In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Cannock like this:
CANNOCK, a village, a parish, a subdistrict, ancient forest, and two railways in Staffordshire. The village stands adjacent to the Walsall and Stafford railway, near Watling-street, 7¾ miles NNW of Walsall; and has a station on the railway, a post office‡ under Stafford, public rooms, a banking office, and fairs on 8 May, 24 Aug., and 18 Oct. The public rooms were erected in 1862; and include a large hall for lectures or concerts, a room for magistrates' meetings, and a reading room. ...
The making of edge tools is carried on. The parish includes also the townships of Cannock-Wood, Hednesford, Leacroft, Huntington, and Great Wyrley. Acres, 10,775. Real property, £12,158. Pop., 3,964. Houses, 749. The property is much subdivided. Much of the surface is part of the ancient forest; and partakes its character of moor and mineral. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lichfield. Value, £185.* Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield. The church was repaired in 1859. Dr. Sacheverell was for some time incumbent. The vicarage of Great Wyrley is a separate benefice. There are an Independent chapel, a Wesleyan chapel, and charities £30.-The subdistrict contains also two other parishes, parts of two more, and an extra-parochial tract; and is in the district of Penkridge. Acres, 22,583. Pop., 8,773. Houses, 1,674.-The ancient forest bears the name of Cannock Chase; extends to the vicinity of Bednal, Lichfield, and the Trent, with an area of about 25,000 acres; and was anciently a hunting-ground of the Mercian and the Norman kings. It long was covered with wood; but is now bleak, moorish, and wild; yet is so rich in coal and ironstone as to have been much encroached upon both for mining and for cultivation. Large portions of it present the attractions of a hill country; and some spots have ancient standing-stones, supposed to be Druidical. Castle Hill in it is crowned by an ancient, British, double-trenched camp of 8 or 10 acres; and commands a good view. A place, called the Old Nunnery, at Radmore, near Castle Hill, was the site of a Cistertian Abbey, founded in the time of Stephen, and soon transferred to Stoneleigh in Warwickshire.-The two railways are called the Cannock Mineral and the Cannock Chase railways. The former was opened in 1859, and goes from the Walsall and Stafford at Cannock to the Trent Valley at Rugeley. The latter is in four parts, authorised in 1860, 1862, 1864, and 1866; is aggregately 21½ miles long; and goes to Wolverhampton and Hednesford.
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 Cannock 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 Cannock and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Cannock, in Cannock Chase and Staffordshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 25th May 2013
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