Whitnash shown within Warwickshire
|District||Warwick District Council|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
Whitnash is a very ancient settlement. Its earliest origins can be traced back to pre-Roman occupation. Whitnash has several possible origins as a place name. It could variously mean "at the white ash", "place by the wood", "sacred ash", or even "meeting place of the wise". However, the first meaning is considered[according to whom?] most likely to be correct.
By the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086, Whitnash was part of the Stoneleigh Hundreds area, and referred to as Witenas. The population consisted of 11 villagers and 8 smallholders. It remained a small village for many centuries, not even being connected to local towns by anything more than country lanes until around 1850.
Dramatic population growth began during the second half of the 20th century. In the space of a few decades, the population increased by over five times. Reflecting its much larger size, Whitnash became a town on the 1st April 1978.
There is no real town centre in Whitnash. The focal point of the old village was the church of St. Margaret's, and with Leamington Spa town centre only 2 miles to the north, a central district for Whitnash never developed and the town only expanded residentially. The church dates back to Saxon times, and has been greatly altered over the years. One of its most notable features[according to whom?] was a large elm tree which dominated the open space in front of the church for many years. The tree had to be removed when it became dangerous. A fragment of wood from the Whitnash Elm was donated to the Warwickshire Museum by The Whitnash Society in September 2013. There are two other churches in the town, the Catholic St. Joseph's and the Whitnash Methodist Church.
Another focal point was the village public house.[according to whom?] The Plough and Harrow is a 17th-century building that remains a pub to this day. There are now two other pubs in Whitnash, The Heathcote and The Hodcarrier, which are much more modern.
There are four primary schools in the town. St. Margaret's School which dates back to the Victorian era and was founded by the church. It is now a county council-run junior school. Originally sited in Whitnash Road it transferred to new premises in Coppice Road in the 1970s. The original building is now derelict following a fire caused by arson having, for many years, been used as a church hall. The Coppice Road site is also home to Briar Hill School which is an infant's school. The two other schools in Whitnash are Whitnash County Primary School and the Roman Catholic St. Joseph's School.
A party representing the residents of the town, the Whitnash Residents Association, dominates the town council, holding all 15 seats. All three of Whitnash's seats on Warwick District Council and the single Warwickshire County Council seat are also held by the Whitnash Residents Association.
Whitnash has a tennis club, Whitnash Sports & Social Club, Petanque club, and the Whitnash Society. The Non-League football club Leamington F.C. play at The New Windmill Ground. Whitnash Sports and Social club is the new home of the Leamington Royals Rugby League team, who represent Leamington, Warwick and the surrounding areas in the Midlands RL Conference. They are regarded[according to whom?] as the premier contact sports team in the area. Whitnash Town FC is the local Association football club.
Since the 1990s, the construction of the adjacent Warwick housing estate Warwick Gates has resulted in further local population growth. The administrative border between Whitnash and Warwick runs along a brook near the eastern edge of the estate, meaning that almost all of it is formally in Warwick and outside the boundaries of Whitnash. Despite this, the estate is directly adjacent to Whitnash, and isolated from the main body of Warwick. The combined population of Whitnash with Warwick Gates is over 10,000. Between the two, situated by a pedestrian crossing, is a venerable oak tree, the Whitnash Oak, which may be hundreds of years old.
- "Secondary school priority areas: Central area". Warwickshire County Council.
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