Coton in the Elms in South Derbyshire is situated about 5 miles south of Burton upn Trent. It was mentioned in Domesday as Cotune . Until around 60 years ago every road into the village had elm trees but they all succumbed to Dutch Elm disease.
Coton is situated on the Walton Way and is first mentioned in 942 in a charter giving land in the area to Wulfrige the Black. This formed part of a much larger estate covering many of the villages in the area. Coton would seem to have been roughly in the centre of this estate. It would appear that it was a cross roads as there is an old lane which runs all the way from Tamworth through Coton and on northwards towards Burton on Trent.
At the time of Doomsday Burton Abbey held land at Coton - however this had been initially seized by King William - no doubt in part due to the rebellion lead by earl Morcar. However, by the time of Doomsday this land had been restored to Burton.
The village itself forms a diamond of roads around a small village green. The original route of the Walton Way may have been the south west corner of this diamond as this runs past the Church and Church farm. To the north east of the village coal mining becomes important and this is reflected in the lane name Coalpit Lane.
The present church of St Mary was built in 1846 by Stevens but not on the site of the original church, which was behind the Shoulder of Mutton pub. It has a narrow west tower with a recessed spire. It is generally believed that when the original church fell into disrepair, the bells were taken to the neighbouring Lullington village, so the inhabitants of Coton can still hear the old bells when the wind is in the right direction.
There is a Methodist chapel, built in 1922 to replace a smaller building in Chapel Street. The old building became known as the band room, where for many years a good band was run by a Mr Coates, who was also the village post master. It has also been used as a village hall.
The main occupations of the village inhabitants in the past has been mining and farming, though the pits are now all closed. For many of todays population ( 782 in 1991) it is a commuter base for the larger towns.
Coton in the Elms has 2 pubs. The Shoulder of Mutton has been a pub since about 1820. The Queens Head Inn is older dating back to the 17th century. Part of the premises was once a shop. Both are popular with locals and visitors alike.
Nearby is Grangewood Farm Forestry, which has 100 acres of new woodland adjoining the ancient woodland of Grange Wood. The site includes laid out trails, camping facilities, horse riding and fishing.