Elford (St. Peter)

ELFORD (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Lichfield, S. division of the hundred of Offlow and of the county of Stafford, 5 miles (E. by N.) from Lichfield; containing 434 inhabitants. It is said to have derived its name from the great number of eels with which the river here formerly abounded. Before the Conquest the manor belonged to Earl Algar, and in the reign of Henry III. was held by William de Alderne, whose descendants continued to enjoy it until the marriage of the heiress of Sir John Alderney with the Stanleys, when the property passed to that family. It afterwards came by a succession of female heirs to the Stantons, Smiths, Huddlestons, and Bowes family, with which last it remained for several generations, and from which it devolved, also by marriage, to the Howards. The parish is bounded on the south-west by the river Tame, and comprises about 1800 acres of highly cultivated land, most of which was open common until 1766; the surface is gently undulated, and the soil a rich loam, mostly arable. Elford Hall is a handsome mansion, erected about 1758. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £13. 6. 8., and in the patronage of the family of Howard; income, arising from 240 acres of glebe, £405. The church is a fine old edifice, and has an ancient stained-glass window, brought from the continent in 1828, representing Christ turning the Water into Wine. A school, now conducted on the national plan, was founded in the reign of James I. by the Rev. John Hill. Two lowes here, evidently sepulchral, were probably the burial-places of the slain in some battle fought during the Saxon heptarchy.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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