BRERETON, a chapelry district, in the parish of Rugeley, union of Lichfield, E. division of the hundred of Cuttlestone, S. division of the county of Stafford, 1¼ mile (S. E.) from Rugeley; containing about 1160 inhabitants. This district is the south-eastern portion of the parish. The river Trent forms its boundary on the north-east, and the Grand Trunk canal passes through it, communicating by two railroads with collieries of considerable extent belonging to Earl Talbot and the Marquess of Anglesey. The scenery is extremely beautiful, presenting the varieties of woodland, moorland, well-cultivated fields, and hill and dale: a large portion of Cannock Chase is included in the district; the remainder is partly pasture, and partly arable land. The village lies on the road from Lichfield to Stafford, and is distant seven miles from the former, and nine from the latter place; it contains several well-built houses.
The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Rugeley, endowed partly by private benefaction, and partly by grants from Queen Anne's Bounty and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; net income, £120, with a parsonage-house, and nine acres of glebe. The church, named St. Michael's, stands on the brow of a hill by the side of the road; it was built in 1837, at the cost of nearly £1800, and is a cruciform structure with lancet windows, containing 422 sittings, of which 222 are free. Its situation has been happily chosen to set it off to advantage, and it is much admired. A national school for boys was established in 1843, and is supported by subscription; there is also a national school for girls, founded by Miss Sneyd. A boys' day school, established by Miss Birch, was endowed by her with £70 per annum; and the same lady founded almshouses for six poor people, to each of whom she left a perpetual allowance of 4s. per week. This last school and the almshouses are in connexion with the Wesleyan Methodists, who have here a place of worship.