The first mention of Newbold Comyn in history was in the Domesday Book when it was mentioned that one of the two mills of Leamington were situated there. In 1539 two men, Richard Willes and William Morcote jointly purchased the land that was now a farm. When Richard Willes died in 1564 his son inherited the whole estate as Richard had married Morcote's daughter. At the end of the 18th century the Revd. Edward Willes built a new house on the estate in addition to the existing farm house. The Revd. Edward Willes died in 1820, and his son, also Edward, began to sell parts of the estate for building in 1823 as Leamington grew into a Spa town. In all the Willes family held Newbold Comyn for over 400 years, until they sold most of the remaining estate to Leamington Corporation after the end of the Second World War. The Willes family moved to Honington in South Warwickshire, and sold the mansion house to a subsidiary of AC Lloyd (Builders) in 1964. The main house, which stood where now the junction of Newbold Terrace East and Fernhill Drive is, was demolished in 1965, leaving only the farm and outbuildings. During the Second World War the Luftwaffe dumped two bombs on the park whilst returning to base from Coventry. The craters can still be seen. The Corporation laid out the leisure park in the 1970s and the land usage has remained the same ever since although it is now run by Warwick District Council. There used to be an old steam engine on which young people could climb and play, but this had to be removed due to health and safety regulations.
Modern day park and facilities
Today the park is over 120 hectares (300 acres) in area. For sports players there is an 18-hole golf course which takes up most of the park, a 9-hole pitch and putt and various other sports pitches for hire such as rugby, football and cricket. There are two children's play areas, a skate park and 4X track. On the town side of the park is the Leisure Centre which boasts two swimming pools (a 25-metre one and a children's one), an aerobics studio and a gym. Fishing is allowed on the River Leam which passes through the park. The park is mainly flat but there is a hill with a beacon at the top of it from which there are fine views of south Warwickshire. At the bottom of the hill is the Newbold Comym Arms, converted from the farm house to a pub. The pub serves food, as does the cafe at the leisure centre. The park is the only public open space in Warwick District where barbecues are allowed.
The park is a fifteen-minute walk from the town centre. For those with cars there are free car parks at the leisure centre, Newbold Comyn Arms and at the foot of the hill. Between Monday and Saturday there is a limited bus service from the town on the number 75.
- A ramblers group guide to the park
- Royal Leamington Spa, Lyndon Cave, pub. Phillimore 1988
- No Bricks without Mortar - 50 Years of AC Lloyd 1948-1998, Shirley Reading (1998)
- Geoffrey Tyack, Warwickshire Country Houses, pub. Phillimore 1994.
- "Beware The Beast of Newbold Comyn" article in The Leamington Courier