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History of Newchapel

Newchapel, a village with nearly 5,000 inhabitants, and spread over some 200 acres, lies much to the north of the county, between Tunstall and Mow Cop.

In 1086, William the Conqueror ordered a census to be taken throughout England, listing all the landowners and their possessions. Two local villages mentioned in the now famous Domesday Book for Staffordshire, were Thursfield (Turoldesfeld) and Normacot. It was stated that: "Richard the Forester holds Turoldesfeld, from the King, and Nigel de Stafford holds it from him. There is one virgate of land (30 acres of pasture) for two ploughs, of which there is one, with two villeins (serfs) and one cottager. The wood is one league (mile) wide and as much long. It is worth 10 shillings, area about 153 acres. Apparently the name originated from the Scandinavians, who invaded England at that time.

At about the year 1185, 12 frankpledges of Tunstall were staked out, with Chell, Wedgwood, Stonecroft, Stadmorslow, Brieryhurst and Thursfield all belonging to Adam de Audley (1212), who had aquired them as a wedding gift. The rent to be paid for the 12 amounted to 15s-4d per annum. On his confirmation, the rent of Thursfield was given to the Church. (Hence tithes which only disappeared in the 1930s.)

In 1348 John Adams was at Thursfield, and this name probably existed in Newchapel until the 1930s.
Even at this early time there is mention of coal and ironstone being mined by outcrops in this area, and cottages were erected for the workers. In 1560 some of Audley's land passed to the Sneyd family, and remained in their hands until the 19th and 20th centuries.


The earliest mention of New Chapel, a chapel of Wolstanton parish Church, was about 1288, the present church - the third to be erected - being replacement for its predecessor by reason of severe mining subsidence. The church is believed to be the oldest established in the northern part of the city.

There are many old gravestones in the extensive burial ground, including that of James Brindley, the famous canal engineer. James Brindley was interred in 1772, after living at Turnhurst Hall. Some historian could probably establish the Manor House in its original form in connection with this period. The old Grammar School, situated opposite the Grapes Inn, was established as a result of Dr Hulme's foundation in 1714, and survived until 1880, when it was transferred to Tunstall. Courts were held at the Grapes Inn from 1834 to 1841, railways appeared in the 1860s, from which time coal mining began in earnest.

Both Harriseahead and Newchapel had their own collieries by the early 1900s, the fuel being carted by horse to the Newchapel Station, and that from Brayfords to the wharf at Packmoor, thence to the Biddulph valley line or to Birchenwood chemical and gas works. From this time the Heath family controlled the coal industry until the 1920s.

In the late 19th century church schools came into being, pupils paying twopence per week for their education. These were superceded by the Board schools with free education for all. There were four inns at Newchapel many years ago - the Royal Oak, Manor House, the Rising Sun and The Grapes - but today only The Grapes is still in existence.

The Wesleyan Chapel and Sunday School have for the past 100 years been a centre of social activity for many of the ancient village's population.

(Source of information)