Astley, Warwickshire

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Astley church choir stall frescoes.jpg
Painted stalls in the church of St Mary the Virgin
Astley is located in Warwickshire
Location within Warwickshire
Population218 (2011)
OS grid referenceSP311894
Civil parish
  • Astley
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtCV10
AmbulanceWest Midlands
List of places
52°30′07″N 1°32′35″W / 52.502°N 1.543°W / 52.502; -1.543Coordinates: 52°30′07″N 1°32′35″W / 52.502°N 1.543°W / 52.502; -1.543
1773 turret clock in the church of St Mary the Virgin

Astley is a village and parish within the North Warwickshire district of Warwickshire, England.[1] In the 2001 census it had a population of 219, reducing slightly to 218 at the 2011 census.[2]

Astley is Knebly in George Eliot's Mr Gilfil's Love Story. Eliot's parents were married in the church.[3]

St Mary the Virgin[edit]

The parish church was rebuilt by Sir Thomas Astley in 1343. An Anglo-Saxon carving of a sundial from an earlier church was preserved in the tower. Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset was entombed in the church in 1530. The present church dates from another rebuild in 1617 by the Chamberlayne family. It is mainly the chancel of the 1343 building and the original east window incorporated into the tower. Preserved in the church are effigies of the Grey family, eighteen choir stalls painted with images of the prophets and apostles and, on the ceiling, 21 heraldic shields of Midlands families.

Astley Castle[edit]

Astley Castle, a Grade II* listed building, is the last of three castles built on the same site and using the same moat. The castle was held by the Newdigate family in the 19th century, latterly being the home of Lieut-Gen. Edward Newdigate Newdegate. It was later a hotel, but is now a ruin following the fire in 1978.

The Landmark Trust is now spearheading a project to make the ruins safe, with the addition of modern style holiday homes within the actual ruins.

There is emerging evidence that Hitler may have planned to use Astley Castle if the Nazis had successfully invaded Britain during the Second World War. Astley Castle would have provided him with a fortified structure with appropriate security, supplemented by the protection of a moat. Astley would also have satisfied Hitler's desire for British countryside living with reasonable access to all the major cities.[citation needed]


  1. ^ OS Explorer Map 232 : Nuneaton & Tamworth: (1:25 000) :ISBN 0 319 46404 0
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  3. ^ BBC - Exploring important George Eliot locations

External links[edit]