CANWELL, an extra-parochial liberty, in the union of Tamworth, S. division of the hundred of Offlow and of the county of Stafford, 5¼ miles (S. W. by W.) from Tamworth; containing 27 inhabitants, and comprising 260 acres of land. In 1142, a priory of Benedictine monks was founded by Geva Riddell; it subsequently went to decay, became a poor cell for one monk, and was granted to Cardinal Wolsey by Henry VIII. towards the endowment of his two intended colleges. In Queen Mary's time, the manor was held by the Bishop of Exon; more recently it became the property of the Lawley family, by whom was built the spacious and beautiful mansion, Canwell Hall, at a cost of £60,000.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.