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Needwood, Staffordshire

Historical Description

Needwood, a quondam royal forest and a chapelry in the E of Staffordshire. The forest extended along the river Trent, at the boundary with Derbyshire, and thence westward from the neighbourhood of Burton-upon-Trent; measures 24 miles in circuit; comprised nearly 10,000 acres of rich soil and fine hilly ground covered with natural wood; was anciently divided into five wards, called Barton, Marchington, Tutbury, Uttoxeter, and Yoxhall, and included thirteen parks; was used for hunting, first by the kings of Mercia, afterwards by the kings of England, down to the time of Charles I.; was under the charge of a lieutenant, deputy-lieutenants, a chief ranger, a surveyor, and other officers; underwent considerable alienation and disafforesting at and after the Civil Ware of Charles I.; was extra-parochial till 1801, and was then distributed among the parishes of Hanbury, Tatenhill, Tutbury, and Yoxhall; and is now a beautiful tract, chiefly under cultivation, but containing about 1000 acres of good oak timber and many mansions with large parks. A tree, called the Swilcar Oak, is a noble remnant of the forest, measures 21 feet round the trunk to the height of 5 feet, contains at least 1000 cubic feet of timber, and is celebrated in Mundy's poem of "Needwood Forest." The chapelry of Christ Church has no definite limits, but seems to be practically conterminate with the quondam forest; lies 5 miles S by W of Sudbury station on the North Staffordshire railway, and 6½ W of Burton-upon-Trent; and has a post office under Burton-upon-Trent; money order and telegraph office, Range-more. The manor belongs to the Duchy of Lancaster. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lichfield; net value, £170 with residence. Patron, the Duchy of Lancaster. The church was built in 1808.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyStaffordshire 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Needwood from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Staffordshire is online.


Online maps of Needwood are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Staffordshire newspapers online:

DistrictEast Staffordshire
RegionWest Midlands
Postal districtDE13
Post TownBurton-On-Trent