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Foxfield Colliery
Foxfield Colliery
All Saints church
All Saints church

Dilhorne is an ancient parish and village in Staffordshire, three miles from Cheadle and six miles from Stoke-on-Trent.

The name Dilhorne has its origins in the old English name of "Delverne" which means "place of digging" and is because Dilhorne sits on the Cheadle coalfield and several seams of very high quality coal outcrop in the area. The name of Delverne, which is mentioned in the Domesday Book, suggests that the area was known for coal mining nearly a thousand years ago.

Coal mining became the village's main source of employment in the 19th century as the local landowners became coalmasters. In particular the Whitehurst and Bamford families who became co-owners of several mining concerns,the largest being the Dilhorne Colliery, a large mine which was known in the coalfield for its modern steam engines. Interestingly, the site of Dilhorne Colliery is occupied nowadays by a small farm known as "Old Engine Farm."

By the 20th Century the biggest colliery in the village, Foxfield, had become one of only a handful left in the Cheadle coalfield. The pit was extensively modernised in the 1930s and by the outbreak of the Second World War it employed nearly 600 men. However, in 1968, Foxfield Colliery was closed with the miners transferring to the large modern pits in the Potteries coalfield. The mine is now being redeveloped as a museum by the Foxfield Light Railway, which uses the former branch line to run heritage steam traction from its base at nearby Blythe Bridge.

Agriculture still plays a large part in the village, but the number of farms and workers has dramatically decreased over the years. The main concern of agriculture around the Dilhorne area is dairy farming.

The parish church, All Saints, dates back to the Norman Conquest of England and a feature of the church is its octagonal tower,one of only a few such church towers in the country. All Saints Parish Church is one of the oldest in Staffordshire and services are every Sunday. The old parish of Dilhorne has changed massively over the last 100 years as parts merged into other parishes or became newer parishes. Dilhorne parish itself is now linked with nearby Caverswall. There is also a Methodist chapel in the village in an area known as Godley Brook.

Within the village there are two fine public houses. The Royal Oak at the top of High Street and Charlie Bassets, which is opposite All Saints Church. The latter is named after a former landlord and was originally known as the Colliers Arms. Another pub which closed a few years ago was the Rose and Crown near Foxfield Colliery in the Godley Brook area.

There is also a small primary school in the village, the Dilhorne Endowed School which has a very good reputation locally.

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(Source: Wikipedia)
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