Royal Leamington Spa, commonly known as Leamington Spa or simply Leamington /?l?m??t?n/ (About this soundlisten), is a spa town and civil parish 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 49,662. Leamington is contiguous with the neighbouring towns of Warwick and Whitnash; these form a combined urban area which in 2011 had a population of 95,172.
Formerly a small village known as Leamington Priors, Leamington began to develop as a town at the start of the 19th century. It was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Lamintone. For 400 years, the settlement was under the control of Kenilworth Priory, from which the older suffix derived. Its name came from Anglo-Saxon Leman-t?n or Lemen-t?n = "farm on the River Leam". The spa waters had been known in Roman times, and their rediscovery in 1784 by William Abbotts and Benjamin Satchwell led to their commercialisation, with invalids beginning to resort here in 1786. Six of the seven wells were drilled for; only the original spring at the site of the Aylesford Well, adjacent to the Parish Church, occurred naturally.
The old village of Leamington Priors was on the southern bank of the River Leam, and early development was based around this. During the early 19th century, developers began concentrating the town's expansion on the land north of the river. This resulted in the Georgian centre of New Town with the Leam flowing between the two.
By 1810, the town's existing bath houses could not cope with the increasing visitor numbers, and a syndicate was formed to build a new bath house north of the River Leam. A new saline spring was found on land close to the river, belonging to Bertie Greatheed, a wealthy plantation owner and landowner from Guys Cliffe, and a member of the syndicate. In 1814, the Royal Pump Rooms and Baths were opened on the site, designed by C.S. Smith, who also designed The Regent Hotel and the Upper Assembly Rooms in the town. Spa water can still be sampled outside the building.
Leamington became a popular spa resort attracting the wealthy and famous, with numerous Georgian townhouses to accommodate visitors. Construction of what is now the Parade began in sections from 1808, the Regent Hotel in 1818, a town hall in 1830. and the Jephson Gardens in 1834. In 1838 Queen Victoria granted the town a 'Royal' prefix, and 'Leamington Priors' was renamed 'Royal Leamington Spa'. Queen Victoria had visited the town as a Princess in 1830 and as Queen in 1858. In 1840 the Victoria Bridge was opened, connecting the old and new towns, replacing an old, narrow, and inconvenient bridge.
The growth of Leamington was rapid; at the time of the first national census in 1801, Leamington had a population of just 315, by 1851 this had grown to 15,724, and by 1901, the population had reached 26,888.
The London and North Western Railway opened the first railway line into Leamington; a branch line from Coventry in 1844, followed by a branch to Rugby in 1851. In 1852 the Great Western Railway's main line between Birmingham, Oxford and London opened through Leamington, upon which the first railway station at the current location was opened.
As the popularity of spa resorts declined towards the end of the 19th century, the focus of Leamington's economy shifted towards becoming a popular place of residence for retired people and for members of the middle class, many of whom relocated from Coventry and Birmingham. Its well off residents led to the development of Leamington as a popular place for shopping.
In 1832 the town's main hospital, Warneford Hospital, opened, named after philanthropist Samuel Wilson Warneford. At first a semi-private affair it was taken over by the National Health Service after the Second World War, before succumbing to budget cuts and closing in 1993.
Leamington is closely associated with the founding of lawn tennis. The first tennis club in the world was formed in 1872 by Major Henry Gem and Augurio Pereira who had started playing tennis in the garden of Pereira. It was located just behind the former Manor House Hotel and the modern rules of lawn tennis were drawn up in 1874 in Leamington Tennis Club.
During the Second World War, Leamington was home to the Free Czechoslovak Army; a memorial in the Jephson Gardens commemorates the bravery of Czechoslovak parachutists from Warwickshire.
The data used is based on the CV31 and CV32 Postcode Sectors. Some roads of Leamington Spa may lie in other postcode districts as other areas may reside in this postcode sector.
Due the small sample size, the data can become compromised due to fluctuating transaction levels or unusual transactions. As such, the data provided is for guidance only and must not be relied upon.
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