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St. Lawrence Church
St. Lawrence Church

Gnosall is a large village in the Borough of Stafford, Staffordshire, England, with a population of approximately 5,000. It lies on the A518, approximately half-way between the towns of Newport (in Shropshire) and the county town of Staffordshire, Stafford. Other nearby villages include Woodseaves, Knightley, Cowley, Ranton and Haughton.

The village was first mentioned in a Domesday Book, in which it was named Geneshalle.

The Wellington to Stafford Railway line once ran through the village, but is now closed and dismantled and its route is a footpath.

Landmarks of interest include:

Nearby is Gnosall Heath.

The large primary school was previously Heron Brook High School, but is now St. Lawrence CE (C) Primary school. It was originally designed to look attractive from the railway that passes close by it; however the only people who see its intended front now are walkers, staff and students.

Gnosall is fairly self contained in terms of shops and amenities, with its own fire station, supermarket, Doctor's Surgery, Dental Practice, two fuel stations, police station, cricket club, take aways, pubs, post office and historic high street with barber.

A new large health centre has been completed (2006) at the opposite end of Gnosall from the old Doctor's Surgery by the fire station; tribute to the rapid increase in population of recent years.

The Village has a Community first responder Group, a charity consisting of trained local people who provide emergency cover on behalf of West Midlands Ambulance Service in response to 999 calls and administer basic life support, oxygen therapy, defibulation and first aid whilst an ambulance in en-route.

The village's newspaper; "GPN" (Gnosall Parish News), is produced and sold in the village, and serves as a local advertiser of services and events, as well as publishing articles of interest to the local community.

With the size and population of what was once a small community growing with such determination, Gnosall may achieve Town status in the near future.

Despite there being controversy over the legality, fishing is popular and fruitful on the Shropshire Union Canal that runs through the village. Many locals upon passing a fisherman, will reveal their personal secret to success - be it an unusual bait or specific time of day and stretch of water. In reality, the most easily accessible, comfortable and productive stretch lies between the Navigation Inn and the Boat Inn.

The village is also home to an old "Lock up". It is now situated between the Norman Church and the modern cemetery, and is visible from the A518, bound for Stafford. The purpose was as a mini prison, and it fits the bill with sinister efficiency visually, with its strong riveted and bolted door, no windows or other openings and thick sandstone walls. It was originally located nearer to where the mini round-about is now situated, but was carefully moved, brick by brick.

There are also several old, privately owned, buildings such as the building on the high street that was previously the Dukes Head, a public house. With a thatched roof, and herring-bone brick pattern between faded, unpainted wooden beams, it is generally regarded as one of the most picturesque scenes in the village, certainly on the High Street.

Many of the village's ancient traditions are still honoured today, notably the carnival, where children dress up in themed costumes, and a parade complete with custom made floats and a brass band that runs to the St Lawrence school field from the Royal Oak, another pub.

On November 26th, The Guardian ran an article [1] stating that a coroner expressed concern at the number of suspected suicides in Gnosall after the suicide of a local carpenter, the sixth in 2007.


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Coordinates: 52°47'N, 2°15'W


(Source: Wikipedia)
 
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