most noteworthy.


Abbotts Bromley has a village cricket club ( [| ABCC] ) that has 1st XI 2nd XI and an U15's XI.


* [ Abbots Bromley web site]

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