Hamstall-Ridware (St. Michael)
HAMSTALL-RIDWARE (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Lichfield, N. division of the hundred of Offlow and of the county of Stafford, 5½ miles (E. N. E.) from Rugeley; containing 391 inhabitants. The parish is bounded on the south by the river Trent, which separates it from King's-Bromley; and comprises 2959a. 1r. 27p., the soil being generally fertile, partly a rich loam and partly of lighter quality. The surface is mostly flat, with some rising ground, and the low lands are watered by the river Blythe, which flows through the parish into the Trent. The ancient manor-house, formerly a splendid mansion, of which the gateway-tower is still remaining, is now occupied as a farmhouse; adjoining the gateway is an exploratory tower fifty feet high, commanding an extensive view over the surrounding country. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 1. 0½., and in the gift of Lord Leigh: the tithes have been commuted for £268, and the glebe comprises 33 acres. The church, an ancient structure in the decorated English style, has some remains of stained glass, and numerous interesting monuments to the Combermere and Egerton families; a marble tomb erected over the remains of fourteen brothers and sisters of the same family; and a tablet to the memory of the Rev. Thomas Alastree, "who was a minister 54 years, composed 500 sermons, and preached 5000 times." A school was erected in 1809; and there are several benefactions for the poor. In cleansing a ditch near the church, a very ancient silver sacramental cup was found.