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About the Articles Index
The following represents a list and brief description of all the articles and other items that are currently available at this website.

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Landscape

The Lost Lake of Stonnall
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
The Lost Lake of Stonnall
Julian takes a close look at the landscape around Stonnall to determine how Lynn received its name

This paper is intended to show that the roughly rectangular piece of land that is enclosed by Wall Heath Lane, Lynn Lane and Mill Lane at Stonnall in Staffordshire was the site of a lake.
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The Stonnall Mysteries
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
The Stonnall Mysteries
Julian takes us on a tour of the village and its neighbourhood, pointing out its historical features one by one

This paper is intended to identify a number of mysteries associated with Stonnall and its immediate neighbourhood. As we will see, a number of these mysteries may well be related to each other, whereas others form a loose association based on their proximity in the area.
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The Lost Lanes of Stonnall
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
The Lost Lanes of Stonnall
Julian identifies various unmarked, unrecognised and lost features of the landscape

This paper has a number of purposes. As its title implies, the intention is to identify various lost features of the local landscape. However, this investigation is not limited simply to the identification of, for example, the thoroughfares that have been lost because of the effects of recent housing developments, or that have fallen into disuse because of the prevalence of motorised transport. Whilst that ground will surely be covered, there are other matters which should be taken into consideration.
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The Stonnall Tree at Grove Hill
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
Grove Hill, Stonnall
Julian investigates Grove Hill and suggests a solution to the mystery of its solitary tree

For decades, the solitary tree at Grove Hill, Stonnall, has been the cause of endless fascination and speculation among residents, visitors and passers-by alike, to the point in which it has long since acquired iconic status.
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Old Stonnall

Memories of Old Stonnall
by Gordon Mycock
Memories of Old Stonnall
Gordon recalls the features, people and places in 1930s and 1940s Stonnall

I was born in Lynn in 1929 and I continued to live in Stonnall until 1957 when I got married and moved to Shire Oak, where I have been ever since. These are my personal recollections of Old Stonnall.
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Stonnall in the Old Days
by Alan and Pamela Ramsell
Stonnall in the Old Days
Alan and Pamela recall the features, people and places in 1940s and 1950s Stonnall

Alan Ramsell was born at Fighting Cocks Farm, Cartersfield Lane, Stonnall on August 5, 1935. Pamela Ramsell (née Lee) was born at the Wooden House (the Bungalow), Druid Heath, Stonnall on October 1, 1940. They have lived in the village ever since. These are their recollections of life in Stonnall.
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Historical Investigations

The Lost Chapel of St Peter
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
The Lost Chapel of St Peter
Julian assembles all the documentary and archaeological evidence that points to the whereabouts of the chapel

In 1769, the former Curate of Shenstone, the Reverend Henry Sanders compiled his History and Antiquities of the Parish of Shenstone. At that time, Stonnall was a component part of the parish and thus his account contains a considerable amount of detail relating to the village and its neighbourhood.
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The Royal Oak Photo
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons, with Pauline Blakemore
The Royal Oak Photo
Julian pins down the people and purpose of this early 20th century photo

In the early 20th century, a photo was taken outside the Royal Oak public house in Upper Stonnall, in which a number of adults and children are depicted.
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The Wake, the Stone Cross and the Chapel
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
The Wake, the Stone Cross and the Chapel
What was Stonnall Wake? Where was the village's stone cross? What about its Chapel of Ease? Julian investigates with this detective story

This paper will seek to establish links between three features of Stonnall history that are all now lost. These are: Stonnall Wake, which was an annual village festival that seems to have been abandoned in 1939; a stone cross, which was located somewhere in the middle of the road in Upper Stonnall; and St Peter's Chapel, which was Stonnall's late-mediæval place of worship.
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The Lost Stonnall Hoard Mystery
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
The Lost Stonnall Hoard Mystery
In 1824, a grave and hoard were found in Stonnall. What became of them?

On February 12, 1824, while digging away some earth in order to extend a rickyard, some labourers came across a grave at a depth of 6 feet that had been fashioned out of the sandstone subsoil.
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The Mystery of the Hill Fort
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
The Mystery of the Hill Fort
Julian assembles all the evidence relating to the hill fort at Castle Hill, Stonnall

The hill fort located at Castle Hill, Stonnall presents us with a substantial mystery that can be circumscribed by the following questions: who built it, when was it built and why was it built?
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The Language of Local Place-names

Echoes from the Past
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
Echoes from the Past
Julian presents some ground-breaking research on the ancient district, field, road and water-feature names in and around Stonnall

In this paper, we will explore the origins and meanings of some of the place-names that are associated with enclosures, roads, lanes, streams and districts, as recorded in maps of the Stonnall area and other documents.
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Interactive

History Fun Quiz
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
Quiz
So you think you know Stonnall History, huh?

Test your knowledge against this multiple-choice quiz of 20 questions.
Take the quiz...

Solve the Riddle
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
Quiz
Solve this riddle against the clock

Unscramble this tile game to reconstruct the name of our favourite subject matter.
Play the game...

Slide Show
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
Quiz
Twelve of the best images

Many of the pictures in this slide show are explained in this website's articles and news pages.
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Comment on Anything
by You
Comments
For when you have something to say

Comment on any aspect of this website and Stonnall History.
Comment...

History from the Records

Stonnall Women's Institute - The War Years
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
Stonnall Women's Institute - The War Years
Julian examines the records of Stonnall WI to discover what was taking place in the Second World War

From its origins in Canada as an offshoot of the Farmers' Institute in 1897, the British Women's Institute commenced activities on September 11, 1915, as a means to engage more women in food production in rural areas during the First World War. The Women's Institute in Stonnall was formed in 1927 and has been operating continuously ever since.
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The Stonnall Pages
by Rev Henry Sanders BA
The Stonnall Pages
Rev Sanders describes the Village of Stonnall as he knew it in the mid-1700s

The following pages are extracts from The History and Antiquities of Shenstone by Reverend Henry Sanders. These pages represent his impressions of the village of Stonnall as it existed in the mid-1700s.
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The Pinglefield Murders
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
The Pinglefield Muders
Murder most foul in Shenstone in 1929

The incident took place on Thursday, April 18, 1929, at Pinglefield Cottages, Streetway Lane, Shenstone. It resulted in the deaths of four individuals, including two men, one woman and one child.
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Church History

St Peter's Church, a History to 1973
by Rev T J Ward-Davies MA BSc AFIMA
St Peter's Church, a History to 1973
Rev Ward-Davies takes us through the history of the church on the occasion of its 150th anniversary

In December 1821, the Vicar of Shenstone, the Rev James Hargreaves MA and his churchwardens drew up a petition in their endeavour to build a Chapel of Ease at Stonnall for the 700 inhabitants of the Parish of Shenstone who lived in the hamlets of Little Aston, Upper and Lower Stonnall, Lynn, Thornes, Hilton and the Bosses at distances from 2 to 5 miles from the Parish Church.
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Rev James Downes
by Eric Fisher
Rev James Downes
Eric's biography of the first Vicar of Stonnall

The first we learn of Revd James Downes is from A History of Walsall Wood by Arnold Merrett. The Governors of Queen Mary's Grammar School, Walsall had caused to be built a schoolroom in Walsall Wood, to which in 1829, James Smart had been appointed Master. Sunday services were held in this schoolroom and we are told that Revd James Downes travelled from Burton-on-Trent to conduct these services in the early 1830s.
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The First Vicar of Stonnall
by Rosemary Graves with additional material by Katherine Haworth
The First Vicar of Stonnall
Another view of Rev James Downes, from a family perspective

As far as I know, I am one of four great-great-grandchildren of Rev James Downes, the first Vicar of Stonnall, and it was a great privilege to visit St Peter's recently.
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John Mellor Remembered
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
John Mellor Remembered
Julian recalls a man who played a significant role in the history of Stonnall and Shenstone

For a period in the early to mid-19th century, John Mellor (b 1786) was the bailiff and estate manager of the Manor of Shenstone.
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The Church Clock and Bell
by Tony Horton
St Peter's Church
Tony investigates the history of timekeeping at St Peter's Church

Having fallen into a state of disrepair, the clock at St Peter's Church, Stonnall, was fully renovated in 2008. It now keeps good time and strikes the hours accurately.
Read more...

Stonnall Artists

Vic Nicholls
by Mary Freer
Vic Nicholls
Mary remembers her artist father

Vic was born Victor Harold Nicholls in Aldridge in 1910. He was the eldest of seven siblings. He showed artistic promise from an early age. His mother kept a postcard depicting some sheepdogs that he painted at the age of 5.
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Alan and Peg Heywood
by Keith Heywood
Alan Heywood
Alan Heywood was a very talented illustrator and Peg was active in Stonnall WI for many years

My father was born in 1916, in Chadderton, near Oldham in Lancashire, the only child of working class parents, David and Jane Heywood. Though reasonably bright at school, financial pressures meant that going on to grammar school was never an option.
Read more...

People and Places

The Stonnall GI Bride
by Dot Smith
The GI Bride
Dot recalls when she met and married an American soldier during the Second World War, how she moved to the USA and what followed.

I was born in Penkridge in 1923 as Dorothy Maud Besant. When I was little, I stood out because of my very red, curly hair. The family spent some time in Footherley, but I was just a few years old when we settled in Rileys Cottages in Hilton in the Stonnall area.
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Gordon Mycock, an Appreciation
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
Gordon Mycock
Julian remembers a friend who was there from the beginning of Stonnall History Group

Gordon Mycock was born in Lynn in December 1929 to Joseph and Frances (née White) Mycock. When the original batch of council houses were built in Cartersfield Lane in 1938, the Mycocks were among the first residents of the new development.
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On the Road - working on the M6 and Aston Expressway
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
On the Road
Julian remembers his work experience on the construction of the M6 and Aston Expressway motorways

It was early 1968 and I had to all intents and purposes finished the course for my GCE 'O' Levels. I was 17 years old, feeling a bit restless and keen to move into the adult world of full-time employment.
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Micky the Vicarage Cat
by Julian Ward-Davies BA Hons
Micky the Vicarage Cat
A slightly sordid story about a somewhat scurrilous specimen

The story of Micky the Vicarage Cat begins, not in Stonnall, but quite far away at St Werburgh's Vicarage, Burslem. It was there that Tim was the family pet cat, whose bed was a hatbox in a rather cosy cubbyhole next to the kitchen fireplace.
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The Vicar - My Kind of Clergyman
by Cllr David Smith
The Vicar - My Kind of Clergyman
David recalls his personal impressions of Rev T J Ward-Davies

The Vicar of Stonnall looked out over his silver framed glasses and gave that mischievous twinkle of the eye. "Well it may be that the Virgin Mary had been a naughty girl, but what does it matter?" The Rev. T.J.Ward-Davies had been the Vicar of Stonnall since 1956.
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My Time in Stonnall
by Linda Gerwinat
My Time in Stonnall
Linda describes her early life in Stonnall

I moved to North Manor House on 27th May, 1957, one day before my eighth birthday. My parents, grandparents and a selection of family pets, made the move from Four Oaks. I remember that the move was instigated by my grandmother, who would have moved on a yearly basis, given the option.
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