Stanley Pool was originally constructed in 1786 as an 8 acre reservoir to supply the canal network. The stream, which was damned to construct the reservoir, also powered three mills, two of which can still be seen today. The nearest mill to the lake is now the residential dwelling at the bottom of the dam wall, the second mill is at the junction of Puddy lane and Stanley Lane it is now used as the site for a stone masons business. The third mill was at the base of the original dam & its site was submerged when the new damn was built and the reservoir extended to 33 acres in 1840. As many members will know only too well, the original dam still exists under Stanley Pool and at times of drought the original valve workings and even the wall itself can become exposed.
Stanley (the name means a clearing in stony ground) was occupied by the estate of the Stanley family, who lived there from at least the late 12th century. The oldest house there is Lower House Farm, of c. 1700 and probably on the site of the medieval manor house. The village grew up in the 19th century in connexion with flint mills. Rows of cottages were built in the 1860s, probably for mill workers, and one row contained a beerhouse called the Travellers Rest, a name still used today for an inn there. Two larger houses, Tudor House opposite the Travellers Rest and Spilsbury House at the west end of the village, were also built in the 1860s. A post office was opened in the earlier 1880s. Several detached and semidetached houses were built in parts of the village between the two World Wars and from the 1960s.
The North Staffordshire Sailing Club was founded during the winter of 1961/62 when a small group of people decided to form a sailing club that would be independent of any particular parent organisation. They contacted other sailors in the area, negotiated a lease with British Waterways and in March 1961 the first Officers and Committee Members were elected.
Stanley Head, a house to the east of the pool, was built by 1743. Stanley Head was let as a children's outdoor education centre from the early 1960s and children using the centre still use the Pool for activities such as canoing and sailing today.