Warwickshire

Warwickshire (/ˈwɒrɪkʃər, -ʃɪər/ (listen); postal abbreviation Warks.) is a landlocked county in the West Midlands region of England. The county town is Warwick, although the largest town is Nuneaton. The county is famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare.[3]

The county is divided into five districts of North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Rugby, Warwick and Stratford-on-Avon. The current county boundaries were set in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972. The historic county boundaries include Coventry and Solihull, as well as much of Birmingham.

Warwickshire
County
Flag of Warwickshire
Flag
Warwickshire within England

Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionWest Midlands
EstablishedHistoric
Ceremonial county
High SheriffSimon Miesegaes [1] (2019–20)
Area1,975 km2 (763 sq mi)
 • Ranked31st of 48
Population (mid-2017 est.)564,600
 • Ranked39th of 48
Density285/km2 (740/sq mi)
Ethnicity92.8% White
4.6% Asian
1.5% Mixed
0.8% Black
0.4% Other[2]
Non-metropolitan county
County council
Escut Warwickshire
Warwickshire County Council
http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk
ExecutiveConservative
Admin HQWarwick
Area1,975 km2 (763 sq mi)
 • Ranked69th of 27
Population564,600
 • Ranked22nd of 27
Density285/km2 (740/sq mi)
ISO 3166-2GB-WAR
ONS code44
NUTSUKG13
Warwickshire Numbered

Districts of Warwickshire
Districts
  1. North Warwickshire
  2. Nuneaton and Bedworth
  3. Rugby
  4. Stratford-on-Avon
  5. Warwick
Members of Parliament
Time zoneGreenwich Mean Time (UTC)
 • Summer (DST)British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Geography

The county is bordered by Leicestershire to the northeast, Staffordshire to the northwest, Worcestershire and the West Midlands to the west, Northamptonshire to the east and southeast, Gloucestershire to the southwest and Oxfordshire to the south. The northern tip of the county is only 3 miles (5 km) from the Derbyshire border. An average-sized English county covering an area of almost 2,000 km2, it runs some 60 miles (97 km) north to south. Equivalently it extends as far north as Shrewsbury in Shropshire and as far south as Banbury in north Oxfordshire.

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. Of these, Atherstone has retained most of its original character. 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 Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Kenilworth, Alcester, Southam and Wellesbourne harbour light to medium industries, services and tourism as major employment sectors.

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

The south of the county is largely rural and sparsely populated, and includes a very small area of the Cotswolds, at the border with northeast Gloucestershire. The plain between the outlying Cotswolds and the Edgehill escarpment is known as the Vale of Red Horse.[4] 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.[5]

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 in 2011 were: Nuneaton (pop. 81,900), Rugby (70,600), Leamington Spa (49,500), Bedworth (32,500), Warwick (30,100), Stratford (25,500) and Kenilworth (22,400).

Arden and Felden

Much of western Warwickshire, including that area now forming part of Coventry, Solihull and Birmingham, 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 central-western 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, Sutton Coldfield, Erdington, and some of Birmingham including Aston and Edgbaston. These became part of the metropolitan county of West Midlands (and Sutton Coldfield became part of Birmingham) 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 the town and two cities remain outside Warwickshire.

Some organisations, such as Warwickshire County Cricket Club, which is based in Edgbaston, in Birmingham, still observe the historic county boundaries. The flag of the historic county was registered in October 2016. It is a design of a bear and ragged staff on a red field, which is long associated with the county.[6][7]

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 increase by more than 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.

Green belt

Warwickshire contains a large expanse of green belt area, surrounding the West Midlands and Coventry conurbations, and was first drawn up from the 1950s. All the county's districts contain some portion of the belt.

Settlements

The following towns and villages in Warwickshire have populations of over 5,000.

History

Warwickshire Administrative 1832
Warwickshire in 1832

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 Wæringscīr 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 importance in the textiles trade. 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

The video game developing company Codemasters is based in Warwickshire.

Local government

Like most English shire counties, Warwickshire has a two-tier structure of local government. Warwickshire is 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 headquarters 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 force is governed by the elected Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

County council

The county also has a county council based in Warwick which is elected every four years. The last election was held on 4 May 2017 and resulted in Conservative control. The county council operates a cabinet-style council. The county council is made of 62 councillors, who decide upon the budget and appoints the council leader. The council leader selects 2 to 9 councillors and together they form the cabinet. The Leader assigns portfolios on which cabinet members make decisions. Key decisions are made by the whole cabinet while others are made only by the portfolio holders for relevant areas.[8] In the 2017 local elections the Conservative Party took control of the Warwickshire County Council.

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 11-plus exam to compete for a place at one of the grammar schools, with two in Stratford and Rugby and one in Alcester; these are: Stratford-upon-Avon Grammar School for Girls; King Edward VI School, a boys' school; Lawrence Sheriff Grammar School for Boys, in Rugby, as well as, Rugby High School for Girls 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. 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 11-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.

Warwickshire contains four colleges of further education; 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 (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 still uses 13th century school buildings and is the likely school of William Shakespeare, Rugby School was founded in 1567 and Warwick School was founded c. 914 AD, which makes it the oldest surviving boys' school in the country. Rugby School is one of nine schools that were defined as the "great" English public schools by the Public Schools Act 1868, and is a member of the Rugby Group. Rugby School, Princethorpe College and Warwick School are HMC schools, with the Headmaster from each school attending the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.

In 2011, Warwickshire members of the union NUT supported action by staff at Coventry's Tile Hill Wood School, in opposition to the government's programme of Academies.[9][10]

There are no universities per se in Warwickshire, though the University of Warwick forms part of the border with Warwickshire on the southern edge of the city of Coventry. Some areas of the University of Warwick are within the boundaries of Warwickshire including Lakeside Village and Warwick Business School[11] The university has a small campus near Wellesbourne which houses the Warwick Horticultural Research Centre and an Innovation Centre.

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 northwestern England and the West 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 (at Atherstone).

Rail

Two major railway lines pass through Warwickshire.

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 are two intermediate stations at Water Orton and 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 is an intermediate station 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).

Until 2018 the only major town in Warwickshire without a station was Kenilworth. The Leamington to Coventry line passes through the town, but the station was closed in the 1960s as part of the Beeching cuts. Following several delays, a replacement station opened in April 2018, with an hourly service to Coventry and to Leamington provided by West Midlands Trains.

Honeybourne Line

The Honeybourne Line is being reopened by the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway connecting Cheltenham Racecourse to Broadway and Honeybourne on the Cotswold Line (which connects with Hereford, Worcester and Oxford, Reading and London Paddington). There is only a short gap to connect many places to Stratford upon Avon with Honeybourne by reopening the line into Warwickshire. There is a good business case to restore the Stratford-Cotswolds link line.[12]

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.[13]

Places of interest

Sports teams

Association football

Warwickshire has no Football League clubs. As of the 2018–19 season the highest-placed teams are Nuneaton Borough and Leamington, who both play in the National League North, the sixth tier of English football. A level below in the Southern Football League Premier Division are Stratford Town. Other clubs include Rugby Town, Bedworth United, Southam United and Racing Club Warwick. All of these are affiliated to the Birmingham F.A.

Aston Villa, Birmingham City and Coventry City are Football League clubs located within the historic boundaries of Warwickshire, along with National League club Solihull Moors and Southern League Division One Central club Sutton Coldfield Town.

Cricket

Warwickshire County Cricket Club play at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham (historically part of Warwickshire). Notable English players for the side have been Eric Hollies, M.J.K. Smith, Bob Willis, Dennis Amiss, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes. Overseas players have included Alvin Kallicharran, Rohan Kanhai, Brian Lara, Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock. In 2014 the club partly severed its links to the county by renaming its Twenty20 side the Birmingham Bears, much to the chagrin of many supporters.[14]

Other grounds in modern-day Warwickshire which have hosted first-class cricket matches are:

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. They play their home games at Páirc na hÉireann.

Polo

The Dallas Burston Polo Club is a six-pitch polo club located near Southam.

Freedom of the county

In March 2014 the freedom of the county was bestowed on the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The honour was officially bestowed following a parade through Warwick on 6 June 2014.[15]

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 famous figures such as Aleister Crowley (from Royal Leamington Spa), 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. Folk musician Nick Drake, who record for Island records in the late 1960s and early 1970s, lived and died in Tanworth-in-Arden.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Privy Council Office-APPOINTMENT OF SHERIFFS". London Gazette. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  2. ^ "2011 Census: Key Statistics for local authorities in England and Wales" (XLS). Ons.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 24 February 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  3. ^ Planet, Lonely (10 May 2016). "Warwickshire: the heart of English history – Lonely Planet". Lonely Planet. Archived from the original on 21 August 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  4. ^ Proceedings of the Cotteswold Naturalists' Field Club, v.14, (1903), p.217
  5. ^ Muir, Jonny (2011). The UK's County Tops: Reaching the top of 91 historic counties. Cicerone. ISBN 9781849655538.
  6. ^ "UK Flag Registry- Warwickshire". Flag Institute. 2016. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  7. ^ "British County Flags - Warwickshire". British County Flags. 2016. Archived from the original on 14 October 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  8. ^ "How the County Council makes decisions". Warwickshire County Council. Archived from the original on 11 April 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  9. ^ "Coventry News: The latest Coventry news updates from". The Coventry Telegraph. Archived from the original on 15 April 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Teachers in Warwickshire threaten strike action in protest over academy plans". icCoventry.co.uk. 15 April 2011. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013.
  11. ^ https://warwick.ac.uk/services/estates/transport/taxis
  12. ^ Railnews (22 October 2012). "Good business case for Stratford-Cotswolds link". Railnews. Archived from the original on 2 June 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  13. ^ Roger Squires, (2008), Britain's Restored Canals, 2nd Ed., Landmark Publishing, ISBN 1-84306-331-X
  14. ^ Brian Halford (25 February 2014). "Warwickshire's T20 'Birmingham Bears' name is confirmed". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Royal Fusiliers honoured with Freedom of Warwickshire". BBC News. BBC. 28 March 2014. Archived from the original on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2014.

External links

County outline:

2015 North Warwickshire Borough Council election

The 2015 North Warwickshire Borough Council election took place on 7 May 2015 to elect members of the North Warwickshire Borough Council in England. It was held on the same day as other local elections.

Coventry

Coventry ( (listen) KOV-ən-tree or KUV-) is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England.

Historically part of Warwickshire, Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and the 12th largest in the United Kingdom. It is the second largest city in the West Midlands region, after Birmingham.

Coventry is 19 miles (31 km) east-southeast of Birmingham, 24 miles (39 km) southwest of Leicester, 11 miles (18 km) north of Warwick and 94 miles (151 km) northwest of London. Coventry is also the most central city in England, being only 11 miles (18 km) south-southwest of the country's geographical centre in Leicestershire.The current Coventry Cathedral was built after the majority of the 14th century cathedral church of Saint Michael was destroyed by the Luftwaffe in the Coventry Blitz of 14 November 1940. Coventry motor companies have contributed significantly to the British motor industry. The city has two universities, Coventry University in the city centre and the University of Warwick on the southern outskirts.

On 7 December 2017, the city won the title of UK City of Culture 2021, after beating Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent, Swansea and Sunderland to the title. They will be the third title holder, of the quadrennial award which began in 2013.

Edgbaston Cricket Ground

Edgbaston Cricket Ground, also known as the County Ground or Edgbaston Stadium, is a cricket ground in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, England. It is home to Warwickshire County Cricket Club, and is also used for Test matches, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals. Edgbaston has also hosted the T20 domestic finals day more than any other cricket ground.

Edgbaston was the first English ground outside Lord's to host a major international one day tournament final when it hosted the ICC Champions Trophy final in 2013. With permanent seating for approximately 25,000 spectators, it is the fourth-largest cricketing venue in England, after Lord's, Old Trafford and The Oval.Edgbaston was the venue of the first senior game under floodlights in English cricket in July 1997 between Warwickshire and Somerset in the then AXA Life Sunday League and hosted the first day/night Test match in England in August 2017 when England played the West Indies.

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWR, GWSR or Gloucs-Warks Steam Railway) is a volunteer-run heritage railway which runs along the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire border of the Cotswolds, England.

The GWSR has restored and reopened around 14 miles (23 km) of track, operating between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway. The most recent extention to Broadway (completed in 2018) involved the company raising £1.38 million (see below). The 28 mile round trip on steam and heritage diesel trains follows part of the route of the former Great Western main line from Birmingham to Cheltenham.The GWSR has a long-term aim of extending a further 6 miles (9.7 km) from Broadway to the national rail network at Honeybourne (where one half of an island platform has since been partly rebuilt for future use).

Leamington Spa

Royal Leamington Spa, commonly known as Leamington Spa or Leamington (listen), is a spa town in Warwickshire, England. Originally a small village called Leamington Priors, it grew into a spa town in the 18th century following the popularisation of its water which was reputed to have medicinal qualities. In the 19th century, the town experienced one of the most rapid expansions in England. It is named after the River Leam, which flows through the town.

The town contains especially fine ensembles of Regency architecture, particularly in parts of the Parade, Clarendon Square and Lansdowne Circus.

In the 2011 census Leamington had a population of 55,733. Leamington is contiguous with the neighbouring towns of Warwick and Whitnash, which together form a continuous urban area, in 2011 the urban area had a population of 95,172.

List of places in Warwickshire

Map of places in Warwickshire compiled from this list

See the list of places in England for places in other counties.

This is a list of cities, towns and villages in the ceremonial county of Warwickshire, England.

Moeen Ali

Moeen Munir Ali (born 18 June 1987) is an English international cricketer. A batting all-rounder, he is a left-handed batsman and right-arm off-spinner, who played county cricket for Warwickshire before moving to Worcestershire after the 2006 season. As of 2017, Ali represents England in all formats of the game. He won Warwickshire's NBC Denis Compton Award in both 2004 and 2005 and Worcestershire's NBC Denis Compton Award in 2009. His off-spin is marked by a strongly spun off-break and a well-concealed arm ball. He was named one of the Cricketers of the Year in the 2015 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. He plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.

Nuneaton

Nuneaton ( nə-NEE-tən) is a town in northern Warwickshire, England. The population in 2011 was 86,552, making it the largest town in Warwickshire.

The author George Eliot was born on a farm on the Arbury Estate just outside Nuneaton in 1819 and lived in the town for much of her early life. Her novel Scenes of Clerical Life (1858) depicts Nuneaton. There is a hospital named after her, The George Eliot Hospital. The Nuneaton built-up area, incorporating Nuneaton and the surrounding urban settlements, including the large villages of Hartshill and Bulkington, had a population of 92,968 at the 2011 census.

River Avon, Warwickshire

The River Avon or Avon () is located in central England,

flowing generally southwestwards; it is a major left-bank tributary of the River Severn, of which it is the easternmost tributary system. It is also known as the Warwickshire Avon or Shakespeare's Avon, to distinguish it from several other rivers of the same name in the United Kingdom.

Beginning in Northamptonshire, the river flows through or adjoining the counties of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, near the Cotswold Hills area. Notable towns it flows through include Rugby, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Evesham, Pershore and Tewkesbury, where it joins the Severn. It has traditionally been divided since 1719 into the Lower Avon, below Evesham, and the Upper Avon, from Evesham to above Stratford-upon-Avon.

Improvements to aid navigation began in 1635, and a series of locks and weirs made it possible to reach Stratford, and to within 4 miles (6 km) of Warwick. The Upper Avon was tortuous and prone to flooding, and was abandoned as a means of navigation in 1877. The Lower Avon struggled on, and never really closed, although it was only navigable below Pershore by 1945. Restoration of the lower river as a navigable waterway began in 1950, and was completed in 1962. The upper river was a more daunting task, as most of the locks and weirs were no longer extant. Work began in 1965 on the construction of nine new locks and 17 miles (27 km) of river, using mainly volunteer labour, and was completed in 1974 when it was opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

The Avon connects with the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal in the centre of Stratford, and is used primarily by leisure craft. Plans to extend the navigable river to provide a link with the Grand Union Canal at either Warwick or Leamington Spa have met with some opposition.

Royal Warwickshire Regiment

The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, previously titled the 6th Regiment of Foot, was a line infantry regiment of the British Army in continuous existence for 283 years. The regiment saw service in many conflicts and wars, including the Second Boer War and both the First and Second World Wars. On 1 May 1963, the regiment was re-titled, for the final time, as the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers and became part of the Fusilier Brigade.

In 1968, by now reduced to a single Regular battalion, the regiment was amalgamated with the other regiments in the Fusilier Brigade – the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) and the Lancashire Fusiliers – into a new large infantry regiment, to be known as the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, becoming the 2nd Battalion of the new regiment.

Rugby, Warwickshire

Rugby is a market town in Warwickshire, England, close to the River Avon. The town has a population of 70,628

(2011 census) making it the second largest town in the county. The town is the main settlement within the larger Borough of Rugby which has a population of 100,500 (2011 census).

Rugby is on the eastern edge of Warwickshire, near the borders of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. It is 83 miles (134 km) north of London, 30 miles (48 km) east of Birmingham and 11 miles (18 km) east of Coventry.

Rugby School, an independent school situated in the town, is the birthplace of Rugby football. In 1845, three Rugby School pupils produced the first written rules of the "Rugby style of game".

Rugby School

Rugby School is a day and mostly boarding co-educational independent school in Rugby, Warwickshire, England. Founded in 1567 as a free grammar school for local boys, it is one of the oldest independent schools in Britain. Up to 1667, the school remained in comparative obscurity. Its re-establishment by Thomas Arnold during his time as Headmaster, from 1828 to 1841, was seen as the forerunner of the Victorian public school. It is one of the original seven Great Nine Public Schools defined by the Clarendon Commission of 1864. Rugby School was also the birthplace of Rugby football. In 1845, a committee of Rugby schoolboys wrote the "Laws of Football as Played At Rugby School", the first published set of laws for any code of football.As the nature of the school shifted, a new school – Lawrence Sheriff Grammar School – was founded in 1878 to continue Lawrence Sheriff's original intentions. Rugby expanded further in the 20th century and new buildings were built inspired by the Edwardian Era. The Temple Speech Room, named after former headmaster and Archbishop of Canterbury Frederick Temple (1858–69) is now used for whole-School assemblies, speech days, concerts, musicals – and BBC Mastermind. Between the wars, the Memorial Chapel, the Music Schools and a new Sanatorium appeared.

In 1975 three girls were admitted into the sixth form, and the first girls’ house opened 3 years later, followed by three more. In 1992, the first 13-year-old girls arrived, and in 1995 Rugby had its first-ever Head Girl, Louise Woolcock, who appeared on the front page of The Times. In September 2003 a last girls’ house was added. Today, total enrolment of day pupils, from forms 4 to 12, numbers around 800.

Sophie Turner

Sophie Belinda Jonas (née Turner; 21 February 1996) is an English actress. She made her professional acting debut as Sansa Stark on the HBO fantasy television series Game of Thrones (2011–2019), which brought her international recognition.

Turner went on to star in the television film The Thirteenth Tale (2013) and made her feature film debut in Another Me (2013). She starred in the action comedy Barely Lethal (2015) and portrayed a young Jean Grey / Phoenix in the X-Men film series (2016–2019).

Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon (), commonly known as just Stratford, is a market town and civil parish in the Stratford-on-Avon District, in the county of Warwickshire, England, on the River Avon, 91 miles (146 km) north west of London, 22 miles (35 km) south east of Birmingham, and 8 miles (13 km) south west of Warwick. The estimated population in 2007 was 25,505, increasing to 27,445 at the 2011 Census.

Stratford was originally inhabited by Anglo-Saxons and remained a village before the lord of the manor, John of Coutances, set out plans to develop it into a town in 1196. In that same year, Stratford was granted a charter from King Richard I to hold a weekly market in the town, giving it its status as a market town. As a result, Stratford experienced an increase in trade and commerce as well as urban expansion.

The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as the birthplace and gravesite of playwright and poet William Shakespeare, and receives approximately 2.5 million visitors a year. The Royal Shakespeare Company resides in Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Warwick

Warwick () is the county town of Warwickshire, England. It lies near the River Avon, 11 miles (18 km) south of Coventry and just west of Leamington Spa and Whitnash. At the 2011 Census, the population was 31,345. Signs of human activity date to the Neolithic period and constant habitation to the 6th century AD. It was a Saxon burh in the 9th century; Warwick Castle was built during the Norman conquest of England. Warwick School claims to be the country's oldest boys' school. The earldom of Warwick, created in 1088, controlled the medieval town and built town walls, of which Eastgate and Westgate survive. The castle grew into a fortress, then a country house. The Great Fire of Warwick in 1694 destroyed much of the medieval town. Warwick missed 19th-century industrialisation, but has grown since 1801, when the population was 5,592.

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle is a medieval castle developed from a wooden fort, originally built by William the Conqueror during 1068. Warwick is the county town of Warwickshire, England, situated on a bend of the River Avon. The original wooden motte-and-bailey castle was rebuilt in stone during the 12th century. During the Hundred Years War, the facade opposite the town was refortified, resulting in one of the most recognisable examples of 14th-century military architecture. It was used as a stronghold until the early 17th century, when it was granted to Sir Fulke Greville by James I in 1604. Greville converted it to a country house and it was owned by the Greville family, who became Earls of Warwick in 1759, until 1978 when it was bought by the Tussauds Group.

In 2007, the Tussauds Group was purchased by The Blackstone Group which merged it with Merlin Entertainments; Warwick Castle was then sold to Nick Leslau's investment firm Prestbury Group under a sale and leaseback agreement. Merlin continues to operate the site under a renewable 35-year lease.

Warwickshire County Cricket Club

Warwickshire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Warwickshire. Its 50 overs team is called the Warwickshire Bears and its T20 team the Birmingham Bears. Founded in 1882, the club held minor status until it was elevated to first-class in 1894 pending its entry into the County Championship in 1895. Since then, Warwickshire have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. Warwickshire's kit colours are black and gold and the shirt sponsor is Gullivers Sports Travel. The club's home is Edgbaston Cricket Ground in south Birmingham, which regularly hosts Test and One Day International matches.

Warwickshire Police

Warwickshire Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing Warwickshire in England. It was known as Warwickshire Constabulary until 2001. It is the second smallest territorial police force in England and Wales after the City of London Police, with only 823 (full-time equivalents) regular officers as of September 2017. The resident population of the force area is 554,002 .

Warwickshire Rugby Football Union

The Warwickshire Rugby Football Union is a governing body for rugby union in part of The Midlands, England. The union is the constituent body of the Rugby Football Union for the city of Coventry and the county of Warwickshire. The current president is Mike Hemming, of the Old Leamingtonians club.

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