Market Place, Nuneaton town centre
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|Postcode district||CV10, CV11|
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Nuneaton ( // nə-NEE-tən) is a large town in northern Warwickshire, England. The population in 2011 was 86,552, making it the largest town in Warwickshire.
Warwickshire 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.
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.
Mary Ann Evans, known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator, and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She wrote seven novels, including Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Romola (1862–63), Middlemarch (1871–72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of which are set in provincial England and known for their realism and psychological insight.
Arbury Hall is a Grade I listed country house in Nuneaton in Warwickshire, England, and the ancestral home of the Newdigate family, later the Newdigate-Newdegate and Fitzroy-Newdegate families.
Scenes of Clerical Life is the title under which George Eliot's first published work of fiction, a collection of three short stories, was released in book form; it was the first of her works to be released under her famous pseudonym. The stories were first published in Blackwood's Magazine over the course of the year 1857, initially anonymously, before being released as a two-volume set by Blackwood and Sons in January 1858. The three stories are set during the last twenty years of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century over a fifty year period. The stories take place in and around the fictional town of Milby in the English Midlands. Each of the Scenes concerns a different Anglican clergyman, but is not necessarily centred upon him. Eliot examines, among other things, the effects of religious reform and the tension between the Established and the Dissenting Churches on the clergymen and their congregations, and draws attention to various social issues, such as poverty, alcoholism, and domestic violence.
The Nuneaton built-up area, incorporating Nuneaton and the surrounding urban settlements, including the large villages of Hartshill, Galley Common and Bulkington, had a population of 92,968 at the 2011 census.
Hartshill is a large village in the borough of North Warwickshire, England.
Galley Common is a suburban village situated 3 miles / 5 km west of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England. The community is a ward of the Nuneaton and Bedworth District on the border with North Warwickshire, with a population taken at the 2011 census of 8,233. The village comprises a school, several small shops, riding stables, a social club, a small industrial estate and farmland. It is close to the villages of Hartshill, Ansley, Astley, Arley and Old Arley.
Bulkington is a large village and former civil parish in the Nuneaton and Bedworth district of Warwickshire, England. In the 2011 census the ward had a population of 6,146 and 6,303 in the 2001 census. It is located around 6 miles (10 km) northeast of Coventry, just east of the towns of Nuneaton and Bedworth and 5 miles (8 km) southwest of Hinckley. Despite historically having stronger links with Bedworth, Bulkington forms part of the Nuneaton Urban Area.
Nuneaton was originally an Anglo-Saxon settlement known as 'Etone' or 'Eaton', which translates literally as 'settlement by water'. 'Etone' was listed in the Domesday Book as a small hamlet. The settlement gained its current name of Nuneaton in the mid-12th-century when a Benedictine nunnery known as Nuneaton Priory (parts of which still exist) was established. A market was established in 1226, which is still held, and Nuneaton developed into a thriving market town. The nunnery was destroyed in 1539 during King Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Domesday Book is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states:
Then, at the midwinter , was the king in Gloucester with his council .... After this had the king a large meeting, and very deep consultation with his council, about this land; how it was occupied, and by what sort of men. Then sent he his men over all England into each shire; commissioning them to find out "How many hundreds of hides were in the shire, what land the king himself had, and what stock upon the land; or, what dues he ought to have by the year from the shire."
A hamlet is a small human settlement. In different jurisdictions and geographies, hamlets may be the size of a town, village or parish, be considered a smaller settlement or subdivision or satellite entity to a larger settlement. The word and concept of a hamlet have roots in the Anglo-Norman settlement of England, where the old French hamlet came to apply to small human settlements. In British geography, a hamlet is considered smaller than a village and distinctly without a church or other place of worship.
Nuneaton Priory was a medieval Benedictine monastic house in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, initially founded in 1153 at Kintbury in Berkshire and was a daughter house of Fontevraud Abbey.
King Edward VI School was established in 1552 by a royal charter by King Edward VI.The school was originally a fee paying school, although the county council provided some scholarships, and became non-fee paying as a result of the education act of 1944. The voluntary aided school had around 400 boys in the 1960s. In 1974 the grammar school closed and was re-established as a sixth form college.
King Edward VI College is a sixth form college located in Nuneaton, England, in Warwickshire. Currently, it teaches subjects in preparation for AS and A-level Examinations, for students generally aged sixteen to eighteen. The college presently accommodates approximately 1100 students from Warwickshire, West Midlands and neighbouring counties.
The Education Act 1944 made numerous major changes in the provision and governance of secondary schools in England and Wales. It is also known as the "Butler Act" after the President of the Board of Education, R. A. Butler. Historians consider it a "triumph for progressive reform," and it became a core element of the post-war consensus supported by all major parties. The Act was repealed in steps with the last parts repealed in 1996.
A voluntary aided school is a state-funded school in England and Wales in which a foundation or trust, contributes to building costs and has a substantial influence in the running of the school. In most cases the foundation or trust owns the buildings.
In 1543, Nuneaton was recorded as containing 169 houses, with a population of around 800, by 1670 this had grown to 415 households, with a population of 1,867, by 1740 this had risen further to 2,480.
In the mid-17th century a silk ribbon weaving industry became established in the local area which included Nuneaton, Bedworth, Coventry and much of North Warwickshire. This industry was enhanced by the arrival of French Hugenot immigrants in the latter part of the century, who brought with them new techniques. This industry operated as a cottage industry, with the weavers working from top-shops; a type of building which was specific to the local area, and had living space in the two lower floors, and a workshop with very large windows on the top floor. This industry flourished for nearly two centuries, albeit with periodic booms and slumps. However by the early 19th century the industry was struggling to compete against the factory produced textiles from northern manufacturers, and the local weavers strongly resisted adopting factory production methods as they valued their independence. Nevertheless in 1851 46% on Nuneaton's workforce was still employed by the ribbon trade. The industry was finally wiped out after 1860 by cheap imports, following the Cobden–Chevalier Treaty, which removed duties on imported French silks.This caused a slump in the local economy which lasted nearly two decades.
Another major industry which grew in the local area was coal mining: as Nuneaton was located in the Warwickshire coalfield, mining was recorded locally as early as 1338, however the lack of efficient transport and primitive mining techniques kept the industry on a small scale.The industry did not start to develop on a larger scale until the 17th century, with the dawn of the industrial revolution, which led to greater demand for fuel and technical advancement. A major problem was the drainage of water from coal pits as they were dug deeper. The use of a waterwheel to drive drainage pumps was recorded as early as 1683. The first recorded use of an atmospheric engine; a primitive form of steam engine to pump water from coal pits was recorded at Griff Colliery in 1714, this was the first recorded use of a steam engine in Warwickshire. Nevertheless, another major problem facing the industry was poor transport. Sir Roger Newdigate who owned several local coal mines developed a turnpike road to Coventry in the 1750's, which partially resolved this problem. Early on Newdigate recognised the potential of canals as a means for transporting bulk cargoes. He developed a system of private canals on his land on the Arbury Estate from 1764 to transport coal, and helped promote the Coventry Canal, which opened from Coventry to Nuneaton in 1769, before being finally completed to Staffordshire in 1790. he also helped promote the Oxford Canal. Ironically, the new canal system led to a decline in the Warwickshire coal industry after 1800, as it was exploited by Staffordshire coal producers to capture the local market. It would not be until the development of the railway network in the 19th century that the coal industry would be exploited to its maximum potential.
The first railway to reach Nuneaton was the Trent Valley Railway which opened in 1847, linking Nuneaton to the growing national railway network at Rugby and Stafford. This was followed by a branch line to Coventry in 1850. In 1864 a line was opened from Birmingham to Leicester via Nuneaton, and this proved to be the most important for the local economy, as it linked Nuneaton with the rapidly growing town (later city) of Birmingham. Due largely to this, the local coal industry expanded rapidly in the latter half of the 19th century, with production from the Warwickshire coalfield expanding nearly tenfold between 1860 and 1913 from around 545,000 tons to over five million tons. The industry peaked in the early 20th century; in 1911 one third of the male workforce in Nuneaton were employed as miners.The industry however declined rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s, with the last coal mine in Nuneaton closing in 1968, although Newdigate colliery at Bedworth lasted until 1982. The last Warwickshire coal mine at nearby Daw Mill closed in 2013.
A number of other industries developed locally in the late 19th century, these included brick and tile making, brewing, the production of hats and leather goods. and engineering.At the time of the first national census in 1801 Nuneaton was one of the largest towns in Warwickshire, with a population of 5,135. By 1901 this had grown to 24,996.
A local board of health had been set up in Nuneaton in 1848 to provide the town with necessary infrastructure such as paved roads, clean drinking water, street lighting and sewerage.The old parish of Nuneaton included the settlements of Attleborough and Stockingford. The parish was joined with Chilvers Coton parish in 1894 to form an urban district. Nuneaton was upgraded to the status of a municipal borough in 1907, to which the parishes of Weddington and part of Caldecote were added in 1931. In 1974, the Municipal Borough of Nuneaton was merged with Bedworth Urban District to create the Borough of Nuneaton and Bedworth.
Nuneaton suffered heavy bombing damage during The Blitz in the Second World War between 1940 and 1942. The heaviest bombing raid on Nuneaton took place on 17 May 1941, when 130 people were killed, 380 houses were destroyed, and over 10,000 damaged.
Nuneaton continued to expand in the latter 20th century. In the early postwar years the need arose for low cost housing, and in response to this around 2,500 council houses were built during the 1950s, the largest such development was at Camp Hill, where 1,400 new houses were built by 1956, while around 1,100 new council houses were built at new estates at Hill Top, Caldwell and Marston Lane by 1958. Following this, Nuneaton's expansion was largely driven by private developments at Weddington, St Nicolas Park, Whitestone and Stockingford.
During the 1960s much of the town centre was redeveloped, partly due to the bomb damage which had been sustained in the war, with the features typical of town planning from that era, including a new ringroad, indoor shopping centre, administrative centre and library.
Nuneaton is 8 miles (13 km) north of Coventry, 18 miles (29 km) east of Birmingham, 16 miles (26 km) south-west of Leicester and 103 miles (166 km) northwest of London. The River Anker runs through the town.
Towns close to Nuneaton include Bedworth, Atherstone and Hinckley, with Tamworth, Rugby and Lutterworth a little further afield. The town centre lies 3 miles from the Leicestershire border, 9 miles from Staffordshire and 12 miles from Derbyshire’s southernmost point.
Within the borough boundaries:
Outside the borough boundaries but often considered to be part of the town:
Nuneaton is part of the constituency of the same name in the House of Commons. The constituency is currently represented by the Conservative Party Member of Parliament (MP), Marcus Jones, who was first elected in the 2010 general election. From 1935 to 1983, Nuneaton was a safe Labour seat, but it has become more marginal. Between 1983 and 1992, the Conservatives held the seat, until losing it back to Labour. For the next 18 years, the Labour Party (in the form of Bill Olner) was the local representative at Parliament, until his retirement.
There are two-tiers of local government covering Nuneaton; Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council as the lower tier and Warwickshire County Council as the upper tier. Nuneaton is an unparished area and so there is no tier of administration below the Borough council. Nuneaton and Bedworth council is currently under no overall control, although the Labour Party is the largest party.Nuneaton and Bedworth council was controlled by the Labour Party from its creation in 1974, until the 2008 local elections, when the Conservatives gained control, ending 34 years of Labour rule. (Further reading: 2008 Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council election) However, the period of Conservative control was relatively short lived. The Labour Party won two seats from the Conservative Party in the 2010 local elections, giving no party overall control of the council (but leaving the Labour Party as the largest grouping). In 2012 Labour gained a further 8 seats to regain overall control. Which they lost again to no overall control in 2018 (see Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council elections).
Nuneaton's traditional industries like textiles, mining and manufacturing have declined significantly in the post-war years. Due to its transport links, Nuneaton is to some extent a commuter town for nearby Coventry and Birmingham. However a relatively large number of businesses involved in the automotive, aerospace and engineering supply chains industries are active in the area. MIRA Limited, formerly the Motor Industry Research Association, is based on a disused wartime airfield on the A5, to the north of the town.
In 2017 the Nuneaton and Bedworth borough was less prosperous than the rest of Warwickshire, reflecting the long established north-south divide in the county. The average annual workplace wage in Nuneaton and Bedworth was £21,981, the lowest in the county and below the Warwickshire average of £28,513 (and UK £28,296) although the productivity gap had narrowed with the rest of Warwickshire since 2009.
One of the biggest developments in the town's history, the multimillion-pound Ropewalk Shopping Centre, opened in September 2005 in the hope that it will give the town extra income from the shopping, attract more visitors and retailers, and attract shoppers as an alternative to larger retail centres such as Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester and Solihull.An older shopping centre, the Abbeygate Shopping Centre in the town centre was first opened in the 1960s, and was formerly known as Heron Way.
The European headquarters of Holland & Barrett are based in the town, as is the UK head office of FedEx.. While Bermuda Park, which is south of Nuneaton, is the location of the national distribution centres of Dairy Crest and RS Components. Nuneaton is also the location of several international online marketing companies.
Nuneaton's name reflects the effect that Christianity has had upon the town's history. Although the Benedictine nunnery which gave the town its name was destroyed at the time of the Reformation, the remaining fragments were incorporated into the Anglican church building now known as the Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin in Manor Court Road. This is a Victorian construction.
Near the town centre, but unusually not a part of it and outside the ring road, lies the medieval church of St. Nicolas – a grade I listed building.Chilvers Coton contains All Saints' Church, where Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot) worshipped and Justin Welby, now Archbishop of Canterbury, served as a curate. This was badly damaged by bombing during the Second World War, and rebuilt largely by German prisoners of war. There are also Anglican churches in Weddington (St James's), Attleborough (Holy Trinity), Stockingford (St Paul's), Galley Common (St Peter's), Abbey Green (St Mary's), and more recently built (1954), in Camp Hill St Mary's and St John's.
There are two parishes in the town serving the Catholic community in Nuneaton. Our Lady of the Angels on Coton Road, was opened in 1838 (originally as St Mary's). The building, designed by Joseph Hansom, was extensively remodeled in 1936. The Parish of St Anne's, Chapel End, Nuneaton was created in 1949 out of the Parish of Our Lady of the Angels (which originally covered the whole town). The original church building was replaced with the existing church, which was opened in 2000.
In the town, Baptist, Methodist, Wesleyan Reform Union, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Pentecostal, the Salvation Army, United Reformed and Christadelphian churches serve their respective congregations.
A Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses is located in the Stockingford area and Christadelphians in Whitestone.
In addition to Christianity, there are also followers of Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism. There is a mosque on Frank Street, Chilvers Coton and two gurdwaras (Sikh temples): the Nuneaton Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Park Avenue, Attleborough, and the Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara in Marlborough Road, Chilvers Coton.
A number of Jewish families have settled in and around Nuneaton over the past two centuries as local industries have grown and ebbed. Historically, families would travel for important life events and holidays to worship at the mediaeval Spon Street Synagogue in Coventry, at the short lived Hinckley Synagogue in the early 20th century and most recently, in the modern Coventry Reform Synagogue. There has never been a formal, organised community in the area and most Jewish people are now elderly, with younger more observant people moving to larger communities in London and Manchester.
At the 2011 census there were 86,552 residents in Nuneaton in 37,317 households. The median age of Nuneaton residents was 39.
in terms of ethnicity:
In terms of religion, 63.5% of Nuneaton residents identified as Christian, 24.3% said they had no religion, 6.0% did not state any religion, 3.1% were Muslim, 1.2% were Hindu, 1.2% were Sikh, 0.4% were Buddhists, and 0.4% were from another religion.
The town is near the M6, the M42 and M69 motorways and the main A5 trunk road (Watling Street), which also acts as a border with Leicestershire and the neighbouring town of Hinckley. The A444 provides a high-speed dual-carriageway route into the town from the south and also acts as the often busy town centre ring road. The A47 links the town with neighbouring Hinckley and onwards to Leicester, and the A4254 – Eastern Relief Road – provides direct access from the east of Nuneaton to the south, avoiding the town centre.
The town has two railway stations: the main Nuneaton railway station near the town centre is an important railway junction, served by the West Coast Main Line running from London to the North West, the cross-country Birmingham to Peterborough Line and by a line to Coventry via Bedworth. A new railway station at Bermuda Park was opened south of the town centre in 2016 on the line towards Coventry,as part of the NUCKLE (Nuneaton, Coventry, Kenilworth, and Leamington) rail upgrade scheme.
Historically Nuneaton was also served by Chilvers Coton station, Abbey Street station, and Stockingford station: Chilvers Coton station was located on the Coventry line, a short distance north of the new Bermuda Park station, and was closed in 1965, Abbey Street station, and Stockingford station were on the line towards Birmingham and were both closed in 1968. In January 2017, there were proposals to open a new station at Stockingford, at a different location from the former one, which could open by 2023.Warwickshire County Council have also proposed a new Nuneaton Parkway station between Nuneaton and Hinckley which could open by 2034.
The Coventry Canal passes through the town.
The main operators for buses in Nuneaton are Stagecoach in Warwickshire and Travel de Courcey.
Nuneaton has two non-league football teams: Nuneaton Boro (nicknamed "the Boro") who play in the National League North and Nuneaton Griff who play in the Midland Football League Division One. Sunday League football is played in the town, with teams from Nuneaton, Bedworth and North Warwickshire competing in the Nuneaton & District Sunday Football League (NDSFL).
There are three rugby union clubs: Nuneaton R.F.C. (nicknamed "the Nuns"), who play in National 3 Midlands, Nuneaton Old Edwardians of Midlands 2 West (South) division and Manor Park of the Midlands 4 West (South) league.
The town is also the location of Nuneaton Bowling club, where flat green bowls is played.
There are three main leisure centres in the town owned by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and managed by Everyone Active on the council's behalf (after a competitive tender process):
Nuneaton has a museum and art gallery in the grounds of Riversley Park adjacent to the town centre. The museum includes a display on George Eliot. Eliot's family home Griff House is now a restaurant and hotel on the A444.
The Abbey Theatre is Nuneaton's only theatre and hosts a wide variety of performances including visiting opera and ballet companies, touring shows, musicals, pantomime and drama. Run solely by volunteers, the Abbey Theatre seats 250 plus space for wheelchair patrons.
Nuneaton annually enters the Britain in Bloom competition and in 2000, Nuneaton and Bedworth was a national finalist. It is the location of Nuneaton Carnival, the largest carnival in Warwickshire, which takes place every June.
Nuneaton was home to the smallest[ citation needed ] independent newspaper in Britain (the Heartland Evening News) until it was purchased in 2006 by life News & Media.
Public art in Nuneaton includes a statue of George Eliot on Newdegate Square, and the Gold Belt.
Many locations in George Eliot's works were based on places in or near her native Nuneaton, including:
A major local landmark in Nuneaton, which can be seen for many miles is Mount Judd which is a conical shaped former spoil heap, 158 metres (518 ft) high made from spoil from the former Judkins Quarry. It is also known locally as the Nuneaton Nipple. In May 2018 it was voted the best UK landmark in an online poll for the Daily Mirror newspaper, beating competition from the likes of the Angel of the North and Big Ben.
Another well known landmark is the Roanne Fountain, also known as the Dandelion Fountain, which sits in the middle of a roundabout in the town centre, it was built in 2000, and features 385 spraying arms which spray out 50,000 gallons of water per hour.In 2016 it was voted the 'UK Roundabout of the Year' by the Roundabout Appreciation Society, who stated that the town should feel "very proud for achieving such a high roundabout accolade."
The local radio stations are:
The main local newspapers are:
The Nuneaton area is covered on regional TV News by:
The borough of Nuneaton and Bedworth is twinned with the following towns:
Bedworth is a market town in the borough of Nuneaton and Bedworth, Warwickshire, England. It is situated between Coventry, 6 miles (10 km) to the south, and Nuneaton, 3.5 miles (6 km) to the north. In the 2011 census the town had a population of 30,438.
Nuneaton and Bedworth is a local government district with borough status, in northern Warwickshire, England, consisting of the towns of Nuneaton and Bedworth, the large village of Bulkington and the green belt land inbetween. It has a population of just under 130,000.
Nuneaton is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Marcus Jones, a Conservative. Since 1997, the seat has been seen as an important national bellwether.
Nuneaton railway station serves the large town of Nuneaton in Warwickshire, England. The station is managed by West Midlands Trains. It is served by three railway lines; the Trent Valley section of the West Coast Main Line (WCML), the Birmingham-Leicester-Peterborough Line and the Nuneaton to Coventry branch line. It was known, during the period 1924–1969 as Nuneaton Trent Valley, to distinguish it from the now closed Nuneaton Abbey Street station, though many local people still refer to it as Trent Valley.
The Coventry to Nuneaton Line is a railway line linking Coventry and Nuneaton in the West Midlands of England. The line has a passenger service. It is also used by through freight trains, and freight trains serving facilities on the route.
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 regular officers as of September 2017. The resident population of the force area is 554,002.
Ash Green is a suburban village in the Nuneaton and Bedworth district of Warwickshire, England.
Exhall is a suburban settlement in the Nuneaton and Bedworth district of Warwickshire, England.
Hawkesbury Village is a settlement in the Nuneaton and Bedworth district of Warwickshire, central England.
Griff is a hamlet in the English county of Warwickshire.
Bermuda Park railway station is a railway station in the Bermuda area of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England. It serves the Bermuda Park Industrial Estate, on the Coventry to Nuneaton Line between the existing stations at Nuneaton and Bedworth. Funding for the new station was approved in December 2011, along with that for the new Coventry Arena railway station. Both stations opened on 18 January 2016.
Chilvers Coton is an area of the town of Nuneaton in Warwickshire, England, around one mile south of the town centre.
William Johnson was an English coal miner, trade unionist and Liberal-Labour (Lib-Lab) politician from Warwickshire. He sat in the House of Commons from 1906 to 1918.
St Paul's Church, Stockingford, is a Church of England parish church in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England. It is part of the Diocese of Coventry.
Chilvers Coton was a railway station on the Coventry to Nuneaton Line, which served the Chilvers Coton area of Nuneaton, south of the town centre. It opened in 1850, along with the line, and was closed in 1965 when passenger services on the route were withdrawn.
Whittleford Park is a 43 hectare greenspace located between Stockingford and Camp Hill in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Although its development as a public park by Warwickshire County Council only started in 2005 it has a long industrial history involved in coal mining and brick and tile making.
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