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History of Cheslyn Hay


General Information


Total Population 7,324 (2004 Estimate)
No. Over 60 14.7%
No. Under 18 27.1%
No. BME Below 2.4%
Indices of Deprivation  
Area KM2 823
Population Density KM2 8.89
Financial Information
Annual Budget  
Annual Precept £153,800.00 (2010/2011)
Grants Received  
Spending per Resident  
Average Council Tax Band £66.12
Locality Three (Click for more information)


The history of Cheslyn Hay


Cheslyn Hay's origins certainly go back a long way and it is believed that the name is derived from the Anglo Saxon words for the site of a pre-historical burial chamber. There were only 10 families living in the village in the mid 17th century, but gradually extensive mining for coal, iron and lead was carried out.
The community expanded into a village proper in the 19th Century with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. More mining meant more houses for the workers of the village, which in turn meant more building materials were needed and so other industries such as brick making and tile making flourished in the area.
The building of the M6 motorway to the west of the village in the late 1950s brought with it more jobs and a variety of industries, which in turn meant the need for more housing.

Centuries ago Cheslyn Hay was referred to as Chistlyn, Chistlin, Chilstling and Chestle Haye.  ‘Chist’ is an old English word derived from the Anglo Saxon ‘cest’ meaning a chest or coffin.  A later document dated 1790 refers to Chestlandhay and it seems evident that Cheslyn Hay derived its name from being the druidical site of the stone chest or coffin forming a pre-historic burial chamber.


With the Roman Watling Street running close to the boundary of Cheslyn Hay there is enough evidence to suggest that during the construction of this road the Britons, spurred on by the Druids arrested the Romans in their progress.  And there is no doubt that many skirmishes and encounters took place in the vicinity of Middle Hill.


No vestige or positive proof exists today to mark the site of the old burial place and the only clue to be found is in a deed of the year 1298 which informs us that William Trumwyn of Cannock gave to Robert le Champion of Saredon certain detailed properties of waste and woodland that lay between Saredon and Cheslyn Hay, which includes the drumlin (a rounded and artificial mound) and the semetre (cemetery).   This description has led historians to believe that this site refers to Middle Hill.


‘Lyn’ is derived from the old English word ‘Hlinc’ meaning a hill and the appellation ‘Hay’ has Anglo Saxon origins from the word ‘hege’ relating to an enclosed place.   Later, ‘Hay’ purported to be a known locality by defined bounds, but not enclosed, and by the seventeenth century it meant being a place free from ecclesiastical and civil jurisdiction.  In the reign of King Henry VIII, Leyland, the topographer, called Cank Forest (Cannock Chase) the ‘Forest of the Seven Hays’.


Thus the old name of Chistlyn denotes the place of the ‘little chest or coffin’, or ‘the hill of the burial place.



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