Woodcote is a township and chapelry, in the parish of Sheriff Hales, two and a half miles from Sheriff Hales, and 16 from Shrewsbury, in the Northern division of the county, Newport division of South Bradford hundred, Newport union, and diocese of Lichfield. On the eastern side of the township Moreton Brook divides this county from that of Stafford. The chapel is a plain structure of freestone, of great antiquity; on the south side is a door which exhibits Saxon style. It contains several neat tablets to the memory of the Cotes family; a large marble slab, near the altar rails, appears to have been the top of an altar tomb; it is curiously ornamented with two full-length figures, and has a mutilated inscription round the edge. The living is annexed to Sheriff Hales, join annual value £614, with residence, in the gift of the Duke of Sutherland. There is a mixed school for children living on the estates of John Cotes, Esq. Woodcote Hall, the seat of John Cotes, Esq., J.P., is a spacious and handsome mansion of freestone, pleasantly situated, and surrounded with park-like grounds, finely timbered. The garden and ornamental grounds comprise an area of upwards of 40 acres, and are kept in neat order under the superintendence of Mr. John Brown, the head gardener. A little south of the Hall is an eminence, called Heath Hill, which commands an extended view over this and the adjacent county of Stafford. Sheriff Hales, except Lilleshall and a few scattered farms, is within the county of Stafford, and the other portion of Sheriff Hales, which is situated in Shropshire, is included under Lilleshall. John Cotes, Esq., is lord of the manor and owner of the whole township. The soil varies from strong clay to good turnip and barley soil; the subsoil is red sandstone. The population in 1861 was 150; the area is 1,248 acres; gross estimated rental £2,166; rateable value is about £2,019.
Letter through Newport.
Cotes Charles Cecil, esq., J.P.
Cotes John, esq., J.P., Woodcote hall
Brown John, head gardener, Woodcote hall
Britten Thomas Benjamin, land agent
Cheadle William Henry, farmer, Lynn
Lockley William, farmer
Morris John, farmer, Lynn
Source: Edward Cassey & Co.’s, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Shropshire 1871