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Warwickshire, England

Historical Description

Warwickshire or Warwick, an inland county, bounded on the NW by Staffordshire, on the NE by Leicestershire, on the E by Northamptonshire, on the SE by Oxfordshire, on the SW by Gloucestershire, on the W by Worcestershire. Its outline is irregular, but except for saliencies in the S is not far from forming four nearly equal sides. Its boundary line along all the NE is Watling Street, but scarcely anywhere is either river or watershed. Its length from N to S is 50 miles, its greatest breadth is 34 miles, its circuit is about 195 miles, and its area is 577,462 acres; population, 805,072. The surface includes few hills except offshoots of the Cotswolds, and in a general view is gently undulated, well-wooded, and softly picturesque. The chief streams are the Avon, the Tame, the Alne, the Arrow, the Stour, the Dene, the Leam, the Sowe, the Itchen or Ichene, the Rea, the Bourne, the Blythe, the Colne, and the Anker. .Mineral springs are at Leamington, Newnham Regis, Southam, Stratford, and Birmingham. A coal-field, with seams of coal 3 and 4 feet thick, extends along the NE border to the SE of Tamworth, is 16 miles long, and has a mean breadth of about 3 miles. A broad tract of permian rocks, chiefly conglomerate sandstone and red marl, extends southward from the coal-field past Coventry to within a short distance of Leamington. Trias rocks, chiefly new red sandstone and keuper marl, occupy nearly all the rest of the area. Coal is extensively worked. Iron-ore, fireclay, marl, blue clay, and limestone are plentiful, gritstone is obtained at Compton, and blue flag-stone for mantlepieces and other purposes is quarried at Bidford, Wilncote, and Temple Grafton.

Soils are of nearly all kinds, but strong clay-loams and strong marly clays are most common, and with slight exceptions all the soils in most parts are very fertile. The long-horned, the Herefordshire, and the Scotch breeds of cattle are generally preferred for grazing, but other breeds are in use for the dairy. The sheep are chiefly Southdowns and polled Leicesters. Estates are of all sizes, and farms average about 150 acres, and are mostly held from year to year.

Manufactures are chiefly hardware and cutlery at Birmingham ; ribbons at Coventry and Nuneaton; watches, bicycles, and tricycles at Coventry; needles and fish-hooks at Alcester.

According to the census returns issued in 1893, the chief occupations of the people of the county were:—Professional, 10,310 males and 7913 females; domestic, 2941 males and 38,420 females; commercial, 33,093 males and 3446 females; agricultural, 23,799 males and 686 females; fishing, 3 males ; industrial, 176,419 males and 73,664 females; and "unoccupied," including retired business men, pensioners, those living on their own means, and others not specified, 45,405 males and 193,670 females; or a total in the county of 291,970 males and 315,599 females. The number of men employed in the leading industries was as follows:— Agricultural labourers, 13,819; general labourers, 11,914; boot and shoe makers, 3868 ; farmers, 3156; gardeners and nurserymen, 3751. The chief occupations of women were— domestic service, with a total of 27,618; millinery and dressmaking, 10,303; and button making, 2464. There were also in the county 534 blind persons, 392 deaf, 392 deaf and dumb, and 2230 mentally deranged.

Railways are ramified through the county, especially in the N and through the centre. Canals make a large aggregate of mileage.

The administrative county includes the whole of the city and county borough of Birmingham, but excludes 804 acres divided among the administrative counties of Leicester, Worcester, and Stafford. Acreage, 578,595; population, 838,030. It includes the cities and county boroughs of Birmingham and Coventry, and the municipal boroughs of Leamington, Stratford-on-Avon, and Warwick. The administrative county contains 247 entire civil parishes and parts of 12 others, the county borough of Birmingham 2 entire civil parishes and parts of 3 others, and the county borough of Coventry parts of 2 civil parishes. The ancient county contains 276 entire ecclesiastical parishes and parts of 14 others. The administrative county has one court of quarter sessions, and is divided into 14 petty sessional divisions. The six boroughs have separate commissions of the peace, and the boroughs of Birmingham and Warwick have in addition separate courts of quarter sessions. The ancient county is divided for parliamentary purposes into four divisions—Northern or Tamworth, North-Eastern or Nuneaton, South-Western or Stratford-on-Avon, and South-Eastern or Rugby. It also includes the parliamentary boroughs of Warwick and Leamington, Aston Manor, Coventry, and part of the parliamentary borough of Birmingham. The county town is Warwick; the towns with more than 2000 inhabitants each, besides the boroughs, are Rugby, Nuneaton, Coleshill, Solihull, Atherstone, and Kenilworth; and there are about 360 smaller towns, villages, and hamlets. There are a large number of seats of noblemen and gentlemen.

The county is governed by a lord-lieutenant and a county council consisting of 18 aldermen and 54 councillors, and is in the north-western military district, the Midland judiciary circuit, and the diocese of Worcester. The assizes are held at Warwick; quarter sessions at Warwick and Coventry. H.M. prison is at Warwick.

The territory now forming Warwickshire was inhabited by the ancient British Cornavii and Dobuni, was included by the Romans in their Flavia Cæsariensis, and formed part of the Saxon kingdom of Mercia. Struggles occurred in it between the Mercians and the West Saxons, between the Saxons and the Danes, between the adherents of Stephen and those of Maud, between Henry III. and his rebel barons, and between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians in the Civil Wars of Charles I. The Roman Watling Street runs along the NE boundary and across a wing from Atherstone to Fazeley; the Fosse Way comes in on the S at Halford, and runs north-north-eastward to Watling Street at High Cross; and Icknield Street goes through Birmingham and traverses a small part of the NW border. Roman stations were at Alcester, Chesterton, High Cross, and Mancetter; and Roman camps are at Brinklow, Edgehill, Ratley, and Oldbury. Ancient castles or ruins of them are at Warwick, Kenilworth, Astley, Beauchamp, Brandon, Maxstoke, and Tamworth. About fifty-seven monastic houses were in the county, and remains of some of them are at Combe, Merevale, Stoneleigh, Coventry, Kenilworth, Maxstoke, Nuneaton, and Polesworth. There are many interesting old churches.


Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Archives and Libraries

Warwickshire County Record Office
Priory Park
Cape Road
Warwick
CV34 4JS
Tel: +44 (0) 1926 738959
Fax: +44 (0) 1926 738969
email: recordoffice@warwickshire.gov.uk


Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

List of Registration Districts in Warwickshire from 1837 to 1974.


Directories & Gazetteers

The Historical Directories web site have a number of directories relating to Warwickshire online, including:
Kelly's, Pigot, Slater, etc.

We have transcribed the entry for Warwickshire from the following:


Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Warwickshire is available to browse.


Maps

Old map of Warwickshire circa 1848 (Samuel Lewis)

Old map of Warwickshire circa 1895 (Gazetteer of England and Wales)


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Warwickshire papers online:


Parishes & places

Ailstow
Albion
Alcester
Allesley
Alvecote
Alveston
Amington and Stonydelph
Ansley
Anstey or Ansty
Arbury Hall
Ardens Grafton
Arlescote
Arley
Arrow
Ascott
Ashfurlong
Ashorne
Ashow
Aspley
Asps
Astley
Aston
Aston Cantlow or Aston Cantelupe
Atherstone
Atherstone on Stour
Attleborough
Avon Dassett or Dassett Parva
Baddesley Clinton
Baddesley Ensor
Baginton
Balsall
Barcheston
Barford
Barnacle
Barston
Barton
Barton on the Heath
Bascote
Baxterley
Bearley
Beauchamp Court
Beaudesert
Beausale
Bedworth
Bentley
Berkswell or Berkeswell
Bickenhill
Bickmarsh
Bidford
Billesley
Bilton
Binley
Binton
Birchfield
Birdingbury or Birbury
Birmingham
Bishops Itchington
Bishops Tachbrook or Tachbrook
Bishopton
Blacklow Hill
Blyth Hall
Boldmere
Bolehall and Glascote
Bourne, River
Bourton upon Dunsmoor
Brailes
Bramcott
Brandon and Bretford
Bretford
Brinklow
Broadwell
Brownsover
Bruton or Broughton
Bubbenhall
Budbrooke
Bulkington
Burmington
Burton Dassett
Burton Hastings
Bushwood
Butlers Marston
Caldecote
Canley
Castle Bromwich
Caulcutt or Calcutt
Cawston
Chadshunt
Chapel Ascote
Chapel End
Charlecote
Chelmscott
Cherington
Chesterton
Chilvers Coton
Church Lawford
Church Over
Claverdon
Clifton upon Dunsmore
Cokehill or Cookhill
Coleshill
Colly Croft
Combrook
Compton Scorpion
Compton Verney
Compton Wyniates
Copston Magna or Great Copston
Corley
Cosford
Coughton
Coundon or Counden
Coventry
Coventry Holy Trinity
Coventry St Michael
Crimscott
Cubbington
Curdworth
Dordon
Dorton or Dourton
Draycote
Drayton
Dunchurch
Dunnington
Eamsford
Earls wood
Easenhall
Eathorpe
Eatington
Edgbaston
Edgehill
Edstone
Elmdon
Emscote
Exhall (Alcester)
Exhall (Coventry)
Farnborough
Fenny Compton
Fillongley
Finham
Flecknoe
Fletchamstead
Foleshill
Forge IKEills
Fozcote
Frankton
Freazley with Hallend
Fulbrook
Fulready
Gaydon
Gilson or Gilsdon
Glascote
Grandborough
Great Alne
Great Harborough
Great Packington
Grendon
Halford
Hall End
Hampton in Arden
Hampton Lucy
Hampton on the Hill
Hams Hall
Harburbury
Hartshill
Haseley
Haselor or Hazeler
Hatton
Hawkesbury
Henley in Arden
High Cross
Hill
Hill (Leamington Hastings)
Hill (Stoneleigh)
Hill Wootton
Hillborough
Hillmorton
Hockley Heath
Hodnell, Lower and Upper
Holt
Honiley
Honington
Hopsford
Hunmanby
Hunscote
Hurley
Idlicote
Ingon
Ipsley
Kenilworth
Keresley
Kineton
Kingsbury
Kingston
Kingswood
Kinwaleey
Kinwarton
Knightcote
Knowle
Kytes Hardwick
Ladbrooke
Lambcote
Langley
Lapworth
Lea Marston
Leamington Hastings
Leek Wootton
Lighthorne
Lillington
Little Alne
Little Britain
Little Bromwich
Little Compton
Little Copston
Little Dassett
Little Dorsington
Little Harborough
Little Lawford
Little Packington
Long Compton
Long Itchington
Long Lawford
Longford
Longford (Foleshill)
Lower Norton, or Norton Curlew
Lower Shuckburgh
Loxley
Luddington
Mancetter
Maney
Mapleborough
Marcliff
Marston
Marston (Wolston)
Marston Green
Marston Jabbett
Marton
Maxstoke
Mere Green
Merevale
Meriden
Middleton
Milcote
Milverton
Minworth
Monks Kirby
Monkspath
Moor
Moreton Morrell
Morton Baggot
Moxhall
Napton on the Hill
Nether Whitacre
Nethercote
New Bilton
Newbold Pacey
Newbold Revel
Newbold upon Avon
Newland
Newnham
Newnham Paddox
Newnham Regis
Newton and Biggin
Newton Regis or Newton in the Thistles
North End
Norton Lindsey or Norton Superior
Nuneaton
Nuthurst
Offchurch
Old Stratford
Oldbury
Olton
Over Cester
Over Whitacre
Oversley
Oxhill
Packwood
Pailton
Pathlow
Pillerton Hersey
Pillerton Priors
Pinley
Polesworth
Preston Bagot
Princethorpe
Priors Hardwick
Priors Marston
Radbourne
Radford
Radford or Radford Semele
Radway
Ragley Hall
Ratley
Redfern
Redhill
Rowington
Royal Leamington Spa
Rugby
Ryton
Ryton on Dunsmore
Salford Abbots
Salford Priors
Salter Street
Saltley
Sambourn
Sawbridge
Seckington
Sheffield or Shelfield
Sheldon
Sherborne or Sherbourne
Shilton
Shirley
Shotswell or Shotteswell
Shottery
Shrewley
Shustoke
Shuttington
Slateley
Sloley Hill
Smallheath
Snitterfield
Soley End
Solihull
Southam
Sowe
Sparkbrook
Spernall
Starton
Stivichall or Styvechale
Stockingford
Stockton
Stoke
Stoneleigh
Stoney Thorpe
Stourton
Stratford on Avon or Stratford upon Avon
Street Aston
Stretton Baskerville
Stretton on Dunsmore
Stretton on the Foss
Stretton under Foss
Studley
Sutton Coldfield
Sutton under BraiIes
Tachbrook Mallory
Tanworth
Temple Grafton
The Alne
The Blythe
The Cole
The Shirburn
The Soar
The Sowe
The Tame
Thelsford
Thornton
Thurlaston
Tiddington
Tile Hill
Toft
Tysoe
Ufton
Ullenhall
Upper Shuckburgh
Upton
Walcot
Walmley
Wappenbury
Ward End
Warmington
Warton or Waverton
Warwick
Warwick and Birmingham Canal
Warwick and Napton Canal
Washwood
Wasperton
Water Orton
Watergall
Weddington
Weethley
Wellesbourne
Westcote
Weston
Weston or Weston in Arden
Weston under Wetherley
Westwood
Whatcote
Whichford
Whitacre Junction
Whitchurch
Whitley
Whitnash
Whittington
Wibtoft
Willenhall
Willey
Willington
Willoughby
Wills Pasture
Wilmcote
Wilnecote
Wimpstone
Winderton
Wishaw
Withybrook
Witton
Wixford
Wolfhampcote
Wolford
Wolston
Wolvershill
Wolverton or Wolverington
Wolvey
Woolscott
Wootton Wawen
Wormleighton
Wroxall or Wroxhall
Wyken
Wylde Green

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Warwickshire 1619 is available on the Heraldry page.

Map of Warwickshire