Ridware derives from an ancient British descriptive term for river folk/people, and is used to describe the triangle of land above the confluence of the river Blythe with the river Trent.
The area was settled from the advent of farming. There are the remains of a New Stone Age ( Neolithic ) causewayed enclosure, cursus and mortuary enclosure; two Bronze Age barrows; and numerous Iron Age round houses.
There is some evidence of Roman farming activity. The Dark Ages remain little known but the Ridwares fell into the Saxon kingdom of Mercia and was close to the border with Viking England.
The Norman Conquest reached this area in the 1070s and by the Domesday survey in 1087 Ridware had been split into three separate manors held by different overlords; Mavesyn (Mauvoisin meaning bad neighbour in Norman French) and Pipe ( de Pipe ) acquired the names of the sub tenants who became the Lords of the respective manors and Hamstall ( meaning homestead ) retained its old name.
The history of Mavesyn Ridware from now on is inextricably linked with the Mavesyn, Cawarden and Chadwick families who were successively Lords of the Manor until 1897.
The Mavesyns who reputedly fought at the battle of Hastings 1066 first settled at Bithbury, but moved to Mavesyn Ridware c.1140 and created a typical manorial complex with a hall, church, water mill and Rectory.
The Manor and parish were coextensive and amounted to C. 2350 acres. Hill Ridware developed from being on a cross roads and on the main Lichfield - Uttoxeter road and on high land near the Trent river crossing and likewise Blithbury on high land near the crossing of the Blythe. Farming was by open field.
There were separate systems at Blithbury and at Mavesyn/Hill Ridware. The land at Blithbury was given to a Priory which soon became a sub house/farm of Blackladies named after the colour of their habits Priory at Brewood. The Enclosure of the common land occurred in the 18th century.
The Mavesyns were an active knightly family fighting in the wars with Scotland and the Hundred Years War. The last Mavesyn was Sir Robert who built the gatehouse to the Manor House 1392/3, was High Sheriff 1402/3 and died fighting for King Henry fourth at Shrewsbury in 1403.
The manor then passed to the Cawardens and in 1592 to the Chadwicks. The church developed into a typical three aisled Staffordshire stone built church with a bell tower and chancel. In the 18th century it became ruinous and in 1782 the nave chancel and South aisle were taken down and replaced in brick.
The North aisle survived as the mortuary chapel of the Lords of the Manor; this in turn was embellished c. 1810-13.
The Industrial Revolution passed the Ridwares by, save that the main Lichfield - Uttoxeter road was turnpiked, the route altered and the iron bridge replaced the old stone bridge over the Trent; they remained small rural villages until the 1960s when Hill Ridware was joined to Rake End by string line dormitory dwellings.
This trend has continued ever since with the addition of several housing estates. In ( I'm unsure of the date) Pipe Ridware was incorporated into Mavesyn Ridware P.C.C."
Thankyou From the Parish Council to Mr Mark Eades