The Roman road the Rykeneld Street passed through Wolstanton.
Wolstanton is mentioned in the Norman Domesday book where it is listed amongst the lands belonging to the King. The land consisted of work for 2 ploughs, 14 villeins, 2 bordars and a priest (who had his own plough). Woodland then was measured as being a league by a furlong. When tax had been paid (by Ælfgar before the conquest) then it was set at six pounds.
Wolstanton Church, St. Margaret, is of red freestone. Rebuilt in 1860, it incorporated the layout and substantial elements of the old medieval church that had occupied the same site.
People and places
One of the village's many notable buildings is located on the corner of High Street and Nelson Street. During World War II and for some years afterwards, it was owned by the renowned Carr's Café and was daily frequented by the owners of many Stoke-on-Trent potteries who resided in the village. Ownership then passed to the District Bank (later incorporated into NatWest Bank) and subsequently Barclays Bank. Now it is known as Bank House, and is a retail outlet. A memorial plaque was unveiled there by Staffordshire Police in the summer of 2007 to commemorate the work of Henry Faulds, the fingerprint pioneer, who retired to live in the village and is buried at St Margaret's Church.
The architect Absalom Reed Wood (1851–1922) designed some of Wolstanton's grander buildings, including St Andrew's Church at the top of Porthill Bank and several of the houses along the High Street, just before the Porthill 'border'.
Wolstanton Colliery sunk 1916, originally an iron ore & coal mine located just to the east of the village. Redeveloped in the 1960s, the shafts being deepened to reach the lowermost coal seams produced 1 million Tons in 1963. The towering concrete structures (photo req'd) located at the top of the shafts contained the 3 'Mine Winders' each one 3300 horse power, the shafts at 1265 Yards, were noted as the deepest in Britain and the workings extending further as the deepest in Western Europe. The mine was connected underground with neighbouring Hanley Deep, Sneyd & Whitfield collieries. The Wolstanton Miners largely supportive of the Strike of 1984-85, however despite there being millions of tons of coal (50 years reserves) underground, as a punishment the (Thatcher) Government ordered the mine closure in 1985 and demolished in 1987. Recorded between 1947 and 1985, some 28 Wolstanton Miners were fatally injured (non forgotten by their mates), no pre-1947 record exists. A memorial plaque is located on the approach road to ASDA supermarket and a commemorative 'winding wheel' features the newly opened Marks & Spencer flagship Superstore.
A branch of Asda and the Wolstanton Retail Park now covers the main part of the former mine, and the colliery's former sports field is now—after some not inconsiderable opposition—being redeveloped with housing. A new road (originally proposed in 1978) has been built connecting the A500 with the A527 through the village, following for the most part the old colliery approach road (Grange Lane). Paid for by the developers of the site, Bloor Homes, this road finally opened to the public on 24 January 2008. In April 2012 planning permission was granted for a regional flagship Marks and Spencer store to be built on Wolstanton Retail Park, at 140,000sq ft it will be one of the largest in the UK.
- Dr Henry Faulds (1843–1930) was a pioneer of forensic fingerprinting who retired to Wolstanton.
- Arthur Berry (1925–1994): a playwright, poet, teacher and artist
- James Brindley was a pioneering canal engineer and lived at Turnhurst until his death in 1772.
A remarkable grave is located in the churchyard of St Margaret's. The headstone of Sarah Smith (deceased 1783) includes a short poem written in the first person in which Sarah suggests that she was murdered; 'with half a pint of poyson he came to visit me' and then provides a clue to her killer, 'it was C___s B___w who brought me to my end'.
- Domesday Book: a Complete Transliteration. London: Penguin, 2003; p. 672 ISBN 0-14-143994-7
- "Fingerprinting in detection" (PDF). Strathclyde University. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/M-S-granted-permission-40m-town-store-Wolstanton/story-15849093-detail/story.html M&S granted permission for £40m out-of-town store in Wolstanton