There is little documented history of the Parish of Staunton before 1100. Plenty of evidence of Neolithic man has been unearthed over the years in the form of flint cores from weapons and tool chipping. It is known that the Romans moved iron ore from local mines down to Monmouth, probably on the ancient route lying below and to the right of the present road as you leave Staunton for Monmouth. After the Romans left Staunton remained as one or two farmsteads.
Edward the Confessor was the first King to designate the area between the River Severn and the River Wye, as the “King’s Forest”. It is probable that the first Norman Lord of the manor arrived approx 1100 when Staunton was just one or two farmsteads and a fortified manor house was built above Castle Ditch. The church was also built at that time.
In 1608 there were 50 houses in the village of Staunton. A muster role for the parish includes one labourer, two miners, three farmers, one lime burner, one husbandryman, two blacksmiths, one carpenter and a tyler, with others making a total of 35 – this is for fighting men (when called) with weapons in the parish. This would mean that there were approx 150 residents altogether.
Deposits of iron ore in the parish were being dug in 1608 and various small mines provided work during the 18C. In 1871 Robinhood’s mine in the Marian’s Inclosure, was opened and was worked mainly for red oxide. It produced iron ore for several years before it closed in 1932. The Ministry of Supply gave it a short lease of life when they opened it up during the Second World War.
In 1664 there was a limekiln on waste land near the church, and in 1792 one at a quarry at Tillys, which grew to 3 in the 19C. From the 1950s the quarry on the ridge of the plantations north of Highmeadow above Cherry Orchard Farm was worked for road stone. By 1994, it was operated and enlarged by Tarmac Ltd. and a new access road, made through the woods to the Coleford – Monmouth road.
In 1799 the village had one inn – The Ostrich, which became the Royal Oak in 1832.
In 1813 competition arrived as the White Horse opened in the west part of the village street, which later became the main road – the last Inn in England ! The White Horse, which was rebuilt in the latter part of the 19th century, is now the only public house as the Ostrich closed in the 1890’s.
Below the White Horse was a Nursery with large greenhouses on the area stretching from the pub car park to the high House open until the 1970’s – this site is now built on.
At the beginning of the 19th century a parish day school was held in Staunton church for approx 20 children. In 1828 a small single-room school was built near the east end of the main village street. This school was closed in 1911 and the building used as a reading room. Subsequently it has been used as the Village Hall.
The old Post office – no longer standing – was on the main road on the corner of what is now Well Meadow. It relocated to the opposite side of the road and was combined with a village shop where today there is an Architectural Antique Shop. The Post office relocated itself again next to High House but closed in the early 1990’s.