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WARWICKSHIREounty of central England.

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Local Links Warwickshire County Council - Rugby Borough Council - Stratford Upon Avon District Council

owns and cities Warwick (administrative headquarters), Nuneaton, Royal Leamington Spa, Rugby, Stratford-upon-Avon (the birthplace of Shakespeare)
rea 1,980 sq. km / 764 sq. miles
opulation 496,300 (1994)
opography Anne Hathaway's CottageWarwickshire is bounded on the north by Staffordshire, and Derbyshire; on the east by Leicestershire and Northamptonshire; on the south by Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire; and on the west by Worcestershire and the West Midlands. The surface is not very flat, though the highest point, Ebrington Hill, is only 260 m / 853 ft. Rivers Avon, Stour, and Tame; remains of the `Forest of Arden´ (portrayed by Shakespeare in As You Like It)
ommerce Agriculture: cereals (oats and wheat); dairy farming; fruit; market gardening
Industries: cement; engineering; ironstone, and lime are worked in the east and south; motor industry; textiles; tourism
amous people William Shakespeare, George Eliot, Rupert Brooke

Edge Hill, where the first major battle of the civil war took place in 1642. There are fine views from the top of Edge Hill Tower.
Meriden, where a medieval cross marks the centre of England.
Royal Leamington Spa for fine examples of late Georgian architecture.

Kenilworth castle; Edgehill, site of the Battle of Edgehill in 1642, during the English Civil War; annual Royal Agricultural Show held at Stoneleigh The Beauchamp Chapel of St Mary's church, Warwick, is noteworthy, and there are the remains of a Cistercian monastery at Coombe Abbey, and of other religious houses at Kenilworth, Maxstoke, Merevale, Stoneleigh, and Wroxall.


Shakespeare's BirthplaceMarket town on the River Avon 22 miles southeast of Birmingham. World renowned as the birthplace of William Shakespeare and has the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (1932), the Swan Theatre, and The Other Place. Stratford receives over 2 million tourists a year. The Royal Shakespeare Theatre replaced an earlier building (1877- 79) that burned down in 1926. 

Shakespeare's birthplace contains relics of his life and times. His grave is in the parish church; his wife Anne Hathaway's cottage is nearby. Shakespeare landmarks Shakespeare's reputed birthplace is in Henley Street, purchased for the nation in 1847 for £3,000 (it is administered by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which also runs the adjoining library and study centre, opened in 1964, and several other Shakespeare-related buildings); Anne Hathaway's cottage, 1.5 km/1 mi from the centre of the town; the graves of the poet and his wife in the chancel of Holy Trinity; `The Cage´, which was for 36 years the home of Judith, Shakespeare's younger daughter, wife of Thomas Quiney, vintner; Hall's Croft, old-timbered residence of Susanna, the poet's elder daughter, who married Dr John Hall, his executor, which now houses the offices of the British Council and a Festival Club; Wilmcote, the house of Shakespeare's mother Mary Arden, a fine timbered farmhouse of the Tudor period, 5 km/3 mi outside the town; Nash's House, restored in 17th-century style, with the adjoining vacant site of Shakespeare's house, New Place, and its Elizabethan garden; and King Edward VI Grammar School, endowed in 1482 by Rev Thomas Jolyffe, MA, of Stratford, and re-endowed by Edward VI. Royal Shakespeare Theatre and surroundings The original theatre built by public subscription as the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, a redbrick building which opened in 1879 for annual summer seasons of Shakespeare's plays, was destroyed by fire in 1926. The present building, which changed its name in 1961 to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, was designed by Elizabeth Scott and opened in 1932. The buildings adjoining the theatre were not seriously damaged by the fire. They include the library, which, mainly donated by C E Flower (1830- 1892) and his wife, contains some 10,000 volumes of Shakespeare editions and dramatic literature, and a number of pictures, including the ` Droeshout´ portrait. There is also the art gallery and museum, containing pictures and exhibits illustrating the history of the theatre and Shakespeare productions. Mason Croft, once the home of Marie Corelli, is now the Institute of Shakespeare Studies, run by the University of Birmingham. Other features The Chapel of the Guild of the Holy Cross dates from the 13th century. Holy Trinity church occupies the site of a Saxon monastery, and also dates from the 13th century. The town hall, first erected in 1633, was rebuilt in 1767; it has complete records of the sequence of bailiffs, mayors, and town clerks from 1553 (including Shakespeare's father, John Shakespeare), and of high stewards from 1610. The town trades in cattle and agricultural produce. Charlecote Park and its 16th-century house lies 6 km/3.7 mi east of the town; the park was acquired by the National Trust in 1945.The river is crossed by a fine bridge, erected during the reign of Henry VII by Sir Hugh Clopton, Lord Mayor of London.


Warwick castleMarket town, administrative headquarters of Warwickshire, central England, 33 km/21 mi southeast of Birmingham, on the River Avon; population (1991) 22,300. Industries include agriculture and tourism. Founded in 914, it has many fine medieval buildings, including a 14th-century castle. The University of Warwick was founded in 1965. It has a student population (1998) of 15,600. Features The castle stands on a site fortified in Saxon times. The main castle gateway and towers are fine examples of 14th-century military architecture. The church of St Mary was largely burned down in a fire which destroyed most of the centre of Warwick in 1694, but its fine Perpendicular Beauchamp Chapel (1443-64) survived. The Hospital of Lord Leycester was founded by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, in 1571; the hospital's half-timbered buildings date from the late 15th century. Warwick Grammar School claims its descent from a school possibly dating from the 11th century.

Warwick Castle Castle in England, on the River Avon, 32 km/20 mi southeast of Birmingham. The first defences were erected here in Saxon times, and a wooden castle with a ditch built around 1065-67 by the Earl of Warwick. The fortifications were strengthened in 1068 by William (I) the Conqueror, and construction of the present stone castle began in 1345. The interior was completely rebuilt in the 17th century, and the Avon-side grounds landscaped in the 18th century by Capability Brown. Considered one of the finest medieval castles in England, Warwick contains state rooms, a fine collection of armour, silver vault, dungeon, and ghost tower. History After the Conquest the castle was appropriated by William (I) the Conqueror and given to Henry de Newburgh. It suffered severe damage in the Barons' War of 1215- 17 and that of 1264-67, and was granted to the Beauchamp family in 1263, though still Crown property. The castle passed through various hands and by the 16th century was mostly in ruins, some parts being used as a jail. Around 1605 to 1612 it was restored and strengthened by Fulke Greville, whose cousin Robert later held it for the King during the Civil War. 

Wootten Wawen

Canal Boats can be hired from the marina at Wootton Wawen basin, there is an iron aqueduct which crosses the A3400 and close by is Wootton Wawen, a charming village with many ancient timber-frames houses that is now a conservation area. Its 11th century church of St Peter’s is the only remaining Saxon church in Warwickshire.

About one mile to the south is the Edstone Aqueduct. This 250-yard cast-iron trough aqueduct is unusual because its accompanying towpath is on a level with the base rather than the lip of the trough – the result is that walkers are overtaken by boats passing at their eye level.