Medieval Glassmaking in and around Colton
The fact that there were glass furnaces producing high quality glass in the late medieval period in the vicinity is well documented. Much of this activity took place on land belonging to the Bagot family from Blithfield. Most of the glass furnaces were in Bagots Wood but we also know that there were furnaces on Cannock Chase near Wolseley Bridges. There was a plentiful supply of wood on the Chase and also in Bagots wood for use in the furnaces
We also know that Flemish glass makers came over to work at these furnaces and it appears that much of the glass they helped produce was of high quality. We know that some of it was used to glaze windows in York Minster.
In the last few years a farmer in the Parish of Colton discovered one of these furnaces in a field on his land and a survey by Keele University has shown this too belonged to this period. All around the area there must have been a network of small furnaces involved in glass production. A lane in the next Parish to Colton commemorates this very skilled trade in its name-‘Glass Lane’ and is reputed to be where one of the Flemish glassworkers lived with his family.
For further info on the Glassmaking Industry in Bagot’s Park-
“Glassmaking in Bagot’s Park, Staffs. in the 16th. Century by D. Crossley. University of Sheffield. Copy in William Salt Library Staffs.