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Hanley, Staffordshire

Historical Description

Hanley, a market-town, a township, and a municipal, parliamentary and county borough in Staffordshire. The town stands near the Trent and Mersey Canal, 1½ mile NE of Stoke-on-Trent, and 2 miles E of Newcastle-under-Lyme, and has a station on the North Staffordshire railway, and a head post office. It is one of the most prominent of the pottery towns, and includes all Hanley township and most of Shelton township. It was made a municipal borough in 1857, under a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 24 councillors, and acquired further rights of market trust in 1863, under lease from the lord of the manor. The parliamentary borough was constituted in 1885, and includes the municipal borough of Burslem. The town-hall contains the municipal offices and a large assembly-room. The market-house was erected in 1831. At the rear of the town-hall, at one time known as the Queen's Hotel, is a large assembly room called the Victoria Hall, capable of seating 2700 persons, in which are held the musical festivals for which North Stafford has become famous. All the public buildings, including the higher-grade schools opened in 1894, are lighted by electricity, as well as the principal streets of the town. The electric light works are in the hands of the corporation. Land has been purchased in three different parts of the town-that is, in each ward, east, north, and south-for parks, but one only at the present has been laid out, that being in the south ward, which comprises about 90 acres, a portion of which will shortly be thrown open to the public. The Public Free Library in Pall Mall, opened in 1887, has reference and lending libraries, newsroom, museum and science class-rooms; the Potteries Mechanics' Institution, founded in 1826, is now amalgamated with the Free Library. Hanley contains also a Government School of Art, established in 1837, public baths, a theatre, and three covered markets for meat, fish, and vegetables. In Pall Mall, opposite the theatre, there is a commodious building, erected in 1894, in which are what is known as the Central and Lyric Halls, which are let for public entertainments. The town is a seat of county courts and petty sessions, and the borough has a commission of the peace and a court of quarter sessions. The town publishes three daily newspapers and a weekly. Markets are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays, cattle markets on Tuesdays, and a hiring fair on 11 Nov. A great trade is carried on in the manufacture of china and earthenware, and there are extensive ironworks and collieries. Under the Local Government Act of 1888, Hanley was constituted a county borough. The parliamentary borough contains 3629 acres; population, 86, 945. Area of the county and municipal borough, 1768 acres; population, 54, 946.

There are five ecclesiastical parishes-Hanley, Hope, Wellington, Shelton, and Northwood. The livings of Hanley and Shelton are rectories; of the other parishes, vicarages-all in the diocese of Lichfield; net value of Hanley, £550; of Hope, £310; of Wellington, £342; of Shelton, £237; of Northwood, £320. Patrons-of Hanley, trustees; of Hope, Wellington, and Northwood, the Crown and the Bishop of Lichfield alternately. The church of St John the Evangelist, Hanley, was founded about 1737, rebuilt in 1788, and restored in 1885; it is a plain, Gothic brick edifice (population, 4763). Hope ecclesiastical parish was constituted in 1845 (population, 6723). Holy Trinity Church, a building in the Norman style, was erected in 1848. Wellington ecclesiastical parish was constituted in 1845 (population, 12,275). The church of St Luke was built in 1854, and enlarged in 1878. Shelton parish was constituted in 1843 (population, 12,767). St Mark's Church is a fine Gothic edifice, erected in 1834. Northwood was constituted an ecclesiastical parish in 1845 (population, 10,211). Holy Trinity Church was erected in 1849. There is also a church At Etruria in the north ward of the borough. All Saints at Joiner's Square, and St Judes in Berrisford Street, are both an the south ward, the latter of which is attached to the Stoke parish church. There is also a very fine Roman Catholic church built in 1892. There are Congregational, Wesleyan, New Connexion Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist chapels, and a synagogue for Jews.

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 
Civil parishStoke upon Trent 
Poor Law unionStoke-upon-Trent 

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

Church Records

Findmypast, in association with the Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent Archive Service have the Baptisms, Banns, Marriages, and Burials online for Hanley

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Hanley 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 Hanley 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:

Villages, Hamlets, &c

CountyCity of Stoke-on-Trent
RegionWest Midlands
Postal districtST1
Post TownStoke-On-Trent