Shown in Doomsday as the king's manor of Dunestone, and later recorded as Doneston (1242), Dunston is built around St. Leonard's Church. The original Saxon would have been 'Dunn's tun (farmstead)', little different from today's form.
The civil parish of Dunston, formerly part of the ancient parish of Penkridge, lies mainly to the west of the Stafford-Wolverhampton road north of Penkridge. It is bounded on the east by the Penk, and part of the northern boundary is formed by the Pothooks Brook, which enters the Penk at the northeastern extremity of the parish, and by a tributary of the brook. The ground slopes from 375 ft. in the west to below 250 ft. at the Penk. Part of Penkridge was added to the civil parish of Dunston under the Staffordshire Review Order of 1934, increasing the area from 1,448 acres to 1,752 acres. In 1680 there were 20 houses in Dunston, and in 1817 44 houses, with a population of 214. The population in 1951 was 295.
In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Dunston like this:
DUNSTON, a township-chapelry in Penkridge parish, Stafford; on the Grand Junction railway, near the Stafford and Worcester canal, 2¼ miles N by E of Penkridge. It has a post office under Stafford. Pop., 275. Houses, 58. The property is not much divided. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Lichfield. Value, £67.* Patron, Lord Hatherton. The church is good.