Three Ancient Parishes

Hamstall Ridware;  Mavesyn Ridware and Pipe Ridware are in the County of Staffordshire in the English Midlands.  The Parish of Mavesyn Ridware includes Hill Ridware and Blithbury: Hamstall Ridware includes Nethertown.

This is the website of a society dedicated to the history of these parishes. 

The Mission of the RHS

The Ridware History Society was formed in 1990 by a group of enthusiasts who wished to explore the history on their doorstop.

We are now a thriving group whose aim is to raise awareness of our particular history and to engage the interest of the general public in preserving their local heritage.

Members pursue their interests through a year-round programme of events, which is split into two parts.  During late autumn and winter, a series of talks are delivered, generally by visiting speakers, on diverse subjects.  During late spring and summer, the programme consists of visits to places of historical interest, within easy travelling distance of the Ridwares.

Members who have an interest in research have formed the Ridware Study Group.  Individually and collectively, the members pursue a range of subjects, which explore many aspects of the rich history of the Ridwares.  This involves a wide range of topics from genealogy, education, land enclosure and just about anything into which any individual wishes to inquire.

Ridware History Society is a member of the Staffordshire Heritage Group.

We are delighted that the Society has been awarded an Awards for All lottery grant of £1500.  he grant was specifically to acquire presentation boards and a powerpoint projector.  These will enable us to far more effectively present the results of our research.

The Great War:  During 2013/14, the Study Group agreed to focus on researching the Great War and its impact on the Ridwares.  The men recorded on our villages' war memorials were researched.  We are also finding out more about the men who survived the war.

The Society held a special event on 19th July 2014 when two publications were launched detailing information about each soldier researched:

Ridware Soldiers of the First World War by Helen Sharp

Armitage Soldiers of the First World War by Roy Fallows

Price of each book is £7.50.

If you have any information about a relative who fought in the War, please contact us.

Hamstall Ridware

Mavesyn Ridware

Pipe Ridware

Latest news




6th March:  Roger White, distinguished Archaeologist, gave members a talk about Wroxeter, the 4th largest town in Roman Britain.  Members are hoping to visit Wroxeter on an organised trip during the summer of 2017.
6th February:  Michael Guest spoke to the Society about the Vicars Choral of Lichfield Cathedral.  He told us about the founding of the vicars choral in the 13th century and particularly spoke of them in the 18th century, when there were many eccentric characters.
8th January:  AGM, followed by 'The Beautiful Gothic Window', a talk by Alan Bloor of the Haywood Society about the window from Tixall Hall, which the Society has researched and restored.


5th December:  Lee Timmins told us some fascinating facts about highwaymen, in his talk entitled The Highwayman and his Image in Popular Culture.
This was followed by a popular Christmas Buffet supplied by Wright Manor.
7th November:  Linzi Cooke gave a talk to us about Prostitution in Victorian Lichfield.
3rd October: Andrew Baker spoke to the Society about Thomas Anson, the younger brother of Admiral George Anson, who did extensive work to Shugborough.
2nd July:  Members visited ShrewsburyFlaxmill Maltings, a Grade 1 listed building, built 1796.
4th June:  A tpur of two Stafford Churches, St Chad's and St Mary's.
27th May:  Members visited Middleport Pottery, Stoke-on-Trent for a talk and factory tour.
4th April:  Stephen Dean told us about the army training for the trenches which took place on Cannock Chase in the Great War.
7th March:   Sarah Elsom gave us an interesting talk on the Staffordshire Yeomanry and its history.
1st February: Tom Morgan talked to us about the zeppelin raids on the West Midlands in the First World War.  This was the centenary date.
4th January: AGM, followed by a fascinating talk by Heather Brown about the history of ceramics in Armitage and Handsacre.


7th December: Bpb and Del Neill returned with Bits and Bobs, a collection of antiquities for us to identify in a fun quiz.  Followed by delicious Christmas Buffet supplied by Wright Manor.
2nd November:  Paul Ashmore gave a talk on the Art and Science of Blacksmithing.
5th October:  A talk by Mark Rowe about the Fauld Explosion.
25th September 2015: Members marked the 25th Anniversary of the Society with a 'Night at the Movies' - a programme of old films of local interest by Ray Johnson of Staffs Film Archives
18th July:  Members undertook a walking tour of Alcester town centre.
17th June:  David Robbie led a walking tour of Great Haywood, with particular reference to Tolken.
13th May :  A visit to Uttoxeter, starting with the museum and then a walking tour of the town.
30th April:  A visit to Newborough to see the preparations for the well dressing.
2nd March:  Newborough.  Elizabeth Ford has extensively researched Newborough and gave us a delightful talk about many aspects of the village.
2nd February:  The Trent Valley Railway - a talk by Robin Mathams and David Barrett about the foundation of the TV Railway Cpmpany, its construction in the 1840s and particularly Rugeley and Armitage stations.
5th January:  AGM, followed by a talk on Cecil Gardner from Armitage who volunteered for the Boer War. David Smith told us about the correspondence passed to Stafford Yeomanry Museum and his research.


15th December:  The Excavation of the Causewayed Enclosure at Mavesyn Ridware.
This was a special event following the archaeological dig undertaken by Dr Paul Garwood and Dr Henry Chapman and a team from Birmingham University.  They spoke to us about the dig and what they found.

1st December:  David Robbie told us about JRR Tolkien's wartime experiences and his time at Great Haywood and how they influenced his fiction.

3rd November 2014: Graham Martin spoke about the 1990 Mid-Staffs By-Election when Sylvia Heal became Labour MP.  This created national media attention for Staffordshire.

6th October:  Tim Moss of Hixon History Society gave a very interesting talk on Drovers and Drove Routes, with special emphasis on local routes and fairs.

13th September:  Members visited Apedale Heritage Centre, near Newcastle-under-Lyme. A special weekend was organised to commemorate the role of transport in the First World War.

19th July:  A special event was held in Mavesyn Ridware Village Hall to commemorate The Great War. Information about the Ridwares and Armitag- with-Handsacre parishes during the War was displayed and two new publications on soldiers from the parishes were launched.

5th July:  15 members visited the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, where they had a short talk, a tour by land train and a lovely cream tea!

14th June:  A visit to the museum of the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham.

10th May:  Members visited Cannock Chase and had a guided tour of the German Cemetery and the site of the First World War camp at Brocton.

3rd March: Dr Ian Atherton, a senior lecturer at Keele University, gave us a fascinating  talk about Edward Wightman, who was executed in Lichfield Market Place in 1612.  He was the last person burned at the stake for heresy in England.

3rd February:  Chris Copp, Staffordshire County Council Museums Officer, talked to us about Thomas Peploe Wood, who drew landscapes and monuments throughout Staffordshire.

6th January:  The Society's A.G.M. was held followed by a talk on the back-to-back houses in Birmingham and the lives of their inhabitants by Mac Joseph.


2nd December:  Tim Cockin gave a talk on Staffordshire Folklore.  This was followed by the annual Christmas Buffet.  A very enjoyable evening.
4th November:  Pat Scaife gave an exceptional talk about Richard II and the Bishops of Lichfield
7th October:  Mark Clifford of Avoncroft Museum spoke at the first winter meeting of the season on the ongoing restoration of a Nailer's cottage moved from the Black Country to the museum.
7th September:  Members visited Sugnall Hall Walled Garden
6th July:  A very interesting guided tour of Stone by members of Stone Historical Society, visiting the canal, the town and the Church, where Stone Priory Seal is exhibited
11th May:  A visit to the North Staffs and Cheshire Traction Engine Club at Draycott in the Clay
13th April:  Members visited Lichfield Cathedral Library, where they were guided through the history and introduced to previous books by Pat Scaife.
4th March:  Mike Shaw, Archaeologist with Wolverhampton City Council, gave a fascinating talk on Anglo Saxon Tamworth.
4th February:  Gill Sykes of Colton History Society and Dave Thomas of SOTMAS gave an interesting talk on recent archaeological digs at Colton and Rocester.
9th January:  Following the A.G.M., Caroline Haycock spoke to the society about her research into Lucy Porter and Catherine Chamers - two Johnsonian ladies.


3rd December:  The Society enjoyed the annual Christmas Buffet which was preceded by Bob and Del Neill entertaining us with 'Bits and Bobs' - a host of objects of which we endeavoured to guess the original purpose.
5th November: The society heard a very interesting talk by Catherine Cartwright entitled 'Barnett & Barker - Tinmen of the Trent Valley' concerning a tin plating manufactory at Kings Bromley and Rugeley.
1st October:  Robert Maddocks spoke to the Society about the Littleton Family of Teddesley Hall and the family links with Pipe Ridware.
8th June:  A group of 20 visited The Wombourne Wodehouse, a mediaeval timber-framed house dating to 1350.  They had a fascinating tour of the gardens and the house.
5th May:  Members visited St John's Hospital and Milley's Hospital, in Lichfield.  They had an interesting tour of both of these buildings.
11th April:  A group visited 2 exhibitions at Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust in Derby.  One was an overview of the Rolls-Royce story and the other a collection of aero engines, ranging from First World War to modern times.
5th March:  Members welcomed Pat Scaife, who gave a fascinating talk on Lichfield Cathedral Library. 
6th February:  Richard Stone gave a very interesting talk about the River Trent
9th January:  Following the A.G.M., Caroline Haycock spoke to the society about her research into Lucy Porter and Catherine Chambers - two Johnsonian ladies.


5th December:  Danny Wells spoke to the Society about the Salvation Army and Catherine Booth
7th November:  Anne Andrews talked about Icehouses, with particular reference to the Icehouse at Tixall.
3rd October:  Jim Sutton gave members a talk on the Association for the Prosecution of Felons.
15th September: Members enjoyed a coach trip to Knutsford and Plymouth Grove.  Elizabeth Gaskell based 'Cranford' on Knutsford and she lived at Plymouth Grove for many year

3rd July 2010:  Members marked the 20th Anniversary of the Society with a celebration at the Gatehouse, Mavesyn Ridware, by permission of Sunny and Mark Eades.  A champagne buffet was held on a lovely sunny day and many old members travelled some distance to be present. Entertainment was provided by the Early Music Man, Terry Carter.







Click on the Programme link for details of these and other meetings.


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