This volume covers the town of Burton-upon-Trent on the county's eastern boundary, along with its suburbs and satellite villages on either side of theriver, including Stapenhill which was formerly in a separate parish in Derbyshire. Best known as a major centre for brewing beer from the earlier nineteenth century, Burton first came to prominence in the early eleventh century as the site of a Benedictine monastery which later promoted the cult ofits own saint, the legendary St Modwen. Part of the monastic infirmary survives in the present Abbey inn, and a house called Sinai Park on the high ground to the west of the town was used by the monks as a rest home and hunting lodge. Alabaster carving developed as a specialist industry in the middle ages, and clothworking was important until the nineteenth century, with fulling and then cotton mills on the river Trent. The breweries were concentrated in the historic town centre near the river, and in the later nineteenth century a more respectable centre was created to the west around the imposing St Paul's church and the present town hall, both paid for by members of the Bass family. Other Anglican churches built by leading brewers in the town and its suburbs remain a major feature in the landscape. NIGEL TRINGHAM is VCH county editor for Staffordshire, and lecturer in history at the University of Keele.
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