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Date:1086 - 2015 (c.)

Description:The rural village of Anslow is situated on the low Needwood Forest plateau about three miles north-west of Burton-upon-Trent. Until 1861 it was a township of the parish of Rolleston. The place name derives from the Anglo-Saxon female personal name, Eanswyth, and means “Eanswyth’s woodland clearing”. It has been variously known as Ansley, Aunsley and Annesley at different times in its history.

It is disappointing that Anslow does not occur in the Domesday Book of 1086. However there is reference to it in a royal charter to Burton Abbey dated 1008. It has been suggested that the lands belonging to Anslow and indeed other settlements around Burton, were in fact recorded in the Domesday Survey under entries for other places. The settlement of Anslow formed part of the lands of Burton Abbey but these lands were tenanted to Ralph of Anslow in the early 12th century. Later in the 12th century about 1180, the Abbot of Burton granted the Abbey’s lands in Anslow to the Toke family, a powerful Norman baronial family Following the death of Robert Toke in 1369, the manor descended through a number of ownerships. The lordship of the manor possibly ended up with the Williams family, who acquired the Anslow Estate by the mid 19th century.

In 1327, eight people were assessed for the poll tax in Anslow. By 1532, 19 families were recorded there. By the time of the Hearth Tax assessment of 1666, the constablewick of Anslow was quite a sizeable place. A total of 29 households were assessed as liable for the payment of the tax. A further 20 households were considered too poor to pay. There were, however, no very large properties, the most substantial houses being recorded as having only two hearths. One of these is likely to have been The Thatched Cottage in Main Street. At the 1831 census the population was 302 and a hundred years later in 1931, only 344. At the last census of 2001, 669 people were recorded in the village.

In 1850 a church, dedicated to Holy Trinity, was built at Anslow Gate at the sole expense of Sir Oswald Moseley to serve the farming communities in the vicinity. It was designed by Henry Stevens of Derby in the neo-Norman style. The church was assigned its own district chapelry in 1861 when it effectively became Anslow’s parish church. A chapel of ease or mission church was later built at Anslow itself in the early 1890s at the expense of Sophia Moseley of Rolleston Hall. This has now been converted to a private house.

Wesleyan Methodism became established at Anslow Leys in 1804 and a chapel was built subsequently in 1808. The Wesleyan Society at Anslow was much the largest in the area after Burton and Tamworth. Primitive Methodism became established in 1824 and a chapel was opened in 1828. A new Primitive Methodist chapel was built in 1897. Both chapels are now demolished.

Farming and its related trades were the predominant industry in Anslow. By the later 19th century some men were also taking up occupations in the nearby town of Burton in the brewing industry. Conversely, however, in 1950 over 30 came to work in Anslow from Burton, most probably as agricultural labourers. Brick-making was also in evidence in the village in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

There may have been relatively early provision for education in Anslow as a schoolmaster is recorded there in the 1780s. A school for infants, supported by Sir Oswald Moseley, was in existence in the 1840s and was later replaced by a new and bigger building, now a private house. The present school in Anslow, the Moseley County Primary School, was opened in 1909.

For further and much more detailed information about Anslow’s history, see Anslow: The History of A Staffordshire Village by Colin Owen (privately published,1995). See also The Victoria County History of Staffordshire, Volume 10, Tutbury and Needwood Forest (Institute of Historical Research, 2007). Both books are available for consultation at the William Salt Library, Stafford.