Eccleshall in 1841
Eccleshall is in the northern division of Pyrehill hundred, 7 miles north-west of Stafford. The manor belonged anciently to the bishop of Lichfield, and is called Ecleshelle in Domesday, where the owner is termed Episcopus de Cestre, Bishop of Chester, the see having been just before moved from Lichfield to Chester, where however it remained only a short time. The bishops had a mansion here, which in the reign of John was by the king’s licence made an embattled castle. It was garrisoned by the Royalists in the civil wars of Charles I, and stood a siege before it was taken by the Parliamentarians : it was subsequently repaired, and is still the bishop’s residence. The town is on a gently rising ground, on the south bank of the river Sow, and consists of well and regularly built houses. The church is a large ancient building. There is an Independent meeting-house. The area of the parish is 20,930 acres, divided into twenty townships, and one chapelry (Chorlton) : the population in 1831 was 4,471 : the town division contains 1,850 acres, with a population in 1831 of 1,285. The market is on Friday; and there are four yearly fairs for sheep, cattle, and horses. The living is a vicarage, of the clear yearly value of £170, with a glebe-house, in the archdeaconry of Stafford and diocese of Lichfield. There were in 1833, in the whole parish, eight day or boarding and day schools, with from 207 to 227 children of both sexes ; besides a day and Sunday national school, with 221 children daily, and 297 on Sunday, and two Sunday-schools, with 72 children.