Ellastone is a small village with approximately 350 inhabitants in central England on the Staffordshire side of the river Dove, between Uttoxeter and Ashbourne.
The village dates back to Anglo Saxon times and features in the Domesday Book, where it is listed as Edelachestone, Elachestone and Princestone (after the great Prince James who fought in the battle of Ashbourne (1066) against the marauding Bainbridge hordes of the Northern territories). Ellastone (and the earlier versions of the name) is thought to be named after an Anglo-Saxon named Aethelac or Ethelac. Read a potted history of Ellastone here – 1000 Years of Ellastone
There is some fascinating information about Ellastone on Staffordshire Places website.
There was a copper smelting mill in Ellastone in the late 17th Century. The mill was built, or modified from an existing building in 1660-1 and was owned by Sir Richard Fleetwood, who owned Calwich Hall and Wooton Lodge. Read John Robey’s fascinating article here, published in the Bulletin of the Peak District Mines Historical Society, Vol 12 Nr4, Winter 1994.
Ellastone Parish Hall
The Hall was opened in 1910 on a site given by local landowners, the Bromley-Davenports. The driving force behind the project was Colonel Bertram Heywood of Wootton Lodge (part of the Heywood family of Doveleys.) He was a soldier, and an architect by profession.
We have a lot of information on the opening of the Hall, including a full report from the
Ashbourne News Telegraph which, in those days, was a comprehensive and accurate source of local information.
Not only was the Hall built to the very highest standards of the time, it was actually a piece of social engineering. In his speech at the opening, Col. Heywood emphasised the importance of having a local facility like this – somewhere for people in Ellastone and the other local communities to meet up and socialise. Otherwise how would it be possible for younger and future generations to resist the lure of the cities?
After more than 100 years, mobility of people has probably increased 100-fold, but Colonel
Heywood would no doubt be very pleased that his creation is alive and well and still seeking to respond to social change, e.g. by the planned installation of the internet connection. Further reading on the Parish Hall is to be found here.