Warwick is a market town and county town of Warwickshire, England. It lies near the River Avon, 11 miles (18 km) south of Coventry and west of Leamington Spa and Whitnash. Its population was 31,345 in 2011. Signs of Neolithic activity precede unbroken 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 town and built its walls, of which Eastgate and Westgate survive. The castle became a fortress, then a mansion. The Great Fire of Warwick in 1694 destroyed much of the town. Warwick missed industrialisation, but the population has grown almost sixfold since 1801.
Human activity on the site dates back to the Neolithic era, when settlement may have begun. Archaeological work on the site of Warwick School in 2017–2018 revealed the footings of a sizeable Roman barn from the 2nd century AD.
From the 6th century onwards, Warwick was continuously inhabited. The name Warwick means "dwellings by the weir", implying that the original settlement was located by a natural weir over the River Avon, possibly on the south side of the river, which offered easily cultivable land.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the year 914 reports that the Anglo-Saxon Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians, daughter of king Alfred the Great and sister of king Edward the Elder of Wessex, built a burh or fortified dwelling there on a hilltop site overlooking the earlier riverside settlement, as one of ten to defend Mercia from the Danes. Warwick was chosen as a site for one burh because of its proximity to the transport routes of the Fosse Way and the Avon. In the early 10th century, a shire was founded with Warwick as its county town.In 1016 the Danes invaded Mercia and burned down much of Warwick including a nunnery, which stood on the site of today's St Nicholas Church.
William the Conqueror founded Warwick Castle in 1068, while on his way to Yorkshire to deal with rebellion in the north. Building it involved pulling down four houses. The castle stood within the larger Anglo-Saxon burh and a new town wall was created close to the burh ramparts.
Medieval Warwick was controlled by various Earls of Warwick, mostly of the Beauchamp family. It became a walled town. It is unknown quite when the town wall was built, but references to it are found as early as the 12th century. It had mostly been demolished by the early 16th century. Today the only remains are the east and west gatehouses. The west gate was first recorded in 1129, and had a chapel of St James above it, which was reconstructed in the 14th century and extensively restored in 1863–1865. The east gate was rebuilt in the 15th century with the Chapel of St Peter above it. It was rebuilt again in 1788 and was once used as part of the The King's High School, but is now a holiday home.
The town's Priory was founded in around 1119 by Henry de Beaumont, the first Earl of Warwick. It was later destroyed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536, it stood on the site of the current Priory Park. Henry de Beaumont also founded the Hospital of St John near the east town gate. It is now the site of the 17th century St John's House. Relatively few medieval buildings survive in Warwick, however one of the most notable examples is the Lord Leycester Hospital on the High Street, whose oldest parts date from 1383.
Warwick was not incorporated as a borough until 1545.
During the English Civil War the town and castle were garrisoned for Parliament under Sir Edward Peyto. In 1642 the castle underwent a two-week siege by the Royalists commanded by the Earl of Northampton, however, the besiegers lacked any cannons powerful enough to damage the castle. The siege collapsed when, on hearing of the approach of the Earl of Essex to Southam, Lord Northampton marched his force away towards Worcester. Major John Bridges was appointed governor of the castle in 1643, and a garrison was maintained there with artillery and other stores until 1659, which at its height in 1645 consisted of 302 soldiers.
The mid-17th century saw the founding of Castle Hill Baptist Church, one of the oldest Baptist churches in the world.
Much of the medieval town centre was destroyed in the Great Fire of Warwick on 5 September 1694, which, within five hours destroyed 460 buildings and left 250 families homeless.
Thus most of the town-centre buildings are of late 17th and early 18th-century origin, although some medieval timber-framed buildings survive, especially around the edges of the town centre.
The fire burnt down much of the medieval church of St Mary. However, the chancel and the Beauchamp Chapel survived, the latter having been built between 1443 and 1464 according to the wishes of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who had died in Rouen in 1439. A full-size reclining copper-gilt effigy of him lies on his Purbeck marble tomb – a fine piece of medieval metalwork cast in 1459.
In 1788 the Earl of Warwick obtained an Act of Parliament to enable him to build a new bridge over the Avon: Castle Bridge, which consists of a single sandstone arch was opened in 1793.It replaced an older 14th century bridge further downstream, known as Old Castle Bridge, which fell into ruin, although remains of it can still be seen.
The Warwick and Birmingham and Warwick and Napton canals were both opened through Warwick in 1800. They now form parts of the Grand Union Canal.
The Borough of Warwick was reformed under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, which reconstituted it as a municipal borough with an elected Town Council.
The railway arrived in Warwick in 1852 when the Great Western Railway opened its man line between Birmingham, Oxford and London through the town, along with Warwick railway station. However, the train service proved to be a disappointment to Warwick, as no express trains served the town, stopping at nearby Leamington Spa railway station instead.
Warwick was largely bypassed by the industrial revolution; during the early 19th century, only minor industrial activities developed in the town, such as hat making. By the early 20th century, some engineering industry had been established locally.
The Leamington & Warwick Tramways & Omnibus Company was established in 1881, and operated a tramway service between Warwick and Leamington Spa until 1930.
Suburbs of Warwick include Bridge End, Cliff Hill, Emscote, Forbes, Myton (connecting Warwick with Leamington Spa), Packmores, The Cape, The Percy, Warwick Gates, Woodloes Park and the newly established Chase Meadow.
The data used is based on the CV34 and CV35 Postcode Sectors. Some roads of Warwick 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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