In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Rugeley like this:
RUGELEY, a town, a parish, and a sub-district, in Lichfield district, Staffordshire. The town stands on the river Trent, on the Grand Trunk canal, and on the Trent Valley railway, at the junction of the railway to Cannock and Walsall, near Cannock Chase, 9½ miles S Eby E of Stafford; is a seat of petty-sessions; comprises several good streets; and has a head post-office, ‡ a railway station with telegraph, two banking offices, a hotel, a town hall, a church built in 1822, part of an old church, chapels for Independents, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics, a mechanics' institute, an endowed grammar-schoolwith £315 a year, an endowed national school, and charities £181. ...
A weekly market is held on Thursday; monthly markets for fat stock, at Smithfield; and fairson 15 April, 16 June, 21 Oct., and the second Tuesday of Dec. Hat-making was formerly carried on, but hasentirely declined; and there are iron and brass foundries, corn mills, and a brewery. Much business is done alsoin connexion with neighbouring collieries. A celebratedhorse fair is held here every year at the beginning of June. The town and the parish are regarded as mutually conterminate. Acres, 3, 411. Real property, £19,073; of which £4,015 are in mines, and £120 in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 4, 188; in 1861, 4, 362. Houses, 898. The manor was held by the Rudgeleys and the Bishops of Lichfield; went, in the time of Henry VIII., to the Pagets; and belongs now to the Marquis of Anglesey. Hagley Park is a chief residence. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lichfield. Value, £315.* Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield. The p. curacy of Brereton is a separate benefice.The sub-district contains also three other parishes. Acres, 13, 508. Pop., 7, 148. Houses, 1, 535.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Rugeley has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Cannock Chase. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Rugeley and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Rugeley, in Cannock Chase and Staffordshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 28th August 2015
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