Oliver Cromwell’s armoury.
In the tiny village of Bagnall which is so small there is no village shop, post office or school and where only a few hundred people live can be likened to stepping back in time as it seems isolated and cut off, you tend to forget that not far away can be found Stoke-on-trent and the town of Leek. The village pub which dominates the centre of the village and dates back to to 16th century, was known in 1841 as the Kings Arms and 6 years later its name was changed once more to the Marquis of Stafford.
When the pub was undergoing restoration work in 1964 tongue and groove wood was removed from the walls in what was known as the Long Room, this revealed ancient stonework, unlike the East walls which have been formed from huge stones which were believed to have come from Hulton Abbey, however on further examination they were found to have predated the abbey by hundreds of years.
Attached to the end of the Stafford Arms can be found an ancient house known as St Chad’s, it was previously known as the “Clergy House” and a date found on one of the beams in the house shows 1603 so the house dates back to at least this age. The house was once used as the rectory as St Chad’s church can be found on the other side of the road. The building consists of three floors, the former cellar has now been converted to a kitchen.
Some remodelling work took place in the 19th century when the upper windows were repositioned and also the roof was raised. During the Civil war it is said that some of Cromwell’s troops were billeted in the village and it is assumed that the troops took possession of the house as the main roon was used as an armoury. Also evidence shows that the troops made use of the stones either side of the main fireplace for sharpening swords and possibly arrows. Above the fireplace can be found an orginal carving which reads “Feare Godde, Honoure ye Kynge”
Cromwell’s troops are said to have left Bagnall to fight a battle around three miles away, the battle was so violent that the field was left strewn with arms and heads. This area then took its name from this conflict and became known as Armshead.