Butterton is a small village about five miles to the east of Leek. It's sometimes referred to as Butterton-in-the-Peak to distinguish it from another Staffordshire village with the same name, near Newcastle-under-Lyme. It was large enough to have its own school until 1979, when declining numbers of children resulted in closure. The old school building is now the Village Hall. The 2001 census recorded a population of 213.
The village overlooks the beautiful Manifold Valley and, in fact, it seems to tumble down the side of a valley itself. On the highest point is St. Bartholomew's Church, its spire visible over a great distance. This spire is one of the "youngest" in the Peak District, having been added to the church in 1879.
Opposite is the village pub, the Black Lion and from there the village street drops steeply down, past houses and cottages of local sandstone, set in lovely gardens. The village is certainly photogenic.
|At the bottom of the valley the Hoo Brook bursts out from beneath a tiny bridge on the pavement and uses the village street as a riverbed for about a hundred yards, the normal road surface giving way to large, flat cobbles. The ford seems not to cause anyone too much trouble, though we heard three separate warnings to motorcyclists and cyclists not to try to go through it on account of the slipperiness of the cobbles. It is perhaps due to the relative remoteness of the village that the picturesque ford has been left alone.|
There is no formal war memorial in the village, but there are two items recalling the Great War and Remembrance.
|Firstly, there there is a photograph in the church with the title
"Men of Butterton who joined H. M. Forces" showing 17 men including the
churchwarden and the vicar, both of whom look too old to have served in the
war. Of the remainder, nine are in uniform (one an officer) and six are in
civilian clothes. They are named as;
Back Row left to right - R. Salt, W. Henshall, A. J. Hambleton (Churchwarden), Rev. R. J. Crump (Vicar)
Middle Row left to right - T. Wheeldon, H. Millward, S. Salt, A. Poyser, C. Birch, J. Salt, P. Denham, W. Millward
Front Row left to right - J. Goldstraw, J Millward, Lt. C. Crump, J. T. Titterton, R Mellor
(There's a strong possibility that Butterton suffered no casualties in the Second World War. Local historians are currently researching this period in the village's history).
Secondly, and more recently, it was decided that the village would have some external, visible symbol of Remembrance and this took the form of a stone poppy, which was set into the church wall, near the entrance to the churchyard - a very simple but hugely moving tribute to the remembrance of war in this most peaceful of places.
We thank Maggie Risby for bringing Butterton to our attention.
Text and photos - Tom Morgan
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