History of the Village
At the conquest of England by William, Colton was given to two Norman Barons as reward for their service. Part was given to Earl Roger of Shropshire whose tenant was a Knight called Azeline and the other part was given to Robert of Stafford whose tenant was Geoffrey. Azeline’s descendents were the Mavesyn family and Geoffrey de Gastenois’ descendents were the Wasteney family.
The Mavesyn land holdings were around where the present church is and the main part of the present village and also included the smaller Manor of Little Hay. The holdings of the DeWasteney’s extended from the village itself to an area running down to the River Trent where the mill was situated.
In 1235 Sir William D’Wasteney had permission from the King to hold a weekly market at Colton because he could derive an income from market tolls. In 1264 the D’Wasteney’s obtained permission from the King to hunt game and fence in land to stop the game escaping. This land became known as the Old Park. About 1290 the D’Wasteney’s also built a second mill, this time wind powered, on a field known as Hamley where again he could derive fees from the villagers for the grinding of corn.
We have evidence that the Manor that became known as the Church Manor passed from the ownership of Azeline to Fitz Alan and then was jointly owned by the De Colton and Mareschell families around 1177. The Patent Rolls of 1313 confirms that the Mareschell's and the Wasteney’s are joint lords of Colton. The Church Manor then went through inheritance to the Morley family and eventually the Gresley family. The two Manors are combined in 1364 when Thomasine de Wasteney married Nicholas de Gresley .
Throughout this period we have many examples extracted from deeds, Patent Rolls, Manor court records and assize records of events and disputes that went on in the village usually about ownership of land and hedgerows but occasionally something more serious. In 1263 Nicholas de Colton stabbed Adam son of Hereward in a brawl at Dutton and fled for his life to Colton taking sanctuary, as was his right, in Colton Church. The villagers tried to guard the church to secure his arrest but were prevented by Sir William D’Wasteney who connived in his escape!
In 1271 the village itself was the scene of a shocking murder when John, the chaplain of Colton, killed Christina wife of Nicholas de Colton, whilst interposing between him and a stranger. residing at her house. John fled from justice and was outlawed.
There is little visible evidence around the village dating from the medieval period. The only building we have left standing from this period is the church of which the Tower and the present day vestry are the only remaining evidence. The buildings known as Boughey Hall Farm stand on the site of land that was given by the De Wasteney family in 1247 to St. Thomas’ Priory in Stafford where a grange farm was built and the fish ponds still visible there were probably from this period. There is also still evidence showing where the boundary around the Old Park established by the De Wasteney’s .
|A Short History of the Village
People and events that have played a part in Colton's long history. (click here)
|Bronze Age Evidence in Colton
Local finds reveal evidence of Bronze Age activity. (click here)
|Saxon and Norman Colton
What the Domesday book had to say about Colton. (click here)
What we know went on in the middle ages in Colton. (click here)
|The Manors of Colton
Who were the lords of the manor? (click here)
|Colton in the 17th. & 18th. centuries
Some interesting incidents involving Colton residents. (click here)
|Colton in the 19th. & 20th. centuries
Victorian times and Colton through two World Wars. (click here)
Colton now and its hopes for the future. (click here)