The ford, Butterton
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Butterton is a small village in the Staffordshire Peak District of England (grid reference ). It overlooks the Manifold Valley and Ecton Hill, which rises 1,212 feet above sea level. Butterton lies 5 miles east of Leek and roughly 8 miles from Alton Towers theme park. The village is just west of the limestone area, and so is mainly built of local sandstone. It contains a Grade II listed church. In the centre of Butterton there is an unusual ford where the Hoo Brook runs along the village street.
Butterton was served by a railway station which was opened by the Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway on 27 June 1904. The line closed in 1934, and the route of the railway past the station is now designated the Manifold Way, a footpath and cycle route. Butterton is one of the Thankful Villages that suffered no fatalities in the Great War of 1914–1918.
According to the 2001 census, the population of Butterton was 213, with a near equal number of males and females. This was lower than in 1841, where the population was 388. In modern times, most of the houses in Butterton are detached or semi-detached and owner-occupied, with the largest age category being 45 to 64.
The name ‘Buterdon’ or ‘Butterton’ comes from ‘butere’, meaning butter, and ‘dun’ meaning hill, and was given this name as the area had good pasture. Butterton is also known as Butterton-in-the-Peak to differentiate it from Butterton in Trentham parish, near Newcastle-under-Lyme. In the 1850s, a small brook at the foot of the village was a sulphurous spring which was said to be beneficial in scorbutic cases. Although Butterton was in Mayfield parish it was physically separated from the remainder of the parish by nine miles. The parish was enlarged on 1 April 1934 by 205 acres to include part of Bradnop and Cawdry. In 1966, however, the parish broke up into smaller segments, and so now Butterton is a parish of its own.
Ecton Hill, near Butterton, is embedded with the remains of copper and lead mining. It was first used extensively in the mid 17th century; however, there is evidence that mining of the area took place centuries earlier. As a result of the history of mining, there are numerous packhorse routes around Butterton and Ecton Hill which were used to transport copper and lead ore from Ecton to smelting works. In 1881, the main employment was agriculture, with 51 out of 124 inhabitants in this sector (all males). The main employment for women was domestic service.
Although Butterton is a commuter village, in 1986 there were a few shops, such as a butcher's, a general store and a small shop and tea room. There is also an old traditional pub in the centre of the village, The Black Lion Inn, which offers food and accommodation.
On Ecton hillside is the unusual copper-topped house known as The Hillocks which was built in 1933 by Arthur Ratcliffe, the MP for Leek. When first constructed the property had two storeys with a flat roof, but this leaked water badly and so another storey was added.
St Bartholomew's Church
The small village primary school closed in 1979, as there were too few pupils to attend. The nearest primary school today is in Warslow (3 miles away); public transport is funded by the county education committee. There is a secondary school in nearby Leek, to which transport is also provided. The former primary school building has now become the village hall.
Culture and community
The Butterton Wakes takes place every August bank holiday Monday to celebrate the birth of St Bartholomew. It has been running for 100 years and is organised by the Butterton Wakes Committee. It takes place in St Bartholomew's Church and the Village Hall, and all the money raised goes towards upkeep of the village hall and church. The village also has regular events such as the Christmas Silver Band concerts, the Harvest Supper and afternoon teas in the church.
- Historic England. "Church of St Bartholomew (Grade II) (1374586)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- Cooper, J.; Dodson, J.; Stewak, S.; Wilson, M. (2010). "Butterton". Peak District Online. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- "Parish Headcounts". Office for National Statistics. 2001. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- Harbach, Mike (2003). "Butterton". Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- "Accommodation and Tenure". Office for National Statistics. 2001. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- "People". Office for National Statistics. 2001. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- Mills, A. (2003). Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0191578479.
- University of Portsmouth et al. (2009). Staffordshire Place Guide: Butterton. Retrieved on 13.02.12 from http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/place_page.jsp?p_id=7976&st=BUTTERTON
- "Butterton". Staffordshire County Council. 2011. Archived from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- "Staffordshire Place Guide: Butterton". University of Portsmouth et al. 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- "Work and Qualifications". Office for National Statistics. 2001. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- "Shops in Butterton". BBC. 1986. Archived from the original on 12 May 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- "The Black Lion Inn". The Black Lion Inn. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- Mackay, James A. (1986). Sub Office Rubber Datestamps of England & Wales. James A. Mackay. p. 87. ISBN 0906440394.
- "Closure of Buildings". BBC. 1986. Archived from the original on 12 May 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- "Butterton Wakes". BBC. 1986. Archived from the original on 12 May 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- Mursell, G. (2008). "St Bartholomew's Church, Butterton" (PDF). Retrieved 28 February 2012.[dead link]
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