Wolvey shown within Warwickshire
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The village, originally on the main route between Leicester and Coventry, is now on the B4065 and B4109 roads and is located on the Warwickshire/Leicestershire border in an outlying part of the borough of Rugby; the village is, however, more than 10 miles (16 km) north-west from the town of Rugby and is closer to Nuneaton (five miles to the north-west) and Coventry (eight miles south-west). It is also close to the source of the River Anker. The medieval hamlet of Bramcote forms a western part of the parish, where Gamecock Barracks - the former HMS Gamecock - is situated.
The village name dates back to Saxon times but Neolithic and Bronze Age discoveries suggest earlier occupation. The Roman road, Watling Street, forms part of the parish boundary. It was a market centre in the 12th century with separate townships of Bramcote and, now deserted, Little Copston or Copston Parva. The most important historic event in Wolvey occurred in 1469, during the Wars of the Roses, when Warwick the Kingmaker captured King Edward IV on Wolvey Heath.
A farming community, in the nineteenth century knitting and weaving became important trades in the village for as time. Milling provided an important service for the area and it is reputed at one time to have had 27 windmills in the area, although none now remains.
The village still retains some older buildings including the church of St John the Baptist which includes a 12th-century doorway and contains the monumental tombs of Thomas de Wolvey (c 1305) and his wife Alice; also that of Thomas Astley and his wife, Catherine (c 1603). The Baptist Chapel dates to 1789, and 'The Blue Pig' public house and village pump are also of similar date. Much of the village consists of modern housing.
Wolvey Hall is a Grade II listed 17th-century house remodelled in 1889 which stands in Hall Road, Wolvey. It is constructed of brick in two storeys with attics and a 6-bay frontage. A Roman Catholic chapel is attached and in the grounds is the ruined Jacobs Well, bearing a date of 1707.
The current house was rebuilt in 1889 using material from an earlier house built in 1677 and also includes fragments from an even earlier building. In the mid-1700s the house was owned by the Arnold family, who could trace family ownership of the manor of Wolvey back to Sir Thomas de Wolvey (died 1315). It has been owned by the Coape-Arnolds since Georgeana, daughter of George Henry Arnold, married James Coape of Goldhanger, Essex in 1840. In 1891 Henry Fraser James Coape-Arnold, a catholic convert, built the chapel at the Hall which served the Catholic residents of the area until the early 1920s.
The hall is currently in the possession of Richard Coape-Arnold.
- "Wolvey Hall, Wolvey". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Allen, G (2000) Warwickshire Towns & Villages, ISBN 1-85058-642-X
- Lewis, G (1992) The Wolvey Area Before History, in Wolvey - a Warwickshire Village, Book 2, 21-27, Wolvey Local History Group
- Salzman, L F (ed) (1951)'Parishes: Wolvey', in Victoria County History,A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 6: Knightlow hundred, pp. 281–287. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=57148 Accessed: 10 September 2010.
- "Wolvey History". Wolvey Local History Group. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
Media related to Wolvey at Wikimedia Commons