Burton-on-Trent, an ancient town of Staffordshire, twenty-five miles from Stafford on the west bank of the river Trent, navigable to this point, and having communication with the Midland, North-Western, and North Staffordshire Railways. The origin of the place was a church or monastery founded in the 9th century, and Burton Abbey dates from 1002. The bridge across the river, reconstructed in 1864, was built about the same time. It has a town hall, a free grammar-school, and other institutions. The peculiar suitability of the water for brewing purposes owing to the large amount of sulphate of lime it contains, led to the establishment of breweries there about 1708, and an export trade began forty years later. About the year 1823 pale ale and bitter beer were first specially made for Indian consumption, and by a mere accident they were introduced with great success into the home market. From this period started the prosperity of the two great houses of Bass and Alsopp, whose business grew to be worth several millions a year, and whose chief partners have been elevated to the peerage.