The village is 11.6 miles (18.7 km) north of the city of Lichfield and is 6.8 miles (10.9 km) south west of Uttoxeter. The nearest railway station is at Rugeley which is 5.8 miles (9.3 km) south west of the village. The Blithfield Reservoir is 1.8 miles (2.9 km) from the centre of the village. Within the parish there are the natural features of Bagot's Wood and the largest remaining part of the Needwood Forest. Phil Drabble's Goats Lodge nature reserve is also in the parish.
In the census of 2011, Abbots Bromley had a population of 1,799 people living in the civil parish.
The village is home to The Richard Clarke First School, run by Staffordshire County Council for pupils aged 4–9. The school is rated as good by OFSTED with outstanding features. The village is also the home of one of the original Woodard Schools, and the first in the Woodard Group for girls Abbots Bromley School (formerly known as Abbots Bromley School for Girls and before that the School of S. Mary and S. Anne). In 2015 the school opened a new International College on the former St Mary's site. The development houses sixth form boys on the upper floors and has been completely refurbished into a University halls of residence style. This substantial investment which is continuing is a sign of the prosperity and overall vision for the school. From 2016 the school is turning it's attention to the former St Anne's site where a programme of refurbishment is underway.
Nine Parish Councillors, elected every four years represent the community. Every year the Council elects a chair (currently Cllr Michelle Moore) and vice chair. The Parish Council is supported by the Parish Clerk. Meetings are usually held in the village hall at 19:00 on the last Wednesday of every month (except August and December due to holidays). All meetings are open to the public. One Parish surgery is also held every other month on a Saturday morning in the Church House to enable Parishioners to bring any local issues to the attention of a Councillor so that it can be reported to the full Parish Council meeting. Following the election of new Parish Councillors in May 2015 the council has started the process of developing a Neighbourhood Plan, administered through a sub-group of the Parish Council.
Abbots Bromley is part of the Bagots Ward on East Staffordshire Borough Council and is represented by Conservative Borough Councillor Greg Hall. Conservative County Council Leader Councillor Phillip Atkins represents the Parish as it forms part of the Uttoxeter Rural Ward on Staffordshire County Council. The village is part of the parliamentary constituency of Lichfield and is currently represented by Conservative Michael Fabricant, MP.
The first historical record of the village dates from 942, when the manor of "Bromleage" was given to Wulfsige the Black. The will, dated 1002, of Wulfric Spot, Earl of Mercia, gave the village to the Abbey of Burton upon Trent. There is some evidence that the current settlement was a planned town – there is evidence of burgess plots, a grid pattern of streets and a wide market place.
Abbas Bromley is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086–7 as Brunlege, when it was part of the land of St Mary of Burton.
In 1227, a weekly market was confirmed by Royal Charter at the site of the Butter Cross (recorded in 1339, the present structure said by Pevsner to date from the 17th century), which survives to the present. The current, triangular market place is now grassed over and serves as a village green and the focus for events on Horn Dance Day.
The village remained affiliated to the Abbey till the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1545. Henry VIII gave Bromley Abbatis to Sir William Paget, Clerk of the Signet and Privy Councillor. The village was known as Paget's Bromley for several centuries, (distinguishing it from the part of the parish in the hands of the Bagot family, still known as Bagot's Bromley) but eventually the influence of the Paget family declined, and the name reverted to Abbots Bromley.
Despite being an agricultural centre on account of its market and fairs, Abbots Bromley enjoyed some industrial success. In the 16th century it was a major centre for glass manufacture. In 1606 it gained a grammar school, now Richard Clarke First School.
Despite nineteenth century efforts to connect the village to the expanding railway network the North Staffordshire Railway received an act of parliament to build a branch line from Stowe-by-Chartley which was never taken advantage of. Abbots Bromley remained comparatively isolated and in decline, losing its market, fairs and economic status.
By the 1950s the village faced economic decay and an ageing population. It was also comparatively late in receiving mains electricity and gas services. More recently it has become a dormitory settlement for surrounding urban areas such as the West Midlands conurbation and Derby. There has been some new development as well as the restoration of historic buildings, with a Millennium Hall perhaps the most noted recent example.
The new millennium has seen something of a renaissance for Abbots Bromley. The settlement has now become much sought after and this has attracted new investment and wealth to the village as well as the wider Parish. As a result, house prices have soared, particularly within the historic core. Businesses such as Freedom Brewery have become a real success story, as have ventures such as the High Ash Country Store on Goose Lane which incorporates Cob Webs coffee shop, a Freedom beer outlet, a gift shop and Joules (clothing) store. Such enterprises are helping to stem the tide of the area becoming a commuter village as it now offers a much enhanced range of local commerce and as such is much more self-sufficient then many other neighbouring communities.
The village has a large number of listed buildings, and its historic core has conservation area status, reflecting its pre-industrial townscape. Of these, the half timbered Church House, The Goats Head Inn, which is claimed to be the original town hall,and the Schoolhouse (Richard Clarke's 1606 Grammar School) are some of the most noteworthy. The Market Cross (Butter Cross) has been designated a scheduled Ancient Monument.Listed Buildings in Abbots Bromley
Abbots Bromley is known for its annual Horn Dance, an English folk dance dating back to the Middle Ages. The modern version of the dance involves reindeer antlers, a hobby horse, Maid Marian, and a Fool. The dance takes place on Wakes Monday, the day following Wakes Sunday, which is the first Sunday after 4 September. It begins in the morning on the village green and passes to Blithfield Hall, returning to the village in the early afternoon with the dancers then making their way around the pubs and houses, eventually finishing with a service of Compline at the church.
Abbots Bromley has a village cricket club that has 1st XI 2nd XI and numerous junior squads.
Abbots Bromley also has a fast developing football team, Abbots Bromley FC They are nicknamed 'The Stags'. They were reformed after over 10 years in 2010. They play in the Uttoxeter & District league in division 1 and play their home games at the Abbots Bromley School grounds named 'The Lowers' The Stags are sponsored by Fleximas, a local business based in Abbots Bromley. The president of the club is former Aston Villa & Stoke City footballer, Harry Burrows. The chairman is Thomas Wheeldon and the team manager is Mark Hurst Snr. The club reached the Uttoxeter & District division 2/3 cup final in May 2012 but narrowly lost out to Cheadle Town End on penalties in front of a crowd of 150+. The Stags also narrowly missed out on promotion to the Uttoxeter & District first division in 2012 after finishing third, although improving their position the previous year (4th). The club have a large following and can often attract attendances of up to 100 spectators at home games.
The Stags were finally promoted to division 1 the following year and completed the double by winning the sub cup after beating The Three Tuns in the final 4-1 in a match played at the Oldfield sports ground, Uttoxeter.
The club remain in the Uttoxeter Premier Division to this day and have developed a great reputation of nurturing young, local talent. Please see below for information on the current roles within the club;
President - Harry Burrows Chairman - Thomas Wheeldon Secretary - Mark Hurst Jnr Treasurer - Julie Wheeldon Social Secretary - Julie Bailey Team Manager - Mark Hurst Snr Team Asst. Manager - Malcolm Crooks Club Captain - Tim Jackson Team Captain - James Stevenson Team Vice Captain - Matt Tracey Main Sponsors - Fleximas / Martin Higson
Abbots Bromley has a very successful and rapidly growing community netball club. Affiliated to England Netball it consists of players of all ages from Abbots Bromley and surrounding areas and trains using the facilities indoors and outdoors at Abbots Bromley School.
There are four senior teams for girls and ladies from 16 years old who are trained each Wednesday from 7pm onwards by two England Netball level 2 coaches. The Diamonds and Jets teams play in the Burton and District league and the two development teams, Thunder and Lightning play in the JCB League at Rocester.
There are two junior sections for girls in years 5-7 and 8-10 who train on Wednesday evenings from 5.30pm to 6.15pm, and 6.15 to 7pm respectively.