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Education and Employment

Medieval Glassmaking in and around Colton

The fact that there were glass furnaces producing high quality glass in the late medieval period in the vicinity is well documented. Much of this activity took place on land belonging to the Bagot family from Blithfield. Most of the glass furnaces were in Bagots Wood but we also know that there were furnaces on Cannock Chase near Wolseley Bridges. There was a plentiful supply of wood on the Chase and also in Bagots wood for use in the furnaces 

We also know that Flemish glass makers came over to work at these furnaces and it appears that much of the glass they helped produce was of high quality. We know that some of it was used to glaze windows in York Minster.

In the last few years a farmer in the Parish of Colton discovered one of these furnaces in a field on his land and a survey by Keele University has shown this too belonged to this period. All around the area there must have been a network of small furnaces involved in glass production. A lane in the next Parish to Colton commemorates this very skilled trade in its name-'Glass Lane' and is reputed to be where one of the Flemish glassworkers lived with his family.

For further info on the Glassmaking Industry in Bagot's Park-

"Glassmaking in Bagot's Park, Staffs. in the 16th. Century by D. Crossley.  University of Sheffield. Copy in William Salt Library Staffs.


More about Education & Employment

  A History of Education in Colton
An account of the various schools that have been established in Colton.
(click here)
  Extracts from the Log Book of St. Mary's School
Many school memories going back to 1864. (click here)
  Employment in Colton
How people have earned a living in Colton through the ages. (click here)
  Farming in Colton
Farming practices in Colton through the ages. (click here)
  Medieval Glassmaking in and Around Colton
The evidence we have of this occupation. (click here)
  The Mills at Colton
An account of the mills that once served Colton. (click here)
  Steam Comes Through Colton
How Colton people found work on the railway. (click here)
  The Canal comes to Colton
Local employment on the canal including the account of a murder! (click here)