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Saint Wilfrid Parish Church
Shustoke shown within Warwickshire
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
Shustoke is an ancient village and it existed before Domesday. In 1086 Shustoke was recorded as 'Scotescote' meaning Scots Cottage, as cote means cottage, dwelling or house.
The parish church is St Cuthbert's and was erected in 1307 on the site of an earlier church or chapel. Some remains of a Celtic-type churchyard cross and reused Norman masonry can be seen. The parish registers are some of the earliest in the country and date from the reign of Henry VIII. Some are in the handwriting of Sir William Dugdale (see below).
There are many interesting buildings in the parish. Some around the church are typical Arden timber-framing with brick in-fill, dating from the 17th century. Others are The Alms Houses, the moated Shustoke Hall, and a Tithe Barn at the nearby hamlet of Church End. It also lies on the Heart of England Way.
More recently Shustoke Reservoir and the Whitacres (Nether Whitacre, Over Whitacre and Whitacre Heath) have become important in the storage and distribution of drinking water. The pumping station and reservoir originally belonged to the Water Department of the City of Birmingham, but now they are the responsibility of the Severn Trent Water Authority. The reservoir is a popular leisure site for sailing and walking.
Joseph Harrison, the early seventeenth-century vicar of Shustoke, appears to have enjoyed some notoriety as a drunkard. The justices of the Warwick quarter sessions at Easter, 1635 record that the late vicar was "a man of very lewd condition, much subject to drunkenness" and ruled that William Bull, his father-in-law, was to be responsible for supporting his surviving wife and child. (Quarter Sessions Order Book, Vol. I, p. 210).
Sir William Dugdale (Sir William I), born in the building now known as 'The Old Rectory' in Shawbury Lane on 12 September 1605, is widely regarded as the county's first and greatest antiquarian. He built and lived in Blyth Hall and was a strong royalist supporter of King Charles I during the Civil War, being appointed as his 'Garter Principal King of Arms'. On 10 May 1660 at Coleshill he read out the proclamation announcing that Charles' son Charles II was now the King of England. Dugdale's descendants later bought land near Atherstone (the site of the former Merevale Abbey) where they built Merevale Hall. Many of the artefacts of Sir William Dugdale can be seen here, including his ceremonial tabard as Garter Principal King of Arms clothes.
During the English Civil War Shustoke is listed among the towns paying arrears to the garrison at Tamworth in an account drawn up by Captain Thomas Layfield for the period from 1 November 1645 to 1 May 1646. At a weekly rate of £7.5 the total arrears amounted to £108.10. (SP 28/136/31)
The Griffin, a pub in Shustoke was featured in the BBC programme Oz and Hugh Raise the Bar. During the series, Oz Clarke and Hugh Dennis travelled around the UK collecting the best British drinks before selling the drinks at The Griffin.
- OS Explorer Map 232 : Nuneaton & Tamworth: (1:25 000) :ISBN 0 319 46404 0
- Oz and Hugh Raise the Bar at allgatesbrewery.co.uk
Media related to Shustoke at Wikimedia Commons
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