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Coordinates: 52°18′N 1°34′W / 52.3°N 1.567°W / 52.3; -1.567

Warwickshire
EnglandWarwickshire.png
Geography
Status: Ceremonial & Non-metropolitan county
Region: West Midlands
Area:
- Total
- Admin. council
Ranked 31st
1,975 km2
Ranked 28th
Admin HQ: Warwick
ISO 3166-2: GB-WAR
ONS code: 44
NUTS 3: UKG13
Demographics
Population:
- Total (2008 est.)
- Density
- Admin. Council
Ranked 40th
530,500
269 / km²
Ranked 22nd
Ethnicity: 95.6% White
2.8% S. Asian
Politics
Arms of Warwickshire County Council
Warwickshire County Council
http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/
Executive: Conservative
MPs:
Districts
Warwickshire Numbered.png


Larger version

  1. North Warwickshire
  2. Nuneaton and Bedworth
  3. Rugby
  4. Stratford-on-Avon
  5. Warwick

Warwickshire (pronounced /ˈwɒrɪkʃər/ ( listen) or /ˈwɒrɪkʃɪər/) is a landlocked non-metropolitan county in the West Midlands region of England. The county town is Warwick, although the largest town is Nuneaton in the far north of the county. The shape of the administrative area Warwickshire differs considerably from that of the historic county. Commonly used abbreviations for the county are Warks or Warwicks.

Contents

People

Warwickshire is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon. Even today, road signs at the county boundary describe Warwickshire as "Shakespeare's County". The county has also produced other literary figures such as George Eliot (from Nuneaton), Rupert Brooke (from Rugby), and Michael Drayton from Hartshill. The poet Philip Larkin lived in Warwick (born in nearby Coventry), and Elizabeth Gaskell went to school in Barford and Stratford.

Geography

Warwickshire is bounded to the north-west by the West Midlands metropolitan county and Staffordshire, by Leicestershire to the north-east, Northamptonshire to the east, Worcestershire to the west, Oxfordshire to the south and Gloucestershire to the south-west. The northern tip of the county is only 5 km (3 miles) from the Derbyshire border. An average-sized English county covering an area of almost 2,000 km2, it runs some 96 km (60 mi) north to south.

The majority of Warwickshire's population live in the north and centre of the county. The market towns of northern and eastern Warwickshire were industrialised in the 19th century, and include Atherstone, Bedworth, Nuneaton, and Rugby. Major industries included coal mining, textiles, engineering, and cement production, but heavy industry is in decline, being replaced by distribution centres, light to medium industry, and services. Of the northern and eastern towns, only Nuneaton and Rugby (as the birthplace of rugby football) are well-known outside of Warwickshire. The prosperous towns of central and western Warwickshire including Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon, Kenilworth, Alcester, and Warwick harbour light to medium industries, services and tourism as major employment sectors.

The south of the county is largely rural and sparsely populated, and includes a small area of the Cotswolds, at the border with northwest Gloucestershire. The only town in the south of Warwickshire is Shipston-on-Stour. The highest point in the county, at 261 m (856 ft), is Ebrington Hill, again on the border with Gloucestershire, grid reference SP187426 at the county's southwest extremity.

The north of the county, bordering Staffordshire and Leicestershire, is mildly undulating countryside and the northernmost village, No Man's Heath, is only 55 km (34 mi) south of the Peak District National Park's southernmost point.

There are no cities in Warwickshire since both Coventry and Birmingham were incorporated into the West Midlands county in 1974 and are now metropolitan authorities in themselves. The largest towns in Warwickshire as of 2004 are: Nuneaton (pop. 77,500), Rugby (62,700), Leamington Spa (45,300), and Bedworth (32,500). Stratford, Warwick, and Kenilworth all house 20,000-25,000 inhabitants, while the smaller towns of Atherstone, Alcester, Coleshill, Southam, Bulkington, Polesworth, Kingsbury, Henley-in-Arden, Studley, Shipston. Wellesbourne and Whitnash have populations between 5,000 and 12,000.

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Arden and Felden

Much of western Warwickshire, including that area now forming part of Birmingham and the West Midlands, was covered by the ancient Forest of Arden (most of which was cut down to provide fuel for industrialisation). Thus the names of a number of places in the northwestern part of Warwickshire end with the phrase "-in-Arden", such as Henley-in-Arden, Hampton-in-Arden and Tanworth-in-Arden. The remaining area, not part of the forest, was called the Felden - from fielden.

Historic boundaries

Areas historically part of Warwickshire include Coventry, Solihull, and most of Birmingham. These became part of the metropolitan county of West Midlands following local government re-organisation in 1974.

In 1986 the West Midlands County Council was abolished and Birmingham, Coventry, and Solihull became effective unitary authorities, however the West Midlands county name has not been altogether abolished, and still exists for ceremonial purposes, and so these cities still remain outside Warwickshire.

Some organisations, such as Warwickshire County Cricket Club, which is based in Edgbaston, in Birmingham, still observe the historic county boundaries.

Coventry is effectively in the centre of the Warwickshire area, and still has strong ties with the county. Coventry and Warwickshire are sometimes treated as a single area and share a single Chamber of Commerce and BBC Local Radio Station (BBC Coventry & Warwickshire).

Coventry has been a part of Warwickshire for only some of its history. In 1451 Coventry was separated from Warwickshire and made a county corporate in its own right, called the County of the City of Coventry. In 1842 the county of Coventry was abolished and Coventry was remerged with Warwickshire. In recent times, there have been calls to formally re-introduce Coventry into Warwickshire, although nothing has yet come of this. The county's population would explode by almost a third-of-a-million overnight should this occur, Coventry being the UK's 11th largest city.

The town of Tamworth was historically divided between Warwickshire and Staffordshire, but since 1888 has been fully in Staffordshire.

In 1931, Warwickshire gained the town of Shipston-on-Stour from Worcestershire and several villages, including Long Marston and Welford-on-Avon, from Gloucestershire.

Settlements

A list of the main settlements in Warwickshire, including towns, or villages with a population of over 5,000.

History

A detailed map
Stratford-upon-Avon

Warwickshire came into being as a division of the kingdom of Mercia in the early 11th century. The first reference to Warwickshire was in 1001, as Waeinewiscscr named after Warwick (meaning "dwellings by the weir").

During the Middle Ages Warwickshire was dominated by Coventry, which was at the time one of the most important cities in England due to its textiles trade in the heart of England. Warwickshire played a key part in the English Civil War, with the Battle of Edgehill and other skirmishes taking place in the county. During the Industrial Revolution Warwickshire became one of Britain's foremost industrial counties, with the large industrial cities of Birmingham and Coventry within its boundaries.

Boundary changes

Economy

This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Warwickshire at current basic prices published (pp.240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added[1] Agriculture[2] Industry[3] Services[4]
1995 5,063 153 1,717 3,193
2000 7,150 125 2,196 4,829
2003 8,142 159 2,054 5,928

Footnotes:

  1. ^  components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  2. ^  includes hunting and forestry
  3. ^  includes energy and construction
  4. ^  includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured

Local government

Like most English shire counties, Warwickshire has a two-tier structure of local government. The county has a county council based in Warwick which is elected every four years (the last election was held on 4 June 2009 the same day as the European Elections and is currently controlled by the Conservative Party), and is also divided into five districts each with their own district councils. These districts are: North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Rugby, Stratford, and Warwick (see map). The county and district councils are responsible for providing different services.

Atherstone is the headquarters of the North Warwickshire district, Nuneaton is Headquaters of the Nuneaton and Bedworth District and Leamington Spa is the headquarters of the Warwick district.

In addition many small towns and villages have their own parish councils although these have only limited powers.

Warwickshire is policed by the Warwickshire Police

The results of the 2009 County Council elections can be found here

Education

In the state sector, children start school in the school year in which they turn five. They stay at primary school for seven years (although this varies even within the county, as some people have previously gone for four years and then spent another four years at a 'middle school') until they are eleven. Warwickshire is one of the few local authorities in England to still maintain the Grammar school system in two districts: Stratford on Avon and Rugby, although Southam claims to have a comprehensive school. In the final year of primary school, children are given the opportunity of sitting the eleven plus exam in order to compete for a place at one of the Grammar schools, with two in Stratford and Rugby and one in Alcester (including Stratford-upon-Avon Grammar School for Girls; King Edward VI School, a boys school; and Alcester Grammar School (mixed)). The exam is sat on three different days and consists of two verbal reasoning and mathematics papers and one extended writing paper. In order to maintain standards, there is a bank of papers that are used in rotation. In 2006, it was revealed in a local newspaper, the Stratford Herald, that some private eleven plus tutors had copies of the exam papers and that they were using them as practice papers for their pupils. This meant that, in some cases, pupils sitting the exam had seen the paper in advance.[citation needed]

It should be noted that Warwickshire contains 4 Further Education Colleges, North Warwickshire & Hinckley College which has main colleges based in Nuneaton and the Leicestershire Town of Hinckley with smaller colleges based around North Warwickshire, King Edward VI Sixth Form College (K.E.G.S) in Nuneaton, Stratford Upon Avon College and Warwickshire College, an institution made up of six main separate colleges that have merged together (Leamington Centre, Rugby Centre, Moreton Morrell Centre, Pershore College, Henley-in-Arden Centre, and the Trident Centre in Warwick).

There are also five independent schools within the county, namely; Rugby School, Warwick School, Princethorpe College, Kingsley School in Leamington Spa, and The King's High School For Girls, Warwick.

King Edward VI School Stratford-upon-Avon, Rugby School and Warwick School are arguably the three most notable schools within Warwickshire, with King Edward VI School Stratford-upon-Avon still using 13th Century school buildings and being the likely school of William Shakespeare, Rugby School being founded in 1567 and Warwick School originally being founded c.914 AD, which makes it the oldest survivng boys school in the country. All three schools achieve very impressive exam results and benefit from exceptional facilities. Rugby School is one of nine schools that were defined as the "great" English public schools by the Public Schools Act 1868, and is unsurprisingly a member of the Rugby Group. Both Rugby School and Warwick School are HMC schools, with the Headmaster from each school attending the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.

Solihull School in Solihull is also sometimes classified as being in the county of Warwickshire. The changes of the county border has meant that the town was, at some points in time, within Warwickshire and at others was not.

Transport

Roads

Several major motorways run through Warwickshire. these include:

  • The M40 motorway which connects London to Birmingham, runs through the centre of the county, and serves Leamington Spa, Warwick, and Stratford.
  • The M6 motorway, which connects the north-west of England and the midlands to the M1 motorway (and then on to London). Runs through the north of Warwickshire, and serves Rugby, Nuneaton, and Bedworth on its way to Birmingham.
  • The M69 Coventry to Leicester motorway which serves Nuneaton.
  • Other motorways pass briefly through Warwickshire including the M45 (a short spur south of Rugby connecting to the M1), the southern end of the M6 Toll, and the M42 which passes through the county at several points.

Other major trunk routes in Warwickshire includes the A45 (Rugby-Coventry-Birmingham and east into Northamptonshire route). The A46 (connects the M40 to the M6 via Warwick, Kenilworth and Coventry), the A452 (Leamington to Birmingham route) and the A5 runs through Warwickshire passing Nuneaton between Tamworth and Hinckley.

Rail

Two major railway lines pass through Warwickshire.

  • The Chiltern Main Line, the former Great Western route from London to Birmingham passes through the centre of Warwickshire on a route similar to the M40 motorway, and has stations at Leamington Spa, Warwick, (and Warwick Parkway) and Hatton. Rail services are provided by Chiltern Railways and London Midland (Birmingham to Leamington only). There are also two branches off the Chiltern line, one from Leamington to Coventry, and another from Hatton near Warwick to Stratford.
The WCML at Rugby
  • The West Coast Main Line (WCML) runs through Warwickshire. At Rugby the WCML splits into two parts, one runs west through to Coventry and Birmingham, and the other the "Trent Valley Line" runs north-west towards Stafford and the north-west of England. This section has stations at Nuneaton, Atherstone, and Polesworth (North bound services only). There is one branch off the WCML from Nuneaton to Coventry, and there is a station at Bedworth on this branch.

Other railway lines in Warwickshire include the Birmingham-Nuneaton section of the Birmingham to Peterborough Line, which continues east of Nuneaton towards Leicester and Peterborough. Nuneaton has direct services to Birmingham and Leicester on this line, and there is one intermediate station at Water Orton near Coleshill in the extreme north-west of the county.

There is also a branch line from Birmingham to Stratford-upon-Avon. This line used to continue southwards to Cheltenham but is now a dead-end branch. There are several stations on this line at Henley-in-Arden and at several small villages. Stratford also has direct rail services to London via the branch line to Warwick (mentioned earlier).

The only major town in Warwickshire not to have a station is Kenilworth. Although the Leamington to Coventry line passes through the town, its station was closed in the 1960s as part of the Beeching Axe. There is a concerted campaign to re-open the station, although currently there are no local services operating on the line, as it is used only by CrossCountry services.

Air

Coventry Airport is located in the Warwickshire village of Baginton.

Canals and Waterways

Canals in Warwickshire include:

  • The Grand Union Canal, which runs through Leamington and Warwick and onwards to Birmingham.

The restored Saltisford Canal Arm is close to the centre of Warwick, and is now a short branch of the Grand Union Canal. The arm is the remains of the original terminus of the Warwick and Birmingham Canal and dates back to 1799. The Saltisford Canal Trust have restored most of the surviving canal, which is now the mooring for colourful narrowboats and a waterside park open to the public. Over 800 visiting narrowboats come by water to Warwick each year and moor on the arm.Saltisford Canal Trust

The River Avon is navigable from just north of Stratford. In 1974, the Higher Avon Navigation Trust made a proposal to extend the navigation to Warwick and Leamington, where a junction with the Grand Union Canal would create a new cruising ring. Warwickshire County Council believed the scheme to be a catalyst for economic regeneration in the area, but after gauging public support in 2003, decided not to support the plans. The Stratford and Warwick Waterway Trust is still actively pursuing the proposals.[1]

Places of interest

Sports teams

Cricket

Warwickshire County Cricket Club play at Edgbaston. Notable players for Warwickshire have been Brian Lara, Bob Willis, Allan Donald , Geoff Humpage and Sreesanth.

Gaelic Sports

The Warwickshire County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) (or Warwickshire GAA) is one of the county boards outside Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in Warwickshire. The county board is also responsible for the Warwickshire inter-county teams. The play their home games at Páirc na hÉireann. Warwickshire Schools GAA Board was originally setup in September 2000. It has grown at a very healthy rate such that as of May 2007 WSGAA now work in partnership with 28 primary schools, 15 Secondary schools, 2 HE/FE Colleges and 5 local GAA clubs and in total an estimated 2385 young people. The aims of the WSGAA include competition by their elite team in the All-Ireland underage championships. This initiative is a remarkable departure from the traditional way in which British GAA clubs have been organised.

See also

References

  1. ^ Roger Squires, (2008), Britain's Restored Canals, 2nd Ed., Landmark Publishing, ISBN 1-84306-331-X

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents

Warwickshire [1] (pronounced "Worrick-sher" or "Worrick-sheer") is a county in the West Midlands region of England, part of the United Kingdom. The county is noted for being located at the very heart and centre of England, as well as for its many historical and cultural attractions.

Map of Warwickshire
Map of Warwickshire
  • Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford upon Avon
  • Two of England's finer castles in Warwick and Kenilworth
  • Regency splendour of Leamington's Parade

Stay safe

As with the rest of the UK, in any emergency call 999 or 112 (from a land-line if you can) and ask for Ambulance, Fire or Police when connected.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

WARWICKSHIRE, a midland county of England, bounded N. by Staffordshire, E. by Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, S. by Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, and W. by Worcestershire. The area is 902.3 sq. m. The river Avon, watering a rich valley on a line from N.E. to S.W., divides the county into two unequal parts. The greater, lying to the N.W., drains principally to the Trent through the rivers Cole, Blythe, Rea, Anker and minor streams. Between these valleys, and dividing the system from that of the Avon, the land rises in gentle undulations, and is of plateau-like character, generally between 400 and 600 ft. in elevation. There are considerable tracts of this nature on the western boundary, both north and south of Birmingham, on the eastern boundary north of Rugby, and in the centre between the Blythe, the Anker and the Avon. From this side the Avon receives the Swift, the Sowe and the Alne. The northern district was distinguished by Camden as the Woodland, as opposed to the southern or Feldon, "a plain champain." The northern woodland embraced the ancient forest of Arden and it is this district which gave to the county the common epithets of "woody" or "leafy." The Feldon or south-eastern district is almost wholly in the Avon valley. From this side the Avon receives the Learn, the Itchen and the Stour. Along the south-eastern boundary runs the highest line of hills in the county, reaching some .800 ft., and including Edge Hill (which gives name to the battle of 1642), and the Brailes, Dassett, Napton and Shuckburgh hills. The county boundary here extends across the highest line of hills, to include the headwaters of some of the feeders of the Cherwell, and thus a small part of the drainage area of the Thames. These hills rise abruptly, and command wide views over the champaign. The finest silvan scenery is found on the banks of the Avon; the position of Guy's Cliffe and of Warwick Castle are well-known examples. It is not difficult to trace the influence of the scenic characteristics of the county in the writings of its most famous son, William Shakespeare.

Table of contents

Geology

The Archean rocks are represented by some volcanic ashes and intrusive dykes (the Caldecote Series), which are exposed north-west of Nuneaton. They dip south-westward under the Cambrian beds - Hartshill Quartzite and Stockingford Shales - which give rise to higher ground; the quartzite, which is opened up in numerous large roadstone quarries, contains towards its summit a fauna suggesting that of the Olenellus zone, one of the oldest faunas known. The quartzite as well as the overlying shales is seamed with intrusive dykes of diorite. A small inlier of the same shales occurs at Dosthill, south of Tamworth. The Coal Measures of the Warwickshire coalfield crop out in the north of the county between Nuneaton and Tamworth and contain valuable coal-seams; they pass conformably under the so-called Permian red sandstones and marls which are apparently the equivalents of the Keele Beds of Staffordshire, and like them should be grouped with the Coal Measures; they occupy a considerable area north and west of Coventry, and at Corley form high ground (625 ft.); in several places shafts have been sunk through them to the productive Coal Measures below. The rest of the county is occupied in the northern half by, the Triassic red rocks, and in the south-east by the Lias. Of the Trias the Bunter (soft red sandstones with pebble-beds) is represented only between Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield, where it is succeeded by the Keuper Sandstone, which is occasionally exposed also around the edge of the coalfield (Tamworth, Coventry, Warwick, Maxstoke); the Keuper Marls occupy a large area in the centre of the county, while some sandstones in them form picturesque scarps near Henley-in-Arden. The highly fossiliferous Rhaetic beds which introduce the Lias are seldom exposed. The Lower Lias limestones are worked for cement (as near Rugby) and abound in ammonites. The Middle Lias sands and limestones follow, and form escarpments (as at Edge Hill, 710 ft.); but these and the lowest members of the Oolite series scarcely cross the county boundary from Oxfordshire. Glacial drifts - boulder-clay, sand and gravel - overspread large areas of the older rocks; their composition shows them to have been deposited from glaciers or ice-sheets which entered the district from the Irish Sea, from North Wales and from the North Sea. Later fluvio-glacial gravels of the Avon valley have yielded mammalian remains (hippopotamus, mammoth, &c.), while palaeolithic implements of quartzite have been found in the old gravels of the Rea near Birmingham. Coal, ironstone, lime and cement are the chief mineral products; manganese ore was formerly got from the Cambrian rocks.

Climate and Agriculture

The climate is generally mild and healthy. The soil is on the whole good, and consists of various foams, marls, gravels and clays, well suited for most of the usual crops. It is rich in pasture-land, and dairy-farming is increasing. It has excellent orchards and market-gardens, and possesses some of the finest woodlands in England. About five-sixths of the total area, a high proportion, is under cultivation, and of this about twothirds is in permanent pasture. Oats and wheat occupy the greater part of the area under grain crops. In connexion with the cattlerearing and dairy-farming, over half the acreage under green crops is occupied by turnips, swedes and mangolds.

Industries

The industrial part of the county is the northern. Warwickshire includes the greatest manufacturing centre of the Midlands - Birmingham, though the suburbs of that city extend into Staffordshire and Worcestershire. Metal-working in all branches is prosecuted here, besides other industries. Coventry is noted for cycle-making, and, with Bedworth and Nuneaton and the intervening villages, is a seat of the ribbonand tape-makers. A small rich coalfield occurs in the north-east, extending outside the county northward from Coventry. Clay, limestone and other stone are quarried at various points, and an appreciable amount of iron ore is raised.

Communications

The main line of the London & North-Western railway runs within the county near the N.E. boundary, by Rugby, Nuneaton and Tamworth, with branches to Leamington and Warwick, Coventry and Birmingham, and cross-branches. The northern line of the Great Western railway runs through Leamington and Warwick to Birmingham, with branches to Stratford-on-Avon and Henley-in-Arden. The Leicester and Birmingham branch of the Midland railway crosses the north of the county by Nuneaton, and the Birmingham-Evesham line of this company serves Alcester.

The East and West Junction railway, from Blisworth in Northamptonshire, serves Stratford-on-Avon and terminates at Broom Junction on the Evesham line of the Midland. Water communication through the east of the county is afforded by the Oxford and Coventry canals. The Warwick & Napton canal joins the Oxford at Napton; the Warwick & Birmingham joins these towns, and the Stratford-on-Avon is a branch from it. The Fazeley canal runs N.E. from Birmingham. None of the rivers is of commercial value for navigation.

Population and Administration

The area of the ancient county is 577,4 62 acres, with a population in 1891 of 805,072, and in 1901 of 897,835, the chief centres of increase lying naturally in the parts about Birmingham and Coventry. The area of the administrative county is 579,885 acres. The municipal boroughs are: Aston Manor (pop. 77,326), Birmingham (522,204), Coventry (69,978), Leamington, officially Royal Leamington Spa (26,888), Nuneaton (24,996), Stratford-on-Avon (8310), Sutton Coldfield (14,264) and Warwick (11,889), the county town. The urban districts are: Bulkington (1548), Erdington (16,368), Kenilworth (4544) and Rugby (16,830). Among the towns not, appearing in these lists there should be mentioned: Alcester (2303), Atherstone (5248), Bedworth (7169), Coleshill (2593), Foleshill (5514) and Solihull (7517). Warwickshire is in the midland circuit, and assizes are held at Warwick. It has one court of quarter sessions, and is divided into 14 petty sessional divisions. The boroughs of Birmingham, Coventry, Royal Leamington Spa, Stratford-on-Avon, Sutton Coldfield and Warwick have separate commissions of the peace, and the boroughs of Birmingham and Warwick have, in addition, separate courts of quarter sessions. The total number of civil parishes is 267. The county, which is mostly in the diocese of Worcester, but also extends into those of Lichfield, Gloucester, Peterborough and Oxford, contains 297 ecclesiastical parishes or districts, wholly or in part. Warwickshire has four parliamentary divisions - Northern or Tamworth, North-eastern or Nuneaton, South-eastern or Rugby, and South-western or Stratford-on-Avon, each returning one member. The parliamentary boroughs of Aston Manor, Coventry and Warwick return one member each, and that of Birmingham has seven divisions, each returning one member.

Birmingham is the seat of a university, of the large grammar school of King Edward VI., and of other important educational institutions. At Rugby is one of the most famous of English public schools. The King's School, Warwick, is a large boys' school, and the Leamington High School is for girls. There is a day training college for schoolmasters and schoolmistresses in connexion with Mason University College, Birmingham. Among other institutions there may be mentioned the Lady Warwick College for the instruction of women in the higher branches of agriculture, &c., founded by Frances, countess of Warwick, at Reading in 1898, and subsequently removed to Studley Castle in western Warwickshire, where there is accommodation for 50 students.

History

The earliest English settlers in the district now known as Warwickshire were a tribe of Hwiccas who, pushing up the Severn valley in the 6th century, made their way along the passages afforded by the Avon valley and the Roman Fosse Way, the extent of their settlement being indicated by the ancient limits of the diocese of Worcester. The vast forest of Arden, stretching from the Avon to the site of the modern Birmingham, barred any progress northwards, at the same time affording protection from the Anglian tribes who were already settled about Atherstone, and it was only after the battle of Cirencester in 628 that the whole of the Hwiccan territory was comprised in Mercia. In 675 Cosford was included in the endowment of Peterborough, and in 757 i z Ethelbald was slain at Seckington in a battle with the West Saxons. The shire of Warwick originated in the 10th century about iEthelflad's new burgh at Warwick, and is mentioned by name in the Saxon Chronicle in 1016, when it was harried by Canute. The Danes made frequent incursions in the district in the 10th and 11th centuries, but no traces of their settlements occur south of Rugby.

The shire offered little resistance to the Conqueror, who was at Warwick in 1068, and Thurkill the sheriff was one of the few Englishmen to retain large estates which he had held before the conquest, his family long continuing in the county under the name of Arden. The fortification which he had raised at Warwick William entrusted to Henry, son of Roger de Beaumont, afterwards earl of Warwick, and Robert, count of Meulan, Henry's elder brother, had an important fief. Coventry Minster was richly endowed, and in 1285 the prior claimed among other privileges to have an independent coroner and to hold two courts a year. The earldom and castle of Warwick subsequently passed to the Beauchamps, and in the reign of Henry VI. to the Nevilles. The Clintons, founders of the castles and priories at Maxstoke and Kenilworth, enjoyed large estates in the county during the Norman period.

The ten Domesday hundreds of Warwickshire are now reduced to four, all of which are mentioned in the 12th century. Hemlingford represents. the Domesday hundred of Coleshill; Knightlow, the Domesday hundreds of Bomelau, Meretone and Stanlei; Kineton, the Domesday hundreds of Tremelau, Honesberie, Fexhole and Berricestone; Barlichway, the Domesday hundreds of Fernecumbe and Patelau. Coleshill took its name from Coleshill, a town near the junction of the Cole and the Blythe; Hemlingford from a ford over the Tame near Kingsbury; Knightlow from a hill on Dunsmore Heath; Meretone and Stanlei from the villages of Marton and Stoneleigh; Berricestone from Barcheston on the Stour; Barlichway from a plot of ground on a hill between Haselor and Burton. Patelau hundred, which derived its name from a tumulus between Wootton Wawen and Stratford-on-Avon, was a liberty of the bishops of Worcester, and in the 17th century, though reckoned part of Barlichway hundred, possessed a court leet and court baron. The boundaries of Warwickshire have remained practically unchanged since the Domesday Survey, but Spilsbury, now in Oxfordshire, Romsley, Shipley, Quat and Rudge, now in Shropshire, and Chillington, now in Staffordshire, were assessed under this county, while Sawbridge, Berkswell, Whitacre, Over and Whichford, now in this county, were assessed under Northamptonshire. Warwickshire was united with Leicestershire under one sheriff until 1566, the shire court for the former being held at Warwick.

In the 13th century Warwickshire included the deaneries of Warwick and Kineton within the archdeaconry and diocese of Worcester; the rest of the county constituting the archdeaconry of Coventry within the Lichfield diocese, with the deaneries of Coventry, Stoneley, Merton and Arden. In 1836 the archdeaconry of Coventry was annexed to the diocese of Worcester, and in 1854 its deaneries were entirely reconstituted and made thirteen in number. In 1861 the deanery of Alcester was formed within the archdeaconry of Worcester, and Kineton was divided into North Kineton and South Kineton. In 1894 the deaneries of Aston, Birmingham, Coleshill, Northfield, Polesworth, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield were formed into the archdeaconry of Birmingham, the archdeaconry of Coventry now including the deaneries' of Atherstone, Baginton, Coventry, Dassett Magna, Dunchurch, Leamington, Monks Kirby, Rugby and Southam.

In the wars of the reign of Henry III. Simon de Montfort placed Kenilworth Castle in charge of Sir John Giffard, who in 1264 attacked Warwick Castle and took prisoner the earl and countess of Warwick, who had supported the king. During the Wars of the Roses the Nevilles, represented by the earl of Warwick, supported the Yorkist cause, while Coventry was a Lancastrian stronghold. On the outbreak of the Civil War of the 17th century Warwickshire and Staffordshire were associated for the parliament under Lord Brooke. The battle of Edgehill was fought in 1642, and in 1643 Birmingham, then a small town noted for its Puritanism, was sacked by Prince Rupert. Coventry endured a siege in 1642, and skirmishes took place at Southam and Warwick.

At the time of the Domesday Survey the industries of Warwickshire were almost exclusively agricultural, the extensive woodlands north of the Avon affording pasturage for sheep, while meadows and water-mills were numerous in the river valleys. The woollen industry flourished in Norman times, and Coventry was famed for its wool and broadcloths in the reign of Edward III. Coal was probably dug at Griff in the 12th century, but the Warwickshire collieries only came into prominence in the 17th century, when John Briggs of Bedworth made an attempt to monopolize the coal trade. Birmingham was already famous for its smiths and cutlers in the 16th century. In the early 17th century the depopulation and distress caused by the enclosures of land for pasture led to frequent riots. The silk industry at Coventry and the needle industry about Alcester both flourished in the r8th century.

Warwickshire returned two members to the parliament of 1290, and in 1295 Coventry and Warwick were each represented by two members. Tamworth returned two members in 1584. Under the Reform Act of 1832 the county returned four members in two divisions; Birmingham was represented by two members, and Tamworth was disfranchised. Under the act of 1868 the representation of Birmingham was increased to three members.

Antiquities

Of pre-Norman architecture some traces appear in the fine church of Wootton Wawen in the Arden (western) district. Otherwise the type is scarce, but Saxon remains, such as burial urns and jewelry, have been found in several places, as near Bensford Bridge on Watling Street. For ecclesiastical architecture Coventry with its three spires is famous, and among village churches there are many fine examples. Of those retaining Norman portions may be mentioned: Wolston and Berkswell in the Coventry district; Polesworth, formerly conventual, and Curdworth in the north; 'and in the south, in the neighbourhood of Edgehill, Burton Dassett, a very noteworthy building, and Warmington, where there is a remarkable specimen of domus inclusi or anchorite's chamber. There are also fine examples of Decorated work, such as Knowle, Solihull and Temple Balsall in Arden, and Brailes under the southern hills. Among the numerous religious houses in the county several have left remains. Such are the Cistercian foundations of Coombe Abbey near Coventry, of the 12th century, adjoining the mansion of that name in a beautiful park; of Merevale near Atherstone; and of Stoneleigh near Kenilworth, also adjoining a famous mansion. This abbey was a 12th-century foundation, but a majestic gatehouse of the 14th century also stands. Maxstoke Priory, in Arden, was a foundation for Augustinian canons of the 14th century. Wroxall Abbey was a Benedictine nunnery of the 12th century; but the name is given to a modern mansion. In view of the large share the county has had in war, it is not surprising to find many examples of great fortified houses or castles. Warwick Castle and Kenilworth Castle, the one still a splendid residence, the other a no less splendid ruin, are described under those towns. At Hartshill (the birthplace of Michael Drayton the poet) there is a fragment of a Norman castle. Among fortified mansions Maxstoke Castle is of the 14th century; Baddesley Clinton Hall is of the 15th as it stands, but is an earlier foundation; Astley Castle is another good specimen of the period. Compton Wyniates, once fortified, is a beautiful Elizabethan house of brick, so remarkably hidden in a hollow of the southern hills as to be visible only from the closest proximity on all sides; Charles I. lodged here during the Civil Wars. Charlecote Park is a modernized Elizabethan hall in an exquisite situation on the Avon above Stratford. Of more modern mansions Arbury Hall, Astley Castle, Newnham Paddox, Ragley Hall and Walton Hall may be mentioned.

See Victoria County History, Warwickshire; Sir William Dugdale, The Antiquities of Warwickshire (London, 1656; 2nd ed., 2 vols., London, 1730); W. Smith, A History of the County of Warwick (Birmingham, 1830); J. T. Burgess, Historic Warwickshire (London, 1876); Early Earthworks in Warwickshire (Birmingham, 1884); S. Timmins, History of Warwickshire (" Popular County History" series) (London, 1889); J. Hannet, The Forest of Arden (London, 1863).


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

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Proper noun

Singular
Warwickshire

Plural
-

Warwickshire

  1. An inland county of England bordered by Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Warwickshire
Image:EnglandWarwickshire.png
Geography
Status: Ceremonial & Non-metropolitan county
Region: West Midlands
Area:
- Total
- Admin. council
Ranked 31st
1,975 km²
Ranked 28th
Admin HQ: Warwick
ISO 3166-2: GB-WAR
ONS code: 44
NUTS 3: UKG13
Demographics
Population:
- Total (2006 est.)
- Density
- Admin. Council
Ranked 40th Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
522,200


264

/ km²
Ranked 24th Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
Ethnicity: 95.6% White
2.8% S.Asian
Politics
Arms of Warwickshire County Council
Warwickshire County Council
http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/
Executive: Conservative (council NOC)
MPs:
Districts
Image:Warwickshire Numbered.png


Larger version

  1. North Warwickshire
  2. Nuneaton and Bedworth
  3. Rugby
  4. Stratford-on-Avon
  5. Warwick

Warwickshire (pronounced IPA: /ˈwɒrɪkʃə(r)/, /ˈwɒrɪkʃɪə(r), ˈwɔːɹɪkˌʃə(r) or ˈwɔːɹɪkˌʃɪə(r)/) is a landlocked non-metropolitan county in central England. The county town is Warwick, although the largest town is Nuneaton in the far north of the county. The shape of the administrative area Warwickshire differs considerably from that of the historic county. Commonly used abbreviations for the county are Warks or Warwicks.

Warwickshire is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon. The county has also produced other literary figures such as George Eliot (from near Nuneaton), Rupert Brooke (from Rugby), and Michael Drayton from Hartshill.

Contents

Geography

Warwickshire is bounded to the northwest by the West Midlands metropolitan county and Staffordshire, by Leicestershire to the northeast, Northamptonshire to the east, Worcestershire to the west, Oxfordshire to the south and Gloucestershire to the southwest. An average-sized English county covering an area of almost 2,000 sq.km, it runs some 96 km / 60 miles north to south.

The majority of Warwickshire's population live in the north and centre of the county. The market towns of northern and eastern Warwickshire were industrialised in the 19th century, and include Atherstone, Bedworth, Nuneaton, and Rugby. Major industries included coal mining, textiles, engineering, and cement production, but heavy industry is in decline, being replaced by distribution centres, light to medium industry, and services. Of the northern and eastern towns, only Nuneaton and Rugby (as the birthplace of Rugby football) are well-known outside of Warwickshire. The prosperous towns of central and western Warwickshire include Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon, Kenilworth, Alcester, and Warwick harbour light to medium industries, services and tourism as major employment sectors.

The south of the county is largely rural and sparsely populated, and includes a small area of the Cotswolds. The only town in the south of Warwickshire is Shipston-on-Stour. The highest point in the county, at 261 m (856 ft), is Ebrington Hill on the border with Gloucestershire, GR SP187426 at its southwest extremity.

The north of the county, bordering Staffordshire and Leicestershire, is mildly undulating countryside and the northernmost village, No Man's Heath, is only 55 km / 34 miles south of the Peak District National Park's southernmost point.

There are no cities in Warwickshire since both Coventry and Birmingham were incorporated into the West Midlands county in 1974 and are now metropolitan authorities in themselves. The largest towns in Warwickshire as of 2004 are: Nuneaton (pop. 77,500), Rugby (62,700), Leamington Spa (45,300), and Bedworth (32,500). Stratford, Warwick, and Kenilworth all house populations in excess of 20,000 inhabitants, while the smaller towns of Atherstone, Alcester, Coleshill, Southam, Bulkington, Polesworth, Kingsbury, Henley-in-Arden, the village of Studley, Shipston and Whitnash have populations between 5,000 and 12,000.

Historically much of western Warwickshire, including the area now forming part of Birmingham and the West Midlands, was covered by the ancient Forest of Arden (although most of this was cut down to provide fuel for industrialisation in the 17th to 19th centuries). For this reason, the names of a number of places in the northwestern part of Warwickshire end with the phrase "-in-Arden".

Historic boundaries

Areas historically part of Warwickshire include Coventry, Solihull, and most of Birmingham. These became part of the metropolitan county of West Midlands following local government re-organisation in 1974.

In 1986 the West Midlands County Council was abolished and Birmingham, Coventry, and Solihull became effective unitary authorities, however the West Midlands county name has not been altogether abolished, and still exists for ceremonial purposes, and so these cities still remain outside Warwickshire.

Some organisations, such as Warwickshire County Cricket Club, which is based in Edgbaston, in Birmingham, still observe the historic county boundaries.

Coventry is effectively in the centre of the Warwickshire area, and still has strong ties with the county. Coventry and Warwickshire are sometimes treated as a single area and share a single NHS trust and Chamber of Commerce as well as other institutions, ie, BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire.

Coventry has been a part of Warwickshire for only some of its history. In 1451 Coventry was separated from Warwickshire and made a county corporate in its own right, called the County of the City of Coventry. In 1842 the county of Coventry was abolished and Coventry was remerged with Warwickshire. In recent times, there have been calls to formally re-introduce Coventry into Warwickshire, although nothing has yet come of this. The county's population would explode by almost a third-of-a-million overnight should this occur, Coventry being the UK's 11th largest city.

The town of Tamworth was historically divided between Warwickshire and Staffordshire, but since 1888 has been fully in Staffordshire.

In 1931, Warwickshire gained the town of Shipston-on-Stour from Worcestershire and several villages, including Long Marston and Welford-on-Avon, from Gloucestershire.

Settlements

Main article: List of places in Warwickshire
Further information: List of Warwickshire towns by populationImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif

A list of the main settlements in Warwickshire, including towns, or villages with a population of over 5,000.



History

A detailed map
Stratford-upon-Avon
Main article: History of Warwickshire

Warwickshire came into being as a division of the kingdom of Mercia in the early 11th century, the first reference to Warwickshire was in 1001, as Waeinewiscscr named after Warwick (meaning "dwellings by the weir").

During the Middle Ages Warwickshire was dominated by Coventry, which was at the time one of the most important cities in England due to its textiles trade in the heart of England

Warwickshire played a key part in the English Civil War, with the Battle of Edgehill and other skirmishes taking place in the county.

During the Industrial Revolution Warwickshire became one of Britain's foremost industrial counties, with the large industrial cities of Birmingham and Coventry within its boundaries.

1974 boundary changes removed Birmingham and Coventry from Warwickshire, leaving the present day county with a rather odd shape, which looks as if a large chunk has been bitten out of it.

Boundary changes

Economy

This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Warwickshire at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added[1] Agriculture[2] Industry[3] Services[4]
1995 5,063 153 1,717 3,193
2000 7,150 125 2,196 4,829
2003 8,142 159 2,054 5,928

Footnotes:

  1. ^  components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  2. ^  includes hunting and forestry
  3. ^  includes energy and construction
  4. ^  includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured

Local government

Like most English shire counties, Warwickshire has a two-tier structure of Local government. The county has a county council based in Warwick, and is also divided into five districts each with their own district councils. These districts are : North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Rugby, Stratford, and Warwick (see map). The county and district councils are responsible for providing different services.

Atherstone is the headquarters of the North Warwickshire district, whereas Leamington Spa is the headquarters of the Warwick district.

In addition many small towns and villages have their own parish councils although these have only limited powers.

Warwickshire is policed by the Warwickshire Police

Education

In the state sector, children start school in the school year (1st September to 31st August) in which they turn five. They stay at primary school for seven years (although this varies even within the county, as some people have previously gone for four years and then spent another four years at a 'middle school') until they are eleven. Warwickshire is one of the few local authorities in England to still maintain the Grammar school system in two districts: Stratford on Avon and Rugby, although Southam claims to have a comprehensive school. In the final year of primary school, children are given the opportunity of sitting the eleven plus exam in order to compete for a place at one of the Grammar schools, with two in Stratford and Rugby and one in Alcester (including Stratford-upon-Avon Grammar School for Girls; King Edward VI School, a boys school; and Alcester Grammar School (mixed)). The exam is sat on three different days and consists of two verbal reasoning and mathematics papers and one extended writing paper. In order to maintain standards, there is a bank of papers that are used in rotation. In 2006, it was revealed in a local newspaper, the Stratford Herald, that some private eleven plus tutors had copies of the exam papers and that they were using them as practice papers for their pupils. This meant that, in some cases, pupils sitting the exam had seen the paper in advance.

Those students who do not gain a place at a grammar school can attend one of the numerous high schools. Students must stay at school until they are sixteen, when they take GCSE exams, or alternative qualifications. They can then leave school, stay in the school, if it has a sixth form, or go to college.

There are five independent schools including some prestigious public and other independent schools in the county, namely Rugby School, Princethorpe College, Warwick School and The King's High School For Girls in Warwick.

In England, at GCSE, 45.8% of pupils get 5 grades A-C including English and Maths. In Warwickshire, it is 48%, which is quite good. Of the comprehensives, the best school at GCSE is Kenilworth School and Sports College, but this is a lower result than the best secondary modern, St Benedicts Catholic High School in Alcester. At A level, the best school is the King Edward VI School in Stratford-upon-Avon, followed by Stratford-upon-Avon Grammar School for Girls with outstanding results. The best comprehensive at A-level is Myton School in Warwick, followed by the Coleshill School. The independent schools are also very good, with Warwick School being the highest, although slightly less than the state-funded King Edward VI School.

GCSE results by district council (%)

  • Stratford on Avon 65.2
  • Rugby 51.1
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth 47.1
  • Warwick 41.9
  • North Warwickshire 40.4
  • (Coventry Unitary Authority 37.8)

Transport

Roads

Several major motorways run through Warwickshire. these include:

  • The M40 motorway which connects London to Birmingham, runs through the centre of the county, and serves Leamington Spa, Warwick, and Stratford.
  • The M6 motorway, which connects the north west of England and the midlands to the M1 motorway (and then on to London). Runs through the north of Warwickshire, and serves Rugby, Nuneaton, and Bedworth on its way to Birmingham.
  • The M69 Coventry to Leicester motorway which serves Nuneaton.
  • Other motorways pass briefly through Warwickshire including the M45 (a short spur south of Rugby connecting to the M1), the southern end of the M6 Toll, and the M42 which passes through the county at several points.

Other major trunk routes in Warwickshire includes the A45 (Rugby-Coventry-Birmingham and east into Northamptonshire route). The A46 (connects the M40 to the M6 via Warwick, Kenilworth and Coventry) and the A452 (Leamington to Birmingham route).

Rail

Two major railway lines pass through Warwickshire.

  • The Chiltern Main Line, the former Great Western route from London to Birmingham passes through the centre of Warwickshire on a route similar to the M40 motorway, and has stations at Leamington Spa, Warwick, (and Warwick Parkway) and Hatton. Rail services are provided by Chiltern Railways and London Midland (Birmingham to Leamington only). There are also two branches off the Chiltern line, one from Leamington to Coventry, and another from Hatton near Warwick to Stratford.
The WCML at Rugby
  • The West Coast Main Line (WCML) runs through Warwickshire. At Rugby the WCML splits into two parts, one runs west through to Coventry and Birmingham, and the other the "Trent Valley Line" runs north-west towards Stafford and the north-west of England. This section has stations at Nuneaton, Atherstone, and Polesworth (North bound services only). There is one branch off the WCML from Nuneaton to Coventry, and there is a station at Bedworth on this branch.

Other railway lines in Warwickshire include the Birmingham-Nuneaton section of the Birmingham to Peterborough Line, which continues east of Nuneaton towards Leicester and Peterborough. Nuneaton has direct services to Birmingham and Leicester on this line, and there is one intermediate station at Water Orton near Coleshill in the extreme north-west of the county.

There is also a branch line from Birmingham to Stratford-upon-Avon. This line used to continue southwards to Cheltenham but is now a dead-end branch. There are several stations on this line at Henley-in-Arden and at several small villages. Stratford also has direct rail services to London via the branch line to Warwick (mentioned earlier).

The only major town in Warwickshire not to have a station is Kenilworth. Although the Leamington to Coventry line passes through the town, its station was closed in the 1960s as part of the Beeching Axe. There is a concerted campaign to re-open the station, although currently there are no local services operating on the line, as it is used only by Virgin cross-country services.

Canals and Waterways

Canals in Warwickshire, include:

  • The Grand Union Canal, which runs through Leamington and Warwick and onwards to Birmingham.

The restored Saltisford Canal Arm, is close to the centre of Warwick, and is now a short branch of the Grand Union Canal. The arm is the remains of the original terminus of the Warwick and Birmingham Canal and dates back to 1799. The Saltisford Canal Trust have restored most of the surviving canal, which is now the mooring for colourful narrowboats and a waterside park open to the public. Over 800 visiting narrowboats come by water to Warwick each year and moor on the arm.Saltisford Canal Trust

The River Avon is navigable from just north of Stratford. It has been proposed for decades to extend the navigation to Warwick and Leamington, creating a new cruising ring and linking up with the Upper Avon Navigation. This would create many benefits to residents, boaters and wildlife but due to a vocal campaign by a few local residents has yet to come to fruition.

Places of interest



External links

See also



This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Warwickshire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

This article uses material from the "Warwickshire" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Warwickshire
Geography
Status:Ceremonial & Non-metropolitan county
Region:West Midlands
Area:
- Total
- Admin. council
Ranked 31st
1,975 km²
Ranked 28th
Admin HQ:Warwick
ISO 3166-2:GB-WAR
ONS code:44
NUTS 3:UKG13
Demographics
Population:
- Total (2005 est.)
- Density
- Admin. Council
Ranked 39th
533,900
270 / km²
Ranked 23rd
Ethnicity:95.6% White
2.8% S.Asian
Politics
]
Warwickshire County Council
http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/
Executive:Conservative (council NOC)
MPs:John Maples, Mike O'Brien, Bill Olner, James Plaskitt, Jeremy Wright
Districts


Larger version

  1. North Warwickshire
  2. Nuneaton and Bedworth
  3. Rugby
  4. Stratford-on-Avon
  5. Warwick

Warwickshire (pronounced /ˈwɒɹɪkˌʃə/, /ˈwɔːɹɪkˌʃə/, or /ˈwɔːɹɪkˌʃɪə/) is a county in central England. The county town is Warwick. The shape of the administrative area Warwickshire differs considerably from that of the historic county. Commonly used abbreviations for the county are Warks or Warwicks.

Warwickshire is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon. The county has also produced other literary figures such as George Eliot (from near Nuneaton), Rupert Brooke (from Rugby), and Michael Drayton from Hartshill.

Contents

Geography

Warwickshire is bounded to the northwest by the West Midlands metropolitan county, and Staffordshire, by Leicestershire to the northeast, Northamptonshire to the east, Worcestershire to the west, Oxfordshire to the south, Gloucestershire to the southwest.

The majority of Warwickshire's population live in the north and centre of the county. The market towns of northern and eastern Warwickshire were industrialised in the 19th century, and include Atherstone, Bedworth, Nuneaton, and Rugby. Major industries included coal mining, textiles, engineering, and cement production, but heavy industry is in decline. Of the northern and eastern towns, only Nuneaton and Rugby (as the birthplace of Rugby football) are well-known outside of Warwickshire. The rich towns of central and western Warwickshire include Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon, Kenilworth, Alcester, and Warwick. They have light to medium industries, services, and tourism as major employers.

The south of the county is largely rural and has little population, and includes a small area of the Cotswolds. The only town in the south of Warwickshire is Shipston-on-Stour. The highest point in the county, at 261 m (856 ft), is Ebrington Hill on the border with Gloucestershire, GR SP187426 at its southwest extremity.

There are no cities in Warwickshire since both Coventry and Birmingham were incorporated into the West Midlands county in 1974. The largest towns in Warwickshire as of 2004 are: Nuneaton (pop. 77,500), Rugby (62,700), Leamington Spa (45,300), and Bedworth (32,500). Stratford, Warwick, and Kenilworth all house populations with more than 20,000 inhabitants, the smaller towns of Atherstone, Alcester, Coleshill, Southam, Bulkington, Polesworth, Kingsbury, Henley-in-Arden, Studley, Shipston and Whitnash have populations between 5,000 and 12,000.

Historically much of western Warwickshire, was covered by the ancient Forest of Arden (although most of this was cut down to provide fuel for industrialisation in the 17th to 19th centuries). For this reason, the names of a number of places in the northwestern part of Warwickshire end with the phrase "-in-Arden".

Historic boundaries

Areas historically part of Warwickshire include Coventry, Solihull, and most of Birmingham. These became part of the West Midlands metropolitan county following local government re-organisation in 1974.

Since 1986 Birmingham, Coventry, and Solihull have been effective unitary authorities, but they still remain legally part of the West Midlands.

Some organisations, such as Warwickshire County Cricket Club, which is based in Edgbaston, in Birmingham, still observe the historic county boundaries.

Coventry is effectively in the centre of the Warwickshire area, and still has strong ties with the county. Coventry and Warwickshire are sometimes treated as a single area and share a single NHS trust and ambulance service as well as other institutions.

The town of Tamworth was historically divided between Warwickshire and Staffordshire, but since 1888 has been fully in Staffordshire.

In 1931, Warwickshire got the town of Shipston-on-Stour from Worcestershire and several villages, including Long Marston and Welford-on-Avon, from Gloucestershire.

Main settlements

This is a list of the main settlements in Warwickshire, including towns, or villages with a population of over 5,000. For a complete list see List of places in Warwickshire.

Places of interest

]] ]]

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